Is That Gay?

Gay Pride month is in full swing, and its celebration of diversity and creativity in how we perform gender has gotten me thinking about the ways our lives can be shaped by the roles and rules we’re taught for how to be women or men — and it starts when we’re very young. How do we help our children deal with these issues? The exploration of the conventional and cultural expectations of young boys, in particular, is an ongoing dialogue in the field of psychology.

Abnormal? Unusual? Who Decides?

There is a fight going on in psychology. And we — the staff of the Social Therapy Group —  want you to know about it.

I’m talking about the controversy surrounding diagnostic labeling of patients in the field of mental health. It’s a national fight, in response to “DSM-5,” the American Psychiatric Association’s upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and it’s currently being fought by progressive practitioners and the various professional organizations they belong to.

Men, Women and a Social Therapy Group

Dear Readers: Our blog post on men’s lack of emotional development by my colleague, the social therapist and psychiatrist Dr. Hugh Polk, sparked a very rich dialogue — thank you to those who commented. We’re following up by sharing some concrete work done in social therapy groups on how men and women relate to each other.  Here's Dr. Polk again:

Men, Therapy and Underdevelopment

Dear Readers: I’d like to introduce you to some of my colleagues at the Social Therapy Group, starting with Hugh Polk, MD, the medical director at the Social Therapy Group and a long-time community activist. I asked him what he thought about a recent article in the New York Times about men and therapy — two things many women wish went together more often.

Fred Newman: 1935 - 2011

It saddens me to share that Fred Newman, the founder of social therapy, passed away on July 3 after a lengthy illness. As many of you know, Dr. Newman was my mentor and teacher, and for over 30 years he taught me and all of our dedicated social therapists how to practice a radically humanistic, non-adaptive, performatory approach to helping people in emotional pain.

Growing is for Parents, Too

Over the past few months, I’ve introduced you to my multi-family group, and you’ve met some of the children and their parents. Every four weeks, I have a session with the parents only, to give them an opportunity to talk about how they are doing in their lives as adults. Here's a glimpse into our last parent group.

The Hamburger Syndrome

(Click here to access this article in Chinese.)

A few weeks ago, I participated in a fascinating panel discussion in midtown Manhattan called “Breakthroughs in Child Psychology.” Joining me was child psychologist Anthony Rao, Ph.D. and Lois Holzman, Ph.D., director of the East Side Institute for Group and Short-Term Psychotherapy, who interviewed both of us on how we work with children and families.

Reframing How We See

I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer – hopefully with some vacation time to rest and have some fun.

As the community therapist, I speak with many different people every day. I’m constantly being asked:  Is it boring, what you do? Don't you get depressed listening to all those stories about emotional pain? No, it isn't, and no, I don't. What I do experience is a great deal of joy in helping people from all walks of life -- from 8 to 80 -- create new ways of seeing.