Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

Design, 2017, 2018, New Year

Whether you have the power within you or whether you have your support system (that could include your therapist in Los Angeles) that advocates for you or whether you embrace your community of peers, chosen family or relatives, it can be a wonderful year ---

Read more about Dr. Strayhorn's practice and philosophy...

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy Universal Holiday Season!

There is just so much to do on Christmas day.  Opening presents, driving to families, preparing dinner.  Quality time is difficult to muster.

To change the pace go back in time with NPR Christmas Stories. Or Old Time Radio Christmas.
Back in the day when radio was the primary form of entertainment it allowed the family to congregate and LISTEN.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Athlete's Mt. Olympus is Mt. Everest

The Heavens Might Not be Meant for Mortals.  And Hero's Can Go Crazy if Not Honoring the Gods! 

Please see previous blog on Climbing Mt. Everest as a Goal:  How interesting that the spirit

Monday, December 18, 2017

Healthy and Happy Couples Do Exist

And why not be one of the fortunate ones in a happy relationship!  With life terminating at any given unforeseeable accident isn’t it worth trying to have a happy relationship before life passes you by?  For many of us we have no idea what a happy relationship looks like.  And when we do find such a relationship we often are not sure what we have.  Moreover, at other times we criticize or over-scrutinize the relationship ultimately destroying what was once good.  If you are needing a check-in or an exploration of a positive loving relationship I recommend a quick glance at What a Healthy Relationship Looks Like.  

Saturday, December 16, 2017

We are Definitely in the Thickness of the Holiday Season.

Am I Horrible for Dreading Dealing with My Partner's Family?
In answer to this question? NO!
Even if you love them it is just daunting and complicated. Ever watch the movies Family Stone or Home for the Holidays? Well, all holidays are not so cheery and easy breezy. What does it mean if you are in a relationship and how does that relate to spending time with relatives? What about in-laws?  Whether you love your in-laws and are trying to make them happy or you (between you and me, come on, you can tell me -- just between us) have to struggle through meaningless dialogues just to get through the family gathering it can be challenging for many.
We might not have the fortune of a mother that is understanding and unconditionally accepting of you spending time with your significant other’s family.  Moreover, there could be comlex options (or negotiations) that range from alternate holiday visits (this year mine, next year yours); to the majority of the holidays being spent with one spouse’s family; to spending time with your family, apart from your spouse, during the holidays.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Working Toward Long Term Relationships

Can You Have a LTR (Long Term Relationship)?
I am really liking this article Signs that Your Relationship Can Last a Lifetime.  How often have we read wordy articles only to say “why didn’t they just say that in the beginning,” or “I had to wait that long to get what I needed?”  With that being said:  

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Stress and Holidays

Getting Through the Holidays and How to Manage Them!

It is no secret that the holidays can cause stress.  A recent 2015 Healthline survey that measured holiday stress shows that overall the majority of respondents were stressed. However, more gen Xers reported feeling stressed (65 percent) with baby boomers (62 percent) and millennials (61 percent) neck and neck.

How do we manage the holidays with a happy outcome?  I found an article on managing holidays and creating memories during the holiday season that might be worth pondering.  Although there are specific items in the article

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


When is Disclosure and the Analyst’s Sharing of Information Appropriate?

I have had unending suggestions from personal friends that I should share personal stories in my blogs “to increase traffic….to get more hits…to get more followers. ...people will identify with you if you share…” My response is always an educational discussion of the therapist in the analyst/analysand relationship with regards to treatment.  It is not that disclosure is a sin in the psychodynamic or psychoanalytic world (the old school theorists might argue that it is) but that an analyst’s role in the purpose and ethics of disclosure is not to be taken lightly and is of ethical concern.

Which becomes intricate and delicate in the era of social media and contemporary technology.  Although complex, anyone can appreciate the struggle that a well trained analyst faces in today's shift in the ideology and introduction of Self-disclosure and the new transparency in treatment.  

Friday, December 1, 2017

Isolation and Managing Communication in the New Era of Relationships

I came across this article discussing isolatory experiences in relationships.  How to Cope When You’re Feeling Lonely and Invisible in Your Marriage.  This feeling of invisibleness and loneliness in marriages is an occurrence not uncommon.  What this article lacks

Friday, November 24, 2017

And When Thanksgiving is Said and Done:

And Then Comes BLACK Friday.

