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Publications (2022-2024)

Complete List of Publications

The Art of Improvising

Personal Perspective: A life skill that expands our capabilities.


May 28, 2024

How can improvising, an action that isn't planned and emerges from a hidden place in our psyche, be a skill that explores new possibilities? Mary Catherine Bateson described it as a ". . . high order of skill,” one that should be practiced by the hour.”


Building Stronger Bonds: How Intimacy Heals & Improves Relationships

Let’s explore together how deepening intimacy can mend and revitalize your love.


May 14, 2024

Every moment and each conversation is an opportunity to make a profound difference in your life and simultaneously in your relationships. Intimacy offers harmony and a way to reconcile relationships, especially given the existing anger and polarization in our society and world.


The Ecology of Anger

Personal Perspective: The most misinterpreted emotion?


March 20, 2024

Anger happens. In my mind, it is neither bad nor good, and it does not have to be one or the other. It is just a human emotion looking for an understandable context. It is confusing as Carol Tavris described in her classic book, Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion. Why is this so?


Hope as an Antidote to Fear

Personal Perspective: A source for creative possibilities.


February 27, 2024

To be human is to be vulnerable and strive to survive. We are designed to deal with inevitable threats by activating our autonomic sympathetic nervous system into a fight-or-flight response. Maria Popova; in her brilliant weekly online blog, The Marginalian (March 22, 2020), weaves together her insights and those of others about how hope is an antidote to helplessness and disorientation.


What It Takes to Sustain Significant Relationships

Personal Perspective: The art of mutuality.


January 5, 2024

I have been involved with couples/families as a systemic psychotherapist for the past forty years. They usually come to make a difference in their significant relationships, although they seldom initially understand how it is to be “within” those relationships. Having been trained in cultural anthropology to look at how change comes about, I have “learned to learn” to help them recognize the tipping point or readiness to make that difference.


A Book Review of Nora Bateson’s “Combining”

How possibilities bring things together.


November 22, 2023

In the mid-seventies, I applied to the interdisciplinary department of Family and Community Studies doctoral program at Columbia University, intentionally submitting a poem in lieu of the formal application at the suggestion of the beat poet Allen Ginsberg. My soon-to-be mentor Paul Byers, (who had a working relationship with Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson) convinced admissions not to pass on me while my application was “not familiar" he urged them to accept me on probation.


How to Create New Relationship Possibilities

Personal Perspective: An ecological framework for mutual learning.


November 11, 2023

A recent press release from the U.S. Census Bureau (September 17, 2023) stated that 46.4 percent of U.S. adults are single and a 2021 Pew Research Center report that there is a decrease in those looking for meaningful relationships. The resulting media takeaway from these reports is that Americans are moving towards being more independent and less interested in relationships.


The "Win-Win Volley" in Relationships

Personal Perspective: An exercise to improve communication and connection.


September 11, 2023

I have found from working for the past forty years as a family therapist a simple but profound prerequisite to having a rewarding relational experience, one that is beyond what we are accustomed to and seldom recognize in our everyday interactions.


The Process of Change

Personal Perspective: Creating meaningful differences in your life.


July 07, 2023

We all think about making changes, whether it be dieting, new year’s resolutions, relationships or a myriad of desires to alter life's challenges. This brings up the proverbial question; how did the consequences of your efforts relate to what you wanted to change?


The Power of Storytelling

Personal Perspective: The key to improving relationships and resolving conflict.


June 06, 2023

Pushing back when one is pushed is a cultural habit that stops us from recognizing different ways to minimize conflict. Gregory Bateson described this process as "schismogenesis” which means creating a division. It can take a “complementary” form or behavioral one e.g., the arms race resulting in escalating outcomes as each side attempts to improve their advantage. 


How to Sustain Happiness

A Personal Perspective: The answer lies in human relationships


May 07, 2023

We all agree that there are mental and physical benefits from attaining happiness. Don’t get me wrong, being happy, awestruck, optimistic and positive has real value. Yet, it is important to start by recognizing that the word e.g., "happiness" is not the "thing," like the map is not the territory. If this is not understood, it can lead to frustration or happiness interruptus.


