THE SOURCES OF HATING AND VIOLENCE

THE SOURCES OF HATING AND VIOLENCE James N Kraut, Psy.D., LLC When I was very young – maybe 4 – I was periodically picked on by a slightly older kid who lived down the street. I can still remember my mother’s response when I tearfully approached her with my bullying problem. “Mean people are unhappy people,” she said. So, at …

MSD STRONG: ONE YEAR LATER

MSD STRONG: ONE YEAR LATER James N Kraut, Psy.D. After the unspeakable horror of the Valentine’s Day 2018 attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a powerful out crying from Douglas students and their parents sent the country a message: “The time for change is now!” Those in agreement with the message resonated deeply with the strong, …

EVEN IN TODAY’S WORLD, LOVE CONQUERS HATE

Depending on when I wrote this article, a specific brutal killing would be in your mind. If I’d done it in 2017, it would probably recall the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. But now as I write, the country is responding to the horrific murder of 11 Jews in a deeply peaceful and spiritual Pittsburgh synagogue. Like most of …

How the Heart Opens

Starting with being dumped out of the birth canal, we immediately begin dealing with an ongoing and completely unreliable system of getting our needs met, despite our mothers’ – and later, fathers’ best intentions. Consequently, we learn before long that to live here, we need to protect ourselves from all the things in the outer (and eventually inner) world that …

THE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES OF FORGIVENESS:

Years ago, while teaching a meditation class, the group was working with a basic lovingkindness practice and in the discussion that ensued, one participant complained about the difficulty and unpleasantness connected with the process of sending positive energy to “a difficult person” in her life, which is what happens during the meditation. We got into a discussion of forgiveness that …

THOUGHTS ON NARCISSISM

Have you noticed the dramatic increase in the amount of online material about narcissism these days? Some of it is professionally written and found in blogs, newspapers and magazines. Much of it, however, is found on frustrated and angry threads all over the web, coming from individuals whose personal experience has led them to identify the narcissist as the new …

DARKNESS AND LIGHT

As a psychologist, I was always taught not to pick sides. Impartiality is one of the tenets of my profession. I must admit now, to myself and publicly, that I no longer find that impartiality possible to maintain if I am to respect myself as a human being. Looking around, I see and feel, as suggested by the title I …

Talking About Anxiety: PTSD, Mindfulness and Exposure Therapy

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is really no disorder at all. It is a very reasonable response to life at its most unreasonable. When one is subjected to an experience too excruciating and extreme to internalize, it gets stuck like a bite that’s too big; it can’t be “swallowed.” Typically, the experience plays and replays obsessively in the victim’s mind, producing severe …