It’s Olympic Cognitive Dissonance Week!
Hail to the glorious Olympic event that kicks off today in London Town. It’s July. It’s reverted back to raining again. Yay us!
The psychology of the British is such that half of us are seething at the cost of the whole thing, at the expense of the tax payer and instead of investment in other things like.. you know.. healthcare and the other half are having a bit of a blitz spirit moment where you pull your socks up, wave a Union Jack flag and say to hell with it! Hurrah for all things Olympic!
Whilst secretly seething at the expense of it.
And then there’s Boris (sadly the elected Mayor of London town) with his silly hair and made-up posh words. Zoink! Somewhere along the line everyone’s forgotten that he’s a Tory with a history of (ahem. allegedly) expressing some *very* unolympic, non-inclusive views on marriage, homosexuality, ethnic diversity and poor people. But still. Cognitive dissonance is our friend.
BPS has released a pdf from The Psychologist magazine about the psychological impact of the Olympics by Christian Jarrett who produces a lot of their good content and wins the award for the prettiest academic in social media based purely on his continuously changing and increasingly handsome Twitter avatar.
Now.. the blogs.
Firstly, I continue to appreciate Stephen Reibord’s series of “Sloppy thinking in Psychiatry” which this week looks at the quick-turnover/not-really-using-it-at-all psychotherapy part of the psychiatrist’s work. The whole shift towards a medical model really makes me worry about our future as a de-humanised culture, treating symptoms not people. Yet another DSM won’t help this along. And don’t get me started on the latest nonsense.
There is definitely a scent of skepticism around and it’s not just mine (for once!) firstly there are reports of people getting diagnosed with mental illnesses due to their socio-economic/domestic situation rather than their actual mental state and then there is some debate afoot about the role (or not) of Oxytocin in attachment/love which is apparently “over-hyped”. And of course no week goes by without CBT being hailed as the miracle cure for something.
Among those blogs who are still talking about counselling and you know – actually helping people rather than labelling them with over-simplified tags and pumping them full of meds, I’ve really enjoyed catching up on Counselling Connection this week which, in between all the promotional stuff (which is only fair enough) there are some real gems of insight around best practice, like this one on treating older LGBT clients or this one on the definition of intimacy.
Jung at Heart blog as usual is coming up trumps for me this week.. I found the post entitled “Sleeping Beauty’s Mother” .. which talks about the mother’s desire (and the impossiblity of same) to protect a child at all times from all things .. particularly resonant.
BPS (again) also had an interesting article on Emotional Intelligence and a piece of research that’s been done with managerial staff to investigate when high levels of EI are and are not of benefit.
And another BPS writer (amongst being other things including a psych hero of mine) Vaughan Bell has a really interesting piece in the Guardian (ignore the naff title) about the resurgence of hypnosis as a clinical treatment. I find this particularly interesting as I’ve been reading a fair bit about the history of psychoanalysis including pre-Freudian thinking which covered quite a bit of this ground.
And talking of reading materials, the other thing I’ve gotten my hands on recently is a book of Fairy Tales by Herman Hesse. You may remember (or not) from a previous post, a discussion about Bruno Bettleheim well that was enough to suck me back into one of my favourite areas of study – the psychology of myths, the role of fairy tales in developmental processes, the nature of them, how they are used to instill moral learning and behaviours in little people.. all that kind of thing. Any books or articles about that are like catnip in my world.
That’s it. I’m off to build a giant house of dominoes out of psychology books so that I can bring it down on my own head and die happy.
Until next week… be therapeutic to each other.