Blog \ Monthly Archives: August 2010

New to Psychotherapy?

I’ll never forget the first day I entered psychotherapy. I was four months pregnant and reeling from a cocktail of pregnancy hormones that had me stumbling through life as a weepy drunk. And I was mad. Mad at the world. Mad at the television industry that (back then) discriminated against pregnant on-camera babes. Mad at my romantic partner who seemed hell-bent of winning the trophy as most unhelpful father in the world. Mad that the outcome of years of pumping and pulsing at the gym had been erased in a matter of months. One day my daily gush of tears made a unwelcome appearance at my monthly obstetrics appointment and my doctor ordered me into therapy.

I entered the therapist’s office apologizing for my tears. I assured her that I was normally quite a together woman was completely surprised by this mess of black mascara. She was kind, empathetic, and made me promise to stop apologizing for myself. (Sigh. It’s a Canadian cultural tradition so I still do it sometimes.) I expected, like most people, to have a couple quick sessions and be dry-eyed and beaming within a few weeks. Little did I know that I was actually embarking on a tender journey toward the center of my earth. I didn’t know that what I was experiencing was an identity crisis, some delayed grieving for the deaths of my parents, and yes, some pre-pardem depression. In the end I was so fascinated by the process that I spent seven years in therapy and a partially overlapping six years in graduate school studying psychology. Clearly I had found my bag and myself, and along the way I learned a few myths and methods of therapy that the common person may not know. So, here’s a starter list of things you may not know about therapy if you’ve never been there.

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First Time Entering Therapy?

I’ll never forget the first day I entered psychotherapy. I was four months pregnant and reeling from a cocktail of pregnancy hormones that had me stumbling through life as a weepy drunk. And I was mad. Mad at the world. Mad at the television industry that (back then) discriminated against pregnant on-camera babes. Mad at my romantic partner who seemed hell-bent of winning the trophy as most unhelpful father in the world. Mad that the outcome of years of pumping and pulsing at the gym had been erased in a matter of months. One day my daily gush of tears made a unwelcome appearance at my monthly obstetrics appointment and my doctor ordered me into therapy.

I entered the therapist’s office apologizing for my tears. I assured her that I was normally quite a together woman was completely surprised by this mess of black mascara. She was kind, empathetic, and made me promise to stop apologizing for myself. (Sigh. It’s a Canadian cultural tradition so I still do it sometimes.) I expected, like most people, to have a couple quick sessions and be dry-eyed and beaming within a few weeks. Little did I know that I was actually embarking on a tender journey toward the center of my earth. I didn’t know that what I was experiencing was an identity crisis, some delayed grieving for the deaths of my parents, and yes, some pre-pardem depression. In the end I was so fascinated by the process that I spent seven years in therapy and a partially overlapping six years in graduate school studying psychology. Clearly I had found my bag and myself, and along the way I learned a few myths and methods of therapy that the common person may not know. So, here’s a starter list of things you may not know about therapy if you’ve never been there.

Continue reading

How Much is Society to Blame When a Mother Kills her Children?

The 29-year-old South Carolina  mother Shaquan Duley, accused of suffocating her two toddler boys on August 15 and then strapping their bodies in car seats and pushing her car into a river, was certainly disparate. And while the media and public vilify her for committing such heinous crimes, there’s a piece of me that feels deep sympathy. And I wonder how much we can blame us, as partners in her society.

To put this mother’s crime into historical perspective, the act of infanticide by a parent is not new. Anthropologists speculate that for thousands of years as human mothers struggled to raise highly dependent infants and toddlers in harsh environments, they were forced to make heart-wrenching decisions between their own survival and the survival of their family, eliminating hungry mouths when necessary. It is estimated that in points in history, some hunter/gather mothers killed as many as 30% of their own children as a survival technique.

 

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The Fishburne Family Business

Now here’s a teen who knows how to get Daddy’s attention. In a matter of days, Montana Fishburne, the nineteen-year-old daughter of film star Lawrence Fishburne has found instant fame, but not the kind her father is proud of.

It all started with her making  her own sex tape in the vein of her role models, Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, (nice choice Montana) and then signing a professional contract to get it distributed and become a career pornographic actress. No sooner, did daddy shake his head than a posse of his fellow stars banded together in an attempt to purchase all copies of her first porn DVD release. They failed. And the news for Lawrence went from bad to worse.

The latest reports are that his little Miss was arrested last fall for prostitution charges and is now on probation. As if that wasn’t enough, E! Online reported this week that Montana Fishbourne was arrested again in February for a violent assault on her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend. Then Montana got herself a Twitter account and further distanced herself from A – list Hollywood by attacking Jamie Foxx as being gay and also accused him of making a gay porn. She may face a slander and libel charge for that one.

All I can say is, “Daddy, do I have your attention yet?”

The truth is, no one but Montana knows what kind of father Lawrence Fishburne was. And sometimes problem children are immune to even the most mindful and loving parenting. But if family history is any indication, I’d bet my house that Montana is behaving like a toddler screaming for much needed attention.

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Hewlett-Packard, Mark Hurd, Jodie Fisher, and the Double Standard

I’ll start with this disclosure. The single mother whose sexual harassment claim brought down the king of Hewlett-Packard is a dear, old friend. Jodie Fisher and I met in a baby group twelve years ago, were champions of the breast feeding brigade, bonded through the identity crisis that often accompanies new motherhood, and in recent years have lost touch as our work took us to different cities.

So to wake up this morning and see her as the top hit on CNN.com and on the second link of the New York Times in my Blackberry, is surreal. Reading the nasty comments of trolls and bloggers sent a chill down my spine. Our culture sure loves to blame women when men screw up.

For those who need the crib sheet for the background story, Jodie was hired by Hewlett-Packard to do what she does best. Be the social intelligence for world-weary CEO, Mark Hurd. As a marketing specialist, she acted as a hostess of sorts, introducing him at parties designed to woo high level clients.

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