Food For Thought Part 1




Food for Thought



Democracy Now!

Dec. 25, 2007



Ordinary People Telling Their Stories to Each Other


Three years ago, award-winning radio producer Dave Isay created a national social history project called StoryCorps. It now has the potential to become one of the largest documentary oral history projects ever donated to the Library of Congress.


Dave joined us in our firehouse studio earlier this year. He is author of the new book, Listening is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project.




Jan. 7, 2015


The Power of Listening


William Ury explains how listening is the essential, and often overlooked, half of communication. His stories of candid conversations with presidents and business leaders provide us with impactful lessons, such as understanding the power of a human mind opening up. He asks us to join a listening revolution, and promises that if we all just listen a little bit more, we can transform any relationship.




Ideas worth spreading

March 2021


How to have constructive conversations


“We need to figure out how we go into conversations not looking for the victory, but the progress,” says world debate champion Julia Dhar. In this practical talk, she shares three essential features of productive disagreements grounded in curiosity and purpose. The end result? Constructive conversations that sharpen your argument and strengthen your relationships.


Psychology Today




Wisdom is one of those qualities that is difficult to define—because it encompasses so much—but which people generally recognize when they encounter it. And it is encountered most obviously in the realm of decision-making.


Psychologists tend to agree that wisdom involves an integration of knowledge, experience, and deep understanding, as well as a tolerance for the uncertainties of life. There’s an awareness of how things play out over time, and it confers a sense of balance.



The Idries Shah Foundation




Changing the way we view
ourselves and the world one
story at a time…


ISF is devoted to championing a sense of imagination, and to teaching stories – the kind of which are contained in the large published corpus of the writer and thinker, Idries Shah. 


Engaged in a wide range of charitable projects on a world-wide basis, the Foundation seeks to stimulate the minds of both young and old by regarding the world in new ways.




The Son of a Story-Teller


World Tales




Religious and Wise


Q:  What is the difference between the devout and the wise?


A:  It is easier to be devout than to become wise, and generally the former produces greater worldly rewards than the latter.

    It is also observable that those who call themselves religious people are far more concerned about themselves, in general, than the wise. This is widely denied as soon as it is said, but it is not difficult to establish it if the people whom you are observing are off their guard.

    Saadi, in The Bostan, tells of an instance which illustrates this:


     There was a holy man who left a monastery of supposedly spiritual people, and went into a study seminary.

     Saadi asked him what the difference was between the wise and the religious.

     He answered:

     ‘The religious man is trying to save his own blanket from the fire, while the wise one is trying save other people from drowning.’



Idries Shah, Knowing How To Know



Becoming the Marginalian: After 15 Years,

Brain Pickings Reborn


Notes from the odyssey of ongoingness,

notes for the symphony of aliveness.


By Maria Popova

October 10, 2021


We are born without choosing to, to parents we haven’t chosen, into bodies and borders we haven’t chosen, to exist in a region of spacetime we haven’t chosen for a duration we don’t choose. As physicists know, we don’t choose the particular atoms that constellate our particular selves or the neural configurations that fire our consciousness. In consequence, as James Baldwin knew, we don’t even choose whom we love.


But amid our slender repertoire of agency are the labels we choose for our labors of love — the works of thought and tenderness we make with the whole of who we are.



“Reading Allowed” by Taylor Mali


Performed as part of a Page Meets Stage pairing at the Bowery Poetry Club on February 22, 2007.



The Moth Presents Anthony Griffith: “The Best of Times, The Worst of Times”





In this 2007 interview, Bill talks with author Maxine Hong Kingston about helping returning soldiers find peace through writing.


TRANSCRIPT [excerpt]


BILL MOYERS: Welcome to the Journal. On this Memorial Day weekend I am reminded that I have never had to go to war, never been tested under fire, never had to kill or be killed. What I have learned about battle I have learned from the real experts, from veterans — and from poets. With their power of empathy and evocation poets open us to what lies buried in the soldier’s soul. I remember to this day hearing one of my high school teachers read Wilfred Owen’s pained cry from the trenches of France: “I am the enemy you killed, my friend.” So, even as America is fighting this weekend in Iraq, we turn to a poet, a writer, to honor all those soldiers who have served our country, in war and peace.


No one I know personally has done more to help veterans themselves bear witness to unspeakable experience than Maxine Hong Kingston.


