I set out to write this blog post at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, several months ago. My colleagues were all switching to videoconferencing, and I instead started doing all of my work over the phone. I was already working with roughly half my clients over the phone, mostly because they weren't local. But … Continue reading Hello darkness, my old friend
I was speaking with a friend the other day and he asked, "Jacob, what do you think of the state of the world?" He was asking mostly about the environment, climate change, the scary shift in global politics toward xenophobia. "Well," I said, "at the risk of sounding young, optimistic and naive, I think we're … Continue reading The Loneliness of Being Human
My dad once gave me a notebook and inscribed "write your truth and the truth will set you free," inside the cover. Truth and Freedom have been orienting values for most of my life. In my twenties, as an ardent seeker of spiritual wisdom and mystical experience, I believed that some transcendent truth about the … Continue reading And the truth shall set you free
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when? --Hillel In less than a week, a group of brave therapists and I will go on a journey. Although some may travel across large swathes of New Jersey to attend, … Continue reading If Not Now, When?
Or, What Has Group Therapy Ever Done For Us? In Monty Python’s Life of Bryan there is a scene where the rebel leader asks, “What have the Romans ever done for us?” The expected answer is, “Nothing!” inspiring and justifying the ensuing acts of violence. Instead, after several responses, the leader is forced to specify: All right, but … Continue reading Making the Intra-psychic Interpersonal
May I tell you a story? I vividly remember my first group therapy training weekend three years ago at the Center for Group Studies in NYC. It was held at the Warwick, a hotel that comes across as glamorous, almost magical, with pictures of famous actors and actresses adorning the walls. There were twenty other … Continue reading A Story and an Invitation
I submitted a proposal to present at the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society's Annual Conference in November. The topic is on working in the Here and Now, specifically with an approach developed by Betty Joseph, a prominent Kleinian psychoanalyst. Joseph's significant contribution, as I presently understand it, was to pay close attention to how patients unconsciously … Continue reading Applying Betty Joseph’s Here and Now to Group
When I think of Vitality, I think of the body. I remember feeling somewhat trapped throughout school, sitting for classes, forced to pay attention to the teacher and except when they were particularly dynamic and entertaining, feeling like my life-force was slowly draining away. I suspect it's a similar feeling for people who are … Continue reading Vitality and Belonging
Somatic Imagination is inspired by Jung's Active Imagination, Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing, Melanie Klein's writings about Phantasy, the contemplative practice of Authentic Movement, the Feldenkrais Method and Eugene Gendlin's Focusing. It is a technique I use personally and often with clients, especially with my those in my Anger Management Group. In essence, the practice involves … Continue reading What is Somatic Imagination?
In Disney's Aladdin, there is a scene I'm sure many of us can relate to. Aladdin has just flown his magic carpet to the Palace and is dressed as Prince Ali. He is hoping to convince Princess Jasmine to give him another chance after she was turned off by his ostentatious first impression. She is all … Continue reading Just tell her the TRUTH!