Depression is outwardly a quiet torment. Inside it’s an almost constant implosion of self-deprecating self-doubt. That’s what we witness in director James Ponsoldt’s The End Of The Tour – wrapped around David Foster Wallace like his famous bandana. Woven all-too-frequently into the substance of his conversation with David Lipsky: the ravages of a cruelly oppressive internal voice. I left the theater feeling: “devastating. That’s the only word for it.” It is devastating. I can’t tell you how often I sit in my office helping people struggle against very similar self-loathing voices. These voices can ruin a life. Cast out hope. Create absolute...

How is a little girl destined to live her life when her father gives her this reason for leaving her Mom: “Monogamy isn’t realistic … What if that’s the only doll you’ll ever get to play with your whole life? You wouldn’t want just one doll, would you? That’s why Mom and I are getting divorced.” With a father like that, a father you love with all your heart as Amy does – how can a girl trust love? Amy Schumer’s pulled off a delightful rom-com with a lot of meaty psychological truth for a psychoanalyst like me to comment on....

Date rape is a confusing thing. You know the guy. You went out with him. You consented to kissing him. Maybe even more. But, when it came right down to it, you said “No “and he didn’t listen. Is it your fault for having gone that far? It’s not. No is No. There’s no reason to feel guilty or take on the blame. That can interfere with your life. Look at Loretta Young. Look at her daughter, Judy, who wrote in her memoir (Uncommon Knowledge): “My life has been filled with hypocrisy and deception from the moment I was born.” Loretta...

Amy Schumer just might be the most vocal supporter and spokeswoman for twenty and thirty-something women’s all-too-common struggles with self-esteem, body image, sexuality, and doubts about their lovability. Thankfully, Amy likes "tackling the stuff nobody else talks about, like the darkest, most serious thing about yourself.” Someone’s got to do it. It’s what I do, as a psychotherapist, if women make it into my office. Many don’t seek therapy, though, and these self-doubts and insecurities can seriously get in the way of satisfying relationships. Not to mention – happiness. Bravo to Amy for standing up for a woman’s right to...

Take a musical genius and sensitive boy. Say that boy hears musical notes and whole ensembles in his head. Add a jealous and demeaning father. What’s the result? Critical voices in that boy’s head fighting with the songs and the self that are trying to come alive. Mix in drugs and alcohol to shut those voices up. Ingest an overdose of a grandiose, self-serving, controlling, unethical, abusively critical psychologist. What do you get, then? You get Brian Wilson’s story and a very near psychological disaster. That is – until love and mercy in the form of Melinda Ledbetter walked in. Bill...

It’s Independence Day – and no one in Wayward Pines has any independence at all. In such a situation, paranoia is to be expected. When you live in a world made up of lies, secrets, and threats, you’re left with one big question about what is real and who - if anyone - can be trusted. Everyone in Wayward Pines lives with this kind of fear. Even David Pilcher, that megalomanic man known as Dr. Jenkins to most - the one who’s stolen people’s lives to create his own version of a Brave New World. Apt title, Episode 7: Betrayal. Yet,...

The people of Wayward Pines can’t watch out now. It’s too late. But, it’s important to distinguish between an arrogant person and someone who wants to help. Arrogance gives you no Choices. There couldn’t be a more ironic title for Episode 6 of Wayward Pines. No one who ended up in Wayward Pines really had a choice. Did they? As Episode 6 unfolds, we see that everyone in Wayward Pines is a casualty of scientist David Pilcher’s (Toby Jones) arrogance. Either his grandiose ideas about a new “extraordinary life” seduced them. Or, they were strong-armed because they had no other options. Mostly,...

“Manipulative” is a throw away description that never tells the whole story. Piper may be manipulative, but really she’s desperate for love (and scared of it). Wily ways to get what she wants, even out and out lies, might seem the best way to go. Especially since openness doesn’t work so well with her mom and dad. In the first 5 episodes of Orange Is The New Black’s Season 3; we see the emotional costs of Piper’s hurt. Piper (Taylor Schilling) tries to be tough but she’s far from it. As Season 3 begins, Piper is struggling with whether or not...

It seems like love. The two of you are amazingly in sync. You’ve found your soul mate. Suddenly, things change. What happened? He’s wonderful, right? There must be something wrong with you. There’s not. A narcissistic man is a master at the beginnings of romance. He just can’t sustain a real relationship. Jeffrey Kluger's chapter, “The Beast In Your Bed,” describes him well. He’s charming, he’s attentive, he’s romantic. He envelops you in an aura of specialness; you’re everything he’s dreamed of. You’re on his pedestal. But, as high as you are is as low as you fall.  How do you...

Getting there at 34 is no small thing. BuzzFeed’s piece, “11 Quotes From Natalie Portman that prove she just gets it,” in honor of her birthday, makes it clear Natalie has her fears. She seems to have a lot of them. But, somehow she’s overcome something really important. She isn’t afraid of what other people think. That’s not easy for many people, old or young. I see, every day in my office, just how hard it is to let go of what you think others are thinking. There’s a conviction you’ll be judged if you say what you really think. Hiding...