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Dr. Thomas Szasz and Psychiatric Name Calling

On this blog, one of the main topics of discussion is name calling.  And, from time to time, some people have asked me what I think of the types of names psychiatrists use to talk about their patients. In response, I wrote a post titled Name Calling by Psychiatrists: Is it Time to Put a Stop to it?  It stirred up a great deal of…

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Exaggerating the Benefits of Anger

“Are you going to vote for the new school facility plan, Marc?” “No, Phil.  It calls for combining the two high schools in our town so that there will be nearly 2,000 students in the combined school.  I prefer small schools.  I say, keep them small, keep them personal.” Turning red and glaring into Marc’s eyes, Phil begins to holler, “What are you, stupid? We…

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Suicide, Perfectionism, and Criticism

Sometimes I’m asked why I write so much about dealing with criticism. The answer mostly has to do with the types of concerns that have been expressed to me over the years. Some involve the desire to be liked and respected.  Others have to do with seeking to gain control over anger.  And still others come from parents who find that how they go about…

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Providing Negative Criticism: The Newest Guidelines

Readers of this blog well know that I often discuss immature and mature ways to provide negative criticism. Originally, I presented a post titled PROVIDING NEGATIVE CRITICISM: FIVE LEVELS OF MATURITY.  There, in addition to providing an outline of what I believed was a good starting point to think about this topic, I asked readers for suggestions on how the outline could be improved. Many…

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Psychiatric Name Calling: Is Science to Blame?

A couple of weeks ago I raised the question, “Name Calling by Psychiatrists: Is it Time to Put a Stop to it?”  In response, some blamed the insurance companies and other third party payers for the name calling. Because it is true that these payers do require the pathologizing of people seeking mental health services, in last week’s article, I took a close look at that issue….

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Conflict Resolution and The Wisdom of Abraham

Sometimes we observe people doing things that seem terribly wrong. We may then find, welling up from within, an urgent desire to provide negative criticism. In earlier posts, in an effort to provide some guidance on how to avoid expressing our concerns in a form that can potentially make a bad situation far worse, I provided a description of 5 levels of maturity for providing…

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My Answer to the Question, Are People Who Cry When Criticized Immature?

Recently, I wrote a post titled, “Responding to Criticism by Crying: Is it a Sign of Immaturity?”  In that post I explained that I had, in earlier posts, put forth a model of how to respond maturely to criticism. To help readers to rate their own skill level, and that of others, I had outlined five levels of maturity. Level 1 was viewed as the most immature level, level 2…

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Responding to Criticism by Crying: Is it a Sign of Immaturity?

Readers of this blog know that I have put forth a model of how to respond maturely to criticism.  To help readers to rate their own skill level, and that of others, I have, in earlier posts, outlined five levels of maturity. Level 1 is viewed as the most immature level, level 2 is viewed as a little more mature, and so on. Let’s take…

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Empathy, Kindness, and Maturity

“Rickey, you’re looking like you’re feeling blue,” I said softly to this 13-year boy I had been counseling for a few months.  As I looked at him, I observed some sadness rising up within me. “Ever since I remember, I always slept with my dog, Prince,” Rickey mournfully replied.  “This morning, when I woke up, he was…he was…he was dead.  He died!”  A tear began…

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Fear, Cowardliness, and the Military

Last week my blog post asked, “Does Your Fearfulness Make You a Coward?”  While attempting to answer this question, I pointed out that viewing yourself as a coward when you experience fear consumes time and energy. Moreover, it is way too simplistic. Fear is actually a highly valuable emotion. It motivates us to take some wise precautions. And the fact that some people can fearlessly perform…

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