The Treatment of Trauma & My Story

My First Exposure to the Treatment of Trauma I came to recognize trauma and how that defined an important part of my focus as a psychotherapist.  During the second year of my internship as a Master's Student in Social Work, I was working at "The Oaks" in Wilmington, NC.  I had volunteered there even before I started my Master's program and was very impressed by the skills of Chris Hauge, DSW, LCSW.  What was more fascinating was that while people came to the hospital in crisis with various psychiatric diagnoses, almost everyone had past trauma. I do not suggest that trauma causes all psychological problems but for this population it is a curious phenomena.

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse - The Most Difficult Phone Call I Ever Had To Make...

Image depicting child abuse

As a Social Worker, we are required to report suspected child abuse.  Like reporting when someone might be suicidal, we don't wait until the last moment when we are 100% certain that a person will act.  Sometimes when a person seems to be maybe suicidal we call 911 just to be safe and it might later seem funny that we ever thought the person was actually suicidal.  It can be like that with "suspected" child abuse.  Any parent will feel his or her blood turn cold to be suspected of child abuse.  That's why great caution is used when investigating suspected child abuse.  The slightest suspici

My Cat has Social Anxiety

My cat, Tommy, is now about 2 years old which is like 14 in human years but in many ways, cats are more like adults very early in life.  A cat might mate at an age as young as one-year-old.  Our culture would never want a seven-year-old or even a 14-year-old to have a child.  But I digress.  What can we learn about social anxiety from my cat?  I am acutely aware of the needs that people have, children, young cats in terms of nurturing to feel safe.  This helps us and all social creatures feel confident and at ease.  So, I wonder how the cat did not get nurtured enough prior to my adoption.<

Christian Pacifism

I grew up being taught the ways of Christian morality.  I struggled to make sense of what were seemingly contradictory messages between words and the actions of our nation.  I was led to believe that freedom of religion was an expression of the various different Christian denominations that existed in the new world.  This ranged from Roman Catholic to Quakers, Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans and so on.  We all used basically the same Bible but we had demonstrably different understandings as to what was truly the message or teaching of the Bible.  How would a child or teenager evolve into an

Working In an Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital and Not Taking Home The Work

A couple in love on a beach

I wanted to talk about a day in the life of a Therapist on the Adult Unit at a Psychiatric Hospital.  This time in life would not be as simple or as blissfully happy a period of my life if I was not engaged to the perfect woman.  She was soft and gentle which was a mutually appealing quality we shared.  It was somewhat familiar in that I had a special friend before I met Lynn named Celta.  She was very loving and kind.  I never knew that anyone would feel so captivated or mesmerized by my thoughts and feelings.  Then there was Lynn who was soft-spoken and gentle in all her mannerisms.  I wo

Double Bind's, Hypocrisy and Gaslighting

We see a combination of double-binds, hypocrisy and gaslighting from people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).  The social impact of that on children when we are growing up cannot be overstated.  My mother had an impulsive rage, which is to say I could not always predict the explosive display of violence and abuse.  Surely I would have avoided it if I could.  If I could have predicted when it was going to happen, I would avoid triggering the abuse.  It was painful and unsafe to do what would make another person mad.  That was what I learned and I would do anything to avoid that. 

Civil Liberties and Justice

I'm watching an interesting series on the Great Courses Plus. They have a series of courses on Law School for Everyone. Injustice is a powerful and destructive force in America. From racial profiling to false beliefs about people, the damage can be very destructive to our sense of safety in life. I know well what it is like for people to have false beliefs about someone, from my own personal experiences.

The Mind of a Psychopath and Criminal

One of the reasons for writing this book about my experiences as a psychotherapist is because my experiences were so unusual and bizarre that I don’t think this kind of story has ever been told.  In addition, just as an earlier Psychiatrist was able to generalize his insights from working with people with Schizophrenia (I’m referring to R. D. Laing), I felt my unusual experiences could be generalized to other social interactions between normal people.  We all want to be understood and to share our experiences with others who can still relate to us throughout the various times of our lives.