Growing up, the oldest of six children in Stockton, California, Maxine listened to her parents’ stories and memories of their native China. In a series of highly acclaimed books she linked those traditional stories to her life in America, blending memory, mediation, and magic to create Woman Warrior, one of the most widely taught books on college campuses for thirty years now, and then China Men, Tripmaster Monkey, To Be the Poet, and The Fifth Book of Peace. Her body of work has earned Kingston a large following, as well as many awards, including the National Book Award and the National Humanities Medal presented by President Clinton in 1997.


But for all the words she’s poured onto the page from her own life and mind, for many years Maxine Hong Kingston has been coaxing words from others. In 1993 she put out a call to veterans to join her in workshops devoted to turning their experiences into poems, novels, and essays. Here in the hills of Northern California, over 500 veterans…from every war since World War II have taken part, and some of their finest work has now been published in this book, Veterans of War; Veterans of Peace. For many of them it has been a life-changing, even life-saving experience.



Go Project Films 




In the harsh environment of a Rhode Island men’s prison, a group of fifty inmates are transforming their lives through the practice of meditation. Path of Freedom follows former inmate Fleet Maull as he visits the prison to share his strategies for surviving on the inside. The film offers a rare glimpse into the inner lives of men reaching for forgiveness, inner peace and freedom behind bars.



The On Being Project

March 1, 2015


The Subversive Power of Beauty


By Michael Fryer


Beauty has the potential to be a transcendent and transformative element in conflict situations. In John O’Donohue’s book, Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, he argues that beauty has real power, a power that can be subversive.


Moments of beauty — be it music, art, nature, or an act of kindness — can take you out of a space of weary familiarity. Beauty, in whatever form it takes, can interrupt a pattern of behavior or a way of thinking and cause us to stop in our tracks and take notice of it. There are people holding out on the toughest frontiers of existence, surrounded by misery, but yet somehow sustained by a moment of beauty.


A story can act as a vehicle for transcendence. Joseph Campbell suggests that a story has the power to pitch you out of your everyday experience. Once you’ve heard it and return to where you were, you see the world, or the person telling the story differently. He likens it to walking down 5th Avenue in New York City and stepping into St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Suddenly you’ve left the busy metropolis and are standing in a huge open space. The light is different. It’s quiet. You begin to think on a different level. And, when you return to the bustling world of the street, cars still rush by, people still hurry about their business, but stepping into that different space creates a moment of transcendence.




October 27, 2021


From the astronauts to humanity itself,

‘Earthrise’ has left an indelible mark


Told firsthand by the Apollo 8 astronauts, the Emmy-nominated film Earthrise (2018) documents their remarkable voyage to the far side of the Moon, and the importance of the timeless image they captured. Using archive footage and interviews, the filmaker Emmanual Vaughan-Lee transports us behind the lens of the 70mm camera that memorialised the moment the spacecraft fell into the shadow of the Moon as Earth rose over the lunar horizon. From questioning their faith to recognising that space exploration could bring humans closer together as a species, the three astronauts were indelibly changed by this new vantage. They became messengers of peace, and their sobering reflections rippled throughout the world via that ‘Earthrise’ image. In it, humanity could see the stark difference between a lifeless and a living planet.



Moyers & Company

January 17, 2014


Neil deGrasse Tyson on Science,

Religion and the Universe



A new poll by Pew Research has found that one-third of Americans do not believe in evolution, with Republicans far less likely to believe that humans evolved over time than Democrats. That may be why the teaching of evolution to children continues to be an often temper-flaming debate. In states like Texas, some public school students are opening their biology textbooks to find evolution described as “dogma” and an “unproved theory.”


While astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson believes all individuals have a right to their own beliefs, he’s passionate about what should be taught in science class – science.


“If you have a religious philosophy that is not based in objective realities that you then want to put in the science classroom, then I’m going stand there and say no, ‘I’m not going to allow you in the science classroom,’” Tyson tells Bill.


In the second part of their conversation, Tyson and Bill discuss whether science and religion can ever be reconciled, explore the cosmic enigma known as dark matter and the possibilities of parallel universes. Neil deGrasse Tyson is host of the upcoming series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey premiering Sunday, March 9, 2014 on Fox.


Watch part three of Bill’s interview with Tyson, which aired on January 10, 2014.







