Saturday, 1 October 2011

Love's Executioner by Irvin Yalom

This episode is a discussion about the book Love's Executioner: & Other Tales of Psychotherapy by Irvin D. Yalom.

Here is a summary of the book from the publisher:

The collection of ten absorbing tales by master psychotherapist Irvin D. Yalom uncovers the mysteries, frustrations, pathos, and humor at the heart of the therapeutic encounter. In recounting his patients' dilemmas, Yalom not only gives us a rare and enthralling glimpse into their personal desires and motivations but also tells us his own story as he struggles to reconcile his all-too human responses with his sensibility as a psychiatrist.

Podcast Episode

Friday, 2 September 2011

The Myth of Mental Illness by Thomas Szasz

This episode is a discussion about The Myth of Mental Illness by Thomas Szasz. Here is a summary of the book from

The most influential critique of psychiatry ever written, Thomas Szasz's classic book revolutionized thinking about the nature of the psychiatric profession and the moral implications of its practices. By diagnosing unwanted behavior as mental illness, psychiatrists, Szasz argues, absolve individuals of responsibility for their actions and instead blame their alleged illness. He also critiques Freudian psychology as a pseudoscience and warns against the dangerous overreach of psychiatry into all aspects of modern life.

In the discussion we also refer to the book The Assault on Truth by Jeffrey Moussaieff Mason.

Podcast Episode

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Falling In Love by Ayala Malach Pines

In this episode, we're discussing "Falling in Love: Why We Choose the Lovers We Choose" by Ayala Malach Pines. Here is a summary of the book from Amazon:

Falling in Love is the first book to unlock the mysteries of how and why we fall in love. Renowned psychologist Ayala Pines shows us why we fall for the people we do, and argues convincingly that we love neither by chance nor by accident. She offers sound advice for making the right choices when it comes to this complicated emotion. Packed with helpful suggestions for those seeking love and those already in it, this book is about love's many puzzles.

The second edition furthers the work of the popular and successful first edition. With expanded research, theory, and practice, this book once again provides one of a kind understandings of the experience of love. The new edition offers updated references to recent research, new chapter exercises, and "case examples" of romantic stories to begin each chapter.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine

A discussion of Cordelia Fine's book "Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference". Here is a summary of the book from the publisher:

This is a vehement attack on the latest pseudo-scientific claims about the differences between the sexes - with the scientific evidence to back it up. Sex discrimination is supposedly a distant memory. Yet popular books, magazines and even scientific articles increasingly defend inequalities by citing immutable biological differences between the male and female brain. Why are there so few women in science and engineering, so few men in the laundry room? Well, they say, it's our brains. Drawing on the latest research in developmental psychology, neuroscience, and social psychology, "Delusions of Gender" rebuts these claims, showing how old myths, dressed up in new scientific finery, help perpetuate the status quo. Cordelia Fine reveals the mind's remarkable plasticity, shows the substantial influence of culture on identity, and, ultimately, exposes just how much of what we consider 'hardwired' is actually malleable. This startling, original and witty book shows the surprising extent to which boys and girls, men and women are made - and not born.

Podcast Episode

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Self Therapy by Jay Early

A discussion of Jay Early's book "Self-Therapy: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Wholeness and Healing Your Inner Child Using IFS, A New, Cutting-Edge Psychotherapy". Here is a summary of "Self Therapy" from the book:

"This book can help you bring a new sense of compassion and healing to yourself without having to be in therapy. Through Jay's user-friendly description of the Internal Family Systems approach, you will begin to change how you do "self talk," or internal dialogue. As you relate to even your most shameful emotions and impulses with curiosity rather than judgment and with caring rather than disgust, you will find that these parts of you are not what they seem. They are valuable inner resources that have been distorted by difficult life experiences. Even more uplifting, you will learn that you have a core, an essence, that is untouched by life's traumas. What IFS calls the Self is in every one of us; it is a source of wonderful qualities from which we can lead our inner and outer lives. In this way, the book releases our self concepts from the pathological and pessimistic way we have been taught to view ourselves. It proposes a new, optimistic, and edifying vision of the mind and shows how easily it can change and heal."

In the podcast we refer to recent scientific advances in the understanding of memory- more information about this can be found here and here. We also refer to Jay Earley's other book "Self-Therapy for Your Inner Critic".

Podcast Episode

Saturday, 12 March 2011

They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life by Oliver James

This episode is a discussion of Oliver James' book They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life. Here is a summary from Amazon:

In this groundbreaking book, clinical psychologist Oliver James shows that it is the way we were cared for in the first six years of life that has a crucial effect on who we are and how we behave. Nurture, in effect, shapes our very nature. In a remarkable analysis of science and popular culture, James combines the latest research with revealing case studies, interviews, and biographies with the likes of Michael Jackson, Mia Farrow, and Prince Charles to prove his point. James explains how the findings he presents can be a source of liberation in our lives. Through the use of provocative questions and insightful examples, he helps readers better understand the way their childhood past is affecting their present and how to "be your own scriptwriter." He also argues that his findings could have huge implications for society as a whole. A top-seller and recipient of significant attention in the U.K., They F*** You Up is an opinionated, entertaining read which causes us to ponder the origins of our present behaviour.

The title of the book comes from the poem by Philip Larkin: - This Be The Verse

Podcast Episode.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Truth Will Set You Free by Alice Miller

A discussion of Alice Miller's book "The Truth Will Set You Free: Overcoming Emotional Blindness and Finding Your True Adult Self". Here is a summary of the book from Amazon:

Swiss psychoanalyst Alice Miller's writings have changed the way many people view themselves and their world. In simple but powerful prose, the deeply moving "The Drama of Being a Child" showed how parents unconsciously form and deform the emotional lives of their children. In "The Truth Will Set You Free" Miller returns to the intensely personal tone and themes of her ground-breaking work. She says, "I simply refuse to see obedience as a virtue, curiosity as a sin, and ignorance of good and evil as an ideal state". Only by embracing the truth of our past histories can any of us hope to be free of pain in the present, she argues. Miller's vivid true stories reveal the perils of early-childhood mistreatment and the dangers of mindless obedience to parental will. Drawing on the latest research on brain development, she shows how spanking and humiliation produce dangerous levels of denial. This denial, necessary for the child's survival, leads to emotional blindness and finally to mental barriers that cut off awareness and the ability to learn new ways of acting. If this cycle repeats itself, the grown child will perpetrate the same abuse on later generations, warns Miller. "The Truth Will Set You Free" should provoke and inform all readers who want to know Alice Miller's latest thinking on this important subject.

Podcast Episode