Read our posts about mind

Under Pressure: Societal Goals and Stress

Under Pressure: Societal Goals and Stress

Failure to achieve important goals induces stress. Although some of these important goals (such as the need for control, competence and relationships) are universal, there are substantial variations between societies in the way goals are expressed. People’s goals are determined to a large extent by the society in which they live. If, within a particular society, high value is placed on things that most people achieve, then most people will experience few stressors. However, if high value is placed on things that few achieve, then many people will experience...
» Read More
How To Deal with Passive Aggressive Behaviour

How To Deal with Passive Aggressive Behaviour

Passive aggressive behaviour can be one of the most difficult behaviours to deal with because it’s expressed in obscure, underhand ways. The person may appear passive on the surface but is really acting out their resistance towards you in an indirect or hidden way. When someone is behaving with disguised hostility, they don’t reveal their true motives and you end up tying yourself in knots trying to work out what’s going on. You may find yourself getting upset and angry but can’t be entirely sure it is justified. Passive aggressive behaviour: verbal Typically,...
» Read More
The Psychology of 50 Shades of Grey

The Psychology of 50 Shades of Grey

The Valentine’s weekend release of Sam Taylor-Johnson’s film of 50 Shades of Grey is impossible to book, so eagerly anticipated is the adaptation of E.L James' erotic novel, the UK's fastest selling paper back of all time.  The story of the filming pitches the director and scriptwriter in a battle with James as they struggled to make a film of a highly commercial soft porn caper. But what’s it like on a psychological level? There is much of the cheesy tongue in cheek on view, as university student Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) goes to interview entrepreneur...
» Read More
Why Do People Respond to Stress Differently?

Why Do People Respond to Stress Differently?

People experience and respond to stress in different ways. There are seven reasons why this happens: 1) Personality There are several dimensions of personality, but the most important dimension, the one that explains most varience, is neuroticism versus stability. The term ‘neurotic’ has a meaning in common usage and one that isn’t flattering. By contrast, to the psychologist, the dimension of neuroticism - or negative affectivity - is simply a dimension on which people vary and should not imply a value judgement. Nice people can be neurotic! A person high in...
» Read More
Writing Music to Overcome Depression

Writing Music to Overcome Depression

One afternoon I had a moment of clarity and wrote all of the words, in one prolific sitting, to a song for my Dad. He moved to America when I was four and I dragged a heavy anchor of anger and disappointment behind me most of my life as a result. I describe in the piano ballad how I was confused and missed him as a child, felt that he didn't know me as a teenager, as an adult I needed him and finally in the present day, I forgave him. Along with a very long letter, I sent this song, which I called ’The Gift’, to my Dad in the mail. It was the closure that I...
» Read More
Postnatal Depression: What it is and How to Deal With it

Postnatal Depression: What it is and How to Deal With it

Estimates suggest that between five and ten percent of women suffer from postnatal depression after having a baby. It's normal to have what’s known as the ‘baby blues’ to some degree in the days and weeks after the birth, this generally involves feeling more tearful and vulnerable than usual and doesn’t last very long. When these feelings become persistent and are joined by other symptoms, then postnatal depression may be diagnosed. Unfortunately, due to the misconception that postnatal depression means not bonding with your baby many women don’t realise...
» Read More
OCD: What are Obsessions and Compulsions?

OCD: What are Obsessions and Compulsions?

There is a lot of confusion around Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and a great many inaccurate portrayals of OCD in the media have led to thousands of people thinking they have OCD when they don’t. Many people will describe themselves as ‘a bit OCD’ if they like things done in a certain order or they like to keep their homes clean and tidy. This is not OCD. It is perfectly normal to have preferences for order and routine, and cleanliness works on a sliding scale with some people being very particular and other people being a lot more relaxed about their cleaning...
» Read More
Self-Acceptance:  Letting Go of Regret

Self-Acceptance: Letting Go of Regret

January is traditionally a time when we are bombarded with messages prodding us to change. We’re encouraged to be more weight conscious and philanthropic to be less bibulous and self-indulgent. However, as we face into the New Year there are some things that go beyond, say, our alcoholic intake, and remain irritatingly outside of our control. At the beginning of last year a psychiatrist referred a retired dentist, John, to me with the hope that working together we might help to alleviate the elderly man’s distress. When John arrived in my consulting room he...
» Read More
How To Spot Sociopath Women

How To Spot Sociopath Women

Sociopath women are present among us, in some of our families and social groups, in some of our workplaces and in the public eye, throughout history and in literature. They may be fewer in number than male sociopaths and viewed with less fear but do we have cause to be concerned about them? How do sociopath women differ from sociopath men? Sociopathy is a disorder of personality. At it's core is a pathological level of narcissism. The self-esteem of the sociopath is poorly regulated because the sociopath acts to protect and sustain an in?ated, but ultimately...
» Read More
The Psychology of Impulse Buying

The Psychology of Impulse Buying

Why do we buy things we never use? Why do we keep shopping when we’re not happy with what we buy? Why do we give in to impulse buying? Marketing plays a part. As consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow puts it, marketers make powerful use of psychology. Deep down, Yarrow says, we all want to believe in magic. So we look for it in shopping bags; hoping to spend our way to satisfaction. But if we’re doing that in the hope of meeting a need, did the consumer world really create that need? Or did we already have it? My self-awareness has blossomed since I started...
» Read More