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Psychologically Speaking

This blog looks at a variety of life issues through a psychological lens. It is written by Josh Gressel, Ph.D., a psychologist in private practice in Pleasant Hill, CA. Flag as Inappropriate

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"The Black Panther of Poetry" November 6, 2013 at 10:12 am
Matthew 19:24: Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle thanRead More for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.
yayoi storey September 27, 2013 at 05:49 pm
how do i get people to read my blog? do i even care?
Josh Gressel, Ph.D. September 28, 2013 at 08:39 pm
Vanessa, I appreciate your points. There are boorish men who think every woman welcomes theirRead More advances. However, what is boorish for one woman -- say your friends, might be flattering and welcome to another. This is why these men behave this way: with some women it works. If it never did, they would stop. But your valid point obscures mine: let's say your friends don't welcome this attention at these clubs. Are you also saying they don't want any attention at all? Are you saying they don't want anyone to notice they are pretty? And if they do want this external attention in some form, how does it impact their internal sense of self? That's all I'm trying to say: if you're pretty, you get programmed in some fashion or another to notice it, to use it, and possibly to become dependent on it. Finally, as an editor of Patch I would hope for a little more measured tone in your comments. I somewhat expect the snarkiness from the anonymous readers, although I find them frustrating as well. I don't expect it from the people whose endeavors I'm trying to support with this blog.
CR September 29, 2013 at 09:16 am
Our society, even more so know than in the past, seems to promote and focus on external beauty. ThisRead More is a challenge for parents raising daughters. I have two daughters that are considered very beautiful..they get wanted and unwanted attention attached to the way they look. Boys love the way they look and are not afraid to make it known. Girls are jealous, catty and judgmental. Social media has made it easy for young girls to get tons of "likes" and other reinforcements that how "hot" you are is the most important thing...girls and boys comment 'omg...perfect"...."sexy, hot, perfect..why can't I be you"...media, videos, print...everywhere we look, everything we see screams that is the most important thing and when you are young its hard too see through the BS because that is all superficial...when you are beautiful girls are jealous, you are rarely "SEEN" for the person you really are, boys want you for how you look not how you think...everything that was mentioned in the above blog is true...there are definite perks to being attractive but there are negatives as well. Beautiful women, for the most part, were probably beautiful teens . The sad thing i see is that many beautiful mothers of beautiful teens perpetuate the things mentioned in the blog because they are wrapped up in their own looks, they are, now, insecure because their beauty is fading and they never developed themselves beyond what they see in the mirror, don't know their inner self and get ego gratification from the attention their young daughters or sons, for that matter, get. So...it lays in the hands, once again, of parents, because society and media aren't changing, too teach young people what true beauty is and that includes knowing your inner self, confidence that comes from accomplishments other than luck of looks, humility, intelligence ect..but also to be wise and know the pitfalls of beauty....because there are many....it ain't easy being beautiful.
Belle (Orchid Lady) August 28, 2013 at 09:49 am
This is great information! Thank you. I look forward to next weeks blog!
Gary W Smith September 1, 2013 at 07:51 am
The blog certainly leaves one with something to ponder. How does one maintain a 'positive' streamRead More when the projections start flowing? There must be an underlying set of moral, ethical and positive values that support and promote the projections, or would not one soon perceive the falsehood?
Josh Gressel, Ph.D. September 1, 2013 at 05:46 pm
Hi Gary: I think this is a great question, though I'm not certain I understanding which directionRead More you're asking about: from the person who is admiring, or in the person who's admired? If it's about the person who's being admired, I would say that gurus of all kinds have fallen prey to the positive projections from their acolytes. It can be intoxicating to be seen as all wise, all knowing, all something or other. It requires a delicate balance on the part of the leader to both accept the projections as important to the person projecting, and at the same time not get inflated by them. If your question relates to the person doing the projecting, I don't have much to add to what I already wrote: yes that person is special in some way, and your ability to see that says as much about you as it does about them. It is up to you to figure out how to use them as role models without deifying them and devaluing yourself.
