I am using this space to share thoughts, from time to time, that come from my clinical work and reading.  I hope this is helpful for you.


Bessel van der Kolk is a hero and leader in helping to bring the study of trauma into public awareness.  In his fascinating book, The Body Keeps the Score, he tells of his own journey in learning, through his patients, about trauma and it's consequences. He writes about the impact trauma has on the body and psyche, and offers hope in outlining effective treatments.  Whether you're a therapist who works with traumatized patients, someone who's experienced trauma, or know someone who's survived trauma (I think that includes all of us), I highly recommend this book.

February, 2019

Posted on Friday, February 1, 2019 at 05:21PM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off


The numbers are shocking and sad: some 200,000 people in the United States annually lose a loved one to suicide (according to the AAS). I have worked with a number of people who have been affected by suicide. They often come in with conflicting feelings: mourning, grief, rage and guilt. Therapy can be a lifeline for people who survive the suicide of a loved one.  A helpful resource is The Samaritans of New York (212-673-3000) which offers free of charge support groups for survivors of suicide.

January, 2019

Posted on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 02:23PM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off


Psychoanalysis has a bad reputation these days. It's treated as some sort of boogeyman: the cold, withholding analyst sitting silently behind the patient who is floundering on the couch. In fact, in terms of talk therapies, psychoanalysis offers a unique opportunity to delve deeply into what makes us tick, and to understand why we can end up doing things or being with people who aren't good for us. Analysis helps us bring buried feelings and thoughts to the surface. It also helps us see how we can erroneously project experiences from our childhood onto current relationships. One of the best books I know that outlines current analytic thinking is Owen Renick's Practical Psychoanalysis for Therapists and Patients. Through various case studies, Renick demonstrates how he actively listens to and participates in his patients' healing processes. The book is a joy to read and goes a long way in correcting any misconceptions about what psychoanalysis has to offer today.

December, 2018

Posted on Monday, December 3, 2018 at 05:30PM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off


"There aren't any meetings with people like me."
"All that religious stuff turns me off."
"I hate walking into a room full of strangers."
"Are you kidding, I can just stop drinking on my own."

These are just a few of the protests I've heard when I suggest A.A. to people with drinking problems. The fact is though, that no matter what real shortcomings A.A. might have, it usually provides the best support for getting and staying sober. The meetings are important, as well as sharing at meetings, having a sponsor, and keeping a handy list of members who you can call, and --- particularly important --- after the meeting joining other members for informal coffee sessions. It's not easy to stop drinking: but it's a lot easier to do when you have the safety net of the A.A. community surrounding you.

November, 2018

Posted on Thursday, November 1, 2018 at 09:22AM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off


What goes on in the minds of psychoanalysts? What influences us to become listeners at the deepest and broadest levels?  How do our personal lives affect the work we do?  Steven Kuchuck has compiled a very thought-provoking group of essays by analysts which address these and other questions in Clinical Implications of the Psychoanalyst's Life Experience: When the Personal Becomes Professional.  I greatly enjoyed reading it and highly recommend it.

October, 2018

Posted on Monday, October 1, 2018 at 04:21PM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off