Photo Essay

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Good Mother – Bad Mother

Description: This photograph captures the split between Good Mother and Bad Mother, or in the language of SAO/TEND (Traumatic Experiences of Normal Development) GEM (Good Enough Mother) and PO (Predator Other).  Notably, as is the case in such splits, each image is a representation of the Infant’s different experiences with the same person, and both images derive from the same image capture, i.e., the image on the right comes from the image on the left.

Grauman’s-Mann’s-TCL Chinese Theater Late Saturday Afternoon, Sans People – Coronavirus Edition

Description: Captured in camera.  No Photoshop compositing. This landmark and historic site is typically without barricades and jammed with people: colorful street performers such as The Joker, Batman, Superman, Spiderman, and Michael Jackson, as well as tourists and locals out for a day’s entertainment. But this is the time of the coronavirus pandemic.  The streets are mostly empty, and this is rush hour!


Description: Captured in camera.  No Photoshop compositing.  This photograph captures the invisibility of the have-nots in the land of the haves.

Caution: Reality Ahead

Description: Captured in camera.  No Photoshop compositing. This photograph captures the challenges (the hopes and fears) facing anyone who enters therapy.  The “good news” is the abandoning of outdated scripts, irrational thinking, and dysfunctional behaviors, and the “bad news” is only bad because of the growth pains involved in the process of change.

Love and Social Isolation – Coronavirus Edition

Description: Captured in camera.  No Photoshop compositing. The mural reads “Love: Together we Foster,” or “Together We Foster Love.”  Yet the parking lot is almost empty.  The virus has significantly impacted the love that yields fostering and the togetherness that fosters love, and we miss both.  We feel the emptiness that results and that this image portrays.

Self Portrait 7

Description: This photograph captures the experience of a person in turmoil, hiding from himself and the world.  At some point in our lives, we have all felt like this for one reason or another.  It is this commonality of experience that can enable therapists to relate to our patients and the traumatic experiences of their lives.

Rose in Rage

Description: This photo is an expressionistic portrayal of the emotional intensity of a person in rage, as well as possibly the experience of a person who is subjected to that rage.

Social Isolation #1 – Coronavirus Edition

Description: Captured in camera.  No Photoshop compositing. Found at the beginning of our social isolation and sheltering at home in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Carl H. Shubs

Carl H. Shubs, Ph.D. is a psychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills, California, integrating psychoanalytic and somatic psychotherapy. For over 30 years, he has helped people who are victims of violent crimes and other traumatic experiences. In doing so, he also developed specialties in anxiety, depression, addictions (substances and behaviors), LGBT issues, and infidelities.  In addition, he is a contemporary fine art photographer, whose work captures the moments that surround us and that we often overlook in the mundane of everyday living.  His photographs have been exhibited both nationally and internationally.