Life-Long Learning Has Positive Impact

on Brain Health and Aging


By Claire Gillespie | Published on January 24, 2022


Julian Lagoy, MD, a psychiatrist with Mindpath Health, believes that research is important. “We can all learn from it to help improve our lives,” he says. “It shows that we need to keep our minds active and engaged, and that the more we use our brains in life, the less likely we will have degeneration in older age.”




 N  E  T  W  O  R  K  E  R


May/June 2018


Stories Told at the End of the Day

From an Evening of Storytelling 2018




Moments of Truth


By Marian Sandmaier


Storytelling is nearly as old as language itself, a way of communing with others through showing and telling what’s meaningful – even necessary – in our lives. Many linguists believe that sharing in-person tales is encoded in our very DNA, with tone of voice, facial expressions, and gestures combining to more fully engage others and develop intimate connections with them.




My First Client, My Best Teacher


By Susan Johnson


My journey as a therapist began as a counselor in a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed adolescents in British Columbia, Canada. Overnight I was plunged into doing individual, group, and family therapy with kids who showed up with every problem under the sun, including schizophrenia, homicidal behavior, and anxiety disorders. I had an undergraduate degree in English literature and one year of teacher training. My actual training for helping these kids at the time was exactly zip, nada.


Back then, the human potential movement was in full swing. Encounter groups were the cutting edge, with everyone lining up to beat a cushion with a tennis racket and yell about their mother, thereby releasing their deep inner rage. Gestalt therapy and primal screams were everywhere. For a nice, polite English girl, it was like being thrown in the touchy-feely deep end without a life jacket. And I was lost!




The Hearing


 By Kirsten Lind Seal


So there I was in the courtroom. I walked up to the witness stand, put my right hand up in the air and my left hand on the Bible, and I promised to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God. . . .






 By David Treadway


A raised eyebrow. A tilt of the head. Pursed lips. A subtle shrug. Growing up, that was the language we used in my old New England Yankee family to express anger, and even rage. Yes, we were an incredibly charming and handsome family. So much so that in 1949, Look magazine printed a photo of us as a full-page, glossy model of the ideal American family. We were so well-mannered and well-behaved that you’d never guess that of the six of us, my sister and my father had florid psychosis, my mother would commit suicide, and my two brothers would end up with lifelong addictions. Of course, this family also produced a family therapist. Big shock.




Karaoke on Five South


By Martha Manning


After you’ve been through years of killer depression and agitation that escalate into repeated interventions, it’s impossible to ignore how much you’ve taken your family along for the ride.


By the time she was in college, my daughter Keara’s optimistic cheerleading approach to my illness had exhausted itself, leaving her weary, angry, and cautious. As a psychologist, I knew this made perfect sense. As a mother, it broke my heart.




A Complete Life


By David Kessler


As a specialist in issues of death and grief, I was called in by an oncologist to see a 29-year-old patient named Leslie, who was dying of cancer. As I approached her hospital room, I found her mother, tall and straight-backed, standing outside like a guard waiting to meet me. She said, “Under no circumstances should you tell Leslie that she’s dying.” I nodded, having heard this kind of thing before. “I don’t want her to know,” the mother continued. “She needs to keep fighting. She needs to have a complete life.”



Can You Keep a Secret?


A Story of How One Therapist Changed Her Mind

About Keeping Secrets


By Evan Imber-Black

August 19, 2019


When I was trained as a family therapist in the early 1970s, nobody taught me much about secrets, beyond a handful of caveats. Effective inquiry into secrets requires a focus on content as well as relationship, and at that time family therapists were in a broad-brush revolt against Freud, who specialized in excavating secrets. The book-lined offices of the individual therapists who followed him were repositories of secrets, much like the religious confessionals of earlier times. We wanted no part of that old role. In our eagerness to differentiate ourselves from everything that had come before, we insisted that it was the pattern of communication, not its content, that was important. We knew very little then about the pervasiveness of such destructive family secrets as addiction and sexual abuse, and we hadn’t thought much about how the power and values of the larger culture shaped what went on in the therapy office.


In those days, many of us subscribed to models of family therapy that cast us as cybernetic technicians operating coolly and confidently on a family system without, somehow, becoming part of it. With the exception of Virginia Satir, family therapy’s pioneers didn’t pay much attention to how emotions, particularly shame, affected the lives of clients. And except for Murray Bowen and Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy, most early theorists emphasized the here-and-now of family life, not its history, even though many secrets concern past events that silently shape the present.


