November 28, 2017
I. From My Desk
Here are some thinkers whose work I recently have been exploring:
This compelling anthropologist and researcher provides an intriguing review of the dynamics and dilemmas of modern love, addressing the "brain systems" of romantic love and attraction and the implications of the competing drives to commit and to remain autonomous.
A psychologist presents the three main relationship skills identified by scientific research that promote healthy relationships. 
An Australian psychologists cogently describes the origins of narcissism in the parent-child relationship during early development. 
The renowned psychologist, researcher, and author of "In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development" (1982) re-visits her pioneering ideas on relational experience, voice, and moral agency in the context of contemporary cultural factors and dynamics.
II. Announcing a Parenting Workshop on 12/7/17: The Four Modes
of Relational Engagement in the Parent-Teen Relationship

As the child moves through development into adolescence and young adulthood, the bond with his/her parents gradually and inevitably alters.  In order to promote the child's emerging autonomy, the emerging separation/individuation process requires of parents significant shifts in how they interact with their child.  These shifts are difficult for most parents, often because the shifts require a different set of attitudes and competencies than those required during the child's early development. This parenting workshop will offer parents a psychoeducational experience that introduces the modes of relational engagement necessary to promote the child's growth through adolescence and into young adulthood.
When:  Thursday, December 7, 2017: 9:45 to 11:45 AM
Where:  5020 Campus Drive | Newport Beach, CA, 92660
Fee:  $50.00
Host:  James Tobin, Ph.D. 
To register for this workshop, please RSVP to Dr. Tobin at 949-338-4388 or at as this meeting is limited to 7 persons. Based on the degree of interest expressed, this workshop may be offered again at a future date and/or organized into a sequence of meetings that develops and expands upon the themes presented.  Please note that this workshop is intended to be psychoeducational in nature, and as such does not constitute counseling or psychotherapy.
III. Group Meeting Schedule on Saturday, December 2, 2017
  • The Men's Group: 10:15 to 11:30 AM
  • The Relationship Group: 11:45 AM to 1:00 PM
  • The Dynamic Psychotherapy Process Group:  1:15 to 2:30 PM 
The Men's Group: The Dynamics of "Parasitic Love"
This talks presents a view of intimate romantic relationships that revolves around previously unresolved relational traumas. This perspective argues that all intimate relationships are constituted by a sender who transmits unconscious representations of his/her own traumas (metaphorically called "parasites") to a recipient.  Once housed in this new host, the parasitic material compels the host to conform to its directives by re-traumatizing the sender.  An understanding of this universal dynamic offers a paradigm for managing the phenomenon of repetition/self-fulfilling prophecy responsible for most forms of relational distress and conflict.
In the next meeting of the Men's Group on Saturday, December 2, 2017 (10:15 to 11:30 AM), we will explore the dynamics of parasitic love and consider the strategies necessary to avoid it.
The Relationship Group: "Portals" and Unconscious Compliance in Romantic Love
Romantic love is predicated not on conscious intentionality, but on unconscious factors and dynamics.  At the level of the unconscious, one seeks a partner who will conform to a script that is already firmly organized in one's mind.  Unfortunately, these scripts are usually based on unresolved relational injuries from one's past and aim to be repeated again and again.  "Portals" are the gateways through which persons unknowingly transmit these scripts in all social relationships.  If our portals are "open," we are likely to coerce and/or be coerced to fulfill our own or others' scripts without even knowing it! 
In the next meeting of the Relationship Group on Saturday, December 2, 2017 (11:45 AM to 1:00 PM), I will describe the notion of portals, their origins, functions, and role in romantic relationships.  We will also consider how one can move toward closing one's open portals, an important psychological capacity that is related to boundary-setting and narcissism/co-dependence relationship problems. 
The Dynamic Psychotherapy Process Group
Our next group session will be on Saturday, December 2, 2017 (1:15 to 2:30 PM) at The Water Garden Business Center, 23421 South Pointe Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA, 92653.  Please note that the December 16th group session will be cancelled so the session on December 2nd will be the final session of the year. 
Group members are now being considered for a second psychotherapy process group that will begin at some point in the next several months.  If you are interested in exploring the possibility of joining this newly-forming psychotherapy process group, please contact me directly to schedule a consultation interview.  
**To register for the December 2nd meetings of the Men's Group (10:15 to 11:30 AM) and/or the Relationship Group (11:45 AM to 1:00 PM):  If you would like to attend one or both of these groups on December 2, 2017, please RSVP ASAP to Dr. Tobin at 949-338-4388 or There is a limit of 14 attendees for each group and registrants will be accommodated on a first-come/first-serve basis.  The fee is $25.00 and the location is The Water Garden Business Center, 23421 South Pointe Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA, 92653.  Please note that these psychoeducational groups are educational in purpose, not therapeutic, and do not constitute psychotherapy or counseling.**

James Tobin, Ph.D., PSY 22074 | 949-338-4388 |