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Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D.
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Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D., is a family therapist with more than twenty years of experience helping children, adolescents and families. She is the originator of “strategic child-focused family therapy,” which empowers parents to help their children heal without labeling them with psychiatric disorders or medicating them with psychotropic drugs. She is the author of "Suffer the Children: the Case Against Labeling" and "Medicating and an Effective Alternative," forthcoming from W. W. Norton.

Dr. Wedge has a doctorate from the University of Chicago and did a post-doctoral fellowship at the Hastings Center for Bioethics in New York. She lives in Oak Park, California with her husband Gene. In her free time, she enjoys ocean swimming, bicycling and sailing. You can follow her blog at Psychology Today.

Entries by Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D.

Earth: Love It or Leave It

(2) Comments | Posted May 30, 2013 | 10:00 AM

Whereas Stephen Hawking famously said that future generations of earthlings will have to find a new planet if humans are to survive, psychologist Mary Pipher proposes a different solution -- let's clean up our mess here at home. In her new book, The Green Boat, Pipher argues that there is...

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Science, Rhetoric and the Creation of Preferred Realities

(25) Comments | Posted April 5, 2013 | 8:45 PM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle called rhetoric the art of persuasion. Greek rhetoricians were public speakers or orators who tried to persuade audiences to accept a certain...

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Why Big Bird is Good for Kids

(2) Comments | Posted October 8, 2012 | 8:17 AM

Feeding my three-year-old picky eater grandson becomes much easier when I let him watch a few scenes from Sesame Street while he eats. But that's not the main reason for my defense of Big Bird and public television versus the commercial networks that Mr. Romney presumably prefers for children--no doubt...

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The Trouble with Oligarchy: Plato's Surprising Perspective

(3) Comments | Posted September 21, 2012 | 12:14 PM

The ancient Athenians were gravely aware that their cherished democratic form of government could all too easily deteriorate into an oligarchy. For this reason, they initiated a process of drawing lots for selecting government officials--even important officials like judges.

In November, Americans will choose their leaders not by drawing...

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Who's Shrinking the Kids?

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2012 | 1:38 PM

The latest fad among elite college-bound students is snorting Adderall, an amphetamine that is routinely prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. According to an article in the New York Times on June 9, 2012, pressure for grades and competition for admission to Ivy League colleges has...

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Mommy, what Does 'Dignity' Mean?

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2012 | 2:16 PM

In the flurry of rhetoric about whether mothers should work or stay at home, one key element is strikingly absent: What about the kids? Is a child better off when his mother is a stay-at-home mom or when she works outside the home? Surely what's best for children should be...

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Why Bébé Doesn't Have ADHD

(23) Comments | Posted March 6, 2012 | 10:28 AM

In the United States, approximately 5 percent of school-aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD and are taking pharmaceutical medications. In France the percentage is a mere 0.05 percent. How come the epidemic of ADHD -- which has established itself firmly in the United States --...

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The Good News About ADHD

(5) Comments | Posted February 9, 2012 | 10:58 AM

The heated debate set off by psychologist Alan Sroufe's New York Times article (with responses in the Huffington Post by Dr. Harold Koplewicz and Jessica Samakow) misses a critical point implicit in Dr. Sroufe's discussion. The fact that the child's social context may...

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The Million Dollar Bagel: Harvard Doctor Fights Back

(7) Comments | Posted January 25, 2012 | 10:33 AM

It is dismaying that a Harvard Medical School physician would argue against a new law calling for more transparency in physicians' financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies. In an article in Sunday's Wall Street Journal called "Who Paid for your Doctor's Bagel," Thomas P. Stossel, M.D. vehemently takes issue...

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Freud's Dangerous Method

(1) Comments | Posted November 22, 2011 | 7:54 AM

With A Dangerous Method, director David Cronenberg sets out to make "an elegant film that trades on emotional horror." We are not disappointed. From the wrenching opening scene in which 18-year-old Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) is dragged screaming into Burgholzi mental hospital, we are both horrified and seduced. We wonder...

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Could Stress Cause an ADHD Diagnosis?

(6) Comments | Posted November 13, 2011 | 10:43 AM

Turning to medication when a child is having trouble at school or feeling sad has become as American as apple pie. Medicating a difficult child became even easier last month, when the American Academy of Pediatrics lowered the age at which...

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Grandma, Did You Occupy Wall Street?

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2011 | 5:30 PM

No, Theo, I didn't occupy Wall Street this time. In my youth we had our own forms of protest against corporate greed and social inequality. Instead of "Occupy," we used the word "sit-in," but the Occupy movement and the sit-ins of my generation are essentially the same kind of phenomenon....

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An Ecology of Mind: A Film by Nora Bateson

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2011 | 12:04 PM

Family systems therapists are a rare breed, as we see the world from a different angle from most people and even from most other therapists. Simply put, our particular slant is that we look at the interconnections and relationships between people instead of seeing them as separate independent individuals. For...

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The Connection Between Big Pharma And Our Kids

(27) Comments | Posted September 25, 2011 | 12:25 PM

Pharmaceutical companies and other corporations are pursuing their own best interests to the detriment of the children to whom their products are aimed. This is the theme of Joel Bakan's new book, "Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children." Bakan is a professor of law at the...

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7 Natural Ways to Help Your Child's ADHD

(18) Comments | Posted September 13, 2011 | 8:19 AM

About three weeks into the school year, I start getting calls from parents who are worried that their child might have attention deficit disorder. Parents also call with other worries -- they fear that their child has school phobia or social anxiety. But with almost 5 million children...

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A Solution to Lessen Childhood Depression in America

(0) Comments | Posted August 3, 2011 | 12:00 PM

The memories of my childhood that I cherish most are of the Huck Finnish days of summer when school was finally out. One time, I made a rough fishing rod out of a bamboo pole and some twine. There was something deeply satisfying about the process of creating the...

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Childhood Bipolar Disorder: A Convenient Illusion

(105) Comments | Posted July 15, 2011 | 8:30 AM

Stuart Kaplan, M.D., a child psychiatrist and clinical professor of psychiatry at Penn State College of Medicine, has written a new book called "Your Child Does Not Have Bipolar Disorder: How Bad Science and Good Public Relations Created the Diagnosis."

Marilyn Wedge: What inspired you...

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How the Weiner, Schwarzenegger and Edwards Scandals Helped Me Help a Client

(1) Comments | Posted June 29, 2011 | 3:29 PM

About a year ago, I received a call from the father of a young boy whom I had treated several years ago. The father reassured me that his son was doing fine, but he wanted to talk with me about a problem of his own. In my office, he told...

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Ending the Era of Mass Psychiatry

(19) Comments | Posted June 17, 2011 | 8:09 AM

The number of Americans who are diagnosed or diagnosable with a serious mental illness has skyrocketed. Social Security claims for disability due to mental illness have also exploded. In 1987, the number was one in 84 Americans, whereas in 2007 it increased to one in 76. In children,...

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Do ADHD Kids Abuse Drugs More Often?

(2) Comments | Posted May 4, 2011 | 8:41 PM

Scientific research studies, with their graphs, tables and numbers, give us a solid kind of feeling. Scientific research somehow feels hard and weighty, while fiction feels soft and fluffy. Lately, however, I've come to think that research studies are not all that different from more explicitly fictional sort of narratives....

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