When we speak of being triggered, what exactly is it that sends us into a familiar arc of feeling and behavior we may later regret? That mysterious force seems external and can elude our ability to locate it within. Jung called these autonomous and unconscious incursions complexes, and he discovered them through his Word Association Test.
A new year often symbolizes a new beginning, with resolutions to make specific lifestyle changes related to self-improvement. Research indicates, however, that up to 88% of these resolutions fail. If changes—no matter how worthy–are imposed by ego alone, the unconscious is likely to have its say by rebelling.
Although a secret is usually considered information deliberately kept from others, we also keep secrets from ourselves. Internal secrets consist of emotionally laden knowledge that consciousness represses; the price of such secrets may be a complex or neurosis.
Anger is a core human emotion. Newborns express instinctual cries of protest, and many a mythological god has wreaked archetypal havoc.
Empathy, the ability to feel into the suffering of another, is an intrinsic part of being human. We have such a capacity to imagine others’ experience that we react physiologically and emotionally to painful situations even in film. We are surprised, sometimes shocked, when the empathy we expect in a given situation is not forthcoming. […]
The death of a loved one is a loss that is part of the human condition and is universal. The Stranger — mortality — confronts us with a new need to accept the reality of our loss and pain, a process that can include ambivalent feelings. Relief and anger can be mixed with love and […]
Medical technology has given the problem of fertility a scientific veneer. Our Promethean ability to manipulate gestational mysteries has wrested power from what was once the domain of the gods.
Complaining is universal, perhaps, like gossiping, one of the first uses to which developed language was put.
While psychiatric diagnostic labels often reify the complexities of psychological dynamics, they can also orient us to the essential qualities of a particular emotional and behavioral field. BPD is characterized by difficulty with affect regulation, intense and unstable interpersonal relationships, impulsive behavior, and a tendency toward highly polarized emotions: idealization / elation versus devaluation / despair. BPD is associated with early relational deficits, especially in caretakers’ capacity to maintain connection when their child is angry or aggressive. If intense early emotional states have not been well moderated, they can take on the force of emotional tsunamis, overwhelm the ego, and lead to impetuous and self-harming behaviors. A deep therapeutic and human process can re-inspire the possibility that one can find one’s center in a human relationship.
We all procrastinate. Tasks from making a doctor’s appointment to preparing taxes to doing the laundry invite us to put off until tomorrow what we can postpone today.