Mahatma Jeeves August 10, 2013 at 12:21 pm
i don’t think the author is claiming that perfection is possible in this life. the peopleRead More noted are famous for identifying with “the other”. they returned love for their enemies for hate received and promoted peace. of course, ghandi slept with little girls, king was an adulterer and mother theresa insisted on flying 1st class so none of them gave up their individuality to become “one’ with every thing until they died. this has been a worthwhile read. we all naturally resist going on to the higher stages at first so perhaps this objection is just part of that process.
Lisbeth Allen August 27, 2013 at 09:02 am
To reach final fulfillment, just acknowledge the truth that there is no god. The truth will set youRead More free.
Kei August 2, 2013 at 11:25 am
Yes, I am welcome not to read it, I understand that. At the same time, as I have said before, IRead More think it somewhat demeans the Patch to provide space for this. As for 'expertise,' I find that questionable, honestly.
Lou Judson August 2, 2013 at 11:34 am
And we are breateful for the opportunity to make out comments too! I have produced radio programsRead More on spirituality for 40 years, and have heard it all. This is not the most wise set of faith thoughts. just my opinion - I never said he couldn;t or shouldn't be posting! But it IS weird to have Marin County Patches pick it up. Must be a slow news week...
Mahatma Jeeves August 4, 2013 at 01:56 pm
i’ve enjoyed the series so far. people who have not read it may not realize that almost allRead More people have faith , including atheists. people have faith in their favorite sports teams , political parties and music. watching a movie can be more entertaining if one suspends one’s disbelief . the author makes a good case about stages of the development of human consciousness. those who refuse to read may have to hang out at stage 2 or 3 for a while longer. their loss .
Josh Gressel, Ph.D. July 26, 2013 at 03:09 pm
Hi Trenton: I couldn't agree with you more. We are surrounded by inspiring instances of faith.Read More The problem with Patch as I see it is that for better and for worse, this is a public forum and speaking about something as personal as faith when anyone can respond in any way makes it not as safe as it needs to be. I try to offer here a perspective I hope some people will find useful, but even speaking about it at a theoretical level has brought forth a lot of negativity. I wish I knew what I could do about that but I don't.
Concord Mike July 26, 2013 at 09:33 pm
Nice article, with one major exception. In the first paragraph you digress with anRead More "example" which is nothing short of racial profiling. All white males "dominate" and "do violence" to "minorities who serve them"? Well, this white male takes exception to your gross and unfair generalization. What were you thinking? Where did that inflammatory rhetoric come from? Please re-read that paragraph. I hope you can understand my perspective.
Josh Gressel, Ph.D. July 28, 2013 at 04:54 pm
Hi Mike: I'm sorry you took this as racial profiling. No such thing was intended. I simply choseRead More an example of how I, as a white male, assume that everyone walking into a store, for example, has a similar shopping experience. But ask any African American male, including our president, and you will be told of being followed around the store by security personnel, or that when you get on an elevator women clutch their purses, or some such different experience. The point here is less about racism, as important as that is as a topic, and more about how when we live inside our own skins it's easy to assume the rest of the world experiences the world as we do. It is both threatening and liberating to step outside our skin and see the world from different perspectives. This is the task of Stage Four in faith development, and was the purpose of that example.
Kei July 18, 2013 at 07:05 am
One wonders whether there is any empirical evidence for this, or is he simply blathering on and on.Read More He has mis-represented what was going on in Genesis 3, for a start. But so what, it's Psychology, the soft science with a questionable epistemology.
Kei July 22, 2013 at 08:13 am
So what if it's peer-reviewed? Perhaps the peers themselves also buy into this weak 'science.' PeerRead More review by itself is of no consequence, if the peers are all part of the same self-serving club. Perhaps this should not be labeled a 'blog,' but instead 'blather,' or 'blah blah.'
