Welcome, readers. Characters On the Couch and my blogging on film is back with Three Identical Strangers and a subject I'm passionate about: the lasting effects of separation trauma. I took an almost four-month hiatus to build out my new office at 435 N. Bedford Drive, Suite 406, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 – a lovely and peaceful new space for my much loved clinical work and writing. That wasn’t the only thing, though. Along with the demands of the office build out, I also needed time to write a chapter on Pedro Almodovar’s film, Broken Embraces, for an exciting new book. Pedro...

I am a psychoanalyst who loves my work. I am also intrigued by what the characters in film can tell us about real human problems. This season, I've closely watched and written about all the Best Picture Nominees. I've also written pieces on several of the nominated documentaries and some of the films with nominated actors and actresses. In my pieces, I've covered themes including the following: bulimia, divided selves, the dynamics of fear, how integrity can triumph over fear, humanizing revenge, homesickness, the dangers of living in a psycological bubble, what happens to a baby who isn't loved, being love-starved, depression and mental tyrants, breaking the secrecy surrounding sexual abuse,...

Each time I watch a film, my psychoanalyst’s mind begins to construct the same kinds of understandings I might give to my patients. Here is a recap of my psychological thoughts on tonight’s Oscar Best Picture Nominees and a few films in other Categories. 2015 has been a great year for actors and directors at their very best. BOYHOOD:  Feeling Stuff Is The Point Of Life … Linklater’s interest in realities underscores the fact that life is anything but seamless - a pretty harsh and at times discouraging truth. But, the director also gives us a not-insignificant take-away gift voiced by Mason...