Integral insight into politics & culture

The Shrink & The Pundit- Conversations on life, love and Trump, with Jeff Salzman (the pundit) and integral psychotherapist Dr. Keith Witt (the shrink).

Befriending Emotional Pain

“We have to accept the reality that to one extent or another everyone has chronically amped-up distress, and a persistent negativity that generates confusing, distorted stories and emotional pain.” This statement kicks off another fascinating conversation with my pal,...

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The Quadrant Lens: How to See Your Blind Spots

In this episode, I talk with Dr. Keith Witt about what he calls “the seductive power of quadrant absolutism,” riffing on the quadrant model (part of the AQAL Model) developed by integral philosopher Ken Wilber. Quadrant absolutism denotes the propensity each us of has...

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The Beauty of Evolved Conflict

Nature is, as poet Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote, “red in tooth and claw.” Human nature is too, so far at least, but a counter-trend is emerging: as evolution progresses, conflict overall becomes less violent and more complex. Complexity arises out of the evolutionary...

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Is Masculinity Toxic?

The culture wars heated up last week with two new skirmishes. One was the release of the American Psychological Association’s new Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men. The other is a new ad released by the Gillette razor company: The Best a Man Can...

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Post-Election Peptalk

The morning after this week’s US midterm election I got a note from Dr. Keith Witt, my Shrink and the Pundit podcast partner, suggesting we do an episode on the voting results. “I’m a little let down by the election,” he confessed. "I'm uncharacteristically at a loss...

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An Integral Understanding of Suicide

by Dr. Keith Witt Suicide has been in existence as long as self-aware consciousness has been in existence. The gift of self-aware consciousness included the capacity for humans to anticipate and understand the inevitability of their own deaths, and all gifts come with...

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The Power to Serve

Dr. Keith talks to Jeff Salzman about Integral Life’s recent “Tap Your Power” event in Denver, CO, which featured exquisite teachings from himself, Ginny Whitelaw, Beena Sharma, and Ken Wilber on the many facets of power in today’s world — interior and exterior,...

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The Care and Feeding of the Brain

Today integral psychotherapist Dr Keith Witt joins Jeff for a look at the human brain. Dr Keith shares new research about brain health and specific actions we can take to maintain cognitive capacities into elderhood. They discuss the various types of dementia and...

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Peering into the Post-Privacy World

Today Jeff talks with integral psychotherapist Dr. Keith Witt about the arising of big data and its effect on our individual and collective psyches. They share their insights on the fascinating new book, Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data and What the Internet Can...

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The Future of Sex: More Fun, Less Creepy

Jeff talks with Dr. Keith Witt about the great consciousness raising our culture is going through regarding sexual harassment. Dr Keith’s prescription for a healthier, safer future: more sex! He advocates for a pro-sex culture where sexuality is normalized from...

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Intimacy, Longevity, and Happiness

In this episode of Shrink and Pundit, integral psychotherapist Dr Keith Witt and I talk about how intimacy, longevity and happiness are programmed into the human genome, and accessible to all of us. But at a cost.

Keith recently participated in an extraordinary conference called Plenitude near Sintra, Portugal. The conference brought together experts from around the world to explore a multidimensional approach to aging well.

Join us in our discussion of some surprising and not so surprising data about the current state of longevity research and how it relates to intimacy and happiness from an AQAL perspective.

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Transforming Trauma Into Power – A two-part conversation with Dr. Keith Witt

Life is wounding. For some of us our wounds are inflicted in the form of major traumas such as a serious injury, painful divorce, career failure or act of abuse or violence. More often, however, we are merely called on to suffer the slings and arrows of everyday life, which can also leave their mark.

Contemporary psychology has revealed two major insights into trauma. One is that trauma is pervasive: two-thirds of Americans report experiencing a major trauma in their lives. The other is that trauma is toxic, often kicking off lifetime patterns of depression, anxiety and addiction. One study showed that people who suffer six or more of ten different categories of adverse events lived on average twenty years less that people who had had experienced none of those categories of adverse events.

Whether large or little, some trauma is inevitable and necessary for healthy development. Shocks and setbacks shape who we are and can provide the opportunity to develop resilience and a larger perspective.