KimItemMinistries July 11, 2013 at 07:29 am
Aways look to your heart for the true answer..." Fixing our eyes on Christ Jesus, the pioneerRead More and perfector of Faith...For in Christ all the Fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to Fullness. He is the head over every power and authority." &-Always a time to pray..."Lord, you are the answer to all my questions."..."Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God's great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we've been shown that mystery!" I'm telling you this because I don't want anyone leading you off on some wild goose chase, after other so called mysteries. & -So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the Faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."...& - See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ."...So, -"Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverence the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of Faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart...Remembering always -" For made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross, And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." & -"You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."...& -Yes! Freedom from human rules...& -impressed with the solid substance of your Faith in Christ..."Therefore Do Not Let Anyone Judge You."
Rich Buckley July 11, 2013 at 08:35 am
When we comment and publish publicly we are constantly judged. It's unavoidable and goes with theRead More territory. The task I find is to remain liberated from the judgment and continue to function positively in service to others and to resist in a non-violent manner that judgement which is institutionalized through church and/or state, mass discrimination backed-up with threat, suppression, and social isolation for our personal, lawful individual exercise of free will.
KimItemMinistries July 11, 2013 at 09:53 pm
Faith In Action... Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the rightRead More words but never do anything? Does merely talking about Faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half starved and say, " Good morning, friend!" Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" And walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup- where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God talk without God acts is outrageous nonsense?...I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, "Sounds good. You take care of the Faith department, I'll handle the works department." Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your Faith than I can show you my Faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and Faith, fit together hand in glove...«James 2»...The very moment you seperate body and spirit, you end upwith a corpse. Seperate Faith and works and you get tthe same thing: a corpse... " I count myself fortunate to be defending myself before you - Don't hit back, discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgement every time.
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop July 7, 2013 at 09:14 am
If parenting (in any configuration) was informative, supportive but not compulsively so, andRead More encouraging, we'b be a better culture. The new cynicism relative to religion as crutch will be replaced. I prefer Buddhism because it gives three principles in combination, which no other religion does: Buddhism teaches prajna (understanding as against superstition and supernaturalism), karuna (love), and samata (equality). This is what man wants for a good and happy life. Neither god nor soul can save society.
Chris Kapsalis July 7, 2013 at 11:03 am
I think it is all about balance. Too much of anything is bad, to little bad. That goes forRead More Spirituality, or complete lack of it imo. Relying too much on God to help you is bad. Or a supernatural force of any kind. Even there it is written God helps those who help themselves, meet God half way etc. One may be too hit, or too cold. One may be too shy or to obnoxious. We need to realize when we are out of balance and make the right moves to correct it, and life itself is a balancing act. And it takes practice ... I think if anything these disciplines should be looked at as technics in the art of balancing our lives, everything else, not the end all of what it is about. Or the only way.. . Even that view is out of balance imo.
Rich Buckley July 7, 2013 at 01:40 pm
I'm inclined to hear Dr. Gressel out first and listen to his conclusions and how his lessons mayRead More apply in his work.
Kei July 3, 2013 at 07:17 am
Such garbage. Doesn't the 'theism' in all of this refer to a god or gods? Why do you insist thatRead More you can re-define it, only in psychological terms? This is completely intellectually bankrupt and self-serving.
Therese Brown July 3, 2013 at 07:50 am
What is the point of this?
Lou Judson July 3, 2013 at 08:26 am
Write a book, Josh. These days it is really easy to self publish, so you don't need funding ot a bigRead More publishing house. Is this intended to attract paying clients? Who is John Fowler (I'll go look at the first article and see if it makes any sense) and why are you describing his work? It reminds me of profesisonal philosophers, who spend most of their time explaining others' theories about the meaning of what... Bigger mystery is why this was linked from Berkeley Patch? No intellectual philosopher/psychologists in Berzerkeley? All the best to you in finding an audience that will not scorn you. Patch may not be it! Patch cannot figure out if it is a public blog or a news source...
Jeffrey Wright June 19, 2013 at 08:56 am
Faith is mandatory when you believe in something that common sense and science tells you doesn'tRead More exist .....
Ross Stapleton-Gray June 19, 2013 at 10:03 am
Amen! :-)
Keri Brenner (Editor) June 19, 2013 at 11:45 am
Very insightful! Thanks Josh!
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