Contributed by Frank Pittman

34 Results

The Playful Therapist

7 Clinicians Share Their Best Strategies

In this collection, master therapists share how they’ve used humor in ways that both enliven and enrich the work of therapy. Read more

Life Without Father

A Son Looks for Answers from a Stoic Parent Back from War

Even though I knew I wanted to be a father when I grew up, I didn’t know exactly what skills were required. We of the ’40s and ’50s grew up with fathers... Read more

Six Ways to Find Comedy in Even the Darkest Moments

Shaking Your Clients Loose from Their Tragic Stances

Therapy, in order to shake people loose from their tragic stances and bounce them into the human comedy, is at its best when it is funny, when the tragic... Read more

The Liberating Power of Honesty

What People Don't Know Can Hurt Them. What They Don't Reveal Can Hurt Even More

When we therapists believe a secret's revelations would be dangerous, the client receives a frightening message about him- or herself and about the world. We... Read more

Coping and Learning After a Client's Suicide

A Therapist Reflects on What He Might Have Done Differently

I've been in full-time private practice for almost 30 years. In that time, three patients in my practice killed themselves. Each suicide has left me... Read more

Turns in the Road

Highlights from the Networker Journey

Out of all the hundreds and hundreds of articles that have appeared in the Networker over the past four decades, we’ve chosen a small sampling that captures... Read more

When TV finally came, in the early '50s, the world it brought into our living rooms was black and white, and dumbed way down. Newsmen now had faces, and, as... Read more

Move Over, Meryl

Kate Winslet Ascends to Center Stage

What separates screen actors who remain enshrined in our memory from those who just momentarily catch our eye? Read more

Tell Me a Story

As Hollywood Goes Postmodern, Has Narrative Become Passé?

If you're like me, you've noticed that movies don't make as much sense as they used to. Nevertheless, I suspect that there's still an audience somewhere out... Read more

More than Just Frivolity

Joel and Ethan Coen Give Us the Antidote to the Happy Ending

The Coen brothers specialize in redefining the rules of whatever movie genre they happen to be subverting. Read more

Blood and Guts

Violence is Central to Some of the Year's Best Films

While lions and sharks go into frenzy at the smell of blood, at the sight of blood, moviegoers seem to experience a heightening of all emotions, sometimes... Read more

Darkness and Light

Evoking the Flip Sides of the Hollywood Dream Machine

Two hugely successful films, released on the same weekend this summer, revealed the flip side of the Hollywood experience. Read more

No Country for Old Men

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Youth

Part of the magic of Hollywood movies is that the larger-than-life heroes and heroines up there on the screen don't age and wither and deteriorate like the... Read more

Hollywood and the Unwed Mother

Comedy is a Window on Our Social Mores

Some comedies about unwed motherhood reveal deeper truths about those subjects we can laugh about and those we can't. Read more

Play It Again, Denzel

Keeping Alive the Traditions of Yesterday's Stars

American Gangster, Michael Clayton, and 3:10 to Yuma. Our complex relationship with our screen idols is at the root of the Hollywood movie experience. Read more

Shut Up and Dance

Becoming Jane and Hairspray Evoke a Long Movie Tradition

Becoming Jane and Hairspray. Evoking a great movie tradition of the past, this summer, Fred and Ginger met both Jane Austen and the Linblad family. Read more

Hearts of Darkness

Finding the Courage to Walk Through the Shadows

A Mighty Heart, Away from Her, and Evening. It takes courage to live life, and to live with the life you chose. Read more

Getting a Life

Whose Story Are You Living Now?

As we go through our lifetime metamorphoses, we adapt to those whom we like and hate, envy and fear. We fall in and out of love, and emulate and identify with... Read more

War Is for Heroics

Three cultures try to locate meaning in mayhem

Dissecting the fantasy of heroism. Read more


Babel and Borat force us to look beyond our culture

A new generation of filmmakers is taking us beyond the Americocentric world of mainstream cinema. Read more

Royal Flush

The Perils of Charisma

This fall, at a time when competent, sensible leadership seems in especially short supply around the globe, three films appeared almost simultaneously to... Read more

Overlapping Realities

Robert Altman is the ultimate systemic filmmaker

One of his biographers, Patrick McGilligan, insists that "marijuana shaped [Robert Altman]'s storytelling. Read more

Me Neither

Brokeback Mountain challenges our most cherished gender stereotypes

Pittman reviews the controversial film Brokeback Mountain, directed by Ang Lee, from a psychotherapist's point of view, discussing how it dissects the... Read more

Only the Lonely

Self-absorption is a pitfall of too much time on the road

I wonder what the [Ingmar Bergman] of today would think of [Bill Murray]'s aging Don Juan, who plays for comic effect the loneliness that's so obsessed... Read more

Us and Them

Daring to tackle the troublesome issue of race

I don't know if [Kevin Costner]'s loose-limbed approach would relieve the tension in L.A. But somehow he has such a fully developed emotional immune system... Read more

Of Good Girls and Bad Girls

Becky Sharp may have been the first feminist heroine

The camera moves in so close on each of the characters that we feel we can read their minds. Such is the skill with which this remarkable film has been acted... Read more

Foggy Warriors

The documentary as populist rabble-rouse

[Michael Moore] hammers away at the now-established fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (the only place on earth regularly searched and... Read more

Fierce Creatures

How I nearly lost my innocence in La-La Land

From the May/June 1997 issue I have just completed my first, and very likely my last, close encounter with the fierce business that has occupied my... Read more

Two new Hollywood bits bring out the beast in us Read more

Reality Sucks

Welcome to Generation X

From the July/August 1994 issue I HAD NEVER HEARD OF KURT COBAIN UNTIL THE OTHER day when he killed himself. Apparently, between suicide attempts, he had been... Read more


Fables and fairy tales and fires in our souls

From the May/June 1994 issue NOW THAT THE EXPIRATION DATES HAVE PASSED ON OUR familiar fables and fairy tales about gender, it is time to create some new... Read more

Married to the Mob

A love story that is refreshingly unromantic

Wharton set her story in 1870, in the New York of her youth, a time that spawned heroines bursting the bounds of societal restraint and struggling to be free... Read more

It's Not My Fault!

Political Correctness v Therapeutic Correctness

When Networker film critic and in-house provocateur Frank Pittman wrote this piece 25 years ago, the concept of “political correctness” was just beginning... Read more

Bringing Up Father

How My Children Taught Me the Secret of Fatherhood

When author Frank Pittman became a father, he discovered that the childhood absence of his own father left him with no idea how to relate to his kids. This... Read more

Frank Pittman

Frank Pittman, MD, was a longtime contributing editor to The Family Therapy Networker.