The Saybrook Forum

Posts

University

Social change, from the library to the jail

12/13/2010

Liu_Xiaobo_Photo_on_Grand_Hotel How does a society transform?

Liu Xiaobo had a few ideas.

For the second time in the history of the Nobel Peace Prize, no one was there to receive the award.  The chair of winner Liu Xiaobo sat empty on Friday. Neither Liu nor his wife, Liu Xia, were allowed to travel to Norway to receive the honorary degree.

Liu Xiaobo is currently serving an eleven year jail sentence in a China for “subversion of state power.”

Who is Liu Xiaobo? What have his efforts shown us about what it takes for a society to change?

Continue Reading

University

Why the era of anti-depressants is ending

12/10/2010

800px-Prozac_pills The numbers are startling. More Americans than ever are receiving treatment for depression. The clincher? Psychotherapy is declining and the use of anti-depressant medications is increasing – steadily.

Consumers had better beware.

In 1998, 54% of patients being treated for depression received psychotherapy. Nine years later, in 2007, only 43% of people with depression received psychotherapy.

The problem? Anti-depressant medication alone is not effective at treating most depression in the long-term; and many medications have crippling side effects.

So why is an ineffective treatment more popular than ever?  Because anti-depressant medications are covered by most insurance carriers. Psychotherapy, on the other hand, maybe effective, but getting it paid for is like playing Russian roulette with your insurance carrier.

The result is that more money is being spent to put more people through a less effective treatment to an increasingly common problem.  In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, anti-depressants are the number one most commonly prescribed drugs by physicians in the United States. If only they did what they’re supposed to.

Continue Reading

University

The connection between hope and rehabilitation

12/09/2010

“Hope is important because it can make the present momentPrisoner behind bars less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today." -- Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Having hope can be the one thing that will help prevent a criminal from ending up back in prison.

It seems simple but it is an idea that has yet to catch on in the field of criminology. A research report published in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, “Is Hope Related to Criminal Behaviour in Offenders?” looked at the relationship between an inmate’s level of hope and criminal behavior. They found that inmates who had higher levels of hope were less likely to reoffend.

This research shows that more can be done for former inmates in order to help them succeed.

Continue Reading

University

Kids in violent environments find a path to non-violence more often than we give them credit for

12/08/2010

Actors portraying killers When kids grow up in neighborhoods that terrify adults, they learn to survive fast. 

In one study, 76 percent of youth living in urban areas were exposed to some form of community violence including fighting, the use of weapons, and gun violence that led to murders. 

When violence is a moment-to-moment experience, when it always seems to be happening just around the corner, it’s easy to assume that the kids are part of it, that they’re stuck in it, and that only a few of them will ever escape it. 

It’s easy, but it’s wrong. 

A recent study shows us why. Teens growing up in these neighborhoods have developed their own way of coping to survive -- to survive not just to the end of the day but into a brilliant future.

Continue Reading

University

The Human Rights/Humanistic Psychology connection

12/07/2010

Friday, December 10th is international Human Rights Day. Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, it has been promoting the cause of human rights for 61 years, and it seems there has been just as much progress as there have been struggles and failures. There are still many individuals, organizations, and governments who are hard at work dismantling the social, cultural and political systems that abuse the rights of millions of people all over the world.

The vision and mission that is the foundation of humanistic psychology embraces fulfilling human potential, and in order to do this we must recognize to connection between human potential and human rights. Yes – historically humanistic psychology has been focused in individuals, but the good news is that over time the field has moved from focusing on self actualization and growth to recognizing that the individuals well being is connected to the well being of their community.

Continue Reading

University

Psychiatry and clinical psychology have failed. Here's how we do better.

12/06/2010

DSM 4 This has been a bad week for mental illness.

According to the New York Times, five of the current ten “personality disorders” will not be included in the next publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  The most controversial to be cut is “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” – the “Malady of Me” disease!

So if you’re suffering from those conditions, don’t worry – in 2013 they’ll cease to exist. 

In the meantime millions of people have been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and the other personality disorders that will soon become extinct. They have been medicated, treated in psychiatric hospitals, received psychotherapy and have permanent records stating their psychiatric diagnosis. They have been stigmatized, charged money in the form of co-payments and out of pocket medical expenses, and experienced deep personal pain and shame – only to find that their diagnosis was a “pseudo-diagnosis” and no longer exists.

Truly, this is malpractice and professional negligence.  Even worse:  there is no known cause of any of the ten personality disorders, and never has been.  The gurus at the American Psychiatric Association hypothesize that the personality disorders come from a mix of genetic and environmental factors – but it’s hard not to be be incredulous when five of ten personality disorders are vanishing.

It’s not just personality disorders, either:  another New York Times article last week points out that the cost of residential eating disorder programs can run $30,000 dollars a month – with many patients needing three or more months of treatment. The kicker:  most insurance companies will not cover long term treatment because the inadequate empirical evidence of effective treatment remedies is inadequate. 

We don’t know how to fix an eating disorder, but we’re going to charge you $30,000 a month for trying.  We claim to understand personality disorders, but there could be five, or 10, or none:  the evidence is unclear. 

It’s time to call it like it is:  mainstream psychiatry and clinical psychology are failing. 

Continue Reading

Alumni Messenger

Postdoctoral Research Scholarships Available at International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

12/03/2010
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is an international research organization that conducts policy-oriented research into problems that are too large or too complex to be solved by a single country or academic discipline: * problems like climate change that have a global reach and can be resolved only by international cooperative action, or * problems of common concern...

Continue Reading

Alumni Messenger

Seoul Christian University has Openings for Doctoral Students to Teach Theology, Pastoral Counseling, and More

12/03/2010
Seoul Christian University currently has openings for doctoral students to teach one or two semesters in the following areas: Old Testament New Testament Systematic Theology Christian Education Practical Theology Pastoral Counseling Spirituality This is a tremendous opportunity for doctoral students to experience Korea and earn teaching experience at a prestigious institution with over 60...

Continue Reading

Alumni Messenger

Alumnus Kirk Schneider, PhD '84 Announces New Post on His Psychology Today Blog

12/03/2010
I thought you might want to see the recent posting on my new blog at Psychology Today - "Toward a Humanistic Positive Psychology." It's definitely food for thought for the Saybrook community. Warm regards, Kirk http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/awakening-awe/201011/toward-humanistic-positive-psychology-why-cant-we-just-get-along

Continue Reading

University

Deck the halls with Anxiety, Pain, and Loss

12/03/2010

Credit_card_terminal Tis the season! Eating…buying….decorating! The cycle seems endless. First there was Halloween candy, then tom the turkey, and now the little man in the red suit.

The holidays in America represent capitalism in all its grandeur.

Most shopping connoisseurs and major retailers agree that the holiday shopping season officially begins with the day after Thanksgiving; notoriously called Black Friday. This year, Time Magazine, published several articles regarding the topic calling the binge of shopping “a carnival of capitalism.”

The National Retail Federation estimates that the average person spent $365.00 dollars during the Thanksgiving weekend. The scary part? It’s up six-percent from last year.

With all the busyness of the holidays, the anxiety, pain and loss that the season brings is easily overlooked and unacknowledged. For many, the holidays represent a time to spend with loved ones. But for others, memories linger of days past when loved ones were living. Often, this pain is only exacerbated by the expectations of the season of gift giving, cookie making and party-going; resulting in phone calls from the consumer credit companies.

With all the hecticness of the season, and its demands that you BE HAPPY, what can someone in anxiety and pain do?

Continue Reading

Share this

share

Don't miss a thing - follow Saybrook on social media

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube Google Plus