Entries by Boris Matthews, PhD, LCSW

The Edge Where Change Happens

Change happens in a narrow zone between chaos and rigid structure. In psychotherapy and analysis where we hope to find help for better ways of dealing with our problems in living, the good therapist or analyst unsettles us enough to move us out of our stuck places (the inflexible status quo), but doesn’t plunge us […]

Beyond My Comfort Level II

In an earlier issue of the Ommani Jewel (March, 2019), I wrote about going beyond my comfort level. In that essay I began by focusing on the so-called “outer world:” loss of species that pollinate our food plants, climate change, political activism, and the discomfort I and many experience when we finally chose to speak […]

Beyond My Comfort Level

Recently the United Nations published its 2018 research paper, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World. “In addition to conflict and violence in many parts of the world, the gains made in ending hunger and malnutrition are being eroded by climate variability and exposure to more complex, frequent, and intense climate extremes […]

The Public Face of Psychological Type

Extraversion and introversion – most people know these two “type words.” They refer to basic orientations. Extraversion designates an individual attitude that looks outward, focusing on “what’s out there.” “Much as we feel the radiant warmth of the sun, the extraverted experience is mostly determined by the external thing being experienced.” Extraversion moves to create […]

Holiday Alienation

Writing this between Christmas and New Year’s days, and having seen a few clients in between, the experience remains fresh: the year-end holidays offer the occasion for alienation. I mean the worst kind: self-alienation.  It’s been this way for as long as I can remember. I hesitate to say “universal,” but certainly many people know […]

Soul Work

Clients first schedule an appointment with me when they feel lost, confused, frustrated, anxious, or depressed. Perhaps they have the sense that they have lost – or never found – their path, or that the path they have followed has turned into what feels like a dead end. In scheduling time with me they hope […]

The Heroic Attitude

The mood of the times in which we live affects all of us in one way or another. Weary, discouraged, disoriented, and depressed—and I could add angry—describe what many people feel. These emotions affect each and every one of us to some degree. We could talk about the political situation, or climate change, or the […]

Nature In Uproar

  The tale of “The Fisherman and his Wife” tells a story for our times: Our human willfulness can finally ask too much of Mother Nature. In “Frau Holle,” discussed in last month’s article, we saw that cooperating with Mother Nature brought golden rewards. Attempting to manipulate Mother Nature likewise got results: but tar, rather […]

Willfulness and Greed vs Mother Nature

Guess who’s going to win? It’s Mother Nature every time. Two traditional stories—“fairy tales,” Märchen (in German) – tell the fate of human greed and willfulness. One, Frau Holle, I will discuss this month. I will take up the other, The Fisherman and his Wife, in August. Both tales teach the same lesson: given half […]