All of this kept many of us out of the murky terrain of secrets. We fell back on a simplistic rule: that we’d rather not hear them. In the early 1980s, I worked within the Milan model to maintain neutrality toward all parts of the family system, and I was determined not to be pulled by individual family members into taking sides. I remember giving little speeches to my clients, telling them not to tell me secrets because I would not keep them. I tried to avoid having people call me at home or hang around my office door after the session was over.


The silence was first broken quietly in the 1960s and 1970s in living rooms and in small consciousness-raising groups. Women, gays and lesbians, incest survivors, disabled people, the families of the mentally ill, all discovered they had been blackmailed and disempowered by silence and shame. As they spoke out more and more publicly, their secrets were drained of their stigmatizing power. Women at speak-outs told strangers about rapes and molestations; famous women disclosed their abortions in newspaper ads. In 1975, Betty Ford talked publicly of her breast cancer, and three years later broke the silence about her alcoholism as well. Gay people wore pink triangles to work and marched in gay pride parades. Revelations that would once have been called indiscreet or foolish were now perceived as brave.




March/April 2020


Case Study:


Breaking the Silence with

Nonverbal Autism


By Peter Rothenberg


In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, author Paulo Freire demonstrates that nothing is more empowering than teaching people to name their world. As therapists, we know this applies especially to our clients’ inner worlds. Even relatively high-functioning people can find it difficult to know what they’re experiencing and how to express it. Imagine what it must be like for the people with autism who don’t talk but have a world of perceptions, feelings, thoughts, fantasies, and desires swirling around inside them. Imagine the frustration, isolation, and confusion they experience. 





September/October 2021


Borrowed Tears


A Therapist Reclaims His Buried past–and Upends His Practice


By David Treadway


Years ago, out on the workshop circuit, when I’d talk to therapists about many of us being some version of a “wounded healer,” I’d describe my own role as a parentified child and my futile efforts to counsel my mentally ill mom and somewhat clueless, disengaged dad. Many of us were the children who’d taken care of family members as a way of staying out of the line of fire and feeling good about ourselves. At some point in my presentation, I’d observe that for some of us, our childhood coping strategies made us highly effective therapists. Jokingly, I’d conclude, “And who knows, maybe if I ever really do get well, I’ll retire.”


Little did I know that this throwaway line would become my life’s koan.



Helper Syndrome


When Are We Enough?


By Gabor Maté


When problems aren’t fixable, as they can often seem in these times, we therapists are faced with the predicament of trying to solve the unsolvable. This predicament lies at the very source of our distress as healers. It’s the weight of trying to fix the unfixable and manage the unmanageable that’s stressing us.


And yet, although you might be worn out, there’s no such thing as compassion fatigue. No one gets tired of being compassionate. Compassion is part of our nature, and we don’t get tired of being ourselves. In fact, I’m going to suggest that we get tired of not being ourselves. The problem is not with compassion directed toward our clients, but with a lack of compassion for ourselves.




The Ambivalence Trap


Liberating Ourselves from the Pursuit of Perfection


By Linda Gask


I’m a psychiatrist who’s experienced recurrent episodes of depression, sometimes quite severe, since my 20s. At medical school, I was extremely anxious and needed psychiatric help. Nonetheless, I found it easy to speak to patients with mental health problems–which encouraged me to pursue a career in psychiatry myself.


During the 33 years that I practiced, when I was well, I was always certain that psychiatry was the right career for me; at other times, I’ve considered myself to be a total failure, despite evidence of my success as a doctor and academic. There were even periods when life no longer seemed worth living.


Since then, psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral therapy have helped me make many necessary changes in my life, but they’ve been insufficient in preventing relapses. And while medication has helped me considerably–and I’ve seen it help many people in my practice–I’m still ambivalent about taking the pills.




May 10, 2018


Keys to Unlock Depression:

Why Skills Work Better Than Pills


Leading depression expert and clinical psychologist Dr Michael Yapko draws on research and shares his insights from 40 years of working with those suffering this common mental health issue. Learn the simple skills that research shows can help you or a loved one to recover – and even prevent depression occurring – in this heartwarming and uplifting speech for the Australian Psychological Society.



Psychology Today

January 24, 2022


Annie Wright LMFT


Dismissing and Diminishing Your Past Keeps You From Healing


We may dismiss and diminish our pasts as an unconscious coping mechanism.



THE CONVERSATION – April 29, 2022


Psycholgists are starting to talk publically about their own mental illnesses – and patients can benefit.


