The Therapeutic Power of Friendships

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with one of my dearest friends. Actually, the word "friend" doesn’t fully describe the richness of our relationship. Dina’s more of a soulmate. She’s a person who delights in the fact that I’m uniquely me – a man who makes mistakes, gets confused, scared and has a silly sense of humor.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with one of my dearest friends. Actually, the word "friend" doesn’t fully describe the richness of our relationship. Dina’s more of a soulmate. She’s a person who delights in the fact that I’m uniquely me – a man who makes mistakes, gets confused, scared and has a silly sense of humor.

What’s remarkable about our friendship is that it transcends time and space. We haven’t lived in the same city for years (Dina lives in Los Angeles and I now live in New York City). In spite of this physical distance, the bond between us hasn’t diminished. To the contrary, it has developed a rich and deep patina. We pick up where we’ve left off and connect in moments of laughter, tears and a foundation of trust. 


Of the many gifts in my life, my friendship with Dina is one of the most valuable. In it, I find incredible comfort and heal from the challenges and pain that frequently come my way.

As a therapist who works in the realm of human emotions, I know that human beings heal in safe, contained and understanding therapeutic frames. In this space, people learn new methods of being in the world and process their pain in constructive – not destructive – ways.

In a similar fashion, deep and soulful friendships enable us to heal, grow and change our lives. In them, we find the capacity to give and receive love and delight in being authentic with one another.

I encourage all of you to nurture and celebrate the significant friendships in your life. In so doing, you will add to its richness and process emotional pain in healthy and constructive ways.

4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

Keep Reading Show less