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Preview: psychobabble

psychology notes.



This site was originally created in 2009 as a virtual repository for all of the various psychology and therapy-related things (quotes, articles, videos, music, pictures) I came across both online and in my work as a psychotherapist. It has morphed into so



 



"The greatest and most important problems in life can never be solved, only outgrown."

Fri, 19 May 2017 16:38:16 -0700

“The greatest and most important problems in life can never be solved, only outgrown.”

- C.G. Jung



"One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful."

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 11:21:16 -0800

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”

- Sigmund Freud (via wellspringcounseling)



Creative Achievement Can Buffer Death Anxiety

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 11:17:16 -0800

Creative Achievement Can Buffer Death Anxiety:

“According to newly published research, recognition for one’s creative work can ease the angst triggered by reminders of our mortality.

“Creative achievement serves as an existential anxiety buffer, particularly among people for whom creativity constitutes a central part of their cultural worldview,” write University of Kent psychologists Rotem Perach and Arnaud Wisman. They report in the Journal of Creative Behavior that recognition for innovative accomplishments can serve as a form of “symbolic immortality.”




"How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world."

Fri, 16 Dec 2016 11:14:01 -0800

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

- William Shakespeare



"The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases."

Mon, 08 Aug 2016 23:25:15 -0700

“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.”

- Carl Jung



"Maturity begins with the capacity to sense and, in good time and without defensiveness, admit to our..."

Wed, 27 Jul 2016 14:00:04 -0700

“Maturity begins with the capacity to sense and, in good time and without defensiveness, admit to our own craziness. If we are not regularly deeply embarrassed by who we are, the journey to self-knowledge hasn’t begun.”

- Alain de Botton






Are You in Despair? That’s Good

Wed, 15 Jun 2016 12:39:04 -0700

Are You in Despair? That’s Good:

“When the world gets you down, do you feel just generally “bad”? Or do you have more precise emotional experiences, such as grief or despair or gloom?In psychology, people with finely tuned feelings are said to exhibit “emotional granularity.” When reading about the abuses of the Islamic State, for example, you might experience creeping horror or fury, rather than general awfulness. When learning about climate change, you could feel alarm tinged with sorrow and regret for species facing extinction. Confronted with this year’s presidential campaign, you might feel astonished, exasperated or even embarrassed on behalf of the candidates — an emotion known in Mexico as “pena ajena.”

Emotional granularity isn’t just about having a rich vocabulary; it’s about experiencing the world, and yourself, more precisely. This can make a difference in your life. In fact, there is growing scientific evidence that precisely tailored emotional experiences are good for you, even if those experiences are negative.

According to a collection of studies, finely grained, unpleasant feelings allow people to be more agile at regulating their emotions, less likely to drink excessively when stressed and less likely to retaliate aggressively against someone who has hurt them.

Perhaps surprisingly, the benefits of high emotional granularity are not only psychological. People who achieve it are also likely to have longer, healthier lives. They go to the doctor and use medication less frequently, and spend fewer days hospitalized for illness. Cancer patients, for example, have lower levels of harmful inflammation when they more frequently categorize, label and understand their emotions.

My lab discovered emotional granularity in the 1990s. We asked hundreds of volunteers to keep track of their emotional experiences for weeks or months. Everyone we tested used the same stock of emotion words, such as “sad” and “angry” and “afraid,” to describe their experiences. However, we found that some people used these words to refer to distinct experiences — each word represented a different emotion concept — while other people lumped these words together as a single concept meaning, roughly, “I feel miserable.”

It was natural to think that people with higher emotional granularity were just better at recognizing emotional states in themselves, but our lab found that this was not what was happening. Your brain, it turns out, in a very real sense constructs your emotional states — in the blink of an eye, outside of your awareness — and people who learn diverse concepts of emotion are better equipped to create more finely tailored emotions. This is why emotional granularity can have such influence on your well-being and health: It gives your brain more precise tools for handling the myriad challenges that life throws at you.




the journey, mary oliver

Wed, 15 Jun 2016 12:24:02 -0700

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.




"We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden."

Wed, 25 May 2016 17:27:40 -0700

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.”

- Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe
(via wellspringcounseling)



"Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings."

Fri, 20 May 2016 11:48:44 -0700

“Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings.”

