Living with OCD: An Existential Therapeutic Perspective

Existential therapist Matthew Bishop, in his blog, quotes philosopher Soren Kierkegaard in reframing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as an adaptive (yet not necessarily pathological) variation on anxiety:  “This is an adventure that every human being must go through – to learn to be anxious in order that he may not perish either by never having been in anxiety or by succumbing in anxiety. Whoever has learned to be anxious in the right way has learned the ultimate.”

October 6th, 2015|Anxiety, OCD|

Starting Therapy

One of our therapists, Alison Crosthwait, has written about the process of beginning therapy in her blog The Good Therapists. Here are some simple yet important aspects for anyone starting this process to consider.

September 9th, 2015|Process of Therapy|

Therapist to Patient: “What I hear is….”

“Different physicians have different expertise, and they apply this expertise differently,” he said. “The therapist-patient fit is important, and recognizing empathetic opportunities and responding appropriately is an important part of this.”

Narayanan compares therapist evaluations to drug trials: We test the efficacy of drugs to understand what works, when and for whom. So it makes sense to objectively evaluate the efficacy of therapists. Such evaluations can improve psychotherapy, as well as the therapist-patient fit.

“If you want truly personalized health care, it’s not just in pharmaceutical care but also in psychological care,” Narayanan said.

August 28th, 2015|Psychoanalysis|

What is Addiction?

Why the Addiction?
Gabor Mate suggests – don’t ask why the addiction, ask – why the pain?

“Addicted people need a compassionate present which will permit them to experience their pain without having to run away from it.”

August 14th, 2015|Addiction|

A Little Levity from The New Yorker

July 17th, 2015|Humour|

ADDICTION: Disease or Deadly (but curable) Habit?

In this article from, Laura Miller discusses the evolving view of addiction.  She quotes psychologist Marc Lewis, from his book “The Biology of Desire”: “Addicts aren’t diseased,” Lewis writes, “and they don’t need medical intervention in order to change their lives. What they need is sensitive, intelligent social scaffolding to hold the pieces of their imagined future in place — while they reach toward it.”

July 17th, 2015|Addiction|

Are You Emotionally Healthy?

Here is beautifully written and important piece by Alison Crosthwait in which she addresses the question of what constitutes emotional health – a concept that is too often reduced to snap judgments, assumptions and sometimes damning assessments of ourselves and others. In fact, “emotional health” is a deep and multi-faceted state of being, existing on a continuum.

July 17th, 2015|Emotional Health|

When Boundaries Create Freedom

In this prosaic piece from the New Yorker, Esther Sperber considers the nature of the ‘therapeutic frame’ and the way in which it creates the freedom necessary to explore our simplest and most complex feelings:

“Why am I sharing this small story? Perhaps because I love that psychoanalysis is a frame through which I have permission to pay close attention to peripheral vision, to things that are out of focus and not so conscious. Enigmatic dreams, childhood memories and mourning are all welcome, and they open me to my own feelings and to a wider range of human experiences.”

July 17th, 2015|Psychoanalysis|