Dreams have been described as dress rehearsals for real life, opportunities to gratify wishes, and a form of nocturnal therapy. A new theory aims to make sense of it all.
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Psychologically informed reflections on how we interact.
Noam Shpancer Ph.D.
People often show up at a psychologist’s office not because they have a mental illness, but because they can’t stop doing something counter-productive
Millions of Americans are espousing false and bizarre beliefs based on incorrect inferences but maintained firmly despite clear evidence contradicting them.
Arousal does not necessarily signal desire or consent and should not override one’s subjective experience in determining the course of a sexual encounter.
Worry in people with GAD may be deployed to avoid unpleasant surprises and invite pleasant ones.
We have a natural tendency toward kindness, but it needs to be nurtured.
Spending this holiday season away from loved ones can stress and upset us, but it also teaches us valuable lessons.
In our psychological medicine cabinet, exposure, however delivered, may be the most potent medicine.
A new theory argues that a “better safe than sorry” brain architecture underlies many seemingly unrelated phenomena of psychopathology.
Confiding in others improves health, a sobering fact in light of data showing that one in four Americans have no one to confide in.
A subtle shift in language during moments of introspection can improve how you think, feel, and act under stress.
When it comes to improving your overall happiness, focusing on strengths may be better than targeting weaknesses.
The choice to disavow truth in favor of group conformity may be obnoxious and abhorrent, but it’s neither rare nor irrational.
Contrary to popular belief, mental health and mental illness are not opposites. The (consequential) fact is that they exist on separate axes. You can be high (or low) on both.
Therapy is conversation with a purpose. The purpose is discovery and change. But how may conversation accomplish these ends?
When Trump insults, shocks, and breaks norms, he projects power. Human beings are innately attracted to power. Trump's ardent fans dance to his beat, not to the lyrics.
Trump’s reign worked by activating pre-existing, toxic cultural sentiments. These sentiments, not Trump, are the story.
Americans pay much more for lesser quality childcare services than people in the rest of the developed world. We may want to ask why.
The coronavirus pandemic has upended the practice of psychotherapy, presenting new obstacles and opportunities. Is the profession up for the challenge?
Like breathing, sleep gets little attention until something goes wrong. But like breathing, tending to our sleep can bring great benefits.
Job interviews are designed to help select the best candidates for the job. Alas, as a means of predicting future performance and success, they are hopelessly deficient.
We keep going to the well long after it has dried up. Routines are kept well beyond the play of their utility. Rituals are enacted having long outlived their purpose.
As with food, we consume too much news, and too much of the news we consume is junk.
The complexity of human development cannot be hacked, short-cut, or reduced to a single key ingredient.
When it comes to the integrity of our physical body, objective facts matter more than subjective memories. But what about our psychological integrity?
The ascent of the concept of "privilege" appears to have produced more heat than light, more hostility than solidarity, and a more impoverished, rather than richer, dialogue. Why?
Casinos are intentional environments, designed for a purpose. The purpose is to take your money and make you feel good about it—no easy task. How do they do it?
We commit an error when we rush to attribute someone’s behavior to their character qualities while ignoring the much greater role played by circumstances.
Numerous indications of physical, psychological, and social well-being have been trending negatively for men. What's going on?
It’s a common stereotype, by turns celebrated and derided, that young people are having a lot of wild sex. The facts, alas, paint a different picture.
Our brain organizes concepts hierarchically. Our societies are made in the image of our brain. Social hierarchies are not a bug in the software, but a feature of the hardware.
Noam Shpancer, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Otterbein College and a practicing clinical psychologist in Columbus, Ohio.