From sports and entertainment celebrities like Simone Biles, Ariana Grande and Ryan Reynolds to everyday social media users on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, more people are talking publicly about mental health.


Yet both students and professionals across fields have long been advised that talking openly about their own mental health experiences risks negative judgments from co-workers and supervisors, which can potentially damage their careers. Ironically, even professionals in mental health fields are advised to conceal their own experiences with mental illness.


This culture of silence is counter to what psychologists know to be true about battling stigma: that talking openly about mental health can help reduce stigma and encourage others to seek help.


Stigmatizing openness about mental illness can also result in the systemic discrimination against and exclusion from mental health professions of people who can make valuable contributions to the field – whether in spite of or because of their unique mental health experiences.



From Talk Is Not Enough: How Psychotherapy Really Works, by Willard Galin, M.D.



    The problem with angry people, who are certainly more vulnerable to many psychosomatic ills, is not their inability to release anger, but their unlimited capacity to generate unwarranted anger. These individuals will summon massive rage in response to meager stimuli. They will perceive even the slightest discourtesy as a life-threatening assault or a damage to dignity and pride.


    What is true of anger applies to most cases of repressed emotions. The problem with people who have pent-up emotions is not just their inability to express them, but their capacity to generate them.


    The ability to cry, to express your emotions, to vent anger – or, more important, grief, shame, or guilt – in the presence of an understanding or loving person is a part of the therapeutic process, but only a part. Catharsis alone will never resolve complicated neuroses. The emotions must be tied to a vision of causation, a sense of where this all comes from. The neurosis must be explored in terms of the defensive structure and character armor that the patient has constructed over a lifetime of living with his predicament.


    To accomplish real change, patient and therapist together must challenge the underlying false assumptions that the neurotic carries within him about himself and the world he occupies. The patient must confront the defenses built in accordance with these false assumptions, which while false are nonetheless perceived by the patient as truths on which his very survival depends. The patient will perceive each therapeutic assault on his distorted views as threatening, as undermining his security. He will struggle and resist to hold on to his illusions, and his neurosis. He feels safer living in the artificial, constricted, and unreal world he has constructed to serve his anxieties than in any real world of increased opportunities. He will struggle and resist the journey to health. But to unshackle himself from the chains of his neurosis, to grow and mature, he must acknowledge his distortions.


    The patient’s painful rediscovery and acceptance of the actual world will involve a process called insight.



Psychology Encyclopedia


The rapidly changing field of psychology encompasses a wide range of concepts, theories, experiments, and related scientific disciplines. The JRank Psychology Encyclopedia web site endeavors to provide useful information on many aspects of psychology. Famous experiments, psychological theories, mental disorders, and the science of the human mind are just a few of the topics covered in the thousands of articles collected here.


Some of the database’s highlights include:


  • The life of Sigmund Freud and how it shaped modern psychoanalysis and contemporary popular notions of psychology.





7 Behaviors You Should Never Tolerate in Relationships


Written by Hope Gillette Updated on December 9, 2021



We may give people we love free passes sometimes, but there are some behaviors you might not want to accept in any relationship.


Toxic relationship behaviors aren’t just about arguing or jealousy. They can also include more subtle actions that affect the way you see yourself and the world.


Identifying which relationship dynamics harm your mental health can help you make decisions and protect yourself.



Dealing With People You Can’t Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst, by Dr. Rick Brinkman and Dr. Rick Kirschner


From Chapter 3: The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions


Once someone determines that what they want is not happening, or that what they don’t want is happening, their behavior becomes more extreme and, therefore, less tolerable to others. We now can observe how threatened or thwarted positive intentions lead to the behaviors of difficult people.



Threatened Intent to Get It Done


Through the distorted lens of the thwarted intent to get it done, others appear to be wasting time, going off on tangents, or just plain taking too long. The intent increases in intensity, and the subsequent behavior becomes more controlling. The three most controlling behaviors and types are the Tank, Sniper, and Know-It-All.


The Tank.     On a mission, unable to slow down, pushing you around, or running right over you, the Tank has no inhibitions about ripping you apart personally. Yet the irony is … it’s nothing personal. You just happened to get in the way. In an effort to control the process and accomplish the mission, Tank behavior ranges from mild pushiness to outright aggression.


