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Psychology

Essays and videos offering insights into the self, relationships, cognition and neuroscience
The helpful delusion | Aeon
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essay

Mental health

The helpful delusion

Evidence is growing that mental illness is more than dysfunction, with enormous implications for treatment

Justin Garson

Brother | Aeon
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video

Addiction

From back pain to addiction – one man’s struggle with opioids, as told to his sister

14 minutes

Why we crave | Aeon
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Addiction

Why we crave

The neuroscientific picture of addiction overlooks the psychological and social factors that make cravings so hard to resist

Zoey Lavallee

Bad therapy | Aeon
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essay

Psychiatry and psychotherapy

Bad therapy

Some psychotherapeutic approaches are not only ineffective, they’re actively harmful. We’re now starting to identify them

Yevgeny Botanov, Alexander Williams & John Sakaluk

Pivotal mental states | Aeon
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Consciousness and altered states

Pivotal mental states

Spiritual highs and mental breakdowns are both products of the same evolved brain system granting us the power to transform

Ari Brouwer

The humane asylum | Aeon
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essay

Psychiatry and psychotherapy

The humane asylum

As a society we are failing people with severe, persistent mental illness. It’s time to reimagine institutional care

Madeleine Ritts & Daniel Rosenbaum

The dark side of love | Aeon
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video

Mental health

When crushes become crushing – how to know if you’re in a ‘limerent episode’

4 minutes

Chairwork | Aeon
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essay

Psychiatry and psychotherapy

Chairwork

It is a powerful, liberating therapy that lets you (literally) shift perspective on who you are, and who you could become

Scott Kellogg & Amanda Garcia Torres

A family that steals dogs | Aeon
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video

Family life

An artist grapples with the loss of his brother, and the problem of canine abduction

7 minutes

We were there to be there | Aeon
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video

Public health

When two punk bands came to a psychiatric hospital, beautiful chaos ensued

27 minutes

World wide open | Aeon
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essay

Mental health

World wide open

Deep brain stimulation not only treats psychiatric disease – it changes the whole person, boosting confidence and openness

Julian Kiverstein, Erik Rietveld & Damiaan Denys

Radical acceptance | Aeon
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essay

Mood and emotion

Radical acceptance

The painful feelings you avoid grow twisted in the dark. By facing your sorrows and struggles you can take back your life

Joshua Coleman

Rewiring your life | Aeon
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essay

Psychiatry and psychotherapy

Rewiring your life

A radical therapy based on eye movements can desensitise painful memories, heal hurts and aid transformation at warp speed

Deborah Korn

We heal one another | Aeon
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essay

Mental health

We heal one another

When a person is in distress, we can draw on deep, evolved mechanisms to calm the storm, through attention, touch and care

Brandon Kohrt

The seed of suffering | Aeon
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essay

Mental health

The seed of suffering

The p-factor is the dark matter of psychiatry: an invisible, unifying force that might lie behind a multitude of mental disorders

Alex Riley

Nyctophobia | Aeon
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video

Mental health

The dark side of ego loss – what it’s like to disappear into depersonalisation

9 minutes

Turn off the gaslight | Aeon
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essay

Mental health

Turn off the gaslight

The skilled manipulator casts a shadow of doubt over everything that you feel or think. Therapy can bring the daylight in

Ramani Durvasula

Uncle Thomas: accounting for the days | Aeon
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video

Mental health

A ‘poet of the everyday’: an animated ode to a beloved uncle with OCD

13 minutes

How to be at home | Aeon
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video

Wellbeing

‘Lean into loneliness like it is holding you’ – a poetic reflection on life in lockdown

5 minutes

The psychologist who sparked the gay rights movement | Aeon
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video

Mental health

The pioneering psychologist who proved that being gay isn’t a mental illness

7 minutes

Deluded, with reason | Aeon
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essay

Mental health

Deluded, with reason

Extraordinary beliefs don’t arise in a vacuum. They take root in minds confronted by unusual and traumatic experiences

Huw Green

Unboxing mental health | Aeon
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essay

Mental health

Unboxing mental health

Our system for diagnosing mental disorders doesn’t work. The transdiagnostic model offers a humane, clinically sound alternative

Melissa Black

Criminally insane | Aeon
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essay

Human rights and justice

Criminally insane

The insanity defence offends the conscience, has no basis in modern psychiatry, and penalises poor and black defendants

Susan Vinocour

Think of mental disorders as the mind’s ‘sticky tendencies’ | Aeon
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idea

Philosophy of mind

Think of mental disorders as the mind’s ‘sticky tendencies’

Kristopher Nielsen