The Biopsychosocial Model for Where Emotions and Behaviors Come From

We are doing a narrative series on understanding where emotions and behaviors come from: Emotions Are Contagious Our own Emotional Junk  Positive Emotions and Behaviors are Contagious Too  Our Conscious Self is Our Board and Paddle at Sea  (today’s post)  What we’ve covered so far in our series is that we know emotions are contagious. […]

Get Your Butter Knife Out and Spread Your Biopsychosocial Self Together

Probably when you have thought about psychiatry in the past, before this blog, you weren’t thinking about self-care. What do you think of psychiatry?  Would any of you shout out a word, can I have a word, give me a word, any word that shoots to the front of your thoughts? Psychiatry has changed. There […]

The Biopsychosocial-How-to Be a Friend to Yourself

There is interplay between biological, psychological, and social issues that make us who we are.  You can work as a team not only  with your family, physicians, therapists, and whomever else is involved in your team approach to getting friendly with yourself – but you can also team up with yourself so to speak. Think: […]

Love without connection

Delicious rocky road Baskin and Robins chocolate cake was staining Fred’s teeth bright vampire red from the frosting. It mesmerized me as we bantered. Though, not enough to completely distract from the trigger setting off my sympathetic tone.  “So, you are writing about God and psychiatry?” (Ba-boom!) Fred is an enormous genius, well published and […]

Handout – How to Talk to a Psychiatric Patient.

Finished the CME talk I did last week and thought, you might find some use for it. I’ve received bad press many times for not being, in so many words, legit or academic enough. Check out the comments on my ECT book on for examples :). Maybe this one leaning into that bosom of greatness […]

More on Life-ers. (Those darn perdy dandelions.)

I had an interesting comment a couple of days ago on the concept of Life-ers. If you have a weed in your garden, you pull it.  If there’s something wrong in your life, you don’t fall in love with it.  You get to weeding. However, there are Life-ers that are both weeds to pull and […]

Roughly What We Covered With The University Students

What is psychiatry? Components intersecting at cross-point where stands Psychiatry: The practice of medicine The practice of business The practice of one’s personal life The doctor-patient relationship The pursuit of Quality of Life Who should go into psychiatry? Consider temperament There are areas of medicine that are more procedural based versus more weighted toward patient-doctor […]

Allow yourself to transcend the naming of your symptoms

Mental illness, diseases of the mind, behavioral disorders or however our community allows it to be named, it is all inadequate. Mental illness, is a stale description.  It has sat in the open community air, over the many years when our awareness grew too slowly, when stigma and ignorance gave it the old cold frost-bite. […]

Paper Doll Syndrome – Changing Symptomotology Can Be an Opportunity to Remember and Celebrate

Fred didn’t remember his panic.  He thought his main problem was his sleep.  His so-called “main problem” changed with his symptomatology.  Fortunately or unfortunately he didn’t know it was happening. Fred reminded me of a paper doll.  Now I’m a veterinarian, now I’m a clerk.  Of course there are all the stories that accompany each […]

Want Life despite the freakishly terrible. It’s really That Good.

So many of us don’t get much to speak of as a chance at life until we are older.  Raped with penetration by age five and following, traded for favors, fear and more fear, isolated, escaping from one to other places of objectification.  We don’t like closets.  We avoid reminders but since there is no […]


Manifesto, by Sana Johnson-Quijada MD 1.  Taking care of Me is often not intuitive.  It feels like we are alone even though we are not.  We feel like strangers even though we are in familiar company. 2.   Being a friend to yourself means being a friend.  It’s that simple or that hard. 3.  We want […]

Premises of being a “Friend to Yourself”

This is the skeleton of what we reviewed over three days of 1-2 hour workshop sessions (which ended last week.)  We named these the unchanging premises of being a friend to yourself.  Everything starts and ends with Me. Freedom to choose is here.  I can see Me using various paradigms such as the Jungian Typology […]

When To See A Psychiatrist

Even car accidents happen for “good reasons!” Wanda didn’t want to hear the reasons. Anything could sound like a good reason for bad performance.  It is what it is.  Just own it! And Wanda was out.  And just as quickly as she concluded, I flashed back to the quivering resident who messed up on internal […]

Remember, You Are Free, Even When You Accept Help.

In becoming a friend to yourself, we all use tools; a hoe, a shovel, a bottle of medications, friends and lots of floss.  Not all in the same moment or we might get hurt.  None of the tools we use are meant to been seen, when looked at, alone as a weapon to box us […]

Strategize Your Energy Deposits and Your Work To Heal Emotionally

Work works if it’s in something we find pleasure in.  That’s where we will find empowerment and self-esteem.  We don’t resent the labor as much.  We feel less controlled, boxed in and manipulated by others.  We have more gratitude and optimism. The realm of biology enthroned on helices of DNA are socialized and demystified some […]

Supercharge Your Life Purpose

Going back to basics is one of the best tours of life. It is exactly how to supercharge our life purpose. Truth is, we’ve been in this polite exchange between serving others and serving ourselves for the past year. It’s been nice but we are smarter now. We all agree that “living to serve Me” […]

Flaws You Love. Presence.

More on Life-ers.  (Those darn perdy dandelions.) I had an interesting comment a couple of days ago on the concept of Life-ers. If you have a weed in your garden, you pull it.  If there’s something wrong in your life, you don’t fall in love with it.  You get to weeding. I can see the point of […]

Serving Others May Not Have As Much To Do With Giving As You Thought

Self-Care Tip – To be our own friend, be accountable for the service we do. Bree was someone who was into details.  The moment of now was her reality.  She didn’t naturally consider the, “What if’s,” of tomorrows – but she did for the now.  And in her moments, if she slowed her day down […]

Draw Sleep Hygiene Into Your Culture

Thomas didn’t want to organize his life.  It wasn’t fun when things were predictable.  Lately however, that was the problem.  He wasn’t having fun anyways.  Thank God for work.  It was the one firm construct in his life.  Wake up, shower, drive and work until he drove home.  It was like Harold and his purple […]