This is a challenging time of the year for mental health. Discussions of suicides increasing during the holidays along with loss and depression only add to our community's mental illness at the end of the year. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

After 50. Is Shacking up, living together, and marriage worth it?

There seems to be little discussion of the late bloomers starting unions and marriages after the age of 50.  As a couples counselor and marriage therapist in the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills area I do not hear about the aging process among the happily elder couple. With magazines and Film industry’s emphasis on youth is there a place for the aging in love? The individuals that joined the marital wedding party upon their own invitation vs. crashing into a disastrous union might have merit.  Who are the people who just married late or who found good matches late in the game?  Are there any thoughts other than “going down to city hall" in middle age?

Friday, November 17, 2017

It Could Happen to You

Long Term Love - Longevity and the Art of Happiness

There are happy couples, you know.  They exist right before us.  How timely to find the treasure in Poseidon's mortal consequences through Harvey and Irma’s romantic longevity.  Despite the flood and hurricanes of Harvey and Irma there exists a union with more depth than natural disasters.  Mr. and Mrs. Schluter’s longevity of 75 years will far withstand any tragedies of Harvey and Irma.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Art of Love and How It Might Be Your Fault When You Conflict, Well Not Really.

He Completes Me- Happily Ever After- My Soulmate- She’s the Love of My Life- You Had Me at Hello!

The art of partnership is complex. Sometimes we think of bliss, happiness, the best-sex-ever, Snow White, Prince Charming, honeymoons, having families and children, shared bucket-list vacations, and maybe someone who is your best friend guiding you to powerful career choices as the sole part of coupling.  Moreover, these moments of false utopianistic pleasures represent social positives ultimately making you a better human being.  This discussion of blove (bliss and love) is commercial hollywood romance at its best.  Bliss is nothing more than the representation of the easy parts of the union.  Positive featured behaviors often create recognizable visual constructs of what made you connected to the Other (The capital O is a connection to the Self as it relates to someone who has stirred your soul; verses,

Friday, November 3, 2017

Can just one week of NEWS and a World Series Cause You to be Down?

Okay, as a psychologist providing therapy in Los Angeles the majority of my work is on the client analysis of Self, couples counseling, and relationships (in marriage, family, or social relationships).  However, lately, I have just recognized a theme in my blogs.  “Down, Blues, Depression, Grief, Masked Depression, In-a-funk.”  So for me, I have to ask why am I spending a lot of time on this subject when there are so many other interests in mental health and couples counseling?
The answer is this:  

Monday, October 30, 2017

PDA - No it Does Not Mean Pretty Damn Arrogant!

Intimacy vs. Awkward Possessiveness

PDA (showing Public Display of Affection) is the term.  But how often have we heard a moral jab of “Get a room?”  But then there is the “wow, they look good together.”  When is displaying social intimacy acceptable, appropriate and supportive?  How you play (or not play) in public can give away secrets.  

PDA can reveal information as to your relationship.  As a marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles who observes through couples counseling

Friday, October 27, 2017

Masked Depression - and it is okay.

I came across this article The One Thing No One Ever Says About Grieving which introduces the conversation about functioning and managed depression.  Some might argue that depression might have an association with suicide, or severe mental illness.  Depression.  It has many forms and shapes.  It can also mean that you are the same person and you have not changed; but, you are just not the same take-charge-get-up-and-go type person you were before the event that caused you to stall in your momentum.  Maybe, due to that one event or a course of many minor events you are more of an introvert, a recluse.  These events and or situationals can cause a type of grief state or a numbed state that is not what we generally see as depression.  This masked depression can be complexed because often family and close friends can miss the signs.  

Monday, September 11, 2017

Depression, Suicide; & the New Historical Global Events Now a Part of Our Daily Living?

National Suicide Day and September 11th Terrorist Attack's 16th Anniversary

September 11 is an uneasy day. This marks the 16th anniversary of a catastrophic event that changed the course of American (and the World at large); changed its thinking; changed its lifestyle; and changed its social policies. With these changes how have we progressed as a nation in respect to mental health? It is particularly harsh that the Sisters of Fate  allowed

Monday, August 21, 2017

Death of a Social Trail Blazing Comic; Death of a Nutty Comic and the Demise of the Kennedy Center Honors

Hall Of Nations Kennedy Center WashingtonThe recent deaths of two powerful comic icons, and the political statement from artists associated with the Kennedy Center Honors have challenged us as a society to consider how art intersects with politics. Media reflects how we as a society are grappling with how much right do artists have to affect political discourse. Is art inappropriately coercing its way into politics? Can these large scale events affect our mental health or involvement with romantic relationships, the professional workplace or social and community interactions?