The Value Of Poetic Expression

Personal Perspective: A path to understand, celebrate,
and heal.


April 10, 2023

In honor of April's designation as Poetry Month, I would like to share what I have experienced using poetry for my own solace and with others in my practice of psychotherapy. Poetry is an aesthetic segue to sharing personal narratives beyond certain cultural constraints. There is always a tension between our natural abilities of intuitive thinking and how we are forced in many instances to deny that capability.


Steps to an Ecology of Self and Relational Fulfillment

How to make a difference in your life using a wider lens.


December 27, 2022

I would like to share a process from my forty years of practicing systemic therapy that has enabled me to help those who want to create “differences that make a difference,” as the late anthropologist Gregory Bateson would say. It is not a model or map, which lacks context, but a guide to better experiencing traveling your unique journey.


In Pursuit of a "Harmonizing" Relationship

A Personal Perspective.


November 1, 2022

Life is full of paradoxes, the source of humor, enlightenment, and, unfortunately, unenviable double binds. As an example, Partner A asks Partner B, "Do you love me,?" Partner B responds, "Yes," Partner A says, "Why do I have to ask you?"


The Purpose of Conflict

Conflict can serve as the grist for emerging interpersonal creativity.


September 12, 2022

A commonly held belief about being mindful in our relationships, attributed to Zen philosophy, is to have a "beginner's mind," especially when dealing with conflicts. This is no easy task, given that we are dealing with a multitude of increasingly adversarial standoffs threatening us and our world. Most individuals try to avoid conflict, or at the least view it negatively.


The Value of “Warm Data”

How to curtail the fear and anxiety that engulfs us.


July 22, 2022

My poem at the beginning of this article was motivated by the inspiring Unpsychology magazine’s summer 268-page issue about warm data. I highly recommend it (free download: Included in this issue is an article of mine that is a response to the shared concerns of many families I am counseling, as well as my own social networks.* It addresses the many hurdles facing us regarding the intense polarization in our society, for which there seems to be little solution.


Warm Data:

resolving injurious adaptations and encouraging awareness of our interdependencies

UNPSYCHOLOGY, Issue 8: An Anthology of Warm Data

Summer 2022

"IF YOU CAN RELATE TO OUR WORLD being an ecological process, one

where we and all non-human entities are interdependent, then it makes sense

to view the totality of nature as more than the sum of its parts — all have a

role in supporting our planet. Yet at Public School in Paterson, NJ, I was

taught that the whole was merely equal to the sum of its parts."

Anyone who wishes to download (for free) the whole 268 page issue, please use the link below.


The Importance of the Aesthetic in Creativity

The aesthetic is the segue to being creative and well-being.


May 28, 2022

In the mid-1970s, when I was a doctoral student in Columbia University's graduate program of Family and Community Studies (Anthropology and Psychology), my original research proposal was on how mindfulness and creativity can enhance relationships.


Our Relationships as the Source of Improvisational Possibilities

That which is between us in an interdependent relationship.


Mar 31, 2022

After 50 years of facilitating communication as an educator, therapist, and community organizer, I have witnessed many contexts where people merely maintain and/or sabotage relationships. Being a systems thinker interested in helping make a difference, I look for the relationships between those in any social system that may be experiencing discord.


What Your Legacy Can Tell You

Implications for personal and community evolution.


Feb 6, 2022

I am currently seeing an increasing interest with friends and those I work with to revisit family narratives. In my practice for the past forty years (which I recently figured out consists of over 50,000 sessions with several thousand individuals), I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to be part of facilitating many profound family narratives.


Train Romance

by Dr. Ken Silvestri, Cat Weaver and Natasha Rabin

Publisher: BookBaby (paperback)

Jan 26, 2022

In this collection of poems and images, Cat Weaver, Ken Silvestri, and Natasha Rabin explore the enchantment trains can bring. Trains share in the big and small events of people's lives, and remembered moments in them are depicted here as haunting, bittersweet, quietly nostalgic, and gently comic.

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