The Misuses of Sexual Excitement

Sexual excitement, while crucial for the early stages of a romance, can be abused as a way to avoid true intimacy.

Coping with that Savage Inner Voice

Some thoughts about how to silence the savage inner critic so that you can learn something from your experience, rather than simply beating yourself up.

The Tenacity of Defenses

Psychological defenses are deeply etched neural pathways, like deep ruts in a well-traveled road, impossible to remove. Under psychological and emotional pressure, they will always come automatically and feel like the easiest, most natural response.

Art and the Dread of Experience

A discussion of one particular form of artistic inhibition, where artists misuse their art form in order to deaden unbearable emotions. Great works of art have dimension; they contain and express vital human truths. Unsuccessful works of art created in this defensive manner instead deaden emotion, rendering it “flat”, “two-dimensional” or lacking in depth.

Defenses Against Shame

Narcissism, blaming and contempt — the three core defenses against shame — are illustrated with clinical material from the author’s psychotherapy practice.