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Archive for the 'Relationships' Category

Four Pages Regarding a Biological Basis of Evil: Introducing My Most Important Work to Date

March 15th, 2012 by Howard Ditkoff

Background information on a group of pages that deeply explore evil, its possibly malicious origins emerging from biologically-based empathy and conscience-reducing psychopathology and its role in the evolution and complications of tragic, seemingly intractable problems and suffering at all levels of our world’s systems. These pages, integrating a range of source material, consider and attract attention to evil’s cyclic, manipulative and deceptive dynamics and its contribution to and exploitation of modern civilization, its structures and technologies, and, in turn, much of its dysfunction, abuse, trauma, corruption, absurdity and injustice. They also discuss our best understanding of the variation in people’s responses to these phenomena and their implications for nearly every area.

Furthermore, the pages advocate for an objective, scientific and medical approach to studying harm, highly valuing critical thinking and investigation, technical insight, psychological knowledge, precise and widespread dialogue and modern wisdom. They urge us to enhance reform efforts by better identifying leverage points and cooperatively developing optimal strategies for transcending challenges and resistance and preventing, assessing, reducing and healing from vicious cycles. And they point the way toward the establishment of new healthy, sustainable forms of human systems, more conscious of and immune to pathological influences and capable of flourishing with creativity.

This work is the culmination of a lifelong progressive quest – fueled by an uneasy sense about our world and concentrated through the discovery of what may be the most important book you’ll ever read – to understand issues of ethics and power. Learn about the very personal stories that coalesced in its development.


Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month: Discussing, Understanding & Publicizing an Under-Recognized Epidemic

May 5th, 2008 by Howard Ditkoff

Sparked by the painful outcomes of once hopeful relationships involving Borderline Personality Disorder, several recent conversations refocused me on the condition’s growing prevalence, crucial cultural role and disproportionate social impact. Despite a desperate need for greater awareness, BPD remains under-recognized due to various obstacles. However, recent weeks saw the disorder highlighted on television and by the U.S. House of Representatives. In a spirit of compassion and hope for healing, I offer suggestions and resources for education and publicity during Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month.


Choosing Intimate Partners: To Repeat or Not to Repeat?

April 7th, 2008 by Howard Ditkoff

Why do we repeatedly attract similarly unhealthy intimate partners and relationship patterns? Should we seek to escape such seemingly self-destructive cycles through safer, less intense relationships? Or do these patterns serve a purpose that we must respect, instead using a new approach to harness their energies toward healing and growth?

In the midst of yet another challenging relationship, I deeply explore the unconscious roots and mechanisms of this “repetition compulsion” in the chemistry of our relationships. I also initiate a discussion about the dilemmas, paradoxes, catch-22’s, risks and rewards posed by two contrasting approaches to compatibility and conflict. In an era of dangerous polarizations and threats that demand engagement and resolution, it is a topic of great relevance to our families, society and world.


My Scheme Team Dream: Partners Wanted for Shaping and Changing The World

September 19th, 2007 by Howard Ditkoff

Scheming – or creating schemas – helps us shape a clear understanding of how the various parts of systems relate and connect. It then empowers application through developing strategic, intriguing, and often subversive plans to create innovative change in the world – for better or for worse. After a period of undefined frustration, a discussion with a friend helped me pinpoint my recent lack of partners with whom to co-scheme as the root of my dissatisfaction.

In this post, I discuss what scheming means to me and its central role in my worldview and throughout my life in areas ranging from math, medicine and sports to relationships, politics and business. I explore key examples of special shared moments, evolutionary factors and enviably successful teams that explain the excitement and rewards of co-scheming. And, in the service of initiating connection and dialogue with dynamic new “partners in crime,” I describe the similar and complementary assets and qualities that I and they would ideally bring to such an emergent and generative partnership. Read my thoughts on the process and goals of co-scheming at its best and consider whether you might be one of the fellow co-schemers I’m looking for.


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