Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Theodore Dalrymple reviews Therapy Culture
The following book review on a new book called Therapy Culture may be of interest, if only because both the reviewer and the author seem completely out of their collective gourds for believing that the world really is a more worse place because people now are receiving psychotherapy more than ever before. I don't agree with either, but hey, it's for you to judge...
'In a matter of only a few decades, counselling has replaced fortitude as our culturally approved way of confronting misfortune. A large number of my patients ascribe their current unhappiness to the fact that they were not offered counselling at the time of an unpleasant occurrence, such as a surgical operation or the death of a friend or relative. Every form of human suffering, it seems, is susceptible to the magical powers of therapy. It is the superstition of our age.
Frank Furedi, a professor of sociology, examines this curious, and by no means harmless, phenomenon in some detail. Only occasionally does he resort to the barbarous locutions of his academic trade, with words such as "problematise", but for the most part he writes in good plain English.'
Women and men differ on adopting healthy behaviors
When it comes to exercising and quitting smoking, men may be closer than women to adopting these healthy behaviors as permanent habits, according to a new study of 554 low-income minorities.
Men surveyed for the study were more likely than women to say that they were exercising regularly and that they had quit smoking for more than six months, say Erin L. OHea, Ph.D., of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and colleagues. Their findings appear in the American Journal of Health Behavior.
Massachusetts court rules ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional
Not really psychology oriented, but noteworthy nonetheless because of its importance in our country:
Massachusetts' highest court ruled Tuesday that same-sex couples are legally entitled to wed under the state constitution, but stopped short of immediately allowing marriage licenses to be issued to the couples who challenged the law.
The court, in a 4-3 ruling, ordered the Legislature to come up with a solution within 180 days.
Thursday, November 13, 2003
Online Dating at SXSW in March 2004
I'll also be on a very interesting panel talking about online dating at the SXSW Interactive festival in Austin, Texas in mid-March, 2004. Definitely looking forward to that, as I think online dating (and services like Friendster) have a lot to offer people who ordinarly wouldn't consider personal ads.
Psychotherapy Networker 2004 Symposium
I'm pleased to let you know that I'll be speaking at the 27th Annual Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, March 4-7, 2004 in Washington, DC. What about? Online topics, naturally, such as how to handle client email, information downloaded and printed off the Web, and how professionals can best fit the Internet into their practice in general (including handling spam!). Sound like fun? I thought so too. Hope to see you there.
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
UCLA researchers find gingko biloba may help improve memory
Researchers at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute found significant improvement in verbal recall among a group of people with age-associated memory impairment who took the herbal supplement ginkgo biloba for six months when compared with a group that received a placebo.
The UCLA gingko biloba study, released at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held Nov. 8-12, in New Orleans, LA, used positron-emission tomography (PET) and found that for subjects taking gingko biloba, improved recall correlated with better brain function in key brain memory centers.
Unethical research behavior documented in Massachusetts
Dr. Valentina Jalynytchev, working at a Massachusetts state mental health facility, changed patients' medications last year so that they would be eligible for a study of a new psychiatric drug, violating basic guidelines for research on human subjects and causing dangerous side effects in a 43-year-old man with schizophrenia, a state investigation has found. Dr. Douglas Hughes was the medical director of the facility that oversaw the doctor and helped obtain subjects for the study (by Janssen Pharmaceuticals). Read the rest of this disturbing story from yesterday's Boston Globe.
Also from yesterday, the report that detailed the patient's quick decline because of these doctors' poor decisions.
And in the last story, nearly one in six prisoners held in the US may have a mental illness. Sometimes it's a little scary living in our society.