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...

The women of Litchfield were robbed of their power long before they got there. Piper, with her courtyard pulpit plea for self-respect in Season 3 of OITNB, is the new inspirational speaker on women’s empowerment. Granted, she’s got a lot to gain monetarily from convincing her fellow inmates to go along with her stinky panty plot. Yet, Piper’s (Taylor Schilling) pretty high on the idea of putting one over on the patriarchy and everyone else who has ever made her feel less than good about herself. So, she has quite a lot to say about standing up against self-hate. Self-respect is power -...

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...

We’re being led astray in The Truth, just like the people in Wayward Pines. The big reveal seems far from the real story. Otherwise, why was Dr. Jenkins (Toby Jones) AKA David Pilcher in Seattle telling Ethan’s boss (who wanted to call it off), “It’s been done, Adam. Nothing for you to worry about.” Why did Ethan (Matt Dillan) ask, just before he crashed, “Who is David Pilcher?” I seriously wonder if this town is a place that wayward people are sent when they ask too many questions, know too much, or have gone over some line somewhere. Or maybe M. Night...