Privacy vs. Secrecy?Who Owns the Secret?

People tend to justify some inappropriate secret-keeping with the self-righteous claim that, “It’s no one’s business,” or–better yet–“It’s private.” So what is the difference between privacy and secrecy–and how do you know if you’re being private–which is okay–or secretive, which can… Continue Reading


July is the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Giving the lie to the common assertion that Congress accomplishes nothing, in the 110th Congress, in 2007, Rep. Albert Wynn, a Democrat from Maryland who represented the 4th district from 1993 to 2008, brought to the floor a bill for which… Continue Reading


Privacy, Secrets and Shame–Part XII: When Kids Have the Right to Know

So we left off with the concept that if a secret affects children, those children have the right to know. This does not mean that you can use children to unburden yourself, like my patient did with her eldest daughter and her… Continue Reading


Privacy, Secrets and Shame: How to Reveal a Secret (II)

Back to ideas about how best to reveal a secret. It can’t hurt to start where we left off–using your common sense. Other tips: don’t construct a whole back story behind your secret to cover your guilt. I know it’s tempting–I really do–but… Continue Reading


Privacy, Secrets and Shame–Part IX: Why to Reveal a Secret

“A nuerosis is a secret that you don’t know you are keeping.” Thus wrote English theater critic and writer Kenneth Tynan, and with these words he opens the conversation about the damage a secret does to the secret-keeper himself. So… Continue Reading


Privacy, Shame and Secrets–Part VIII: Hidden in Plain Sight, ct’d

So we return to secrets hidden in plain sight, and particularly to Miriam’s* mentally unstable father, Max,* whom everyone seemed to know about, but no one actually mentioned. Max didn’t come out during the day. Ever. When there were certain… Continue Reading


Privacy, Shame and Secrets–Part VII: Hidden in Plain Sight

“Brilliant!” Harry whispered. “If everyone knows, no one will suspect it’s a secret!” No, it isn’t really “the Harry” that we’ve come to know and love via Ms. Rowling. It’s rather from a takeoff of the Potter series, Harry Potter and… Continue Reading


Privacy, Shame and Secrets–Part VI: Patty’s Babies

Patty was pregnant with her second when she and Peter sought counseling for marital tension. During their couples’ work, they revealed that both pregnancies had required in vitro assistance. The issue of secrets came up with a double-whammy.  Part I… Continue Reading


Privacy, Secrets and Shame–Part V: Questions About–and the Damage Caused by–Secrets

If we’re to take an honest look at secret-keeping–and that involves our own–we need to ask ourselves some fundamental questions about why we continue in our path of secrecy. Ask yourself these–and be honest: 1. Who else knows this secret?… Continue Reading


Privacy, Secrets and Shame–Part II: Ludwig and Family, ct’d–The Secret and the Damage Done

It’s not the place here to go back and examine Manfred’s issues with sexuality, and his conviction that if he just tried marriage, all would be well. What does matter, ultimately, is the secret Manfred kept, and how damaging it was… Continue Reading