Editor’s Note: Issue 18

TABOO. The word sounds and looks like what it means — dark, mysterious, and forbidden. Yet as many of the authors and artists in this issue show, what is considered taboo can be as ordinary as the idea of “silence” or our “imagination,” when there is a personal, familial, or social injunction against it. What is “taboo” changes from culture to culture, as well as generation to generation. What we consider taboo today may become mainstream tomorrow, including our concepts of sexuality and gender, emotional release and expression, relationship dynamics and therapeutic intervention, to the unexplained and inexplicable. As you read the pieces in Issue 18: Are You Taboo? and observe the art, we invite you to ask yourself: What is taboo for me, and why?

Stanley Siegel, Editor-in-Chief

Plant Medicine and Meditation – Synergies and Lessons

"Oh Brother (Detail 3)"

It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story”
– Native American proverb

These days it seems everyone is into ayahuasca, an indigenous plant medicine that has become the focus of a fledgling tourism industry in greater Amazonia. When I first tried it in 2004, I was fanatical about neuroscience and...Read More »


Odes to Lithium

Kim Wednesday, "Alteration de la Voix"

Ode to Lithium #107

The Summer I was wrong, or arrogant, or hopeful, I told my Psychiatrist I could be rid of you
by ⅔. In fact, I’d started adjusting the dose myself. I’m being honest with you, I told her,
I feel fine. When she listened without flinching, when she...Read More »


Slippery Icons a Conversation with Catherine Opie

Catherine Opie "Angela Sheirl" 1993 ©Catherine Opie, Courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

Psychology Tomorrow Magazine’s Art Curator, Matthew Kyba, in a phone conversation with Catherine Opie about her practice. Please find their edited interview, touching on topics of sexuality, identity, contemporary photography, and her historic work.

“Angela Sheirl”
1993
©Catherine Opie, Courtesy of Regen Projects, Los...Read More »

The Pole-arizing Taboo of Female Sexuality

Kim Wednesday, "The Birth of Tragedy"

It may seem odd to write about female sexuality for our issue on all things taboo, yet female sexuality remains taboo on many levels. For one thing, many women still blush when discussing their body and in particular their genitalia. For another,...Read More »


Psychology’s Taboo Against Imagination

[Listen to the audio recording of “Psychology’s Taboo Against Imagination.”]

 

Over the last few decades, the teaching and practice of psychology has veered into a dark abyss. The overuse of diagnosis — a misguided attempt to codify and...Read More »


FLORIDA

Kim Wednesday, "Pareidolia"

And then there was the man who said “You look fatter
with your clothes off” and like a fool I didn’t put them back on
but climbed into his bed beneath the little Tibetan prayer flags
and several images of Buddha haloed by a white light
I wished, at that...Read More »


Beckoning Delicacy A Conversation with Shary Boyle

"Birth"
“Birth”

How did you first approach creating art within art school? Did you find going through an educational institution sharpened your critical and artistic ability, or limit it?

When I graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1994, the MFA system had yet...Read More »


Confronting the Non-Conformist A Conversation With Dmitry Borshch

Dmitry Borshch, "Mining Archer"
“Mining Archer”

Your pictures in Psychology Tomorrow belong to a series. What is its title and why?

“Exiled from Truth: Nine Allegories by Dmitry Borshch” is the title under which some allegorical pictures are collected, possibly more than nine: the series continues to develop....Read More »


Letter to the Mother of a “Schizophrenic": We Must Do Better Than Forced Treatment

Catherine Opie, Untitled 1 (Icehouses) 2001

A few months ago I met your son. He said he would be waiting for us in the Berkeley park near where he sleeps outside at night, but at the last minute he called and was in San Francisco. He said he was at the “Mrs. Doubtfire house” with...Read More »


Beyond Jealousy: A Spiritual Approach to Polyamory

Dmitry Borshch, "Daughters of the Dust"

Adapted from the chapter “Beyond Jealousy” from Opening Love: Intentional Relationships & the Evolution of Consciousness by Dr. Anya (Changemakers Books)

Last night, I had a dream. In the dream, I was making love with a beautiful man. This man had told me that he had a polyamorous agreement with his wife;...Read More »


Oh Brother A Conversation with Lumir Hladik

"Oh Dear (Detail 1)

When and why did you first start practicing art?

Around 1973, a “Eureka!” moment, when I realized that I can express notions through art. Until then, I rendered.

“Oh Dear (Detail 1)

Your early works involved underground performances that were disallowed by the government. How did this...Read More »


Sex in Prison: 50 Shades Of Sexuality

Human sexuality is as fascinating as it is complex. This complexity is due, in large part, to its pliability and ever expanding diversity. Even what is considered “normal” by social and moral standards varies with time and geography. What is acceptable or at least tolerated in one country can result...Read More »


Why Women Lose Their Sex Drive

As a relationship counselor I work with individuals and couples on a number of sex and intimacy related issues. By far the most common one in monogamous partnership is a low or no sex relationship, a relationship in which there are one or fewer shared sexual experiences per month. Low...Read More »


CAREGIVING: 3 Resourcing Tools

Kim Wednesday, "Custodial Care"

The concept and reality of acting as a primary caregiver had never entered my imagination. But in 1965, at nineteen years of age, the truth of this experience swiftly hijacked my life: my eighteen-year-old bride was diagnosed with cancer.

My First Awakening

I remember the day we received the diagnosis at NYU...Read More »


The Surreal Reality

"It is just an ostensible reason"

Wednesday Kim connects the process of making her work with images in sub-consciousness, unwelcome involuntary thoughts, trauma and sometimes, with momentary catharsis. Her works usually treat issues related to identity, human body, and sexuality. From digitally mediated collages to a butt-shaped drum, Kims imageries...Read More »


But Not Too Much

Lumir Hladík "Ach bratře 6948"

I must place my fingers just so. Curve them, but not too much. My wrists should be lower. For once, my back is straight enough but it is a bit too stiff because I am overcompensating. I tend to sway in time to whatever piece of music I am playing...Read More »


Disordering Gender: Breaking the Transgender Taboo

What are therapists treating when they treat clients for “Gender Identity Disorder”?

Both insurance companies and standards of care demand that therapists carefully diagnose patients who present ourselves as having gender identities at odds with our bodies and social roles, ruling out other possible diagnoses before accepting our claims of transgender...Read More »