“Love and Mercy”

I just saw the bio-pic about Brian Wilson's (of the Beach Boys) genius, decline, and fall into the hands of a sociopathic psychiatrist, who became his legal guardian.  It's a good movie and a hard one to watch, especially for a therapist. Wilson is portrayed as a genius by Paul Dano and John Cusack (at

By |2015-07-05T18:33:38-07:00July 5th, 2015|0 Comments

Defining Rape and Sexual Assault

I've been working with survivors of rape and sexual assault since I started in the mental health field. Here are my definitions: Rape: The sexual use, involving penile, digital (fingers) or objects on a woman's, man's or child's body without that person's consent, with forced consent (threats) or if that person cannot conset due to

By |2012-08-23T10:38:15-07:00August 23rd, 2012|2 Comments

Psychotherapy Works! And Not Enough People Use It.

According to a meta-analysis of over 50 studies, psychotherapy works better than medication and (Suprise!) has less side effects. Drugs have better promotion and are easier to get, so more people use meds. Read about it here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120809190641.htm

By |2012-08-19T15:44:59-07:00August 19th, 2012|0 Comments

NBC’s Awake: Creative Grief Avoidance

It starts with a horrible car crash. Jason Isaacs flips his car in a California canyon. Either his wife (in one reality) or his son (in the other) dies in the crash. Every time he sleeps, reality switches. He has two therapists, one for each reality, who are set on proving that their particular realities

By |2012-03-02T22:51:33-08:00March 2nd, 2012|1 Comment

Francine Shapiro in the New York Times on EMDR Research

Three years ago, while I was at the at the Olympus Women's Spa celebrating the publication of EMDR Solutions II, a woman in the same jacuzzi interrupted my conversation to attack me about my obvious misperceptions about EMDR. "Everybody knows it doesn't work . . . it's woo-woo-bullshit . . . and it's just exposure

By |2012-03-02T20:10:52-08:00March 2nd, 2012|1 Comment

Psychiatric Diagnoses: The Epidemic of Mental Illness

The New York Review of Books carried and a scathing and mostly right-on article about the medicalization and over-medication of mental illness by Marcia Angell. It's a review of three books about the history of psych meds, the power of the drug companies, and the minimization of psychotherapy. Read it here.

By |2011-06-17T15:00:06-07:00June 17th, 2011|4 Comments

Next To Normal: the bipolar musical

I went to the opening night of Seattle's production of Next to Normal, the amazing Tony-winning dramatic musical about a bipolar mother, her family, her delusions, her therapy, and her slow, painful growth. Components: amazing 3 story set, great singing, great score (though a little loud), believable story, believable characters (even the imaginary one), and

By |2011-02-23T15:02:43-08:00February 23rd, 2011|1 Comment

The King’s Speech

Some of the best therapy I've seen on screen is in a great new movie, The King's Speech. Geoffrey Rush plays Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist who tackles the debilitating anxiety-driven stammer of Colin Firth's, "Bertie", who become the king of England on the eve of World War II.  The film shows the stifling lives

By |2011-01-02T10:29:19-08:00January 2nd, 2011|3 Comments

Tricare Refuses to Pay for CRT & EMDR for Veterans

National Public Radio wrote and spoke about the "Battle Over the Science" of Tricare not paying for cognitive rehabilitation therapy (CRT) for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) "despite pressure from Congress and the recommendations of military and civilian experts, the Pentagon’s health plan for troops and many veterans does not to cover” cognitive rehabilitation therapy —

By |2010-12-22T16:58:10-08:00December 22nd, 2010|1 Comment

“Anxiety” on To The Best of Our Knowledge

A great hour of interviews about anxiety on one of best radio shows around. This one includes Patricia Pearson, author of A Brief History of Anxiety, Yours and Mine, and her own experience with anxiety medications and learning to self-soothe; Ethan Waters, talking about the globalization of American psychiatric diagnoses and pharmaceutical cures; Dr. Daniel Carlat,

