Articles written by Ken Silvestro Phd.


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  • Controlling Personalities

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Dec 28, 2017

    I think we all know what it means to control a situation or a pet. Basically, it means the person expressing control dominates through commands, ideas, behaviors and aggression. And control can be applied externally and internally-in relationships and individually. Since we possess consciousness, that is awareness, we have a natural need to control the events in our lives and ourselves. Conscious control enables us to produce order, organize, be disciplined and dictate our free wills. For...

  • When the Shadow Appears

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Nov 30, 2017

    Previous articles described the dark side of the personality or the shadow. Since each person possesses a personal and collective psychology, the shadow has two forms: the personal and the collective. Remember that the collective psychology refers to social and group membership. Earlier articles also presented the idea of meeting the shadow and building a relationship with it to diminish its power, which means that the shadow would be less likely to be expressed unconsciously (from a person's...

  • Variations in Consciousness

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Nov 2, 2017

    In past articles, I presented conscious and unconscious parts of our psychologies in many different ways. Believe it or not, there are still many other ways to describe and discuss these critical parts of human nature. In this article, I thought that I would present some additional details about consciousness in response to a commonly asked question: Why are there such huge differences and tensions, or divided interests, in our country? Of course, the answer is complex but I want to present one major reason – variations in consciousness. R...

  • Denial

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Oct 12, 2017

    Denial is word commonly used in the therapeutic world because many people deny their surrounding reality and their emotions. It is important to ask: Why is denial so common and what does that really mean? When a person has an illness and doesn't admit that she/he is ill, that is an example of denial. If a person hears that a loved one is dying and doesn't accept that fact, then denial is present. These descriptions are clear examples of denial. In both cases, the person is not willing to face...

  • Strength or Consequences

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Sep 14, 2017

    When people experience crises, such as the fire crisis in Seeley Lake or the loss of a loved one, there can be a variety of reactions. One of the most common reactions is to avoid their psychological needs and attempt to continue life as if nothing happened. People use phrases such: keep a stiff upper lip, cowboy-up, cowgirl-up or buck-up, to indicate that they are strong or should be strong, while experiencing crises. Ironically, this reaction is contrary to what people believe because it actua...

  • Psychological Complexities

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Aug 17, 2017

    This past week, a reader asked me a question. The question was basically the following: I'm really good at what I do for living. So why do I dislike it? The answer can vary from person to person and be quite complex. So, I'll provide some common reasons that should be helpful to everyone, revealing psychological complexities as well. Just the fact that humans are both unconscious (have a hidden psychology) and conscious (are aware) is enough to understand that psychology is complex. In previous...

  • Procrastination or Caution?

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Jul 20, 2017

    Many people experience frequent excessive delays in life or the inability to make a decision, as well as to complete or begin projects. There can be many different psychological reasons for these delays and inabilities but procrastination is high on the list. The following can be considered examples of procrastination: a person prolongs making a decision by considering the many different possibilities, by simply ignoring the decision or by failing to follow schedules. Procrastination can be...

  • Rituals and Psychology

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Jun 22, 2017

    Rituals surround us every day in small and big ways. In a previous article, I described that our morning and evening routines are rituals. Of course, we never think of our routines as rituals because these ritual behaviors can be so common and familiar. For example, we might exercise at 8 a.m. every day, eat breakfast after exercising, shower after breakfast, feed the dog and go to work. Such behaviors are scheduled in our minds as patterns for our daily routines but patterned behaviors are...

  • Aliens Have Arrived! Or Have They?

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|May 25, 2017

    What is paranoia and how can we recognize it? Let's begin with the emotional side of paranoia. In the last article, the emotion of fear was central to the topic of superstition. Again, fear is central to the topic of this article – paranoia. Paranoia brings to mind many different descriptions. For example, you might enter an empty house at night and feel fear, which can then shift to a fantasy or belief that someone is hiding behind the chair or in the closet. Or, in an extreme example, you m...

  • Superstition and Psychology

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Apr 27, 2017

    We might ask if superstition is actually related to psychology. The answer to this question simply requires an understanding that everything a person does, thinks and feels is related to psychology. Psychology is the foundation of human nature and experiences. So, superstition and psychology certainly are related. Superstitions can be simple or complex. For example, one person might place a horseshoe above a doorway to summon good luck to enter. Another person might avoid stepping on cracks. An athlete might wear the same hat, or shirt,...

  • Habit, Ritual or Disorder

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Mar 30, 2017

    Have you ever found yourself performing a particular behavior and immediately repeating it, or thinking about something that was followed by a specific behavior, and repeating the combination at different times during the day or week? Or maybe there is a special routine that you perform to help you overcome anxiety or difficulties. Most people experience one, or more, of these behaviors in their daily lives. For example, you're leaving the house to meet a friend but the woodstove is full of...

  • What is Maturity?

