Facebook Contest Winner!


Congratulations to our Facebook contest winner, Sarah Rossmiller!!!  She won a FREE copy of Irrelationship: How We Use Dysfunctional Relationships to Hide from Intimacy.

About the Book:   Irrelationship: How We Use Dysfunctional Relationships to Hide from Intimacy is a transformative exploration of the unconscious defense systems created by couples (and others) to avoid the vulnerability that comes with investment in others. Drawing from their extensive clinical experience, the authors explain the development of brainlock and irrelationship using the histories of numerous individuals and couples. Analysis of these histories draws the connection between early childhood experiences with dysfunctional caregivers and the anxiety that drives affected individuals (and couples) to devise roles for themselves (“song-and-dance routines”) to protect themselves from the risks inherent in close relationships; namely, empathy, intimacy, emotional risk and emotional investment.

Check out Psych Sessions Episode 035 where I discuss Irrelationship with authors Mark Borg, Grant Brenner, and Daniel Berry.

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest!  -Jimmie

PS 035: Irrelationship: How We Use Dysfunctional Relationships to Hide from Intimacy


In this episode of Psych Sessions, I speak with the authors of Irrelationship:  How We use Dysfunctional Relationships to Hide from Intimacy. 

Irrelationship is a jointly created psychological defense system that two or more people maintain to avoid awareness of the anxiety that’s part of becoming intimate with others, especially feelings about letting people see and know us for who we really are.

Mark B. Borg, Jr., (PhD) is a community and clinical psychologist and a psychoanalyst practicing in New York City. He is founding partner of The Community Consulting Group, a consulting firm that trains community stakeholders, local governments and other organizations to use psychoanalytic techniques in community rebuilding and revitalization. He is a supervisor of psychotherapy at the William Alanson White Institute and has written extensively about the intersection of psychoanalysis and community crisis intervention.

Grant H. Brenner (MD) is a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City, specializing in treating mood & anxiety disorders & the complex problems arising from developmental childhood trauma. He works from a humanistic & integrative perspective, incorporating evidence-based approaches as well as innovative techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) & neurofeedback. He’s on the faculty of the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital, Director of Trauma Service at the William Alanson White Institute & a Board member of the not-for-profit Disaster Psychiatry Outreach.

Daniel Berry (RN, MHA) has practiced as a Registered Nurse in New York City since 1987. Working in in-patient, home care and community settings, his work has taken him into some of the city’s most privileged households as well as some of its most underserved and dangerous public housing projects in Manhattan and the South Bronx. He is currently Assistant Director of Nursing for Risk Management at a public facility serving homeless and undocumented victims of street violence, addiction and traumatic injuries.

During the podcast, we discuss how people in irrelationship can generally be described as falling into the category of either Performer or Audience. The Performer is driven to caretaking of the Audience while the Audience hangs back, allowing the Performer to continue and even escalate efforts to “rescue” or “fix” him or her. Paradoxically, by hanging back, the Audience is covertly taking care of the Performer allowing him to act out his need to be a rescuer. For both parties, this process fends off anxiety, but in so doing, they jointly eliminate the possibility—or risk—of developing a genuine, meaningful relationship.For most people, intimacy is likely to be both desired and feared. This conflict is at the heart of irrelationship, which develops as a result of a break in the development of a secure attachment as children. You can learn more by visiting www.irrelationship.com

Listen in and learn how to tell if you’re affected by irrelationship and what you can do about it.

Thanks for listening! Jimmie

PS 034: Sexual Anorexia with Candice Christiansen (M.Ed., CMHC)

CandiceCMy guest on this episode of Psych Sessions is Candice Christiansen. Candice is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist-Supervisor, Certified EMDR Trauma Therapist, and Certified Abel Assessor. She graduated from the University of Utah in 2002 with a Master’s of Education-Counseling Speciality. Her clinical background includes: working with sexual offenders in a half-way house and outpatient setting, treating survivors of domestic abuse in transitional housing, starting and overseeing an intensive day treatment substance abuse program in Scottsdale, Arizona, and overseeing a Substance Abuse Residential Treatment Program in Sandy, Utah. Candice founded Namaste Center for Healing in 2014 with the intention of assisting individuals, couples and families with trauma, intimacy issues and other addictions/aversions in finding long-term recovery. You can learn more about Candice at www.namasteadvice.com

Sexual anorexia is an obsession with avoiding anything sexual, which can even include non-sexual behavior like hugging. It’s a coping skill that’s helps the individual feel safe by being in control of their body and deciding who does what to it.  Treating sexual anorexia can include looking at past trauma, neglect, and whether a person was teased about their body or sexual development.  Even having a parent treat their child like a surrogate partner can be a factor.  Both men and women can have sexual anorexia, and nurturing plays a big role.  Tune in to learn more about this fascinating topic.