The psychology behind goodwill

EMPATHY — the capacity to feel the emotions of others as one’s own — is the glue that binds people. It’s the psychological software that allows us to worry about a friend’s economic troubles across the country or cry at a movie. It’s also one major reason humans extend themselves to those less fortunate. Empathy-driven…

Look inward to unlock secrets

In an age dominated by quick fixes, e-mail and Twitter, it’s easy to keep wearing masks that make us strangers not only to one another, but also to ourselves. What’s the antidote to this kind of estrangement? Introspection. These questions are the beginning of a journey that can reintroduce you to yourself. Here they are:…

How to stay safe from predators

Headlines about predators like Anthony Sowell, whose “House of Horrors” in Cleveland contained the remains of at least 11 victims, are evidence that too many people put themselves in harm’s way by interacting with dangerous individuals. I’ve evaluated and treated murderers, kidnappers and rapists — and know some of the signs to look out for…

It’s mind over marriage

Marriages are difficult — almost all of them. This should come as a relief to any husband or wife out there who thinks that the lack of emo tional intimacy and physical passion that has set in after five or 10 years together means that something is wrong with his or her marriage, in particular….

Past imperfect

During the past 17 years I have treated thousands of patients, including the homeless, government officials, men and women of every race, children, the elderly, minimum-wage employees and Fortune 500 CEOs. The central issue with which most have struggled is whether their likes and dislikes, talents and dreams, fears and hopes were identified and respected…

Economy brings home depression

A whole new group of patients is finding its way to my office. People in their 20s are suffering from symptoms of depression after having moved back home to seek shelter from harsh economic conditions. Many of these people are having problems with their parents, who question whether their lack of motivation is due to…

PAYING ATTENTION TO ROOT OF ADHD

I’VE treated at least a few hundred people with at tention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The symp toms included lack of attention to detail, trouble listening, difficulty organizing tasks, a tendency to lose things, fidgeting and interrupting others. But each of these people had lived through painful or confusing life events that left them reluctant to…

TAKE A CHANCE TO FIND A FRIEND

THESE days, the things that pass for friendship make me think that people have forgotten about the real thing. People busily count their Facebook “friends” (my own profile has collected just shy of 600 of them) or they’re busy getting instant messages from pals who are really just bored and can’t stand feeling alone —…