Dr. Susan Clancy, in her book Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens, discusses how there were no reports of alleged alien abductions until science fiction books, movies, radio and TV shows about alien abductions started appearing. The first film in which people are abducted by aliens was the 1953 B-movie Invaders from Mars, followed by This Island Earth in 1955. With the 1960s came the TV series The Outer Limits that included some stories of alien abductions. In fact it was just 12 days after the airing of the 1964 “Bellero Shield” episode of The Outer Limits that Betty and Barney Hill “recovered” memories through hypnosis of their alleged 1961 abduction in the White Mountains. Following the Hill story the reports of these so-called abductions proliferated.
If alien abductions were real, why would these extraterrestrial space travelers wait until the 1960s to start abducting people for their own research? Why not in the 1700s or 1800s? Another interesting observation that Clancy makes is that there are virtually no reports of alien abduction outside the United States. Why wouldn’t these space travelers be interested in people from Asia, Africa, Europe and South America? Continue Reading
“Do you know what my mom did?” asked my 15-year-old former patient. “I asked her to buy me a pack of cigarettes and she did. Why couldn’t she just be the parent and say No?” I asked this high school sophomore how she would have reacted had her mother said no to her demand. “I would have gotten mad and stomped my feet. But why couldn’t she just be the parent instead of trying to be my friend?” In the next breath she told me that the family had just moved to another town. On her first day in her new high school, she went to the guidance office and told the counselor, “I’m not going to class.” He told her to just sit in the office, where she remained the rest of the day. She asked me, “Why couldn’t someone just tell me to get my ass back to class?” Continue Reading
After reading David Pogue‘s (technology writer) New York Times post today entitled Steve Jobs: Imitated, Never Duplicated, I realized why I was unable last night to write about Steve Jobs from a psychological point of view. According to Pogue, Jobs was so unique that he defied any traditional model of success. This uniqueness leads Pogue to believe there is a zero percent chance of there ever being another human being with the all the abilities (and even liabilities that worked in his favor) that Jobs possessed. Jobs violated conventional wisdom and didn’t listen to others, all the while maintaining a maniacal focus on the future in spite of occasional failures. Says Pogue: Continue Reading
Whether you realize it or not, all the good domain names are taken! So, it took a bit of ingenuity, creativity, loose association and a tolerant wife to come up with a new name that is topical, catchy and flows. All of the above played a role in the name PsychMinder.
On one level, the word mind refers not only to one of the main functions of the brain, but also as a verb it means “to attend to.” As in, “Mind your own business” or “Mind the store.” Thus a minder is one who attends to, cares for, or looks after someone or something. My wife told me that in the United Kingdom a minder is a baby sitter or nanny. However, for this occasion, a PsychMinder is one who attends to or cares about psychology. I started this blog in an effort to help both my readers and myself stay current on new research, topics and ideas in psychology. Some of the ideas I will present are my own and others will be in reaction to what others have written, said or done. While I am a clinical psychologist, my interests in psychology are wide-ranging and my posts are just as eclectic. Continue Reading
Anyone who has been to college remembers what became affectionately know as “Freshman Comp” (English Composition 101). Rewind to first semester freshman year. I never before failed anything in my whole life, save for rope climbing in gym. This was until I got my first of five papers back in Freshman Comp. Continue Reading
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