Category Archive

A collection of articles written by Dr. Gordon Reid

Love As An Act Of Will (Part I)

As a psychologist working with couples in conflict and those trying to improve their relationships, my primary focus is on understanding the specific type of work that needs to be done to promote the best interests of both individuals in

Love as An Act of Will (Part II)

In Part I of the previous article, (Love as Act of Will Part 1), I presented a definition from Scott Peck’s book, “The Road Less Travelled” in which he described love as “The will to extend one’s self for the

Love As an Act of Will (Part III)

In Part I and Part of II of this series, I have described how we can view love as the action which serves as the vehicle for nurturing and enhancing our emotional and psychological growth, and looked at that action

Lies and Uncertainties

Trust versus mistrust. Perhaps this capacity is the greatest factor in determining whether someone can truly enjoy their life and love, or whether they spend it in survival mode constantly anxious and fearful.  Almost assuredly if we are to be

Introduction: Let’s Talk About Love

As a psychologist specializing in working with couples struggling in their relationships, I often hear individuals tell me that even though they are angry or frustrated with their partner, they still love them and believe they are loved in return.


Over the last 40 years, there has been a surprisingly rapid acceptance of “Mindfulness” practices into mainstream culture, valued not only as a method of relaxation but even as a therapeutic practice in the arena of psychology.  I believe however,

Lasting Change, Not Temporary Relief

“The human heart cries out for help; the human soul implores us for deliverance; but we do not heed their cries, for we neither hear nor understand “ – Khalil Gibran People often talk about changing themselves, whether just some

Relationship Anxiety (Conclusion)

In a previous post, Relationship Anxiety, I discussed why and how interactions with others can introduce anxiety into our lives, and under certain conditions, can generate remarkable levels of stress. While it is often difficult enough for adults when their interactions

Yes, But Do You Really Love Me?

Couples come to my office for many, many reasons. There are a bewildering array of issues and complaints that have become the focus of their difficulties and inevitably, at least when I meet them, they have run out of options

On Mindfulness

This article examines what I consider to be one of the primary limits to a richer understanding and utilization of Mindfulness. Historically rooted in the enlightenment teachings of Buddhism and Taoism, I see the proper practice of Mindfulness as offering

Mindfulness: How am I going to change?

Most people tell themselves (or they are told), that they need to change, somehow control their behaviour, to just get a hold of themselves and simply stop being something (angry, jealous, anxious, depressed etc…).  But the simple truth is we cannot

What is Mindfulness? (Part I)

To be clear from the start, whatever the process is that anyone is pointing to when they talk about mindfulness, it is  not that. The actual experience that one is referring to in discussing mindfulness or awareness cannot be described. 

What is Mindfulness? (Part II)

In my previous post, “What is Mindfulness? (Part I)”, I offered an exercise in paying attention to the symbol  + , in order to introduce the idea of Mindfulness. In this article I would like to consider this Mindfulness process further

Relationship Anxiety

When asked why life is stressful, we often talk about the demands of work, the responsibilities of being a parent, paying our bills and so on. Yet, as I discuss here, every time we interact with another person it introduces

Is Change Possible?

As I was walking through the park the other day I began a conversation with a man who eventually told me he was dying of cancer.  He had this cancer, he explained, because he was too stressed, too worried, too

Mindfulness: Freedom From the Known

The answer to the question as to “who, or what am I?”  is a complicated one.  But it is primarily complicated by a confused, though perfectly normal way of perceiving reality that is almost  impossible to see for oneself .

Identity: Who Did You Say You Were?

Have you ever stopped to consider how little people really know each other? I don’t mean casual acquaintances or even friends.  I mean people who say they love and deeply care for each other; people who are willing to commit

Being Here: Depression, Stress, Anxiety and All (Part III)

In previous articles on Mindfulness,  I have suggested that most people  have only a limited awareness of their own experiences.  Rather than utilizing our capacity to be aware of and learn from those experiences we are effectively blind to most of them,

Hello? … Is Alexithymia There?