The Sniper.    A strategist when things aren’t getting done to their satisfaction, the Sniper attempts to control you through embarrassment and humiliation. Most people live in fear of public embarrassment – a fact that Snipers use to their advantage, by making loaded statements and sarcastic comments at times when you are most vulnerable.


The Know-It-All.    The Know-It-All controls people and events by dominating the conversation with lengthy, imperious arguments, and eliminates opposition by finding flaws and weaknesses to discredit other points of view. Because the Know-It-All is actually knowledgeable and competent, most people are quickly worn down by this strategy, and finally just give up.



Threatened Intent to Get Appreciated by People


Through the distorted lens of a thwarted intent to get appreciation from people, the lack of positive feedback combines in their mind with the reactions, comments, and facial expressions of others, and tends to be taken personally. The intent to get appreciation intensifies in direct proportion to the lack of appreciative feedback, and behavior becomes increasingly aimed at getting attention. The three most difficult attention-getting behaviors that result from the thwarted desire to get appreciation are the Grenade, the Friendly Sniper, and the Think-They-Know-It-All.


Grenade Behavior.    They say they don’t get any appreciation and they’re not getting any respect. When the silence and lack of appreciation become deafening, look out for the Grenade: The adult temper tantrum. “Kaboom!@#$* Nobody around here cares! That’s the problem with the world today. Kapow!*%^&@# I don’t know why I even bother! No one appreciates just how hard it is for me! Katung! &%$#*.” Ranting and raving are difficult to ignore. But since this desperate behavior produces negative attention and disgust, the Grenade is ever more likely to blow up at the next provocation.*


The Friendly Sniper.    This Sniper actually likes you, and their sniping is a “fun way” of getting attention. “I never forget a face … but in your case I will make an exception.” Many people have relationships that include playful sniping. Normally, the best defense is a good offense, because instead of offending, a return snipe is a sign of appreciation. But if the person on the receiving end doesn’t give or receive appreciation in this manner, they may be laughing on the outside while bleeding from an emotional wound on the inside.


The Think-They-Know-It-All.    The Think-They-Know-It-All is a specialist in exaggeration, half truths, jargon, useless advice, and unsolicited opinions. Charismatic and enthusiastic, this desperate-for-attention person can persuade and mislead an entire group of trusting people into serious difficulties. If you argue with them, Think-They-Know-It-Alls turn up the volume and dig in their heels, then refuse to back down until you look as foolish as they do.


* The difference between the Tank and the Grenade is that the Tank uses focused fire in a single direction, and the Grenade produces an out-of-control explosion in 360 degrees. The Tank takes aim with specific charges, but leaves other useful people and office equipment standing. The Grenade introduces elements that have little or nothing to do with the present circumstances. A Tank attack is a demand for action. A Grenade explosion is a demand for attention.





Addressing Abuses of Power


Power is the ability to influence the events, people, and environments around us. However, people do not always use their power well. Sometimes people (intentionally or unintentionally) use power in ways that cause harm to others. When power is used unethically, the affected parties may wish to see a therapist. A mental health professional can help restore a balance of power and teach people more sustainable ways of asserting themselves.





Possession of power is not the same thing as using power. A strong person may have the ability to strike a rival, but they are not obligated to do so. Sometimes, refraining from using one type of power (like physical coercion) can lead to an increase of another type of power (social status).


The right use of power, as defined by Cedar Barstow, MEd, in her book of the same name, is “any use of power that does any or all of the following: prevents harm, reduces harm, repairs harm, promotes well-being… power is the ability to have an effect.” Power’s effects do not always match a person’s intent. For example, a person who manipulates their friends “for their own good” will still likely hurt the people they care about.


Power does not always corrupt: it can be used for prosocial or antisocial purposes. Context can heavily influence how a person uses power. According to a 2008 study, individuals who are in a conflict scenario are more likely to use their power in an antisocial way. But individuals who are primed to think of others (such as in a health care scenario) are more likely to use their power in a prosocial way.




March 22, 2022




An examination of the powerful and polarizing Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, from veteran FRONTLINE filmmaker and chronicler of U.S. politics Michael Kirk and his team. Pelosi’s Power traces Pelosi’s life and legacy, how she has gained and wielded power across three decades, and how she has faced grave challenges to her leadership and to American democracy from Trump and his allies.




