Monday, August 27, 2012


So, I am going to do a presentation at the local state psychology conference this fall.  I am going to talk about how we psychologists will measure changes in 2020.  That will be fun.

A lot of whatt I will say I have said here -- how technology will change everything. We will use apps. We will use real-time monitoring. I think it could be exciting and much more effective.

Right now I think it will be more fun to design it than to do it.

Let's see how it goes.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Men -- Fictional

I don't read novels very often.  I'm even in a men's book club, and we don't read novels -- I guess that's for mixed company. But it's summer and now that I'm on vacation I have read two novels in the last week.  They have certainly helped me see what has happened to American men.

The first book I read is by a man I respect and who is one of America's major novelist of this century, Dave Eggers.  I read his first book, and even though I was a bit confused by it for a while, I liked it -- and it wasn't even fiction (mostly). The book I read this week is a Hologram for the King.

Then, while wandering around at a local town book sale I bought a book by Louis L'Amour, one of those about the Sackett family.
Louis L'Amour wrote 89 novels beginning in the 1950s and going until the late 70s, most of them westerns.

Well, the men in these books could not be more different.  Mr. Eggers' hero, Alan Clay, is constantly full of anxieties and doubts. He is hesitant, impotent, and indecisive.  He is plagued by thoughts of his ex -wife, his father, his daughter whose tuition he can't pay, the job he lost, the job he has, and his place in the world.

In complete contrast to this, all Mr. Sackett needs is a horse, a rope and a gun and he can solve any problem, sort out any situation, with the clear knowledge of what is right and what is wrong, and with very little concern about who may get killed along the way -- as they were obviously wrong. No issues of self-esteem are even conceivable.

The American male, and his place in the world has changed a great deal during the past 50 to 60 years. The world is much more complex and enmeshed. 

However, there are many, many people ho do not want to acknowledge this. They want to believe they can live the way Mr. Sackett did.  Most of the stories Mr. L'Amour wrote took place in about 1871. 

Things are different now.

Better? That's for you to decide.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Before I go

I am leaving for a few weeks away.  It is August after all, and enough is enough.  I expect it may give me more time to scribble things here, or perhaps I will just calmly float away and not be disturbed by anything.

One word before I go.  A lesson I learned a long time ago, continues to prove itself over and over.

Never ask a human a "why" question, especially about his/her own behavior.  It's great in science to ask "why" of the world and the universe, but if you ask "why did you do that?"  or really --"What the fuck were you thinking?!?!  The answer you get will be meaningless, distorted and wrong.

It's the job of the therapist to figure out the motivations, causes, and conditions that precipitated the action. Then, together, you can figure out what to do, and how to make that happen.

Yes, it is often interesting to hear the reasons people think up to explain what they did.  Sometimes the reasons are very clever, and can cover a lot of ground.  But it's all in hindsight, and it's usually only to make the person feel good, or at least rational.

But we know better.

Now, why did I write all this?