When Are Mass Shooters Psychopaths and When Are They Mentally Ill and What’s the Difference?

Navy Yard Shooter

After the Washington Navy Yard shooting rampage by Aaron Alexis I had planned to write a post entitled: “What? Another Psychopath?” I’d planned to tie in some well known media psychopaths, e.g., for the nearly 18 million of you who watched the summer CBS science fiction drama “Under the Dome” that Stephen King and Steven Spielberg produced – that would ... Read More »

What Can We Learn From the Averted School Shooting in Georgia?


I’ve been talking all week to captive audiences (my clients, my hairdresser, friends and relatives who call for other purposes, random strangers) about the amazing story of Antoinette Tuff, who averted a school shooting at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia. I’ve been pleading with everyone to listen to the full recording of the 24+ minute ... Read More »

What’s Wrong with Elysium?

matt damon

And I mean the movie, not the offsite, extraplanetary, high-life consortium featured in the movie. Matt Damon, wherefore art thou Jason Bourne? Jodie Foster, have you forgotten about Contact? What happened to good old fashioned sci-fi? Think Star Wars, Iron Man, Avatar. What do the above movies have in common? They’re action, adventure, or sci-fi, but the thread that binds ... Read More »

Five Reasons Why We Love The Buddha & The Borderline

buddha and the borderline

This book by Kiera Van Gelder is a must-read if you’ve been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, if you think you should be diagnosed with BPD, if your friends or family have amateurishly diagnosed you with BPD, or if you just want to understand approximately 20% of the population.*  Kiera: Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. Here’s ... Read More »

Twelve Things Silver Linings Playbook Can Teach You

Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook just made it to the top of my Netflix list. I loved it! Come for the entertainment; stay for the positive mental health principles which are as follows: 1)      When people are hurting, they may do crazy things. 2)      Try not to judge them. 3)      Exercise of all kinds builds endorphins. 4)      Try it. 5)      People you ... Read More »

What the Asiana Plane Crash Can Teach Us About Mental Health


In the San Francisco Asiana plane crash, some people tried to help their fellow passengers, while others pushed and shoved in a desperate attempt to get ahead of the rest. In an article from the San Jose Mercury News, Julia Sulek interviewed passengers to find out what happened during the chaos, who showed strength of character and who narcissistically put ... Read More »

Do You Suffer from Psychological Autoimmune Disorder?


My client, Jennifer, was expressing self-defeating thoughts for the umpteenth time. “Do you think my daughter will like her stepmother more than me? The new guy I met didn’t call me back. No one will ever want me. Why am I such a loser?” It had been a long day, and I’d had it with her self-defeating comments. I blurted ... Read More »

What Does Your Life and the Obama Administration Have in Common?


The  Obama administration is having a bad week. First the Benghazi hearings, then the IRS scandal, then the DOJ’s secret subpoena. Repubs want to hang them from the highest tree and are talking impeachment hearings at worst, or at the very least using the controversies to fuel fund-raising efforts. Come on  folks, they’re just having a bad week. Haven’t you ... Read More »

Small Fears, Big Fears, Fear of Death, and the Antidote


Hardly a day goes by in my office without someone talking about fear. I’ve heard it all. People fear being embarrassed, rejected, outsmarted, and ridiculed. They also fear for their safety and the safety of their loved ones. They fear terminal illness and debilitating conditions. They fear failure. I’ve heard about fear of heights, elevators, closed in spaces, and planes ... Read More »