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Understanding The Subtext Of The Therapeutic Relationship

When we talk about psychotherapy, one aspect of what we look at is the process of what occurs in the therapeutic relationship.  This is an important part of psychodynamic-based psychotherapy, meaning psychotherapy that is derived from the theories put forth by Freud.  Psychoanalysis (the purest form of psychodynamic psychotherapy) includes an emphasis on events that occurred during childhood, and a focus on understanding what goes on in the relationship between the therapist and the patient, including the transference and counter-transference.

In some of our posts, our friend Jesse has commented about how it’s important to understand what transpires in the mind of the patient when certain things are said and done.  Let me tell you that Jesse is a wonderful psychiatrist, he is warm and caring and attentive and gentle, and he’s had extensive training in the analytic method, he’s on my list of who I go to when I need help, so while I want to discuss this concept, I don’t want anyone, especially Jesse, to think I don’t respect him.  With that disclaimer…..

On my tongue-in-cheek post on What to Get Your Psychiatrist for the Holidays, Jesse wrote: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Shrink Rap*

Home Allergy Awareness Leads Some To Question The Campaign’s Real Intentions

The NHS Choices Behind the Headlines project in the UK analyzes claims that there is an epidemic of home allergies. Excerpt:

At least 12 million Britons now suffer from allergies caused by dust mites, The Independent has today reported. The newspaper says that a report by the charity Allergy UK has revealed an epidemic of “home fever”, a range of symptoms caused by dust mites and other triggers around the home.

The report has been published as part of Indoor Allergy Week, which is intended to raise awareness of the kind of steps that can be taken to remove allergy triggers, or ‘allergens’, from the home. A survey in the report suggests that, currently, around two-thirds of people with allergies experience symptoms such as sneezing and itchy eyes caused by allergens including dust mites, chemicals, pets and mould.

This new report raises lots of questions, such as Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*

Red Neck Physician Antics


A physician friend of mine recently bragged that, while driving along a rural South Carolina road, he had stopped, chased a timber-rattler into the bushes, located said rattler, then urinated on it.

‘I wanted to say I had peed on a rattlesnake!’  He beat a hasty retreat (and I imagine a hasty zip-up) when the snake rattled and struck at the air.  Who can blame Mr. Snake?

You can take the redneck to medical school, but you’ll just get a redneck with a medical degree.

Which brings me to me.  I have to work on our tool-shed/work-shop in the morning.  The tool-shed/work-shop is, however, over-run with red-wasps.  I counted no less than ten nests inside.  These are irritable, contentious creatures with no love of humanity.  If they were humans, they would be Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at*

How To Help Your Dog Survive The Snow

If you’ve ever had an Italian greyhound you know they hate the snow.  They hate the cold.  In general they hate the water but ours are starting to discover how fun water can be.  They hate being uncomfortable.  Mrs Happy and I have discovered that Marty and Cooper, our precious little babies, have a very tight range of comfort between 72 and 72.5 degrees Fahrenheit.  Anything below that and they’re shivering.  Cooper, our grey Iggy with the white boots, is slightly more tolerant of having cold feet.  But Marty, our little white Iggy with the grey helmet, has no tolerance for snow or cold feet.

Just the other day I heard a whimper coming from outside only to discover little Marty struggling to climb the stairs of our deck.  He hobbled into the house limping on three feet and  crying, making high pitched shrieking noises and trying to garner all the attention he could get.  Why you ask?  Because his feet got cold after walking on the snow for less than a minute. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist Blog*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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