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Coffee and Catharsis - How are you helping?

Many of my clients are expressing deep fears about the future. They are concerned quite naturally...

Opinion: Procol Harum Redux

I stumbled upon the song “Conquistador” today and was stunned by the parallels between Procol...

On Mental Illness, Inmates, And Recidivism

The admittedly small and self-selected group of inmates that I provide psychotherapy for on a weekly...

Somewhere On the Journey to Recovery...

The Athena Festival accentuates celebrating “the wisdom of women”, and indeed at the gathering...

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Laura HultRSS Feed of this column.

As a paramedic working for many years in the Chicago metropolitan area, I witnessed firsthand the devastating and lasting effects of trauma not only on victims, but also on their families and medical... Read More »


These are uncertain and often frightening times for many people.  While none of my clients have thus far suffered any major emotional setbacks, the holidays are quickly approaching and I expect to see more depression and anxiety.  Since money is very tight and many have lost their homes and/or jobs, while others now have extended family living with them, this holiday season will be more of a challenge than most of us are comfortable dealing with.

How will you cope with the upcoming season?

Here are a few tips to inspire further thought and planning:

What would you do in this situation?

In Europe, a woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to make. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug.
Five Values

Five Values

Jul 29 2009 | comment(s)

An exercise performed in class one fall afternoon to demonstrate the helplessness of the terminally ill has left me with much to ponder.  If I knew in advance that death was near, what five things had been most important to me in life, and which of them could I do without?  

We were asked to write each of these on individual note cards.  I listed the following things of greatest importance to me, and in no particular order, they were:

  • Spirituality (not religion)

  • My nuclear family

  • Honesty

  • Wisdom

  • Sanctity of life

Using Fire

Using Fire

Jul 03 2009 | comment(s)

Although possessing an undeniable bias against consciousness and mood altering drugs, courtesy of the 1960s and 1970s, I was curious to see what progress had been made utilizing these same substances to treat addictions.  Allegorically, we have vaccines derived from pathogens to prevent disease, thus grudgingly but also with a bit of morbid fascination, I can admit that hallucinogens and their derivatives might be effective in treating some individuals with certain addictions, and precedence seems to support this hypothesis.
This is a funny question to ask.  Funny in that no one has ever asked this of me before, and yet a few moments of reflection reveal how utterly important such a question is.

The simple answer is that no, I am not living the life expected or wished for.  As a child of the 50s and fan of “Dr. Kildare” and “Ben Casey”, I wanted desperately to be a surgeon.  Before I was 10 years old, my plans were laid – I would work at a big hospital and save lots of lives regardless of ability to pay.  I took the Hippocratic Oath to heart and believed in it completely.  Although I retained the intention well into my 20s, an assault endured at 10 years of age effectively put an end to that idea.
In a unique study of four previously convicted adult male pedophiles (Mage = 33.8, SD 9.7 years), utilizing structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and imaging genomics (neuroimaging combined with genetic analyses), the authors propose that small variations in genotypes are responsible for paraphilic phenotypic expression (Tost, Vollmert, Brassen, Schmitt, Dressing, Braus, 2004).