“Alexithymia” is a term coined to describe patients who have so successfully buried their emotional problems that they no longer have any capacity for genuine insight. These patients present as being “emotionally illiterate” such that they have great difficulty in

Understanding Narcissists (Part II)

In the previous article (Understanding Narcissists (Part I), I began to identify a problem exemplified by the “Myth of Narcissus”. This myth portrays a scenario where a beautiful young boy is mesmerized by his own image staring as longingly and

Depression Really Hurts

The first worldwide comparison of depression with four other non-fatal chronic diseases shows that feeling seriously blue is the most disabling of all, according to a recently study.

For Crying Out Loud

Several years ago I was seeing a young woman in my practice who was struggling with depression following the recent death of her mother. In spite of how sad and distressed she looked, she seemed to be struggling to let

Understanding Narcissists (Part I)

Have you ever felt frustrated at your inability to solve relationship problems in your life? Do you try talking to your spouse and no matter how hard you try it not only doesn’t seem to help your relationship, it often

Mindfulness In Our Relationships

Imagine someone picking up a book, perhaps one of the great classics, but they cannot read. All they see is black squiggly lines on white pages. This book is meaningless for this person. Because it is meaningless it has no value and

When Love Fails

My clinical experience in working with couples and individuals over the years suggests a fundamental lack of understanding of what it even means to have a truly loving relationship. In my previous article “Yes, But Do You Really Love Me”

The Struggle to Love

My experiences with those couples and individuals I see in my practice and in my daily life suggests most individuals in relationships are not operating in a manner conducive to promoting their own or another’s spiritual growth. Within the definition

Losing Touch With My Reality

I often see adults in my practice who cannot tell me what they are experiencing. Inquiring into the nature of their depression, anxiety, or stress is like asking them to close their eyes, stick their hand into a bag and

Personality Disorders Versus Neuroses

Over the last 30 years, numerous empirical studies have suggested it is possible to arrange defensive mechanisms into a hierarchy of relative psychopathology beginning in severity with “psychotic defenses”, and ranging through “immature defenses”, “intermediate defenses”, and finally, “mature defenses”.

Love: It’s More Than A Feeling

“I love you.” When we use these three little words what do we mean, what are we actually saying? There have been occasions when working with distressed couples in my practice, when it looks as though all is lost and

The Golden Rule

As a child I was often told “it is better to give than to receive.” I always understood this message in terms of giving gifts to others rather than getting them, and the implication was that somehow in doing so,

What’s the Bottom Line?

Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living. Sooner or later we will ask ourself a question such as , “What am I doing here?’, or “What is my life about” or the big one “Who am I”. Are

Why Are We Fighting When I Am Right?

If a relationship that promotes and encourages our emotional, psychological, and spiritual growth is healthy, then one that engenders conflict, distrust, and fear, must surely be unhealthy. It is unhealthy precisely because the openness, security, and safety that is crucial

What are we doing here?

Relationships serve many different purposes. Minimally, relationships should provide security, comfort and a sense of belonging. But ideally, I think relationships should serve as a vehicle for each other’s emotional, psychological and spiritual growth. That is to say, there is

The Fine Art of Relationships

Everything is in relationship to everything else. The words you see here exist in relationship to each other, to the white background we call the page, and to you, the reader. Likewise”I” only exist in relationship to my world and

The Development of Personality Disorders

In an effort to explain the different psychological and behavioural profiles between the diagnostic categories of “personality disorders” and “neurotics”, current clinical thinking and practice offers a neuro-social model of psychological developmental. The heart of this model is that there

Resisting Change in Psychotherpay

“A world that can be explained even with bad reasons is a familiar world”. (Camus) People seek the guidance of a therapist when there is disruption and distress in their lives and their usual self-limiting, risk-avoiding way of operating are


Studies indicate that 15-30% of adults in the general population experience depressive episodes often of moderate severity at some time in their lives. While many individuals will be seen by their family physicians and G.P`s, only only a minority of

A Therapist’s View Of Human Suffering

“We are the hollow men We are the stuffed men Leaning together Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!Shape without form, shade without colour Paralyzed force, gesture without motion;…” (“The Hollow Men”, T.S. Elliot) Across the years of offering psychotherapy  with thousands

The Remarkable Thing About Anxiety

It has been clear to psychologists for some time that anxiety lies at the heart of most patients’ difficulties. In many cases, people come for therapy because they are afraid of aspects of their world or their own experiences that