While psychotherapist alertness is essential for effective psychotherapy, many therapists have anecdotally reported that sleepiness during psychotherapy sessions is problematic. To assess the extent of the problem, and the effectiveness of various coping strategies, I surveyed a random sample of clinical psychologists in New Jersey, USA and received responses from 165 participants about their experiences with maintaining wakefulness and alertness while seeing patients. Fifty-two percent sometimes or often have trouble with sleepiness, 32 percent sometimes or often struggle to stay awake, 52 percent have almost fallen asleep and 13 percent have fallen asleep during a session. Two-thirds of the participants believe that their alertness difficulties interfere with their therapeutic effectiveness. Continue Reading
What happens in the instant when we almost fall asleep? In this post I postulate a particular form of this unnerving and perhaps dissociative experience. A review of the literature suggests that this phenomenon that we are calling Daytime Parahypnagogia (DPH) appears to be a previously undescribed state of consciousness. Continue Reading
The other day a Facebook friend sent me (along with 60 or so other friends) a message that presented me with a bit of a conflict. Her daughter had entered a photograph in a contest and my friend asked her Facebook friends to go to the website and vote for her daughter’s photograph. What I found intriguing is that the successful winner of the contest would be judged not by the quality of her photographic submission, but rather by the effectiveness of her supporters’ online campaign. The reason this request represented a challenge is because of some of the newest psychological research into self-worth, success and happiness.
Would I be doing this child’s psychological well-being a favor by voting for her picture solely on the basis of her mother’s desire to see her daughter succeed? Continue Reading