Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Shame Book

Shame Book (in progress……) Hi to everyone! All apologies for my prolonged absence. All is well. I just wanted to let folks know that I have been busy working on another book. It is tentatively entitled Perfect Pain/ Perfect Shame. It essentially is a further exploration of the philosophies and practices of what I term Integrative Mindful Exposure with specific application to the issue of “Toxic Shame” or what I prefer to refer to as […]

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Radical Presence

So wonderful writers such as Drs. Marsha Linehan and Tara Brach, have served to coin and disseminate the term “Radical Acceptance”  to describe the view and approach of  embracing painful situations and emotional experiences as opportunities for personal growth. While I fully endorse their views, I have come to use the term Radical Presence. Perhaps it is a trivial distinction on my part. But I prefer it for a couple of reasons. The term “acceptance” […]

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Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance There is no place you can be where you weren’t meant to be, There is nothing you can do that you weren’t meant to do. John Lennon….from “All You Need Is Love”   Typically, at the outset of psychotherapy sessions, I ask my patients how they have been doing since our previous session. I should probably think up a better opening line since it invariably forcibly entraps one into a non-functional answer.  So […]

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Conditioning and the Mind

Conditioning and the Mind As discussed in a previous post, I posited that Buddha may well be considered as the first behavioral theorist. He discussed the nature of conditioning and mental events. He pointed out that much of our mental habits are the result of basic associative learning processes causing us to become prisoner of our mental habits. The basic premise of conditioning is that things that occur together in time tend to be become […]

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Threat Perception 2: Mindfulness and “Fearbola”

Threat Perception 2: Mindfulness and “Fearbola” Halloween is a great time for us all to face our fears. I believe we are endowed with a genetic drive to do so, and perhaps that is what compels us to face the “demons” that haunt us :  From time to time I endeavor to take the opportunity to apply principles of behavioral science and mindfulness to address some more molar and emerging issues. So right now, […]

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Recognizing Toxic Shame

Recognizing Toxic Shame is possibly the first and most critical step in learning how to work with the experience of shame. But, in order to do so, we must be able to identify it’s presence and effects. The following is a selection of items from the Personal Shame Inventory (PSI) which was presented in its entirety in the fourth chapter of the book, “How To Lose Control”.  The primary reason that I developed this inventory, […]

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Mindfulness and Shame

Mindfulness and Shame In Buddhist cosmology, a number of spiritual realms are depicted including hell realms, the hungry ghost realm, the animal realm, the human realm and so on. Increasingly, these are not so much discussed as actual physical places, but as  useful metaphors to understand the status of one’s spiritual evolution. These realms are largely seen as the bi-product of our entrapment into cycles of reactive emotion. It is this force that creates endless […]

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Shame and Anxiety: Redux

Shame and Anxiety: Redux   I stated in the previous post that anxiety is not an emotion, but that in fact emotions are often embedded within the experience of anxiety. In my experience, one of the biggest culprets is shame. As I had long a go stated, shame can be likened to a ninja or perhaps , better yet, a vampire since shame is extremely stealthy, can transfigure itself into other emotional experiences, all in […]

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Anxiety is Not an Emotion!

Anxiety and Mindfulness: Anxiety is Not an Emotion!   When asked, very frequently, people indicate that they are experiencing anxiety. Or often, they indicate that they are stressed. And in extreme arousal states they might even indicate that they are experience panic.  What do these frequently utilized terms actually mean? Often, when I ask my clients how or what they are feeling, they might reply with one of the above labels, as if they are […]

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Emotional Labeling

Emotional Labeling   Often, when I ask my clients how the week has been or how they are feeling, I receive a range of responses such as “shitty”, or “it sucked”, “awful”, or conversely “great”, “wonderful”, “terrific” and so on. Those response are fine, but as a therapist, my job is to help people develop a vocabulary to more discriminatively express their feeling states. This ability to recognize and label feelings is a core component […]

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