skip to Main Content


Are all of you giving-in to the lazy, restful dog days of summer? Well if the kids are home — maybe not (but at least you are not managing homework).

We may be working then vacationing or enjoying a staycation as we sense and feel the warmth in the air that heats us inside. I am taking a break from blogging this month allowing me more spaciousness in the month of August. So read good fiction, curl up and nap and create digital room away from your devices. I hope you choose to walk in nature, hike, bike, go to the beach and most of all allow rest and a sense of well-being that summertime affords us with all its pleasurable opportunities.

Read more

The Magic of Alchemy for 2019


At Esalen Institute, I presented alchemy as an inspiring theme for a few of our intensive 5-day transformational retreats. The alchemy paradigm fits for 2019 — the year that requires evocative transfiguration within both our individual — and collective psyche. Carl Jung, Edward Edinger and Marie-Louise von Franz serve as our brilliant guides as we venture forth in this discussion. I plan to present more on this topic in a series of blogs in the coming months. Let me know if you find this a topic of interest.

Read more

The Value of Work

There are times in our life when well-established work structures fall apart and we are set adrift. Work, in all its shapes and sizes, creates definition – an outline that contains the wild and woolly elements that comprise a human life. When we lose our employment or our artistic purpose, or the on-going project of running a family — we feel shapeless and our life feels in disarray. Why is work so important?

Read more

Becoming Whole

Wholeness may seem like an elusive goal – one that sounds great on paper but instead ends up as abstract psychobabble rather than a clear directive to achieve. Many of us know well the opposite condition. We are plagued by self-doubt, with, at times, self-denigrating thoughts that talk at us, seizing on each and every opportunity to shake a finger. “You look terrible today – you have gained weight and it is noticeable. Look at those bags under your eyes, ugh!” “You are so inadequate, you didn’t handle that conversation well at work and your boss spotted your discomfort.” “You did not measure up to your good friend’s intelligent understanding of that concept discussed.” “Your neighbor is so successful – he has money to burn and you are always struggling.” “I didn’t get a promotion or a raise and I feel embarrassed and less-than in front of my peers.” “I am not a good mom – I feel like my daughter rejects me and I get angry with her. The other mom’s at school seem so confident compared to me.” “I wish I had a better relationship with my wife – she boxes me in with her demand for sex and I don’t feel sexy or potent.” This busy dialogue in the brain can be relentless with its constant self-repudiation and we feel badly about ourselves more of the time than we feel content inside. Our good/bad, black/white thinking splits us into two parts making wholeness seem like a distant reality never to be embraced.

Read more

Reframing Resolutions

Each New Year brings us opportunities for significant personal changes that can build on our prior successes and accomplishments or help shift areas of regret or disappointment. Every year we have an opportunity to choose and prioritize that which is most valuable and leave behind what we know to be inconsequential or even destructive. The idea of New Year’s resolutions seems quaint and superficial in that we realize we are unlikely to keep them. It can end up as a pretend gesture and we can laugh that we tried for 3 weeks and then go on about our business.

We can approach this effort with a bit more sincerity and intention. It might be advisable to pick one or two changes for maximum effect – eliminate the laundry list that will get blown off by the end of January. Maybe you could think about one item that really matters to you above all else. What do you want to reinforce that will provide a true avenue for the Self – what supports your development in ways that will make you feel proud and fulfilled? What states of mind are most nourishing – peace, generosity, gratitude? Or perhaps seek times of non-activity in order to allow a sense of spaciousness.

Read more

The Closet Narcissist Disorder of the Self

February is upon us and there is one more character type I feel obliged to describe so you all have a fairly thorough template of types to help you understand aspects of yourself and others. The Closet Narcissist is an interesting type as their narcissism is not as obvious as the Narcissistic personality disorder I described in a prior post. Rather than the blatant grandiose, self-centered, exhibitionistic Narcissist, the Closet Narcissist is subtler and lives underground as she serves the grandiose Narcissist in order to get her Narcissistic needs met.

This dynamic is often most noticeable in couples. There is one star performer or dysfunctional dominator and an accomplice hiding behind the more overt individual. The lead performer enjoys having someone to dominate and control, someone he commandeers to serve his needs and boosts his ego. The more subservient partner gets to share the light of fame, fortune, success or, more often, simply false bravado founded on nothing. The Closet Narcissist gets to feel important and special as he or she idealizes the other. The Closet Narcissist feeds off the projections she places on her mate; maybe his educational credentials, her powerful position at work, his accomplishments, her glamorous looks, his impressive motorcycle or his false sense of pride and cockiness built on the surface without substance or foundation. The Closet Narcissist feels weak and deflated inside and relies on the other to feel any sense of cohesion. Plus she can tag along on a ride with the dictating spouse and live a life that appears special; one that the person is unable to accomplish on her own. The Closet Narcissist lives the other’s life; takes trips decided by the mate on their terms for their benefit and the Closet Narcissist goes along because he can’t decide what he wants anyway.

Read more

Reich’s Concept of Contact

My blog has focused lately on a delineation of armoring and the seven segments of armor. I will move on to another relevant concept and how Reich’s Concept of Contact has contributed to the field of psychology and psychiatry. Elsworth Baker in Man in the Trap aptly describes contact: “Contact requires movement of energy above a certain minimal level plus excitation. Where the organism is free of blocks there is a free-flowing plasmatic movement which gives rise to sensations (organ sensations) and a three-dimensional perception of the body.”

What does this really mean in our daily life? When we feel in contact with another, there is an exchange of energy, feeling, body sensation and excitation. An interesting personal, psychological, political or philosophical conversation can engender an experience of contact. Our cognitions, feelings, and body sensations intertwine and we feel ‘alive’ in the interaction. It can be a simple discussion between two people about prosaic items, like plans for dinner, an event you are going to, or a project you are taking on together, and you enjoy the mutual contact and exchange.Reich’s Concept of Contact

Read more
Back To Top