Category: Reviews

Artists on the Couch

A Review of Art and Mourning: The Role of Creativity in Healing Trauma and Loss  by Esther Dreifuss-Kattan   Click on title below to read the review (downloads as Word document): Artists on the Couch: Trauma and Loss in the Lives of Twentieth Century Creatives First published by PsycCRITIQUES January 2, 2017, Vol. 62, No. 1, Article 7. …

The “Trauma-Focused Turn” in Critical Psychology

A Review of: De-Medicalizing Misery II: Society, Politics and the Mental Health Industry Edited by Ewen Speed, Joanna Moncrieff and Mark Rapley Click on title to read the review (downloads as Word document or contact me for a pdf copy): The “Trauma-Focused Turn” in Critical Psychology First published with PsycCRITIQUES, June 1, 2015, Vol. 60, No. …

Is it possible to recover from rape and sexual abuse? Yes and No

When she was twenty-two years old, philosopher Karyn L. Freedman was viciously raped at knifepoint. She narrowly escaped being murdered and her body disposed, perhaps never to be found. In her memoir, One Hour in Paris, Freedman recounted her efforts to heal from this horrifying ordeal. Nearly 25 years have passed since she was raped, …

Imagining suicide

Twice weekly, I commute across the Golden Gate Bridge. I’ve taken this route for over a year, yet the view still consumes me. Whether marveling at the Bridge, seeing the sun (or fog) mingle with the Pacific Ocean, or eyeing the cramped San Francisco skyline that signals the end of my workday, I feel part …

“Unfinished Conversation: Healing From Suicide and Loss”

Robert E. Lesoine’s best friend Larry took his life by suicide on October 15, 2005. Although Lesoine knew Larry was struggling with feelings of disappointment, dejection, and loss, along with the return of debilitating pain associated with a past injury, Lesoine did not see the intensity of Larry’s despair. In his grief, Lesoine, who practices …

Neurobiology, symbolic imagery & Jung — and a book that brings them together

The Neurobiology of the Gods (2012) first gained accolades for grounding CG Jung’s ideas in modern neuroscience. Yet Erik D. Goodwyn’s explanation for why we create symbolic imagery makes this an important book not only for analytical psychologists, but also for evolutionary psychologists, traumatologists, and anyone interested in the central role of symbolic imagery for human …

“Goddesses” By Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell, as the popularizer of the hero’s journey, has been criticized by feminist scholars for creating a somewhat lopsided and masculine view of the role of mythology in personal and cultural development. For example, in a lecture* on Joseph Campbell’s chronicling of the hero’s journey, Christine Downing argued the myths shared in Campbell’s classic …

Documentary: “24|7|365: The Evolution of Emergency Medicine”

24|7|365: The Evolution of Emergency Medicine from EM Residents’ Association (EMRA) on Vimeo. I attended the documentary premier of 24|7|365: The Evolution of Emergency Medicine, and was deeply moved by the commitment and drive shown by the people who fought for improving patient care in emergency departments across the country. The documentary connects the development …

Born to be raised

I often wonder what it would take to heal centuries of violence, oppression, complicated grief, and emotional neglect. And yet the impulse to heal, social engineer, and reform often seems symptomatic of what is traumatizing about the US and the West in general — that perpetual need to fix a broken system. We know things aren’t right with the …

EMDR: The documentary film

In the nineteenth century, psychiatrist Pierre Janet was the first to theorize posttraumatic stress resulted from the failure to integrate memories of a traumatic event with otherwise normal mental functioning. Current research in neuroscience and psychology now validates Janet’s original intuitions about the nature of traumatic stress. Treatments like EMDR (“Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing”) also …

Documentary: ‘Til Death Do Us Part’


In her documentary film, ‘Til Death Do Us Part (2008), Vita Lusty brings fresh insight to the plight of women languishing in prison for killing their abusive domestic partners. Rather than tackling the perhaps unanswerable question of whether or not killing is ever justified—even in the face of chronic, life-threatening violence—Lusty artfully reveals how justice …