Category: Rich Simon

Rich SimonBy Rich Simon I recently had the privilege of interviewing Erv Polster, who many therapists of my generation know as pioneer of Gestalt therapy. Those not of my generation, whether they’re familiar with his work or not, are steeped in his influence—body work, mindfulness, and immediacy in therapy were introduced and exemplified by Polster and his cohorts. Read more

Rich SimonBy Rich Simon  Why would any therapist need to worry about bringing more “creativity” into therapy?  After all, isn’t the primary objective of therapy establishing an atmosphere of comfort and safety for the client, a haven from the life-sapping miseries—anxiety, depression, substance abuse, relationship problems—that motivated them to seek help in the first place. Read more

Living the Symposium Experience

Rich SimonBy Rich Simon The now 37-year-old Networker Symposium was born at a point in our field’s history when the ideal of the detached, eminently rational therapist helping emotionally overwrought clients tame their id-driven passions still held sway. Nevertheless, early on, the Symposium followed a different course, epitomized in the over-the-top song and dance opening performance that has become its signature. Although we would have been hard-pressed to explain why, early on we apparently understood that talk is not enough; it is experience that sparks change, and what better way to embrace emotion than in the company of a few thousand of your most like-minded, favorite colleagues? Read more

 The Fantasy and Reality of Intimacy

Rich SimonBy Rich Simon What better time than Valentine’s Day weekend to think about the contradictions in modern day couplehood? In a world dedicated to convincing us that we’re entitled to more and more choice in our lives, It’s not just that partners want different things –it’s that  they so often want both longevity and novelty, both excitement and stability, both deep attachment and plenty of individual freedom.  No wonder there’s no relationship formula that works for every couple. Read more

Rich SimonBy Rich Simon If you’re like me, polls and national surveys are one of your guilty pleasures. They’re an irresistible short-cut to figuring out the mindsets, interests, preoccupations and, often, the anxieties of larger chunks of humanity than most of us would otherwise encounter beyond the small circle of the people in our day-to-day world. Read more

Rich SimonBy Rich Simon On the metaphorical list of “Things That Are Good for You” that the general public subscribes to, multivitamins have long occupied an unchallenged position of prominence. Backed by an industry that pulls in over $30 billion a year, supplement brands like Pfizer have claimed that their products ward off chronic illness, promote heart health, and otherwise improve on a balanced diet. Read more

Rich SimonBy Rich Simon A few decades ago, when young therapists like myself watched Salvador Minuchin, Virginia Satir, Carl Whitaker, or other leading lights, it was like watching magicians—you didn’t know whether they were going to pull rabbits, iguanas, or some other strange, unexpected creatures out of the therapy hat. We watched as the clients they worked with changed before our eyes—becoming more alive, more open with one another, and more inventive in resolving their own problems. Take a few minutes to see it all come together in this classic video of Virginia Satir at the resolution of a family session. Read more