October 11, 2021


One woman’s six-word mantra

that has helped to calm millions


By Judith Hoare, a journalist who worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and at the Australian Financial Review, where she covered politics, business and broader social issues before being appointed features editor and finally deputy editor of the newspaper, a position she held for 20 years. She is the author of The Woman Who Cracked the Anxiety Code: The Extraordinary Life of Dr Claire Weekes (2019). She lives in Sydney, Australia.



Imagine being in a pandemic, isolated and inert. Your life feels out of control, and you are stressed, not sleeping well. Then a raft of bewildering new symptoms arrive – perhaps your heart races unexpectedly, or you feel lightheaded. Maybe your stomach churns and parts of your body seem to have an alarming life of their own, all insisting something is badly wrong. You are less afraid of the pandemic than of the person you have now become.


Most terrifying of all is the invasive flashes of fear in the absence of any specific threat.


Back in 1927, this was 24-year-old Claire Weekes. A brilliant young scholar on her way to becoming the first woman to attain a doctorate of science at the University of Sydney, Weekes had developed an infection of the tonsils, lost weight and started having heart palpitations. Her local doctor, with scant evidence, concluded that she had the dreaded disease of the day, tuberculosis, and she was shunted off to a sanatorium outside the city.


‘I thought I was dying,’ she recalled in a letter to a friend.


Enforced idleness and isolation left her ruminating on the still unexplained palpitations, amplifying her general distress. Upon discharge after six months, she felt worse than when she went in. What had become of the normal, happy young woman she was not so long ago?





A series of conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.




Suzanne O’Sullivan on psychosomatic disorders and other mystery illnesses, based on her book The Sleeping Beauties: And Other Stories of Mystery Illness




April 14, 2021


Aphantasia: The People Without a Mind’s Eye


If you close your eyes and picture an apple, how clear is that apple in your mind? Most people can visualise images in their head instantaneously – this is known as the mind’s eye. But in 2015, a scientific study shed new light on the relatively unheard-of phenomenon known as aphantasia, a mental blindness where the brain is unable to call images to the mind’s eye.


This short documentary uncovers the root cause of a person’s emotional detachment from people and events – and the unexpected advantages that come with it. Alex Wheeler shares the story of how his experiences with aphantasia have affected his life, particularly his grieving process after losing his mum, as he seeks answers from Adam Zeman, Professor of Cognitive and Behavioural Neurology at the University of Exeter Medical School.




March 27, 2008


Secrets of The Psychics


Part 1/6



Psychology Today

February 3, 2021


Ralph Lewis M.D.


How Can So Many People Believe Such

Weird Things?


Beliefs contradicted by evidence are the norm,

not the exception.


Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast — Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland1


A longtime patient of mine, whom I like very much, recently shared his views with me on the COVID-19 pandemic.2 He expressed how disappointed he is with most people for being such unquestioning “sheep,” believing everything the government tells them about the virus. “I’m just so disappointed in people. They can’t think for themselves.” He, in contrast, does not trust the authorities and does his “own research.” He told me about how he had watched YouTube videos of certain experts on COVID-19, who disagree with the views and advice of public health officials. These “experts” explained that COVID-19 is no more dangerous than the flu, that widespread mask-wearing is unwarranted, and that mass quarantines and lockdowns are unjustified and are just intended to serve particular political interests.





Daniel Loxton



The Great Cardiff Giant!


Understanding Flat Earthers





Stories to fuel your mind

July 26, 2018


Yes, You Can Catch Insanity


A controversial disease revives the debate

about the immune system and mental illness.



Nautilus  |  Andrew Curry


The emergence of immunopsychiatry is a story of rediscovery, reflecting the twists and turns of mental health treatment over the last century. In the 19th century, mental illness and infectious disease were closely linked. That connection came uncoupled in the 20th century and immunopsychiatry’s argument that infection and inflammation can have a profound impact on the brain has struggled against psychiatric and neurological dogma. Yet emerging insights into mental illness unite the brain, body, and environment in ways that doctors and therapists are finally beginning to understand.





Doctor Discussion Guides


Take greater control of your mental health with

our helpful doctor discussion guides.


When it comes to your mental health, it’s important to ask the right questions during the time you spend with your doctor. Those conversations can help you understand your symptoms and treatment options and learn how to navigate any challenges you may face.


These printable guides contain sample questions to ask your doctor along with common terms that can help facilitate conversations with your medical team. Bring them along to your next appointment so you can feel more confident and get answers to your most important questions.



