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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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Mental health

The helpful delusion

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

Justin Garson

The art of listening | Aeon
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Self-improvement

The art of listening

To listen well is not only a kindness to others but also, as the psychologist Carl Rogers made clear, a gift to ourselves

M M Owen

Bad therapy | Aeon
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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

When hope gets in the way | Aeon
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Mood and emotion

When hope gets in the way

Hope is usually seen as a positive agent of change that spares us from pain. But it can also undermine healing and growth

Santiago Delboy

The dropout: a history | Aeon
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Subcultures

The dropout: a history

The dropout was not just a hippy-trippy hedonist but a paranoid soul, who feared brainwashing and societal control

Charlie Williams

The meaning of anger | Aeon
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Mood and emotion

The meaning of anger

Is anger like energy, forever changing form but never dissipating, or part of our repertoire of desires, the cry of a need unmet?

Josh Cohen

The humane asylum | Aeon
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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

Chairwork | Aeon
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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

Asylum | Aeon
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Human rights and justice

Asylum

Patients and psychiatrists at Saint-Alban in France fought against fascism side by side. What can we learn from them?

Ben Platts-Mills

The mind does not exist | Aeon
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Philosophy of mind

The mind does not exist

The terms ‘mind’ and ‘mental’ are messy, harmful and distracting. We should get rid of them

Joe Gough

After neurodiversity | Aeon
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Neurodiversity

After neurodiversity

We live in a world that must move beyond identity politics and embrace new models of the mind. Enter psydiversity

Bonnie Evans

World wide open | Aeon
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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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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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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

The seed of suffering | Aeon
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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

Shocked | Aeon
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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

The play cure | Aeon
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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

Turn off the gaslight | Aeon
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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

Estranged | Aeon
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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

The trouble with love and sex | Aeon
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Love and friendship

‘What does sex mean to you?’ A fly-on-the-wall view of relationship counselling

50 minutes

The psychologist who sparked the gay rights movement | Aeon
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Mental health

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

7 minutes

How parents are made | Aeon
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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

Deluded, with reason | Aeon
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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

Forgive and be free | Aeon
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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