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Self-Love: Feeling whole in our incompleteness

The Shrink and the Pundit is an ongoing discussion between Jeff and his longtime friend, Dr. Keith Witt, a leading Integral psychotherapist.

In this podcast they explore the topic of self-love. Dr. Keith traces the relationship that each of us has with our own “self-sense” from birth (actually gestation), when we fall from the paradise of the womb and begin the process of growth into ever new worlds of conditional love. That pattern continues until we reach higher stages of development, where a more integrated sense of self is able to love what has previously been in shadow.

Listen in as Jeff and Dr. Keith discuss how to cultivate “a warm sense of oneness with yourself as being good, caring and beautiful.”

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The psychology of politics: a conversation with Dr. Keith Witt

Carl von Clausewitz famously said “war is the continuation of politics by other means.” From a developmental standpoint, Dr. Keith points out, it’s the other way around: politics is actually war by other means. The 1800 election between Adams and Jefferson was the first ever peaceful transition…

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Dr. Keith Witt on how to regulate anxiety

anx·i·e·ty (aNGˈzīədē/) noun 1. A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.   T he ability to remember the past and to imagine the future sets us apart from other animals. A zebra doesn’t...

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Integral sex therapy with Dr. Keith Witt

In a healthy intimate relationship, the partners don’t have to be turned on by each other all the time, says Dr. Keith, “but they do need to be turned on by each other regularly." Every couple has a balance of how much sex is needed to keep things vibrant, and it’s...

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The integral guide to divorce, with Dr. Keith Witt

The higher divorce rate likely indicates our changing expectations of a primary partnership. We’re living twice as long as we did a hundred years ago, women have more power, and the standard of marriage is a fulfillment standard now more than a stability standard, which is more demanding.

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The practice of the marital love affair, with Dr. Keith Witt

In this conversation on marriage, Dr. Keith shares intimate insights on topics such as what questions to ask as you consider marriage, how to deal with conflict and infidelity, progressive bonding, passion and friendship, and above all, the challenge of supporting each other’s mutual development.

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Turning destructive shadow into constructive shadow with Dr. Keith Witt

The willingness to look at the parts of ourselves that we can’t see — or don’t want to see — is a major milestone on the path of self-actualization. In this episode of The Shrink & The Pundit, Dr. Keith Witt tells us that the difference between a destructive shadow and a constructive shadow is our willingness to engage with it. So how do we do that?

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What depression is trying to tell us with Dr. Keith Witt

On this episode of The Shrink & The Pundit, Jeff and Dr. Keith talk about one of the oldest and most dreaded of human afflictions. They consider not just the suffering, but also the wisdom and growth potential that depression offers. They look at the qualities of...

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Dr. Keith on loving completely

In this episode of The Shrink & The Pundit, Dr. Keith reveals what he's learned in over forty years as a psychotherapist about cultivating integral love relationships, what the shift to a 2nd tier "love operating system" looks and feels like, and how you go about...

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On human memory and trauma, with Dr. Keith Witt

Human beings are memory machines, for better or for worse. There is an autobiographical narrative that is alive inside all of us, and just as individual memories seem to create me, memories in the morphogenetic field create the collective culture of my family, my society. Most people are familiar with the effects that major trauma like car accidents, sexual abuse and so on, can have on a person. But our sense of self is also formed by the “little ‘t’ traumas”, the small humiliations.

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Lying as violence and truth as a practice, with Dr.Keith Witt

Lying is a subtle violence that we perpetrate against ourselves and others, and almost all psychotherapy is concerning where people lie to themselves about themselves. As we develop more self-awareness and transparency, lies become less tempting because they become less useful and actually just plain uninteresting.

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Getting in the habit of evolution

Our left hemisphere learns new routines, but it is our right hemisphere where the habits are hardwired -- and it changes slowly. The brain evolved to not give up habits that it has associated with a satisfactory life. We are what we repeatedly do. —Aristotle I learn...

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In the belly of the whale

A dialog on Joseph Campbell and the hero's journey with Dr. Keith Witt Before I encountered the work of Ken Wilber, Joseph Campbell was lighting me up with his synthesis of the myths of all cultures.  Like Ken, Campbell had a gift for the meta-narrative, for seeing...

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