A Thousand Words is Worth a Picture


By Kenneth Grooms







Dec. 19, 2017


Paula Stone Williams: I’ve lived as a man & a woman — here’s what I learned


If you’re a man, at one point or another you’ve probably thought to yourself, “I will never understand women!” And if you’re a woman, “what’s wrong with men?!” But your gender is all you’ve ever known, so how could you understand?


As a transgender woman, Paula Stone Williams has lived on both sides, “and the differences are massive!” In this funny and insightful talk, Paula shares her wisdom for all. 




       N  E  T  W  O  R  K  E  R


The Great Escape


Welcome to the World of Gender Fluidity

By Margaret Nichols


March/April 2016


Andrea sits across from me in my office, twisting her hands in her lap. Her 5-year-old child, a biological boy, has progressed from insisting he’s a girl to refusing to go to kindergarten in “boy clothes.” He’s profoundly depressed, one of the saddest kids I’ve ever seen.


Gently, I ask her, “When did you first notice that your child was different?”


Andrea takes a long breath. “When Brandon was 2 and a half, we took him to a football game,” she says. “About halfway through, I pointed to the football players and said to him, ‘Maybe when you grow up, you’ll be like those guys.’ Brandon swiveled and pointed to the cheerleaders. ‘No, I want to be like them.’”




Case Study


Gender-Affirmative Therapy: Helping Transgender Clients Begin Their Journey

By Noah Garcia


January/February 2021


In 2016, the National Center for Transgender Equality released the results of a national survey showing that nearly 41 percent of the 6,450 transgender respondents reported that they’d attempted suicide at one point in their life. Other studies and surveys have reported similarly shocking numbers. I’m a trans male therapist, and through both lived and professional experience, I’ve identified several key elements that are crucial in assisting transgender individuals who are medically or socially transitioning. It’s important to keep in mind that often when we work with the transgender community, we’re saving lives.



 Highly Sensitive Refuge


4 Common Ways Highly Sensitive People Are Misunderstood


By Dr. Annie Hsueh, Ph.D

October 1, 2021


Highly sensitive people are often misunderstood. When someone tells them to “just relax,” it’s not like they can turn their sensitivity “off.”



The Atlantic

March 4, 2021




A Counterintuitive Way to Cheer Up When You’re Down


When you most need to get happier, try giving happiness away.


By Arthur C. Brooks


Norman Rockwell painted some of the most iconic images of 20th-century America. His paintings, such as Rosie the Riveter and the Four Freedoms series from World War II, and The Problem We All Live With and Murder in Mississippi from the civil-rights movement, were intended to evoke the best in people who saw them: hope, solidarity, courage, justice—but most of all, happiness. The bulk of his work captured scenes of lighthearted joy. Consider Shiner, which depicts a young girl with a black eye, sitting outside the principal’s office with a grin that tells you she has just been the victor in combat.


I have seen these paintings my whole life, starting with my grandfather’s beloved, dog-eared coffee-table book of Rockwell’s greatest works. A printing-press operator in Longview, Washington, my grandfather was no art connoisseur. But he gave this assessment of Rockwell: “These pictures make me feel happy.”


And yet, Rockwell himself struggled with happiness. In 1953, he moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, a bucolic town in the Berkshires—not for its natural beauty and peace but because it happened to be the home of a psychiatric hospital where he and his wife could receive treatment for chronic depression. There, he was a patient of the world-famous psychoanalyst Erik Erikson, with whom Rockwell racked up a therapy bill so large that he had to accept commissions for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes magazine ads.



After Skool

Oct. 15, 2019


Nikola Tesla – Limitless Energy & the Pyramids of Egypt


Nikola Tesla (July 10, 1856 – January 7, 1943) was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. Tesla held over 300 patents and is responsible for inventing the laser, x-ray, radio, Tesla coil, Tesla turbine, neon signs, induction motor, remote control and many more. Tesla was a brilliant mind, but did not focus his energy on monetizing his inventions and had difficulty socializing. He died alone in a small hotel in New York.



The Daily Show  |  Nov 16, 2021


Peanuts, Franklin, and Racial Representation in Cartoons – Beyond The Scenes


Franklin was introduced as the first Black “Peanuts” character in 1968, opening up a conversation about race and representation in comics. In this episode, Roy Wood Jr. sits down with Daily Show writer Josh Johnson and Franklin’s namesake and creator of JumpStart Comics, Robb Armstrong, to discuss how the character was created, and the impact of comics.




“Food for Thought” by Tom Gauld