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.
April is Autism Awareness month. I do a great deal of work with autistic children and those on the spectrum, so I’m all for it. But I think there’s something missing in the Autism Awareness media flurry.
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.
Hello everyone! As we move into 2012, I continue to ask the question, “Does the Community Need Therapy?” I want to share with you my joy and appreciation for everything all of you have done with us over the past year in creating an answer to this very important question — and the answer lies in what we have built together.
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:
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.
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.
Several readers have contacted me about my recent blog entries that deal with the work with children in our multi-family groups. They want to know more about performance and play. Do adult groups do performances as well? Do they play? If so, how?
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.
In my last post, I introduced you to Josh, a ten-year-old patient in my multi-family group, and shared some moments from our first session, with his mom. Here’s a scene from a session with the whole group.
I want to introduce you to “Josh,” a ten-year-old boy I’ve been working with in my multi–family group. The group currently has five families — five mothers and five kids aged 9-13. Josh has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and goes to a special education school in New York City.
(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.
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.
I am director of the Social Therapy Group in Fort Greene and a proud Brooklynite. I grew up in Brooklyn—living in East New York until my 18th birthday and I love this borough, and care about what goes on here.