Make 2015 Your Best Year Yet

As a psychiatrist, I have the honor of being with people through the ups and downs of life's journey. I bear witness to joy, fear, anger, and sorrow, and the ways in which we deal with these emotions. My patients often say to me, "I think what I need is to just stay busy. I need to distract myself." Distraction certainly has its role. Sometimes keeping ourselves occupied with meaningful activities like exercise, time with friends, or work, can keep us out of our head. Sometimes distraction involves not so meaningful activities such as alcohol, [...]

By |2017-12-11T23:21:33-07:00January 2nd, 2015|

The Gift of Time

I often wonder about how we can best nurture our children. What will our children remember most about their childhoods? Will it be the lessons that I tried to impart to them about being a “good” person? Will it be what I formally taught them in terms of their academics and proper study habits? Will it be the outings to get ice cream after school, or taking naps together on a Sunday afternoon? It is difficult to say sometimes what decisions and behaviors impact our children the most. On Mother’s Day, both my son and [...]

By |2017-12-11T23:21:33-07:00December 22nd, 2014|

My Teachers

I am continually reminded that my greatest teachers don’t arrive in the forms I expect. I am blessed to be a psychiatrist. I believe that through all of life’s twists and turns, all roads were leading me to this place, to this career. In the daily practice of being with my patients in a meaningful way, I come face to face with my teachers. I firmly believe that each and every patient comes to me for a reason, a specificity that neither of us may come to understand until minutes, days, or years after we [...]

By |2015-01-29T00:06:32-07:00November 10th, 2014|

The Spirit of Change

We often want to change habits or patterns in our lives that are not serving us well--eat healthier, exercise more, stop smoking, manage stress. There is a lot of information in self help books and online about how we can be successful in establishing healthier habits. In the daily practice of being with my patients, one specific area of this process that fascinates me, is the spirit with which we take these tentative steps towards improving ourselves. The idea of change, even when self imposed, even when for the purpose of improving ourselves and our [...]

By |2017-12-11T23:21:33-07:00September 10th, 2014|

The Choices We Make

Last year, I met with director of the Medical Humanities Program at UC Irvine, Dr. Johanna Shapiro. She is a lovely woman, a brilliant psychologist with a love of literature and writing. She has spent the better part of her career training medical students and residents to develop reflectivity and empathy through the reading and writing of stories. We spoke about our interests in writing and the education of physicians, and how I might be able to be more involved in the program that she has cultivated. This was a dream conversation for me. I [...]

By |2015-01-29T00:11:21-07:00August 8th, 2014|