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.


I’ve recently been fortunate to have a book recommended to me: Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man’s Guide to Sex and Recovery, by David Fawcett, Ph.D.  If you are struggling with crystal meth, are a therapist working with a patient who has a meth addiction, or want to understand a friend or family member who is in the grips of this addiction — then this book is essential reading.  Fawcett explores the methamphetamine crisis from both a psychological and  sociological perspective.  He has a deep understanding of the causes of this addiction, the pain it creates, and the steps towards recovery.  I couldn’t recommend a book more highly.

January, 2018


Posted on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at 05:00PM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off


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 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

November, 2017

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


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


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