I’m here to talk about
Addiction

 grudge bearing, hostility, superstitions, OCD, codependent relationships, despair, low self-esteem, guilt, shame, perfectionism, obsession, sarcasm, junk food, unhealthy attachments, blame, resentment, binging, purging, hoarding, pessimism, jealousy,

Introduction

We all seem to cling to familiar habits, even if in our logical minds we know that some of them are no good for us. After decades working in the field, Dr. Ellie Katz has concluded that self-sabotage is part of the human condition; we all have attachments we’d be better off without. In the end, it doesn’t really matter if it’s food, the lottery, or a cult. In her writing, Dr. Katz sets out to tackle the everyday face of addiction, exploring root causes, personal struggles and the gift of recovery.

Once you understand addiction, you can’t help but notice that it’s everywhere.

Books

Love and Kisses from My Padded Cell

Love and Kisses from My Padded Cell

A compendium of the personal stories of ten recovering addicts. Dr. Katz gives voice to ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, offering a nonjudgmental glimpse into what individuals are willing to do in the service of their irresistible urges.

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When Sane People Do Insane Things

When Sane People Do Insane Things

A practical guide to the enrichment of mental health. The book elaborates on what is essential and what is hazardous, offering the reader an opportunity to help himself reach the most precious gift: a life well-lived.

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My Last Summer as a Fat Girl

My Last Summer as a Fat Girl

In her memoir, Dr. Katz opens up about the events that have given her life its miraculous shape. She invites the reader on a personal journey as she investigates the powerful role food has played in her biography.

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Reviews

Professor Amia Lieblich review

In an animated and revealing dialogue with her readers, Dr. Ellie Katz steers us towards self-examination. She advocates for six behavioral principles that will assist us in freeing ourselves from the urges that rule us. This is how we can restore serenity to the internal and external story of our lives. This is a book that, in my opinion, presents a substantive path to mental health in the twenty-first century.

Professor Amia Lieblich
When Sane People Do Insane Things

Biography

Dr. Ellie Katz is a leading practitioner of holistic psychotherapy. For the last forty years, her eclectic interventions have featured innovative approaches to using meditation, guided thinking and the Bach Flower Remedies. Dr. Katz has lectured at Einstein/Montefiore Medical Center, the University of Istanbul, First Beijing Medical Center, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has been a senior staff member at the Retorno rehab facility since 2003.

Blog

Oct 5, 2019

Trauma

I have of late been approached by several patients to do one-on-one sessions, specifically focused on helping them extricate themselves from the grip of past trauma. Every individual is unique when it...

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Sep 8, 2019

Finishing at last

A little over thirty years ago, I wrote what I thought was a finished novel. I created characters I adored; I had a ball setting them up for profound challenges and creating a vehicle for solutions. I...

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Aug 16, 2019

Old dogs, new tricks

If you follow this blog, you’re probably aware that I’ve written several books about my work, my philosophy of mental health, and the psychological insights I’ve gained from my own experiences. I wrote...

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Jul 1, 2019

Working with my hands

I’m not sure I’ve ever articulated this before on the blog, but I’m someone who does very little with her hands. While I’m married to an artist who is interminably, inevitably in a state of manual...

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Jun 2, 2019

In the Line of Fire

In my memoir, My Last Summer as a Fat Girl, I explored my past with overeating and basically came to a place of stability. In general, I feel safe enough with any kind of food to taste it and enjoy it...

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May 1, 2019

Old friends

On a recent trip to America to visit family and friends, I yet again realized how important it is to nurture old ties. I’m all for new acquaintances and encounters (hell, I’m the friendliest person I...

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Apr 18, 2019

Crossing the line

I am a staunch advocate of creating imaginary lines around our thoughts and behaviors. By this, I mean that it is important to recognize and firmly establish boundaries that we can’t cross if we want...

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Mar 1, 2019

Overmedicated

Of late, many of my patients have been talking to me about their medications: how it’s taking too long to get them back to a stable mood, how they’re not deriving the benefits. How they feel like...

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Feb 2, 2019

Gratitude

Thirty-five years ago, while I was pregnant with my fourth child, my good friend Ziva  was on a visit from the States and shared with me that she had been studying Robert Fritz’s ideas about how to...

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Jan 1, 2019

Chica

As I sit down to write this, I have a vague recollection that last year, I wrote a blog post about the love of a dog. I advise anyone reading this to go back to what I wrote then. It’s as true today as...

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Dec 4, 2018

Septuagenarian

Although my official birthday is 12/12, according to the Jewish calendar, it often falls in November. That’s why I celebrated turning seventy towards the end of last month, with family and friends....

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Nov 7, 2018

Self-diagnosis

For the last 35 years, I have explored the value of the Bach Flower Remedies to address the emotional component in psychological and physical illness. My beloved, dearly departed friend Stephanie sent...

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Oct 17, 2018

Counter-transference

I made a special detour a few weeks ago to visit the rehab on my day off. t seemed one of our young ladies, a patient given to high drama, had decided she wanted out. She was adamant about going back...

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Sep 2, 2018

Getting ready for the Jewish New Year

Well, boys and girls, it’s that time of the year again, when my Jewish brothers and sisters and I take stock. For those of us who want to refine our characters, this is The Time to do it. Instead of...

