Category Archives: Rules of the Road

Some basic assumptions about human nature.

Ambivalence and the Perfect Answer

Ambivalence in both senses of the word — conflicting emotions for the same person, and difficulty in choosing between different options — both reflect idealized expectations and an underlying perfectionism. Continue reading

Posted in Love and Hatred, Rules of the Road, Unbearable Emotion | 30 Comments

Ethical Considerations Involved in Accepting Health Insurance

For some of us, completing insurance forms and providing carriers with a treatment plan means the complete falsification of who we are and how we really work. Continue reading

Posted in Rules of the Road, The Medicalization of Mental Health | 19 Comments

Defense Mechanisms II: Denial

Like all defense mechanisms, denial has its normal and constructive uses: by denying the awareness of unavoidable death, for instance, we’re able to continue with our daily lives. Continue reading

Posted in Defense Mechanisms, Rules of the Road, The Psychotherapy Relationship, Unbearable Emotion | 15 Comments

The Difference Between Shame and Guilt

While people generally use the words ‘guilt’ and ‘shame’ interchangeably, they actually refer to different experiences. Shame concerns painful feelings about oneself; guilt relates to the hurt or harm one may have caused somebody else and depends upon the ability to empathize. Guilt and shame often occur together. Continue reading

Posted in Rules of the Road, Shame/Narcissism, Social Behavior | 33 Comments

Psychological Obstacles to Grief and the Grieving Process

Though we tend to talk about grief and the grieving process as a unique category of experience, it also involves painful feelings akin to other kinds of suffering, and we will mobilize our habitual defenses against such pain when it becomes unbearable. Continue reading

Posted in Defense Mechanisms, Points of Departure, Rules of the Road | 18 Comments