It was a Friday morning this past November. Listening with half an ear to
the morning news I overheard that wildfires had broken out once again
in Southern California—my home for the past 20 years. This one started
in Montecito, an exclusive community nestled next to Santa Barbara.
Somehow I’ve gotten used to the reports of fires.
I am a forensic psychologist by training. One of the risks of my
background is to focus on the notion of pathology and disease. I
frequently offer that one of the causes of our seemingly endless
uneasiness, our collective “disease,” is that our ecology, in the purest
sense of the word, and our commerce with the world, is unnatural and
unlike ever in our history.
I spent an hour today with a young woman who had not harmed herself for eight weeks. She had not harmed herself, that is, until today.
As clinicians working in the field of addiction, we become familiar with patterns of relapse. Identifying those circumstances or behaviors that lead to relapse is critical in the recovery process.
Problem gamblers use deceit and lies as freely as racing forms, lotto tickets, or other gambling paraphernalia.