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Read our posts about Psychology

Why Do People Take Extreme Risks?

Why Do People Take Extreme Risks?

Imagine climbing up a sheer wall of rock without a rope. Missing a foothold, losing your grip, or encountering a falling rock could send you flying toward almost-certain death. Welcome to the precarious world of free solo climbing. Alex Honnold is widely regarded as the world’s leading free solo climber. He has made some remarkable un-roped climbs, including the breath-taking 2000-foot walls of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. The concentration required is extraordinary. Half Dome took three hours to climb the first time he scaled it, and Honnold was one slip...
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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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Edna O'Shaughnessy: Melanie Klein's Handmaiden

Edna O'Shaughnessy: Melanie Klein's Handmaiden

The leading Psychoanalyst Edna O’Shaughnessy is 90 years old today. For many this will be a cause for celebration of one of the UK’s leading psychoanalysts. For Mrs O’Shaughnessy (as she is more respectfully known by her colleagues and students) it will be just another day in the office as she leads the weekly clinical seminar of the Fitzjohn’s Unit at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. Mrs O’Shaughnessy is a Distinguished Fellow and Training and Supervising Analyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society. She came to psychoanalysis from a...
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How to Get Out of a Career Rut and Start Living

How to Get Out of a Career Rut and Start Living

Do you dread going into work in the morning? An incredible half of us in the UK believe our choice of career was a mistake.Given the fact that half of Britons spend their days doing something they describe as "meaningless” and “too stressful”, there's a heck of a lot of misery out there. All too often the dreams we harbour of running a tea shop, changing careers or writing novels, fall by the wayside because the bills won’t pay themselves. What's more, re-training is hard, changing track is risky and sometimes it feels like we’re better with the devil we know. However,...
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Why Do Young British Men Become Jihadis?

Why Do Young British Men Become Jihadis?

The reasons why any young person leaves their home, family and friends to go and fight in a foreign country will always be complex to unravel.  It does seem incomprehensible that someone who has been raised and educated in the UK with no history of violence would be willing to get involved in acts of unspeakable brutality and yet we are told that hundreds have made that choice. There are clearly powerful global forces in play and we need the input from political theory, theology, history, social science and of course psychology to make some sense of it.  Yet, as a...
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Why Won't We Help Each Other Out?

Why Won't We Help Each Other Out?

What prompts us to ignore the distress of other people? We’ve all found ourselves in situations - the times we’ve seen someone taunted and didn’t intervene; when we’ve driven past a car that has broken down, assuming another driver would pull over to help. We’ve noticed a young man slumped on the pavement, and not gone over to check if he’s okay. We witness a problem; consider doing something, then respond by doing... nothing. Something holds us back. So why don’t we help in these situations? Apathy can immobilise us when we feel the impulse to flee and help at the...
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