Thanks for your readership!
Posted by Dr. Vollmer on December 19, 2013
Thanks for your readership!
Posted by Dr. Vollmer on August 26, 2013
“I blog about things that make me enraged. I blog about stories that I want to tell. I blog to go on record about all the changes in health care that I am fearful about. I blog to report on my witnessing the changes in my field, many of which I am not happy about. ” That’s what I tell people, when they ask, seeming to be surprised that I post so frequently. I blog to express myself to those who might take an interest. I have thoughts, ideas, emotions about things I read, experiences in my day, and people I see, that with the utmost caution of confidentiality, I want to share with others. I am delighted by the feedback, both public and private. I have ideas and I am interested in how others see things, as well. I am thankful that I live in a time where we have the technology that makes this communication forum easy and fun. I consider it a hobby, an activity that keeps me interested and engaged, without any expectation of commerce. Does that answer the question?
Posted by Dr. Vollmer on April 3, 2013
Congratulations on getting 200 total likes on Shirah Vollmer MD.
Posted by Dr. Vollmer on June 22, 2012
Weekly Psych Rounds 22-06-12
Posted by Dr. Vollmer on June 4, 2012
“I can’t deal with that one,” a father says to me as I cringe at the expression “that one”. “You mean Samantha,” I say naming their nine-year old daughter so as to point out that the phrase “that one” conveys tremendous hostility and resentment. “Yes, Samantha has made my life a living hell. She is all I talk about in my therapy. She has made me more crazy than my parents, than my wife, or my work.” This father, Liam, explains to me, causing me to feel for Samantha and wonder how Samantha integrates her father’s resentment of her into her budding self-esteem. I am caught between wanting to explain how his resentment might be deleterious to Samantha’s sense of herself and wanting to support Liam in expressing his feelings about raising what he perceives to be a very difficult child. Having known Liam for ten years, I feel our relationship can tolerate me taking what I imagine to be Samantha’s point of view. “It must be hard for Samantha to feel that she has caused you so much grief,” I say, conveying that Liam’s attitude could be hurtful to Samantha. Liam gets angry and hurt. “Are you saying that I am hurting my child?” he says as tears roll down his face. “I am saying that all parents hurt their children unwittingly, and the job of parents is to become aware of that when that happens so that one can straighten things out, as best they can.” I explain, trying to say that parenting is challenging, resulting in both positive and negative outcomes, always. Liam seems to calm down. “Today might be a hard day,” I say as we close our visit. “You did not do anything wrong,” he says. I needed to hear that.
Posted by Dr. Vollmer on May 8, 2012
Karen, fifty, married to Kip, fifty-five, for thirty years, says “I just realized that my husband is so anxious.” “After thirty years you realize this?” I ask, wondering how this happens that decades into a relationship new ideas are formed. “Well, yes, I know it sounds ridiculous, but last night as I was talking to him, I realized that the expression on his face was anxiety and not ‘spacing out’ like I used to believe.” “Tell me more,” I say, so curious about this pivotal moment. “We were talking about our financial situation and I was saying that I was worried about our retirement and he just went mute and in the past I thought he did not like to talk about this subject, but suddenly, I realized that it makes him anxious and that is why he does not like to talk about it. I never saw it as anxiety. I just saw it as avoidance. Now, I see that the avoidance is because of anxiety. Maybe I got this idea from reading your blog, but when I thought about it, his behavior made so much sense to me.” Karen says with the excitement of figuring out a puzzle.
“Did you tell Kip about your insight?” I ask, wondering if she had the courage to share her idea with Kip and wondering if he had the courage to consider this notion. “Yes, I did and he said he would think about it, so I was pleased with that.” “Is he anxious about other things?” I ask, wondering if there is a bigger theme in their relationship. “Yes, anything that has to do with losing control he gets anxious about. He seems anxious that I am going to gain a lot of weight and that really bothers me too.” Karen says with a feeling of irritability that his anxiety is infectious. “Maybe if he understands his anxiety then he can at least identify his feelings and communicate on that level and not on the level of the number on a scale.” I say, highlighting that this insight, if it fits Kip, could cause a major change in their communication style. “That would be interesting, after all these years.” Karen says, losing her irritable tone and regaining her enthusiasm.
“Anxiety is certainly a complicated feeling. You are right that so much of the time, the person does not even know they are experiencing it, but the people around them know.” I say, repeating a point I make in so many of my lectures. “Yea, but I did not know until now,” Karen repeats with the awe of reflecting over thirty years. “This is what is called the depth of a relationship. New things appear as time marches on.” I say, hoping not to speak in platitudes, but to emphasize that relationships deepen over time such that Karen should not be so mad at herself for not understanding this earlier. “I guess so,” Karen responds with some dismay. “I am glad you found my blog to be useful,” I say, reflecting on her comment and feeling cosy about it at the same time. Maybe the internet has helped Karen and Kip. Maybe I contributed to that through my work with Karen and through my blog. Maybe.
Posted by Dr. Vollmer on April 20, 2012
Posted by Dr. Vollmer on April 13, 2012
Posted by Dr. Vollmer on March 26, 2012
Check it out!!!
Posted by Dr. Vollmer on March 25, 2012