How to protect yourself from harm from “therapists”

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©Katarzyna Bialasiewicz

“While nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer, nothing is more difficult than to understand him.” — Dostoevsky

A therapist or, more appropriately, a psychotherapist, in this case, is a word we never associate with evil. The word evil is reserved for use in the religious realm as is the concept of the Devil (see Elaine Pagels’ “The Origin of Satin” or Bart Ehrman’s “God’s Problem”).

With the popularization of therapy, possibly related to its extolling by the wealthy and famous and availability of health insurance, change has come. Psychiatrists even considered whether or not if “evil” exists in anyone. …

Why there is such urgency to get kids back in school and the pushback this is receiving from families

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Photo by Jeffrey Hamilton

The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. — Abraham Lincoln

The COVID-19 virus is flourishing at breakneck speed into the small towns and states where they thought they were immune. It was a “big city” problem and they were protected until they weren’t.

And with the virus came the danger to work and education as companies sent workers home and schools closed. Then came the unending din of a call to open the schools.

We heard that children would be fine, teachers would be safe, and kids didn’t get the virus as adults do, but none of that was true. Having to make decisions about the safety of their children as opposed to sending them to school, moms opted to keep them home. Where would they be educated? …

Will a VO weeks before an election make a difference?

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Image: Production still from Columbia Pictures for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

Brad Pitt is an actor whose name causes ears to shoot up whenever he’s mentioned anywhere in the world. He is among the pantheon of film stars who can ensure box office dynamite when his name is above the title and, as a result, he can influence many fans.

The guy with the cowboy hat and the made-for-movies bod (remember “Thelma and Louise?”), Pitt has been involved in many humanitarian causes, but he’s always kept it quiet. When Hurricane Katrina devastated housing in New Orleans, Pitt assembled a planning and construction crew.

His environmentally friendly Make It Right Foundation went to work to construct a projected 150 homes in New Orleans. The architects for the homes were famous in their own right, too, and among them was the uber-famous Frank Gehry. Additional homes are planned for other urban areas in need of housing. Some of these homes are for disabled veterans and persons with special needs. …

An app may be opening doors to the high-powered film execs who can reveal talent where it would have languished.

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Photo by Waldemar Brandt

I don’t care who you are. When you sit down to write the first page of your screenplay, in your head, you’re also writing your Oscar acceptance speech. — Nora Ephron

Writing a screenplay and you want to get noticed, get a meeting with someone who really matters in this industry? Your prayers may have been answered to some extent, and it’s not how you think.

Anyone who writes, even the most famous writers who went on to incredible fame, has a trunk full of scripts that may never see the light of day. Why? …

You think you’re having a COVID-19 nose swab, but they see billions in profit potential.

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Copyright: Ion Chiosea

There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed. — Mahatma Gandhi

The COVID-19 virus is overtaking the world (a third surge is evident in the US now) and causing death and economic ruin wherever it is found, but not for all. Whenever there’s a disaster, therein lies the seeds for greed for those who see incredible opportunity in the wake of helplessness.

Who among us doesn’t feel helpless in the face of this virus that can kill so quickly despite the age or the social position of the patient?

Yes, we should be following the guidelines offered by medical experts who have advised us what to do to slow down or stop the pandemic. But here is where helplessness meets greed in a most secretive manner. And it’s not the first time this has happened, and it won’t be the last unless we have legislative protection. …

Medications that heal and keep us healthy also can have psychiatric effects, and therein lies a problem.

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Photo by Michał Parzuchowski

Medicine is not only a science; it is also an art. It does not consist of compounding pills and plasters; it deals with the very processes of life, which must be understood before they may be guided. — Paracelsus

Humans are prone to illness and disease; there is no doubt, but how these illnesses are treated is often misunderstood. Patients are thankful that there are medications today that were once mere far-fetched dreams in the minds of scientists. We not only have medicines, but we have medical procedures that save lives. Even here, there is no infallibility.

Research has pulled us from death’s door with medical alchemy, but there is no free lunch in medicine, either. Every medication, every procedure, comes with its share of side effects or dangers, some of which are missed by the most acute eyes. …

Of the many ways to assuage loss and a nursing home visit, some are on the internet.

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Photo by Evie S.

I worked at a nursing home though high school… There’s a lost appreciation for a generation that has so much to tell us when we’re so full of self-help books and doctors on TV. — Bonnie Hunt

The cars pass by the neat, freshly painted building set back from the road behind an impeccably groomed lawn. White benches are on either side, a large shade tree provides an inviting spot for conversation, yet no one appears on the walkways or is seen leaving from the front entrance. It’s quiet, almost too quiet.

The building is one of thousands across the United States where the elderly, the infirm, and those who cannot care for themselves by virtue of accident or illness live. The routine is set, usually, and each day is predictable with a chart on the wall indicating the day of the week, the activities, and the visits from professional staff — except for this past year — the year COVID-19 became a national tragedy for all. …

Unseen and subtle warning signs of dementia can bring financial ruin.

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Photo by Jeremy Wong

Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there’s nothing you can do. — Golda Meir

Dementia doesn’t appear suddenly one day, revealed by poor test scores at a memory center, nor is it the small slip-ups in memory all of us experience. It is a slow, poorly detected deadly process that begins long before it is recognized, according to new research directed not at the psychological but the financial.

In this cohort study of 81,364 Medicare beneficiaries living in single-person households, those with ADRD were more likely to miss bill payments up to 6 years prior to diagnosis and started to develop subprime credit scores 2.5 years prior to diagnosis compared with those never diagnosed. These negative financial outcomes persisted after ADRD diagnosis, accounted for 10% to 15% of missed payments in our sample, and were more prevalent in census tracts with less college education. …

A too-revered psychological test with questionable validity needs to be trashed.

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Hermann Rorschach,

The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well. — Alfred Adler

Handsome with a head of thick blonde hair, he loved to doodle (his father was an art teacher), and his classmates noticed it. As a result of his absent-minded drawings, he earned the nickname Klex “Inkblot,” and therein lay his questionable claim to fame. He was Hermann Rorschach.

The end of his life would come unexpectedly in 1922 at 37 as he lay in a Swiss hospital suffering from what is reported to be peritonitis from a burst appendix.

After his death, the test that Rorschach devised on limited work with many friends, associates, and patients would become somewhat of a “golden standard” for assessing the unconscious mind. Waxing vaingloriously on the test's value, psychologists would include it as an essential part of their armamentarium for mental health assessment; they were misled. …

Chasing happiness may be an endless and empty goal unless we make peace within ourselves.

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Photo by Fauzan Saari

Joy, rather than happiness, is the goal of life, for joy is the emotion which accompanies our fulfilling our natures as human beings. It is based on the experience of one’s identity as a being of worth and dignity. — Rollo May

Is it happiness or contentment that makes us most pleased, secure, and stable in our lives? And what do those terms mean? Are they different for each of us depending on our current or future-hoped-for station in life?

Is life the continued seeking of a goal (as Brickman would argue) or simply moments of true joy for which we remain grateful? Or is it some never-ending slog toward vague achievement that will never be realized or, if realized, will never be enough? …


Dr. Patricia Farrell

Dr. Farrell is a psychologist, WebMD consultant, SAG/AFTRA member, author, interested in film, writing & health. Website:

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