An American psychoanalyst comments on the matters in his world - books he reads, movies he watches, conferences he attends - from a psychoanalytic perspective. Intended for those curious about modern applied psychoanalysis.
This grows out of a project - the 10,000 minds project of the American Psychoanalytic Association - intended to help the public become aware of contemporary psychoanalysis.
Aaron Sorkin's West Wing is, in my mind, the best TV drama of all time. TV Guide rates it number 7, and I think that the question of whether it or Hill Street Blues or LA Law or whatever the other six are is best is largely a matter of preference. I like the content - especially of the first four seasons when Sorkin was still writing it. I used to wait for it and watch it every Wednesday night - it was my one hour of TV a week. OK, maybe I watched Seinfeld, too. Netflix has given me the opportunity to watch it again - this time with the reluctant wife who did not see it then and, thankfully, is enjoying it now as much as I am. We are bingeing on it - much as we did on Grace and Frankie. For me, it is partially a trip down memory lane, and that is an interesting and convoluted trip not just through my memory, but through the weird way in which history was presented and lived in watching the series when it was live.
The West Wing and Seinfeld were alike in that watching both …
Relationships are like planetary systems (OK, you know which side I’m on). We exert influence on and are influenced by
those in our interpersonal orbit. With
actual planetary systems, for instance the earth and the sun, the earth doesn’t
really revolve around the sun. If there
were no other objects in the Universe, the earth and sun would revolve around a
point between the two objects, but much closer to the sun, because it is much larger
than the earth. Similarly, when we are
in a relationship with another person, we revolve around a point that is
somewhere between us, and much closer to the person who exerts the most
emotional gravitational pull.
So, for instance when we are born, developmental
psychologists have clarified that we are born into a systemic relationship with
our caregivers. The infant is dependent
on the caregiver for food, but even more importantly, perhaps, for comfort. The caregiver – the parent – is knocked out
of whatever orbits they have been in and begi…