Tuesday, April 04, 2006


It's time for Dr. Sanity to practice a few touch and go's around the mental health blogsphere--or "psychsphere" if you prefer! What follows are some of the topics my fellow mental health professionals are blogging about.

A new psychblogger, Dr. Bliss, from Maggie's Farm writes about Reality Therapy:
It is a cliche that the definition of neurotic person is someone who keeps doing the same thing, while expecting a different result. There is surely a good lesson in that expression. However, I often find it useful to think about things from the outside, in ... instead of inside, out. Especially with stubborn minds.

What do I mean? Erik Erikson famously said that "Psychotherapy begins where common sense ends." I like that. Despite being a psychoanalyst and thus by definition a happy diver into the human depths, I rarely take anyone deeper than is necessary. You don't want people to run out of air on the way down, or to get the bends on their way back.

ShrinkWrapped is discussing the media rehabilitation of John Walker Lindh and notes:
Alas, poor John was merely a misguided young man who turned to Islam and swore Jihad as a purely spiritual journey of self discovery. The business with para-military training, the meetings with Osama bin Laden, and his involvement in the prison uprising in which an American intelligence agent was killed were all simply cases of an idealistic young man finding himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Lindh is thus presented as the victim of circumstances; he is not the agent of his own destiny but an unfortunate caught up in events over which he had no control. I do not begrudge Lindh's father making such arguments; I do find much to condemn in the media's uncritical conveyance of the assertions. Plan on seeing this motif played out in all the usual venues over the next months to years until, at some point, like Mumia Abu-Jamal, he will have made the transformation from a murderer into the victim of American oppression.

SC&A focus their undivided attention and psychological skills on the mullahs of Iran; and Assistant Village Idiot has a two part piece on Faux Logic, which you will want to read and think about:
This is another of my many favored soapboxes. Children do not begin to use logic on their own until age 13 at the very earliest, and even then spend years practicing it before they actually become proficient. Throughout their teen years, they are mostly using this Faux Logic, this practice logic.

Not my child, you say. My 15-year old reasons quite well, better than most adults, and has been reasoning since age 8 or earlier. They’re tricky like that, giving off the aura of reasoning well before there is much substance behind it. As to reasoning better than most adults, that is perhaps true, but irrelevant to the discussion.

GM is announcing that GM's Corner is moving! I think he is becoming a "munuvian". That's either a new blogging location or he's won that space trip I talked about in an earlier post!

Exploring darkness and light is the theme at One Cosmos:
It wasn't long ago that the world was a very, very dark place. I mean that both literally and figuratively. That is, before the invention of electricity, the night was pitch black except for perhaps a small center of candle or firelight. People were aware of the darkness as a real and present entity, in a way that we are not. Modern people rarely live in darkness except when they are asleep. As such, the only time they have access to the dream world--and night consciousness--is when they are unconscious.

How Gagdad Bob connects this to the Founding Fathers is amazing to behold! This man's mind is fascinating.

Dr. Helen has her latest podcast up with Virginia Postrel talking about her kidney donation. I've always been a big fan of Virginia's ever since she was the editor of Reason. You should go on over to the good doctor's site and check it out yourself.

Next we fly over to neo-neocon's place. She has a great article up about the Patty Hearst and Jill Carroll kidnappings; and confides:
In fact, as a very young child, perhaps ten years old or so, I actually purchased a book called The Rape of the Mind: the psychology of thought control, menticide, and brainwashing (yes indeed, I was a strange child; what can I say?). Aside from serving as fodder for many of my Cold War nightmares, it didn't give me what I was searching for: a foolproof method for resistance if I happened to end up in a prisoner of war camp. But in its detailed descriptions of the sort of pressure that could be brought to bear to make even the strongest of men crack, it gave me a lifelong appreciation of the power of coercion.

That same appreciation was operating in my reaction to what was arguably the most famous political kidnapping/coercion case of the twentieth century. I refer, of course, to the sage of Patty Hearst.
Not Really a Cowboy is busy opining about obesity and non-epidemics

Shrinkette and Psychpundit each appear to be taking a break from blogging. I can relate to that, but I hope to see them back soon!

Now I have to head back to the real world, where I must concentrate on a few projects at work! More blogging later.

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