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Ruth Bettelheim, Ph.D.
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Dr. Bettelheim has practiced as a psychotherapist for over 20 years and executive/life coach for 10. In addition to her successful private practice, she has held numerous consulting and academic positions.

She is a writer and lecturer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, Family Mediation Quarterly, and Greater Good. She contributes regularly to The Huffington Post.

Her personal interests are varied. Among them are art, architecture, media, music, theater, understanding cultures around the world, neuroscience, social policy and social sciences.

She has undergraduate and advanced degrees from the University of Chicago and UCLA in psychology, educational psychology, comparative education and social work and received further training from leading psychoanalysts and psychiatrists including her father, Bruno Bettelheim and "Analysts to the stars" Gerald Aronson and Milton Wexler.

Coaching services are provided in Los Angeles, New York, Honolulu and The Virgin Islands.

Entries by Ruth Bettelheim, Ph.D.

Exhaustion Kills: Why We Need a Federal Sleep Protection Agency

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2016 | 9:25 AM

When we think of the essentials for human life, we think of food, water, air - but often forget something equally necessary: sleep. Just as we cannot thrive on inadequate nutrition, sleeplessness causes both immediate discomfort and long-term harm. Prolonged sleep deprivation is as deadly as dehydration or starvation. But...

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When Love Doesn't Count

(12) Comments | Posted February 14, 2016 | 7:17 AM

Once upon a time -- in 1950, to be exact -- 80 percent of American adults were married. Today we still long for Valentine's kisses, fall in love, and begin families, but most of us aren't married. Many romantic partners and parents believe that by remaining unmarried, they...

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This Is Your Brain on Loneliness

(25) Comments | Posted January 13, 2016 | 1:15 PM

As we settle back into our routines after holiday celebrations, family visits, and New Year's kisses, many of us may feel a bit let down or isolated. For some this is a passing melancholy, but for others it's more serious. Everyone experiences loneliness sometimes, but most people don't know that...

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Emotions Aren't "Just in Your Head"

(8) Comments | Posted August 11, 2015 | 8:55 AM

The Pixar movie Inside Out tells the story of an eleven-year-old girl named Riley whose emotions (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear) are brought to life as characters who watch the events of her life and prompt her reactions from their headquarters in her mind. But this top-down vision of...

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The Love Drug

(15) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 7:06 AM

As Valentine's Day approaches, our thoughts turn to romance. Unfortunately, many of our cultural myths about love, from fairy tales to rom coms, paint a very distorted picture. In stories, love is a static reward -- you go out and find your prince or princess, overcome whatever obstacles the world...

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The Joy of Endings

(9) Comments | Posted December 31, 2014 | 9:48 AM

As the end of the year approaches, we reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the one ahead, celebrating the transition between old and new. Unfortunately, our typical attitude toward endings -- whether of relationships or careers -- is much less sanguine. We all want the movie-style "happy...

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Law Enforcement and Deadly Decisions: What the Science Tells Us

(22) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 6:55 AM

When unarmed people like Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Reeva Steenkamp are killed, we demand to know what impelled their killers to act. Were the armed men who killed them truly in fear for their lives, and if so why? Were these killings outright murders or reasonable self-defense? Our laws...

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A Commonsense Solution to School Inequality

(222) Comments | Posted May 26, 2014 | 9:18 AM

Neighborhood public schools are outdated. They were designed to keep children close to parents, especially when many had mothers at home. But today, almost two-thirds of American kids don't have a stay-at-home parent -- most moms and dads work farfrom their children's schools, creating long commutes, missed days...

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Doing Prekindergarten Right

(13) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 9:33 PM

American leaders are beginning to address the deficits in our country's early education system. However, President Obama's call for a major expansion of public prekindergarten education, and even the commitment to providing universal preschool education recently made by both New York's governor and New York City's mayor, do not go...

