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The Three Components of Self Compassion 1. Self-Kindness vs. Self-Criticism (Sf Bay Times, February 7, 2019)

Can we intentionally learn to be less self-critical and more self-compassionate? Based on her pioneering research, psychologist Kristin Neff has concluded that we can, She has identified three basic components of self-compassion: Self kindness vs. self-criticism, common humanity vs. isolation, and mindfulness vs. over-identification, and has developed practices for teaching and learning each of them….

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Letting Go in 2019 (SF Bay Times, December 20, 2018)

The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions is ancient: it can be traced all the way back to the Babylonians. I think it has survived because it can be a very helpful practice. It seems to work best when the resolutions involve concrete and measurable goals (such as “lose a pound per week,” rather than…

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Still We Rise (SF Bay Times, October 18, 2018)

In the days following the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, I talked with women and gay men who had been re-traumatized by the whole spectacle. I heard stories of rape, beatings, threats, and bullying, almost always at the hands of young men. Some said that they had never told their stories before, and almost all said that…

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Pride in a Time of Fear (SF Bay Times, June 21, 2018)

This month my mind has been wandering back to memories of the San Francisco Pride celebrations of the late 1980s and early 1990s. That period in our history was such a radically different time. Then, as now, I worked as a psychotherapist near the Castro with a predominantly gay male clientele. During those years, half…

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What Really Causes Depression? (SF Bay Times May 3, 2018)

In the late 1980’s, when the Prozac family of anti-depressants became available, I saw the new drugs make dramatic changes in the lives of many people. Patients who had been lost for years in the black hole of deep depression suddenly found a new buoyancy and a re-awakened capacity for pleasure. They re-discovered hope and…

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Rehearsing and Rehashing (S.F. Bay Times April 5, 2018)

Recent findings in neuroscience suggest a pessimistic conclusion: that the way we’re wired makes it easier for us to be unhappy than happy. The complex human brain isn’t an organ for dispassionately investigating the world. It evolved as a tool for anticipating and overcoming dangers, for protecting us from pain, and for solving problems; so…

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