- Miles Franklin



Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

Wed, 04 May 2016 10:24:21 -0700

Inside the mind of a master procrastinator:

A wonderful talk from the creator of the indispensable website, Wait But Why, on a topic near and dear to my procrastinating heart. 




"Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler..."

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 13:21:11 -0700

“Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning.”

- Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning



5 Sex/Relationship Myths Therapists Should Stop Believing

Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:36:27 -0700

5 Sex/Relationship Myths Therapists Should Stop Believing:

“You may find this hard to believe, but most therapists, psychologists and doctors have received no training in sexuality. A minority of mental health, social work or medical training programs offer graduate-level training in sexuality issues, beyond covering the paraphiliasand sexual disorders included in DSM-5. Some programs address sexual diversity issues, but not all. Few, if any, states require specific training in sexuality issues in order to qualify for licensure. Only a very few states (California and Florida when I last looked) require a license or documented training in order to call oneself a sex therapist.

Why and how this came to be is a long, socially-driven tale, and I’m not sure anyone has ever really documented the story. But, what this lack of training means, is that therapists are subject to the same sexual biases, misconceptions, and myths, which permeate general society. Most therapists learn about sexual issues from the general media – NOT from professional journals or research.  As a result, many therapists hold some dangerous myths and misconceptions, and use these mistaken beliefs in their practice. Here are five of the most common ones, which I’ve encountered as I supervise, correspond with and train therapists around the world…”




The Reason Our Minds Wander

Fri, 15 Apr 2016 09:45:30 -0700

The Reason Our Minds Wander:

“…And this is what we do with our imagination. We use simulated worlds to prepare for the real one. In his book, “Why does tragedy give us pleasure?”, the critic A.D. Nuttall nicely summarized this view:

The human race has found a way, if not to abolish, then to defer and diminish the Darwinian treadmill of death. We send our hypotheses ahead, an expendable army, and watch them fall.

In earlier work, I called this the “safe practice” theory. It captures both the lure of the imagination and its negative tilt—we think about unhappy events because these are the events that we most need to prepare for. While we also have the capacity to conjure up enjoyable fantasies—and often do just that—we possess a grimly adaptive mental system that pushes us to think about worse-case scenarios, to obsess about failure and loss, driving us to ruminate about how we would cope if our futures went to hell. Live. Die. Repeat.”




"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."

Tue, 12 Apr 2016 11:06:28 -0700

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

- George Bernard Shaw



"There isn’t time - so brief is life - for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to..."

Fri, 01 Apr 2016 11:14:32 -0700

“There isn’t time - so brief is life - for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. there is only time for loving - & but an instant, so to speak, for that.”

- Mark Twain, in a letter to Clara Spaulding, 20 August 1886.



Harvard researchers discovered the one thing everyone needs for happier, healthier lives

Wed, 23 Mar 2016 11:03:25 -0700

Harvard researchers discovered the one thing everyone needs for happier, healthier lives:

“Waldinger, an Iowan who went to Harvard for undergrad and never left, has known the answer for years. He’s studied relationships his whole career and brought that perspective with him to the study. His first grant proposal as director was to invite the wives of the men – those still alive then in their 80s – to examine the impact of marriages on physical health.

Those satisfied in their relationships were happier and healthier. It was that simple.

“People who are more isolated than they want to be from others find that they are less happy, their health declines earlier in midlife, their brain functioning declines sooner and they live shorter lives than people who are not lonely,” Waldinger said in his TedTalk. “And good, close relationships seem to buffer us from some of the slings and arrows of getting old.”

Waldinger wants people to realize that the commercial projection of a good life – wealth, fame, career success – won’t bring them health or happiness. It’s the work they put into maintaining connections with other human beings that will.

Quality and intimacy, as well as stability and consistency also matter. Casual relationships, like the ones forged on social media won’t do; neither will contentious ones like an abusive marriage or an unreliable friend. Most of the men in the late 1930s believed career achievement equated a good life. But Waldinger says it’s just as important to work harder on relationships. And for personal happiness, more so.

… What we’d really like is a quick fix, something we can get that’ll make our lives good and keep them that way,” Waldinger said in his TedTalk. “Relationships are messy and they’re complicated and the hard work of tending to family and friends, it’s not sexy or glamorous. It’s also lifelong. It never ends.”




"Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says: 'I need you..."

Wed, 23 Mar 2016 10:50:30 -0700

“Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says: 'I need you because I love you.”

- Erich Fromm