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iAi Debate: Madness Incorporated

iAi Debate: Madness Incorporated

In our post today, Welldoing brings you a video from the Institute of Arts and Ideas. In this video, President Elect of the World Psychiatric Association Dinesh Bhugra debates the nature of mental illness with psychiatrist David Healy and clinical psychologist Richard Bentall. While we commonly think that psychiatric diagnoses like depression and bipolar disorder are real, many now argue that they have little basis in reality. Should we abandon psychiatry and its classifications? Would this usher in a new era of effective health care or cause widespread...
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The True Value of Volunteering in Sport

The True Value of Volunteering in Sport

Here at Join In, we often see the effect that volunteering has on people. We love hearing how rewarding our volunteers find it to help others, and make a difference in their communities. So we decided to look into the subject a little bit more with an independent online survey. What did we find? Our first conclusion was that volunteering in sport makes you happier. This wasn’t exactly new- previous research in other volunteering sectors has found much the same thing. The big question was how much happier? Could we quantify this? Well, yes we could. The results...
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The Runners: Life on the Move

The Runners: Life on the Move

The Runners, a short documentary film by Matan Rochlitz and Ivo Gormley, is a surprisingly uplifting look at ordinary lives on the move. Since it was released in November 2013 it has had over 210,000 views on YouTube. Shot from a bike with a cart attached for the cameraman, Rochlitz and Gormley questioned fair and foul weather runners and joggers in Victoria Park, East London about some of the most intimate areas of their lives. Apparently distracted by the process of running or disconcerted by the couple’s unusual interviewing technique the runners drop their...
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Trolling: What Does it Say About Us?

Trolling: What Does it Say About Us?

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” - Plato A client of mine introduced me to the above quote and I thought about Brenda Leyland, the  63 year old woman who had been publicly confronted on television by Sky News reporter Martin Brunt for repeatedly tweeting false accusations about Gerry and Kate McCann, implicating them in the death of their daughter, Madeleine. Three days later she committed suicide, alone in an hotel room. Compassion or just simple kindness was missing both from Sky News reporting when they ‘outed’ her on live TV...
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#Fatshaming: Pointing the Finger

#Fatshaming: Pointing the Finger

Is being overweight really your fault - or are you being fed faulty advice? Former reality TV participant Katie Hopkins has loaded on almost four stone in a bid to show ‘lazy’ obese people (her words, not mine) how easy it is to lose weight. This type of #fatshaming not only smacks of discrimination, but recent research shows that it doesn’t work.  When we are discriminated against for our weight, we often comfort eat and become heavier. You can read more about this research here. My biggest concern about Katie and the #fatshaming brigade is that they may be...
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Is Masculinity A Cultural Myth?

Is Masculinity A Cultural Myth?

In my role as a counsellor I was working with a boy who had just had his 10th birthday, I asked him what did that feel like? His reply had a stereotypical ring to it which was almost chilling: “I am a man now”. There it was laid out before me; the role of being a MAN, soon to be joined by all the traditional expectations that come with that role. “Take it on the chin; No pain, no gain; Act like a man; Are you a man or a mouse”? We have all heard them so often but do we really appreciate the damage these expectations can have on that young man of 10? A Persistent...
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Stoicism: A Simplified Modern Guide

Stoicism: A Simplified Modern Guide

In this article, I present a simplified set of Stoic psychological practices, that could both act as a ‘daily philosophical routine’ and as a very concise introduction to Stoicism as a way of life. A key Stoic idea which informs these practices is that: ‘...to become educated (in Stoic philosophy) means just this: to learn what things are our own, and what are not’ (Discourses, 4.5.7). The practical consequence of this distinction is essentially quite simple: ‘What, then, is to be done? To make the best of what is in our power, and take the rest as it naturally...
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Is Your Brain Male or Female?

Is Your Brain Male or Female?

BBC Horizon's recent programme, “Is your brain male or female?”  made a valiant yet narrow minded attempt at measure and reason. I offer this blog to anyone who remains as riled as I by Michael Mosley’s acceptance of Simon Baron-Cohen’s carefully paired claim that, “The male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems,” and, “The female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy.” The first evidence cluster is derived from animal behaviour.  For example, male great apes engage in more play fighting than female great apes, and...
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Bare Reality: 100 Women and their Breasts

Bare Reality: 100 Women and their Breasts

There has been so much public debate about breasts recently, from Free the Nipple to No More Page 3, from breastfeeding selfies on Facebook to Rihanna on the red carpet. I think the time has never been better to hear how women really feel about their breasts, and to see how they really look.  I have always been fascinated by the dichotomy between women’s personal lives and how they are depicted by the media; between how we feel about breasts privately and how they are presented for public consumption. We see images of breasts everywhere in the media and yet...
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Men In Therapy: Why Are We Holding Back?

Men In Therapy: Why Are We Holding Back?

Why do men become therapy clients? We can also ask why men become therapists. Are men’s aims and goals, as clients and practitioners, different from those of women and, if so, have therapists really recognised this? Or, just as so many aspects of culture take the male as the norm, could it be that, for contemporary therapy, it's the female model that prevails? And men simply have to fit in. We know that men die younger than women, commit suicide more frequently, and are slower to take serious symptoms of illness to the doctor. We assume that men aren't as likely as...
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