Psychiatry and psychotherapy


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Photo by Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum

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

Photo by Guido Mieth/Getty

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

Photo by Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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

At the Maison Blanche psychiatric hospital in Paris, 1954. Photo by Jean-Philippe Charbonnier/Gamma-Rapho/Getty

Essay/
History of science
Shocked

With evidence for efficacy so thin, and the stakes so high, why is ‘electroshock’ therapy still a mainstay of psychiatry?

John Read

A figure with dials around it, representing the oppression of the artist by other children. Detail of a watercolour (undated) by M Bishop. © The Adamson Collection/Wellcome Library

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Psychiatry and psychotherapy
The play cure

In a clinical setting, playful activities are not distractions; they take patients deep into trauma – and out the other side

Susanna Crossman

Charles Boyer plays opposite Ingrid Bergman in the 1944 film adaptation of Patrick Hamilton’s novel Gaslight. Photo by Getty

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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

Photo by Ascent Media/Getty

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Family life
Estranged

When feeling good about ourselves matters more than filial duty, cutting off our parents comes to seem like a valid choice

Joshua Coleman

Namanga, Arusha Region, Tanzania. February 2018. © Thomas Dworzak/Magnum Photos with support from the Pulitzer Center

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Family life
How parents are made

Attachment therapy helps us recognise and heal our childhood wounds so we can be free to become good parents ourselves

Juli Fraga

Photo by Trent Parke/Magnum

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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

The First Cloud (1888) by William Quiller Orchardson. Courtesy the Tate Gallery/Wikipedia

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Love and friendship
Forgive and be free

Hurts – your own or those done to you – keep you stuck. Forgiveness therapy can help you gain perspective and move on

Nathaniel Wade

Photo by Martin Roemers/Panos

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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

Prisoner-patient William Porter, convicted of housebreaking and theft. From the Perth Criminal Lunatic Department Prison Register. December 1898. Crown copyright, National Records of Scotland, HH21/48/3

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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

Photo by Anush Babajanyan / VII for UNICEF / Redux / Headpress

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Psychiatry and psychotherapy
Escaping a toxic childhood

A new therapy helps survivors improve their lives by facing the psychological impoverishment that often accompanies abuse

Steven N Gold

Valparaíso, Chile, 1992. From Sergio Larrain’s Valparaiso. Courtesy of Magnum Photos

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Psychiatry and psychotherapy
Intimate strangers

By chance, I grew up without a father. As an adult, I chose to meet him. Through the prism of this event, life slowly made sense

Vincenzo Di Nicola

Photo by Mark Cornick from the Soho Nights series

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Mental health
My psychosis

It was one terrifying, exciting night of delusions, hallucinations and paranoia. What would it teach a future psychologist?

Tom Hartley

Detail from Interior (with Gabriele Münter and Marianne von Werefkin) (1910), by Wassily Kandinsky. Photo by AKG London

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Psychiatry and psychotherapy
Therapy that sticks

Quick-fix psychotherapies have been hailed as the gold standard. But depth therapies can be far more enduring and profound

Linda Michaels

Photo by Getty Images

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Illness and disease
Traumatised by the cure

Survivors of life-threatening illness can be left in profound fear and distress. Are they suffering from a form of PTSD?

Liza Gross

Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots celebrates a 12-yard touchdown against the New York Giants during Super Bowl XLVI on 5 February 2012. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

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Sports and games
Invisible tattoos

Many athletes are propelled by childhood trauma to succeed, but it’s a toxic myth that healing the wounds blunts the edge

William D Parham

Ostend, Belgium, 1988. Photo by Harry Gruyaert/Magnum Photos

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Mental health
Depressive realism

We keep chasing happiness, but true clarity comes from depression and existential angst. Admit that life is hell, and be free

Julie Reshe