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.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do