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.


"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


Some people grow up in families where it isn't safe or accepted to experience certain feelings --- let alone learn to express them.  As a result, it can sometimes be difficult as an adult to know what emotions might be swirling inside you.  In addition to the ongoing opportunity therapy provides in connecting with feelings, can be a helpful tool in identifying feelings that are buried and not so easily accessed.

September, 2018

Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at 03:09PM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off


Many people struggle with getting their finances in order. Sometimes psychotherapy can be helpful in understanding how current feelings or family history affect your ability to live within your means or to plan securely for the future. In addition to therapy, an organization that can be helpful in managing the practicalities of dealing with debt is the National Foundation for Credit Counseling which provides referrals for free or low cost help with credit counseling.

August, 2018

Posted on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 02:16PM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off


As Andrew Solomon notes in his book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, "It is frighteningly easy to accumulate material about depression." Given that chronic depression affects some 19 million Americans and another 2.3 million struggle with manic-depression, this statement isn't surprising. Solomon's book is a touching memoir of his own struggles with depression as well as a comprehensive review of the biological, psychological, and sociological aspects of the illness. For anyone who is touched by this "demon" --- either personally or through a family member or friend --- I strongly recommend this book.

July, 2018

Posted on Monday, July 2, 2018 at 08:13AM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off