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Mental Disabilities in the Digital Age: Independence and Autonomy for All

(54) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 8:43 AM

In a nation that values liberty and the pursuit of happiness, there are few greater tragedies than the routine incarceration of millions of individuals who suffer from mental disabilities, developmental impairments, or the debilitating dementia that affects up to 25% of our elderly population. However, recent technological advances offer the...

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Beating the Valentine's Day Blues: Redefining Intimate Relationship Success

(55) Comments | Posted February 13, 2013 | 10:20 AM

Valentine's Day inundates us with images of warmth, romance, and closeness, and although we enjoy the spirit of the day, it also exacerbates loneliness, as our own lives -- whether single or coupled -- seldom seem as rich or passionate as the ones on TV. Surrounded by social expectations and...

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Why Heroes Kill Themselves

(124) Comments | Posted November 10, 2012 | 10:34 AM

Imagine that you're hung over and haven't slept in two nights. You can't think clearly, can't focus or concentrate. You forget things -- even important things -- and spend your energy just trying to stay awake and drag yourself through the day. When you finally get to sleep, you drift...

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Child Custody: In Whose Best Interests?

(96) Comments | Posted July 23, 2012 | 11:35 AM

In divorced families, whose needs count for more: those of parents or those of children?

When parents divorce, their child custody plans are supposed to place the "best interests of the child" first. We know children's needs change as they grow. Unfortunately, the way we develop and maintain custody schedules...

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The War on Sex: The Contraception Controversy's Hidden Agenda

(1023) Comments | Posted March 6, 2012 | 2:59 PM

The many condemnations of Rush Limbaugh's remarks about law student Sandra Fluke are appropriate, but they have thus far ignored the important subtext of his comments -- specifically, a contradiction so powerful that it is changing laws across the country to the detriment of both men and women.

Some of...

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Key Security Threats Ignored 10 Years After 9/11

(12) Comments | Posted September 10, 2011 | 11:59 PM

Failure to understand or act on intelligence goes a long way toward explaining the attacks of September 11, 2001. On this 10th anniversary of those events, we seem, once again, not to grasp the import of the information being provided by our intelligence services. Lee Hamilton, former co-chairman of 9/11...

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Gabrielle Giffords and You: The Truth About Brain Injuries

(98) Comments | Posted June 15, 2011 | 5:56 PM

Pretend for a moment that you are Gabrielle Giffords, about whom we are at last being told the truth. After 6 months of inpatient treatment, the best that money can buy, you can't speak fluently and must rely upon facial expressions and hand gestures to make up for words that...

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When Disaster Response Is Its Own Disaster (and How We Can Easily Fix It)

(26) Comments | Posted May 25, 2011 | 5:50 PM

The Mississippi is flooding.

Sunday a tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, destroying whole neighborhoods. Last month tornadoes left tens of thousands homeless, and in March we were riveted by images with hundreds of thousands displaced by the earthquake and then tsunami in Japan.

History -- and the scenes flooding our...

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An Obvious, But Ignored Strategy to Defeat the Taliban

(95) Comments | Posted May 18, 2011 | 12:07 PM

Osama bin Laden is dead but the Taliban is not. Despite nearly a decade of war in Afghanistan, the Taliban has still not been defeated completely. We cannot afford further losses of human life and treasure, but neither can we afford to withdraw unless America's basic security requirements are met....

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Dementia: A Silent Crisis That May Bankrupt America

(219) Comments | Posted March 24, 2011 | 4:14 PM

We all hope never to endure having our minds slowly diminished and devoured by dementia, but the odds of that are worse than you might know. In fact, there's about a 40% chance that your brain will self-destruct while you're in your 80s. Your chances of developing dementia...

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Time for Schools to Stop Damaging Children

(301) Comments | Posted November 15, 2010 | 4:39 PM

Our schools are turning millions of normal children into dropouts and failures. This isn't because of a few bad teachers or principals, but because the natural learning behaviors of children are routinely penalized instead of praised. Initiatives like "No Child Left Behind" and "The Race To The Top" won't change...

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