The Enormous Power of the Unconscious Brain

“The more we probe the brain’s workings, the more we realise that our conscious minds are really just a summary of what our brains get up to all the time – without “us” having any idea. As Eagleman puts it, “The conscious you, which is the part that flickers to life when you wake up in the morning, is the smallest bit of what’s happening in your head….It’s like a broom closet in the mansion of the brain.”

March 24th, 2016|The Unconscious Mind|

Saving Psychotherapy From the Medication Takeover

“Psychotherapy is as effective as medication for mild to moderate presentations of many different mental disorders. It takes longer to work, but its benefits last longer and there many fewer side effects and complications. Comparisons between different psychotherapies usually end in tie scores — suggesting that the quality of the therapeutic relationship and other common factors may be more important than the specifics of technique.”

March 18th, 2016|Process of Therapy|
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    Mental illness is a result of misery, yet still we stigmatize it

Mental illness is a result of misery, yet still we stigmatize it

“Patients are being shunned in the mistaken belief they have biological defects. In fact the evidence shows that most have endured traumas.”

March 1st, 2016|Depression|

Therapy Wars: The Revenge of Freud

Cheap and effective, CBT became the dominant form of therapy, consigning Freud to psychology’s dingy basement. But new studies have cast doubt on its supremacy – and shown dramatic results for psychoanalysis. Is it time to get back on the couch? An interesting read by Oliver Burkeman from The Guardian.

Loneliness May Warp Our Genes, And Our Immune Systems

The cost of loneliness may be much greater than emotional discomfort. In this article from NPR, Angus Chen discusses the potentially lethal effects loneliness can have on our immune systems. In this way, understanding – and tending to – our loneliness becomes a crucial step in maintaining our good health.

January 7th, 2016|Emotional Health|

Emotional Intelligence – why is it important?

“Emotional intelligence is still not completely understood, but what we do know is that emotions play a very critical role in the overall quality of our personal and professional lives, more critical even than our actual measure of brain intelligence. While tools and technology can help us to learn and master information, nothing can replace our ability to learn, manage, and master our emotions and the emotions of those around us.

November 14th, 2015|Emotional Health|

Living with OCD: An Existential Therapeutic Perspective

Existential therapist Matthew Bishop, in his blog, quotes philosopher Soren Kierkegaard in reframing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as an adaptive (yet not necessarily pathological) variation on anxiety:  “This is an adventure that every human being must go through – to learn to be anxious in order that he may not perish either by never having been in anxiety or by succumbing in anxiety. Whoever has learned to be anxious in the right way has learned the ultimate.”

October 6th, 2015|Anxiety, OCD|

Starting Therapy

One of our therapists, Alison Crosthwait, has written about the process of beginning therapy in her blog The Good Therapists. Here are some simple yet important aspects for anyone starting this process to consider.

September 9th, 2015|Process of Therapy|

Therapist to Patient: “What I hear is….”

“Different physicians have different expertise, and they apply this expertise differently,” he said. “The therapist-patient fit is important, and recognizing empathetic opportunities and responding appropriately is an important part of this.”

Narayanan compares therapist evaluations to drug trials: We test the efficacy of drugs to understand what works, when and for whom. So it makes sense to objectively evaluate the efficacy of therapists. Such evaluations can improve psychotherapy, as well as the therapist-patient fit.

“If you want truly personalized health care, it’s not just in pharmaceutical care but also in psychological care,” Narayanan said.

August 28th, 2015|Psychoanalysis|

What is Addiction?

Why the Addiction?
Gabor Mate suggests – don’t ask why the addiction, ask – why the pain?

“Addicted people need a compassionate present which will permit them to experience their pain without having to run away from it.”

August 14th, 2015|Addiction|