“Mrs. America” Depicts Betty Friedan’s Achilles’ Heel

Tracey Ullman’s brilliant portrait of Betty Friedan in the FX series, Mrs. America features a real-life debate between Friedan and Phyllis Schlafly. Watching it led me to re-assess an interview I did of Friedan for a 2005 conference when she was 84 years old. In addition to her seminal bestseller, The Feminine Mystique (1963), which galvanized the Women’s Liberation Movement, Friedan … Read more

Psychological Responses to Quarantine: What to Expect and Do

It happened so fast. We watched with horror as COVID-19 spread first in China, South Korea, Italy and then all over Europe. Now it is here in the US and many have opted to self-quarantine — even those who are asymptomatic. How should we expect to respond psychologically and what can we learn from those who … Read more

Racism Experienced In Childhood Lasts a Lifetime

Source: Shutterstock/Rido By Susan Kolod, Ph.D. In the musical, Guys and Dolls, Adelaide reads a psychoanalytically tinged medical textbook and concludes, “In other words, just from waiting around for that plain little band of gold, a person can develop a cold.” This is the basic tenet of somatic medicine: intense negative emotion can cause physical … Read more

What Is Healthy Narcissism?

The joy of self-love can be powerful and sustaining. Narcissism is bad, right? Google search is flooded with questions: “What is narcissism?” “How can you tell if your partner is a narcissist?” “Am I a narcissist?” So my patient Adele was surprised and intrigued when I told her that we needed to work on developing … Read more

Terrorists or Copycats? What’s the Difference?

Detailed coverage of attacks can lead to contagion By Sue Kolod, Ph.D. Yasser Arafat, the former Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, famously stated in his 1974 speech before the United Nations that, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” But there is reason to suspect that the killers in the recent Orlando, Nice … Read more

Why “Eat Less, Move More” Often Fails

By Susan Kolod, Ph.D. If you want to lose weight, the solution is simple: eat less and move more, right? Everyone one knows that. But eating less and moving more is a lot easier for some people than others. It is easiest for people who are in the normal weight range and have perhaps gained … Read more

New Publication in the Journal, Contemporary Psychoanalysis

  Volume 50:3, 484-491 2014 READING THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE ON THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF ITS PUBLICATION By Susan Kolod, Ph.D. On the 50th anniversary of the first volume of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, what better time to reconsider Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, first published 50 years ago? This book was an important part of the Zeitgeist into … Read more

Is Hookup Regret More Common in Women? The better the sex, the less regret

Young women are becoming equal partners in the hookup culture, often just as willing as young men to venture into sexual relationships without emotional ties.  But research suggests hookup regret is twice as common among women as men. Is that because women are “hard-wired” to be monogamous? Researchers say no—it has more to do with … Read more

Five Reasons We Love Scandals

What makes scandals so interesting? A good scandal can be titillating, outrageous, entertaining, satisfying and edifying—it allows us to feel superior, to pity or despise the transgressor and to get vicarious pleasure, all at the same time. It becomes a “feeding frenzy.” People can’t get enough of it—every morsel is chewed and devoured like delicious … Read more