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Mar 2, 2017

    There are several common answers to this question. For example, an older person is mature. Or, a person who is wise is mature. Another common belief is that a moral person is mature. Although there is some value to these answers, none of the answers are accurate enough. Don't we often see or hear people who are older making immature statements and behaving childishly? And, isn't the news full of moral people doing immoral acts? So, the question remains: What is maturity? There isn't a maturity...

  • Behavior or Psychology

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Feb 2, 2017

    Many people see behavior, or the way we function in life, as an answer to all our problems. In other words, if we change our behaviors, we can change our concerns or problems. Of course, there is some truth to this statement but behavior is only the tip of the iceberg. Even though we walk, talk, join groups, argue, play sports and perform many other behaviors, people often don't consider that these behaviors are associated with other parts of human nature. Another part of human nature is our...

  • Social Self and Individual Self

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Jan 5, 2017

    As a follow-up to the previous article describing groups and collectives, I want to describe the differences between social Self and individual Self. A social Self is directly related to groups and collectives. This means that a person's social identity, or Self, is based on group membership. Since groups or collectives have specific values, beliefs, mannerisms, dress styles, languages and more, a member typically adopts most, if not all, of the group's characteristics as her/his social Self....

  • Groups and Collectives

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Dec 8, 2016

    Groups are collectives. Groups are made up of people, which is true for collectives. As it turns out, we all are members of groups and collectives. If we take a moment, it isn't difficult to list several collectives in our lives. There are families, communities, sports teams, political and religious affiliations and on and on. The question is this: Is there a psychology associated with groups and collectives? Naturally there is. Anytime people are involved in anything, there is psychology involv...

  • Self Changes

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Nov 10, 2016

    Staying with the theme of changes, I want to introduce some changes that are influenced by the inner Self. Recall, that in previous articles the Self was described as the center of the unconscious (hidden psychology). The Self is the psychological element that influences all parts of a person’s psychology and that assists a person find authentic meaning and direction in life. Changes that originate from the Self can be accepted or rejected. If the changes are rejected, a person’s personal development is blocked. The meaning of a person’s life...

  • Personality Changes

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Oct 13, 2016

    Personality is often considered a fixed characteristic or function within a person's psychology, however, this is far from the case. Personalities can change as much as any other psychological function. In a previous article, I described the four basic types associated with personalities – thinking, sensation, feeling and intuition. Thinking is concerned with details. Sensation stays focused in the moment, helping us know that something simply exists. Feeling evaluates people and situations, a...

  • Changes and Psychological Complexes

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Sep 15, 2016

    In the previous article, a willingness and a resistance to change were introduced in a general way. In this article, I want to be more specific. So, let's look at changes with respect to complexes. Remember that complexes are part of our personal unconscious (hidden) psychologies and are triggered/activated by situations, people or comments in our daily lives. When triggered, the complex overrides our personalities and we express ourselves through the complex until the activated complex moves...

  • Changes

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Aug 18, 2016

    All things change, so we are told. In other words, nature and human nature eventually change. We only need to look at photos of ourselves from years ago, compared to the present, to see evidence of our physical changes. If we look at our car, comparing the original performance and appearance to the present condition, the changes are obvious. So we must ask: Can we see changes in a person's psychology? Most people don't want to change or want any changes in their lives. Other people invite...

  • Our Ever-Present Psychological Influences

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Jul 21, 2016

    At this point, it might be obvious that our psychologies are constantly involved in our lives. Every thought, emotion, creative expression, conversation, argument, relationship, loving gesture, physical action, value, belief and so on, follows from psychological influences. But why is this important? It’s important for an endless number of reasons. For example, many people are not aware, or aware enough, of these influences. If more people recognized their psychological influences, then more people would consider their expressions, gestures, re...

  • Rational and Irrational

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Jun 23, 2016

    The last article considered the relationship between psychosis, hallucinations and dreams. The commonality was the unconscious (hidden) psychology of each person. Dream symbols are related to psychotic symbols and the symbols associated with hallucinations because all symbols are expressions of the unconscious. Clearly, the symbols in dreams, psychosis and hallucinations are not logical, in other words rational. If not rational, then the symbols must be illogical or irrational. Since we dream...

  • Psychosis, Hallucinations and Dreams

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|May 26, 2016

    When people think about psychosis and hallucinations, they usually think about severe mental illness, loss of reality and drugs. We never think in terms of dreams. So, is there really a relationship between psychosis, hallucinations and dreams? First, let me briefly describe psychosis and hallucinations. When someone sees or hears something that isn't really there, it can be considered a hallucination. Psychosis occurs when a person sees and hears hallucinations all the time, or for a period of...

  • Spirituality by Any Other Name

    Ken Silvestro PhD.|Apr 28, 2016

    In the previous article, I introduced the idea of strange coincidences known in psychology as synchronicity. In order for the experience to be considered synchronicity, the strange coincidence has to be meaningful to the person. Synchronicity was described as an expression of a personal myth or a collective myth, helping us to see and understand the active myths in our lives. Recall that our unconscious (hidden) psychology is responsible for creating the myths. Actually, it is the center of the...

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