By |2010-07-09T21:57:32-07:00July 9th, 2010|0 Comments

“Mental” Is Terrible

There's a new fantasy show on Fox: Mental. It's supposed to take place in an inpatient psych unit. So, first, the new head of psychiatry strips down in a room full of clients to connect with a psychotic guy who has pulled his clothes off. Later, he breaks into a woman's house in order to

By |2009-05-26T23:54:06-07:00May 26th, 2009|2 Comments

Waltzing With Bashir

Ari Folman has made a beautiful and devastating movie about trauma, dissociation, and war. As a young Israeli soldier, he was in the 1982 Lebanon war. When a friend came to him with troubling memories of that war, Folman realized that he had no memories about being in Lebanon. A therapist friend told him to

By |2009-02-08T18:24:40-08:00February 8th, 2009|0 Comments

WALL-E, a Story of Attachment

WALL-E, the new Pixar movie, is the perfect anthropomorphic attachment story. It's also a great movie and funny as hell. The first half, and most of the rest is an amost silent movie. Our hero, is a trash compactor robot who lives with an indestructible and graceful cockroach for company. He watches "Hello Dolly" video

By |2008-07-04T17:18:53-07:00July 4th, 2008|2 Comments

New Sybil movie. DID in the media.

CBS aired a new Sybil on Saturday, starring Jessica Lange as the therapist and Tammy Blanchard as Sybil. It was less fantastic and spooky than the original Joanne Woodward/Sally Field movie, and was a realistic depiction of a poly-fragmented DID person. The movie depicted realistic switching behavior, flashbacks, losing time, and amnesia between parts. It

By |2008-06-09T20:41:32-07:00June 9th, 2008|0 Comments

The Soldiers Project, Washington

Nicole Brodeur featured "The Soldiers Project"  in her Friday Seattle Times column.  This some of what she said: " Trisha Pearce, who lives in Stanwood, is starting a Northwest chapter of The Soldiers Project, a network of licensed mental-health counselors who offer free psychological treatment to active-duty soldiers, National Guard members, reserves, veterans and their

By |2008-04-21T14:35:16-07:00April 21st, 2008|0 Comments

IN TREATMENT

HBO's new show, In Treatment, after a good start, is beginning to go down the tired road of most TV portrayals of psychotherapy. The therapist is as crazy as his clients, if not more so. He's incapable of handling the attractive narcissistic young woman who has an "erotic transference" with anything close to honesty or

By |2008-02-14T07:34:56-08:00February 14th, 2008|7 Comments

“In Treatment” & Dr. Dippy, Meet Dr. Evil

The Sunday New York Times featured a great article about therapy in the media called Dr. Dippy, Meet Dr. Evil. (click on the title to go to article) Guy Trebay relates that there are three types of movie or TV therapists: Dr. Dippy (Newhart), Dr. Evil (I didn't watch that movie!), and Dr. Wonderful (Judd

By |2008-01-28T20:10:53-08:00January 28th, 2008|0 Comments

“Tell Me You Love Me”

HBO's new show, "Tell Me You Love Me" premiered this week. It follows 4 couples, 3 of them 20's-40-year-old clients and their 60-year-old therapist Jane Alexander and her husband through their relational and sexual lives. It is the most sexually graphic, though not the most erotic, show I've ever seen on television. The sex is

By |2007-09-12T12:07:45-07:00September 12th, 2007|0 Comments

Sopranos, Media, and “Starting Over”

At least they're consistent. During the penultimate Sopranos, Melfi, the psychiatrist, is outed at a dinner party, by her consultant/therapist, as the therapist of the notorious Tony Soprano. (I'm thinking that Tony ought to whack the consultant for breach of confidentiality.) The discussion at the party is about therapy for sociopaths. According to "research", criminals

By |2007-06-07T07:51:10-07:00June 7th, 2007|1 Comment

The Sopranos and therapy in the media, a rant

I admit it. I've watched every episode of the Sopranos, since the very beginning. And I've relished hating the therapy. For a few seasons, I watched with another therapist. We would literally scream at the Dr. Melfi on the screen. Here's what she did wrong: 1. Kept the process in Tony's head at all times.

By |2007-06-02T23:16:10-07:00June 2nd, 2007|0 Comments