A Psychoanalytic Examination of Positive Psychology

This column also appears in the online format of the January-February issue of The Therapist Magazine, the publication of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.  While it was written for clinicians, concepts discussed are readily accessible to any interested reader. Abstract: In this column, Dr. Heller examines the clinical limitations of the Positive […]

Hello…are you still there? On life, death and dropped phone calls

This column also appears in the Orange County Register. As dropped cell phone calls become a daily irritation, the jarring experience of losing a conversation in mid-sentence has become routine.  The ugly wart on the nose of wireless communication, what once served as the triumphant but rude ending to an angry conversation has become a […]

Aging: the coda to life’s mythic themes

This column originally appeared in the Orange County Register. “He’s gotten completely paranoid and is speaking in vernacular I don’t recognize,” my friend explained slowly and evenly, though clearly in an anxious state.  “The psychiatrist put him on medication, and I don’t know why.  I think he’s having a bad reaction.”

A Father’s Tale

This column originally appeared in the Orange County Register. Because I often emphasize the importance of mothers, mothering and the maternal, it may appear that I completely disregard the masculine and paternal.  I’ll clarify that by distinguishing between an actual mother and a maternal function.  Parental functions may be construed as active or passive, directive […]

Sadness and Mourning

This column originally appeared in the Orange County Register A screenwriter friend gave me an article discussing the salutary aspects of sadness and the ways in which our contemporary culture tends to quickly erase it or prematurely foreclose upon its gritty psychological usefulness in a quest for perennial cheery happiness.  As if happiness were a […]