BLOG

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.

COUPLES THERAPY

I inevitably look forward to seeing the couples I work with in therapy --- young and old, short-term partners and long-term spouses, gay and straight --- it's a great opportunity for members of couples to get to know themselves and each other better, and to learn how to be more of a team.  I recently read a very thoughtful article by Alain de Botton about the reality of relationships and I highly recommend it to you.  As his article suggests, a good question to ask someone you're dating is, "And how are you crazy?".  As he wisely notes "...we believe ourselves to be seeking happiness in marriage.  It isn't that simple.  What we really seek is familiarity..."

December, 2017

Posted on Friday, December 1, 2017 at 02:50PM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off

HEALING MY LIFE FROM INCEST TO JOY

Healing My Life from Incest to Joy is a very compelling book written by Donna Jenson.  She chronicles her growing up in a family in which she was violently abused.  Donna’s primary focus, however, is on her experience in healing and finding joy in life.  She writes of her journey in creating a healthy and long lasting love life, finding meaning through writing and performing, and building a family of choice.  I loved the book and think you will too. You can learn more about her work through www.timetotell.org.

November, 2017

Posted on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 09:13AM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off

SANDOR FERENCZI

Mention psychoanalysis, and most people of course think of Sigmund Freud. Lost in history is Freud's colleague Sandor Ferenczi, who dramatically expanded on what psychoanalysis could offer. He did this by exploring how the therapist's relationship with the patient could play a dynamic role in helping patients connect more deeply with their feelings, histories, and relational styles. Ferenczi was also at the forefront of understanding the impact of sexual trauma. Most radically, he experimented with alternating therapy sessions in which the therapist and patient took turns in the "patient" role. The Legacy of Sandor Ferenczi, by Lewis Aron and Adrienne Harris, brings his ideas alive and helps us expand our perceptions of what is possible in psychotherapy today.

October, 2017

Posted on Monday, October 2, 2017 at 03:48PM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off

THERAPISTS' MISTAKES

For many people who are in therapy, it can be good to know that therapists also make mistakes. Sounds obvious, but it isn't something that everyone considers. Irwin Hirsch has written a terrific book on this, Coasting in the Countertransference. He explores how sometimes therapists avoid anxiety ridden topics, rather than deal with the discomfort that can arise in pursuing particular issues. It's a helpful reminder that therapy requires a certain courage from patients, as well as their therapists.

September, 2017

Posted on Friday, September 1, 2017 at 03:55PM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off

COMING OUT AS GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL OR TRANSGENDER

Revealing the deepest parts of ourselves to others can feel like a great risk. Certainly this can be the case in coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Over the years I've worked with many people who've struggled to gain the courage to share this part of themselves with family members, friends or co-workers. And while coming out to others doesn't always go smoothly or as hoped, I have never worked with anyone who's regretted it. Luckily, these days, websites, libraries and bookstores are brimming with information about coming out, and the LGBT Center offers a wide range of social and support opportunities for people --- whether they have been out for years or are just coming out.

August, 2017

Posted on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at 08:19AM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off