Saturday, May 30, 2009

Is There Such a Thing as Depressive Personality Disorder?

Is there such a thing as Depressive Personality Disorder? Todd Finnerty believes so.

"Can you think of a person you may have met or treated whose usual mood was gloomy and unhappy, were they critical of themselves and did they brood and tend to worry?
Did they tend to be negative and judgmental toward others? Were they pessimistic
and prone to feeling guilty or remorseful? Did this person have a Depressive
Personality Disorder?"

So begins Todd Finnerty's thoughtful new book, Depressive Personality Disorder: Understanding Current Trends in Research and Practice which is available for review online.
You can also read Finnerty's blog here .

A description of his book follows:

"This book answers the question “Does Depressive Personality Disorder exist?” with a concise, readable review of current research. DPD is a valid and clinically useful concept which should be included in DSM-V and ICD-11. DPD was offered as both a diagnosis for further
study and an example of a diagnosis that can be made under Personality Disorder NOS in the DSM-IV and DSMIV-TR. The book is intended for professionals, students and anyone else interested in character traits which impact mood. It offers a view of depressive personality
disorder supported by current research. Gain a firm background in recent research and theory on DPD and understand its relationship to chronic depression, dysthymic disorder, cognitive vulnerabilities to depression and the Five-Factor Model of Personality."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Global Spirit

There is a wonderful resource available online, Global Spirit.

"Global Spirit is an unprecedented inquiry into the universe of human consciousness, across the exciting interface of television and the internet.

We are delighted to be finally launching this new original series, which will be airing nationally on Link TV and selected PBS stations, and internationally via the internet. Each program focuses on a universal theme of global and timeless significance, themes that concern us all on the most basic human level: Forgiveness, Oneness, Ecstasy, Earth Wisdom, Art and the creative process, and more.

Programs will feature riveting conversations between our host Phil Cousineau, and a selection of inspiring guests who speak from first-hand experience about their own personal journeys into the realms of human consciousness and transformation.

These conversations are unlike anything you've heard before on national television. They are complimented by amazing documentary film segments from around the world. These experiential film segments both inspire our guests and ignite their conversations.

Global Spirit also features extraordinary full-length documentaries, which are framed and deepened by engaging interviews with the filmmakers or related guests. Most of the programs will also be streamed right here on our website.

Why this series now? It’s no secret that we are currently in a time of deep global economic and environmental crisis. And yet, amidst this crisis, many of use are aware that something new is happening, that a certain sense of change is in the air. But “change” is not something that just happens from the outside. Real change happens on a human, personal level, and most often involves an internal journey. "

I encourage you to pay it a visit and watch the videos that are available there to view and then talk to at least one person about what you saw.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Psyche and Soul

Edward Tick in “War and the Soul” wrote, ” “In ancient Greek psyche means “soul.” Our modern scientific thinking equates psyche with mind, limiting the word to its psychological dimension alone and thus reducing its resonance and depth. Nonetheless, as every ancient and modern tradition avers, we are on a spiritual journey through this life and, if we are to travel well, it is important to understand the concept of psyche in this fuller sense of soul.”

I couldn’t agree more…

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blessing the World...

Poet David Whyte wrote, “remember how as a child your arms could rise and your palms turn out to bless the world?"

Two year old Skylar is helping me remember as he delights in the dancing shadows that are created by the tree branches and afternoon sunlight on his bedroom wall. He helps me remember as we gather smooth rocks, each one a treasure, and then solemnly let them go. As we watch them tumble over the dam, the force of the water mists our faces when we lean close enough over the edge. I am reminded as we huddle in a blanket on the porch swing, shivering at the sound of thunder, and gasping as the lightening flashes against the darkening sky. I am reminded as we roll down the hill and rest at the bottom, gazing up together at the clouds, his little hand in mine. He has helped me gather up so much that I had allowed to scatter and because of this tiny little boy, my arms rise up and palms turn outward now to bless the world over and over again.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Question for Psychotherapists

Deena Mezger observed, "a good question is a great gift... a good question can change your life..." All too often we avoid really important questions when they feel too difficult to answer or too threatening to face.

Mary-Jane Rust in "Creating Psychotherapy for a Sustainable Future" asks psychotherapists the following question, " how does psychotherapy need to change, theoretically and in practice, in the service of creating a sustainable future? This is complex, for it ranges from how cultural and global affairs affect and shape our internal and external worlds, to how we feel about being part of the very consumer culture which is causing this crisis, to how we conceive of, and connect with, nature, culture and the larger whole, to how our long, slow, deep process of change might contribute to the creation of sustainability, and more."

How Childhood Suffering lives on...

"Some things that happen to you never stop happening to you..."
Author Unknown

Each of us who has endured prolonged childhood suffering leaves behind our own unique trail of tears. Some of us still have nightmares. Others no longer remember; we simply experience a sense of emptiness and a vague and disturbing suspicion that something was, and perhaps still is, terribly wrong. Although our symptoms and behaviors vary, we are each aware at some level that we have been deeply wounded. For most of us, there's a secret shame imbedded in this knowledge. In spite of the fact that we intellectually understand that we were innocent and vulnerable children when the deepest wounds were inflicted, there remains a part of us that perceives ourselves as failing. All too often it becomes ourselves whom we cannot trust.

The child who blamed him or herself for the abuse becomes the self-condemning adult. The losses and betrayals he or she endured become promises that more hurt will be forthcoming. The child who was powerless grows into a frightened and defensive adult. The little girl whose body was abused remains disconnected from her grown up body. The anger of the small boy lives on in the man who lets no-one close enough to harm (or heal) him. Another compensates for his or her shame by devoting a life time to achievement, but the struggle never ends. There are no victories great enough to annihalate the inadequacy and self-doubt. The child who acts out his or her pain in destructive ways might continue the pattern into adulthood, unconsciously creating situations that inspire the very misery he or she so desperatley sought to escape. These sad cycles can go on and on. And they can be broken.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Spirituality and Creativity

I saw theologian and author Matthew Fox in Portland yesterday. I had read/heard much of what he shared in other lectures and books he's previously written but it is always wonderful to be reminded of what feels wise and whole and true. Among the thoughts that he shared which resonated with me were:

Suffering is initiation into our deeper creativity...

The definition of courage is comprised of two French words meaning "wise heart."

To overcome our fear it's helpful to connect with what we love and cherish.

Our culture fails to appreciate the value of the void, we're always trying to fill it up.

Wisdom brings heart and mind together.

Men have to recover their warrior nature (huge difference between warrior and soldier.)

Christ, Gandhi, King were all warriors.

The warrior is a lover and a mystic.

"Don't give a loaded gun to young men who have not yet learned to dance."

The love of death (necrophilia) grows when the love of life (biophilia) is stunted.

Wildness is the wellspring of creativity

Clarissa Pinkola Estes asserts that creativity (and the wild woman) lives in the gut and not in the head

The love of life and the grief of life give birth to creativity

The first level of grief is anger

Our universe is totally committed to birthing and creativity