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Aug 1, 2018

Owning up to behavior patterns

Yesterday I introduced the subject of behavior patterns to several groups that I was working with at the rehab. Know thyself; it is vitally important to know what your patterns are, what behaviors and...

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Jul 1, 2018

If I Had a Magic Wand

About ten years ago, I compiled an arsenal of props that I kept in a bag in my office at work:  a black pointed hat from a witch's costume, an amazing array of hand puppets, a mirror, and a magic wand...

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Jun 1, 2018

Not waiting around for inspiration

Of late, I have been working with my groups at the rehab on the notion that ultimately, if we want to get better, we don’t need to wait for inspiration to hit us. It’s entirely possible that we can be...

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May 1, 2018

I am waiting for the end of cruelty

Recently, I noticed a few articles about an astronomical event that predicted the coming of the Messiah on April 23. The idea is sensational to me. As a Jew, I’m not picturing the Second Coming of...

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Apr 9, 2018

Politics: What can I do about it?

Don’t ask me about politics. As a psychologist, the work I do focuses mainly on thoughts and feelings. I help people reach new heights of flexibility, losing rigid attachments to an idea of how things...

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Mar 1, 2018

Why would you deliberately hurt yourself?

Life is hard enough to begin with. The idea that you would maliciously hurt yourself seems baffling. Unfortunately, in my years working as a psychologist, I have encountered a vast number of acts of...

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Feb 1, 2018

Tooting my own horn

When I completed revisions on my first book, I was faced with a dilemma. I had written the book after being sent by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to lecture on mental health in China and Turkey. In...

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Jan 1, 2018

Alone but not lonely

Recently, I went to a repair shop to get my cell phone fixed. My friends and family had been complaining of late that when they called me, my voice sounded muffled and too quiet. It turned out that the...

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Dec 3, 2017

Qualifying for the spiritual olympics

Just came back yesterday from a three-day jaunt to the town of Uman in Ukraine, where a very important eighteenth-century Hassidic rabbi is buried, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. While I am not a Breslaver...

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Nov 9, 2017

What can I do to take care of myself?

Working at the rehab, I spend a lot of time helping my clients develop healthy avenues for ensuring good mood and serenity. I’m talking here about learning to protect their entire psychophysiology on a...

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Oct 16, 2017

Accepting my limitations

The other day, my car wouldn’t start. I got into the vehicle, la di da, ready to be on my way, and it simply wouldn’t turn on. My husband’s assistant came running, enthusiastic to give me a hand, but...

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Sep 14, 2017

Knowing what better looks like

I spend a lot of time working with my clients on change. Ostensibly, that’s the reason they’ve come to rehab. They cannot continue to expose themselves time after time to the ridiculous at best,...

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Aug 7, 2017

There must be SOMETHING about me that’s worthy…

At the rehab yesterday, I conducted an exercise in which the clients were instructed to begin a sentence with, “It’s hard for me…” One young lady’s response set the whole group off and running headlong...

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Jul 11, 2017

Obsessive attachments

The other day, in the group I was leading, I asked if any of the participants had an obsession or attachment they wanted to explore. The gentleman to my left, a weed-smoker for thirty years, said, “I...

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Jun 5, 2017

Unexpected challenges

Knocked down, but not knocked out. A year ago, I underwent cataract surgery on my right eye, otherwise known as my weak eye. Surgery went well. The anesthesia kept me comfortably in and out of reality,...

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May 13, 2017

Staring my fear down

I am readying myself psychically for a second cataract operation. Due to a variety of circumstances, I have waited a year between surgeries. The doctor who did the first procedure examined me a few...

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Apr 17, 2017

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Holocaust Remembrance Day is coming up, and I swear, the older I get, the more devastated I become as I watch the documentaries and hear the radio interviews of the aging survivors. It pains me to come...

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Mar 10, 2017

The love of a dog

Often, when I do guided thinking with my clients, I ask first if they love, hate or fear dogs. (Guided thinking is a therapeutic technique that involves me instructing my client to render forth an...

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Feb 6, 2017

Not my most impressive workshop

I was recently asked by a friend of mine, the director of a women’s seminary, to create a workshop for professionals in Jerusalem. I thought it would be a delightful opportunity to talk about some of...

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Jan 11, 2017

Generosity of spirit

On occasion, when I'm at work at the rehab, I look around and ask myself: How did I get into all this, anyway? I must admit that working with addicts is often a frustrating experience. Many times, I...

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Dec 7, 2016

When a moral compass is lacking

I have come to realize that some of my clients literally have no concept of right and wrong. They have no intrinsic moral code. Everything is okay and acceptable, sort of, when it suits them. They can...

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Nov 13, 2016

HOW do you want to be when you grow up?

It’s often asked of children, and some immature adults: What would you like to be when you grow up? Personally, I think a better question would be how you want to be. How would you like to be...

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Oct 9, 2016

The virtues of becoming your own cheerleader

Becoming your own cheerleader – it’s the best way of keeping motivated I can think of. I have noticed over the years that one of the reasons people quit when they’ve undertaken a challenge is that...

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