The death of an icon can affect us in ways we do not expect? How poetic, at this time in our

Friday, August 11, 2017

Continuing the Battle of the Sexes and Communication.

I wanted to continue from last week's, August 7, 2017, blog Communication is a Skill - Especially in Relationships.  

The concern is not just an issue of effective communication in traditional relationships but the dynamics of context (not content) in sharing language and information to partners, family, friends and coworkers.  

So the Secret in Male and Female Communication truly falls in the

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Glen Campbell and His Miraculous and Elegant Contribution Transcending from Music to Alzheimer's to the Ancestors

[Please review previous post (Monday May 11, 2015): An ICONIC Glen Campbell puts a new face to Alzheimers.]

NPR has a way of stopping me from what I am doing.  Usually it is when I am driving.  It can be a thrilling informative moment; a moment of overwhelming love type goodness; or, it can be chilling.  I was driving today and was stunted:  I had followed Mr. Campbell

Monday, August 7, 2017

Communication is a skill - Especially in relationships!

When You become exhasperated with your partner remember; it's Science, it isn't their fault!

A transparent skull model in a corridor
How does gender affect the way we communicate? In Carolyn Gregoire’s article Men and Women Literally See Things Differently, she introduces some interesting statistics. It is not clear if she attributes

Film Review: Kathryn Bigelow's Social Plight of Civic Unrest - 50 Years Ago

The Psyche of the Collective Unconscious is Still Haunting America's Social Culture from Generations Past.

Detroit Graffiti Joe Louis Building Michig
I am still trying to identify if The New Yorker’s film critic Richard Brody had favor or dismissed distaste for Kathryn Bigelow’s latest project Detroit.  Just by TNY’s very title “The Immortal Artistry of Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Detroit’” it unknowingly (or knowingly) recognizes her as an in-charge artistic visionary of her work.  

Ms. Bigelow is consistent in her grit and is focused with her left hemispheric attack in her films.  This seemed to be validated in her Q & A (question and answer) segment last Saturday night August 5, 2017, at The Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study.  

If you like Ms. Bigelow’s previous cinematic offerings you will not be disappointed.  This film transitions historical documentary

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day?

For some of us certain holidays are joyful, and for others the same day can be vexing or complex.  For this Father's Day I ran across this article Father's Day Stories on the Huffington Post.  It is a very light read.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Is Your Therapist Working for You?

The Analyst/Analysand or Therapist/Client Relationship is not Always so Easy.
Bdsm, Gaged, Bondage, Woman, Redhead
The connection is everything when working with a therapist. The therapist should not be your best friend but the relationship is the most important part of the process.   I liked this article When Therapy for Depression Isn’t Helping You.  In fact, you can use its message for therapy in general, not just depression. If you have time to read the article I would take note on the following:

One topic discusses not liking your therapist.  Not a good experience if your therapy is difficulty.  However, if you have a good therapist and if you can discuss this discomfort the unease could be important to treatment.  If you have had

Friday, June 9, 2017

12 Secrets -- Life

Let's keep this simple.  We all want to have life go the way we want it.  Despite our wants things just do not go as planned.  Whether in family, education, career, love (Ugh!  Who was the comedian who gave the story of the wife who was stuck with the husband realizing the husband was not her first choice and sees her husband every day  -- Chris Rock) it never goes perfectly.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Aaron Hernandez -- Sociopath or Societal Mishap that Failed a Young Kid.

A Tragedy or Poetic Justice of a Classic Mythological Titan's Fall 

This will cause a lot of controversy but this is one of the most fascinating complex case studies as a sports fan, sports franchise and mental health clinician.  Personally, and professionally, this lost life just makes me ache.  Earlier this morning, a callus radio talk show host said such negative hateful verbiage that I questioned the host's humanity.  His negative statements could easily reveal his secrets as what would make him project onto Hernandez so subjectively.  How often the ones that cast damnations from the most high are the ones that have the greatest psychic sins -- or worse, the most to hide.  Strom Thurman, or Ted Haggard come to mind.   

This love-them-when-they-are-stars-hate-and-desert-them-when-they-are-gone

Friday, April 14, 2017

Millennial Daters will one day be EEK -- Grandparents!

There Are 2 Types of Modern Relationships: Which Is Yours?

