Author Archive

Mind Matters: Change reaction

Family systems psychiatrist Murray Bowen noted years ago the phenomenon of change back/push back in a family system when an individual in the system starts to shake up the status quo. This shift is in the service of higher integration and greater awareness. However, our tribal primal inclinations of the family want to keep the individual in check and not be so ...

 
 

Mind Matters: Give and take

To begin the process of remodeling our kitchen, the old was gutted and appliances were going to be thrown away. Donating to Goodwill or other non-profits was not possible — our old kitchen was “too old” despite all being in working condition. Freecycle to the Rescue. Freecycle is an online listing service sort of like Craig’s List but, as the name implies, “free.” ...

 

Mind Matters: Families of origin

Have you ever considered your family of origin? I mean, really considered your family of origin—not just your mother and father, but way back to ancestors? I have always longed to be one of those people who could trace their history beyond the Mayflower. I have met folks who can, as well as those who settled here with William Penn. Perhaps part of the yearning is ...

 

Mind Matters: Pollution, air and otherwise

Once upon a time, I lived in Pittsburgh when my joke was that you had a choice of eating or breathing. When the steel mills were belching, the air was deplorable, but there was work, and food on the table. When the plants would shut down, the labor force would be laid off and while money may have been stretched thin, the air was clear: we could breathe. During those ...

 

Mind Matters: Another view on grandparenting

We are the carriers of history, whether we want to be or not. Now that I am a grandmother, I find myself reflecting a lot on having been a mother to young children, constantly thrown back to when my children were the age of my grandchild. I am also pondering about what it was like for my grandmother and mother to be grandparents. People often quip, “Ah, ...

 

Mind Matters: Helping children cope

Here we are again, revisiting how to help children cope with yet another school shooting. Children, whether they be toddlers, teens, or even in their 20s, are affected by such violence. Parents and families can help them feel safe. The American Psychological Association, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network are a ...

 

Mind Matters: Why hate

Are there ways to dismantle hate? This question was addressed recently in the American Psychological Associate Monitor (January 2018). Social psychology research aids in identifying both the factors that incite hostility and hatred, as well as those factors which have the opposite effect. While hatred of others is not new, "identifying ways to counter hate and unite ...

 

Mind Matters: Gratitude, pass it on

Ever wonder how your life would have been different if you hadn’t made certain choices? What opportunities did you take or not take? Did you move away from family or never move beyond your neighborhood? I’ve been mulling these questions over myself — sort of my post-Christmas/post-Holiday card reflection time of year. Old Christmas photo-cards of friends and family ...

 

Mind Matters: Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood revisited

In this new year of 2018, I unearthed a treasure from the last century. That is, watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood once again. More than 35 years ago, my children would sit in rapt attention to Mr. Rogers soothing songs and now it’s my granddaughter who carries on the tradition. I remember looking forward every day to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood which aired in the ...

 

Mind Matters: A solstice message

Hanukkah, Christmas, whatever festival of light is celebrated, is a push against the dark. Our northern hemisphere experiences solstice when we reach the darkest day of the year and we respond to this by celebrating the Light with lots of lights. Nevertheless, we can’t deny the darkness or death. Just as the solstice is part of the cycle of the seasons, so too is ...

 

Mind Matters: Mothers are our most important resource

“Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters,” by psychologist Erica Komisar, confronts our beliefs about the importance of motherhood. Using the latest scientific research on neonatal development, neuroscience, genetics, and hormonal differences between men and women, Komisar makes her case that mothers in the first three years of a ...