This week in psychology...
After the death of Albert Ellis this week, the papers were filled with obituaries for one of the grandfathers of cognitive therapy. Presciently, though, Prospect Magazine managed to get the last ever interview with him before he died. This article has a nice balance: the author's personal experience of therapy along with insight into Ellis' personality, his therapeutic method and his final days - still teaching students right up to the end.
There's more insight into what Ellis' therapy was all about over at moritherapy in a nice piece entitled 'don't should on yourself'
The sweet-smelling fug of cannabis has settled over the news media over the last few weeks. UK laws on the legal classification of cannabis are to be reviewed and Jacqui Smith, the new British Home Secretary, admitted to smoking cannabis while at Oxford.
Both of these come as the BBC reports a headline statistic from a new meta-analysis that, "Cannabis users are 40% more likely than non-users to suffer a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia." These type of figures are easy to misinterpret. It's better to think about cannabis's potentially harmful effects relative to other types of legal and illegal drugs. In this list of drugs cannabis is considered less dangerous than both alcohol and tobacco.
Being a big fan of Jerry Seinfeld, I was interested to see this description of how he gets his writing done - or at least how he used to get his writing done:
"...get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.
He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. "After a few days you'll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You'll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain."
Making Habits, Breaking Habits
In his new book, Jeremy Dean--psychologist and author of PsyBlog--looks at how habits work, why they are so hard to change, and how to break bad old cycles and develop new healthy, creative, happy habits.
→ "Making Habits, Breaking Habits", is available now on Amazon.Reviews
The Bookseller, “Editor’s Pick,” 10/12/12 “Sensible and very readable…By far the most useful of this month’s New You offerings.”
Kirkus Reviews, 1/1/13 “Making changes does take longer than we may expect—no 30-day, 30-pounds-lighter quick fix—but by following the guidelines laid out by Dean, readers have a decent chance at establishing fulfilling, new patterns.”
Publishers Weekly, 12/10/12 “An accessible and informative guide for readers to take control of their lives.”