Is there enough thought and support for millennials and relationships?  During the Baby Boomers and Generation X Era the dating world was different.  Some might argue the nuances of past generaions made dating more complex.  However,

Friday, April 7, 2017

Secret to a Good Life According to the Longest Happiness Study Ever

Woman, Man, Persons, People, Couple, Together, TwoLongitudinal studies are great, they provide a wealth of valuable information. The problem is getting the data. Between the study being cancelled, or subjects dying or discontinuing it often makes it impossible to get great long term empirical evidence or narratives that accurately reflect the studies original intention. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Ignoring Bad Vibes for Hot Sex might mesh and be Insanely Intense; but, not good for the Psyche...

Sex and Aural Energy: The Intimate Connection Preventing Partners from Lasting Longer Together

Sex, Love, Embrace, Kiss, Union
Be careful who you're intimate with. STI (sexually transmitted infections) are not the issue.  Is there room for discussion about contracting emotional (vs. social) diseases.  I truly believe that there are not enough discussions about aural intimacies as they relate to sexual energy in relationships.

There is something to be said about being intimately connected with your partner (s); or not being intimately connected with your partners (s).  

Friday, March 31, 2017

Sociopaths Are Among Us!

How Should You Choose to Live with Them?

Man Run Escalator City Urban On The Run Ru
The other day I was in an interesting and provocative discussion about Sociopathy.  The conversation started with the other party asking for my definition and distinction of a psychopath vs. a sociopath.  My friend was ranting about her perception of millennials being an “Id-like population of sociopaths.”  Self absorbed, and only thinking about themselves.  For clarity this is a bias belief and not true or founded on evidence. This is especially true, if we are talking globally.  My argument was that millennials did not create capitalism, or Nixon’s Watergate, or the movie Wall Street (or its characters). Sociopathic traits in Baby Boomers had a heavy hand in this social direction of moral human detachment, and negligent impulsivity.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day -- With or Without Strings.

Wouldn't it wonderful to grow symbolic hearts as fruit from trees.  And then these heart like leaves could be plucked off or blow into the wind spreading love all over the area. Well... and then there is reality.

Do we really the origin's of Valentine's Day?  So often we get tranced with the commercial roses and pressure of capitalistic romance that we might lose focus of what we are celebrating.  With the busy schedule or the dull of life we forget to define what we want in romance.  Some could argue that you should have mindful moments not just once a year.  Yet, could there be value in having one day that is recognized as catering to romance?

The focus of a contemporary Valentines Day might be liked by

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

You Deserve a Break Today - Ethics, Morals, Politics, Standards. Is it too Much?

What a Bunch of Kroc! No Really?
It's Becoming Overwhelming and Complicated, No?

Some writers are smooth in their blending of ideas and transitioning devices to social relevance.  Basic writing skill helps the reader and allows for the communication to be effective.  So, I could lie and say that I am intentionally manipulating readers to think more by forcing people to ask questions but this is not true.  In reality, I have not fully developed my thoughts coherently.  This, perhaps is a representation of the American psyche due to the countries polared thinking that has been present since before the presidential election.  
One could hope that in the near future there would be a better understand of what is surfacing in the collective unconscious of American.  So I will just shove some topics together haphazardly. For starters there is this film you must see.  Although I am not writing  a film review, The Founder starring Michael Keaton is a must see as it taps into some current themes of today, which unfortunately has been present since the Reagan Administration.  Additionally, how has the recent political climate affected our overall awareness and comprehension of past standards and ethics, and, do standard and ethics change to adapt to the present as we know it?

As we have started to roll through 2017, we as an American collective seem just as conflicted as in November of 2016.  One could assert that we still have not meshed in accepting our disagreements from the past 12 months.  The public has become faced with

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year! 2017 -- We Have Been Waiting for You!

New Year Happy New Year New Year Celebrati
Let’s be honest.  This was a brutal year for many.  Social media recorded people stating that they wanted this year to be over.  One person whom I have admired for years eloquently stated on his Facebook page  that “2016 can eat my [expletive].”  

Looking back on 2016, the year was strikingly hard as we lost many iconic celebrities who were still artistically prolific.  The year started with artists such as David Bowie’s unexpected death from cancer followed by many other high profiled deaths throughout the year such as Prince’s relationship to Fentanyl.

Perhaps the close of the year was hauntingly symbolic with George Michael’s Last Christmas -- as he died on Christmas Day.  Yet, of all his songs, arguably the most memorable waltz of his career was the beautifully poetic ballad Jesus to a Child which was