• How to raise a victim of childhood sexual abuse
    How to raise a victim of childhood sexual abuse
    1 Comment on How to raise a victim of childhood sexual abuse

    Just for a moment, let’s completely ignore the tragic cascade of underage child abuse victims themselves acting out the same behaviours on other minor family members or peers where the perpetrator really is as much a victim as the the one being abused.

    Have you ever tried, even for just a few seconds, to step inside the mind of the most hardened adult sexual offenders and imagine what they need to see in a child to begin taking steps towards victimizing him or her? Is there a pattern? Why would they target one child and completely ignore another?

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  • Quick fixes, Band-Aids and EMDR…
    Quick fixes, Band-Aids and EMDR…
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    When we receive referrals from the medical community of clients struggling with anxiety or panic disorder, one of the most common requests we get is for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. It’s highly popular — though I doubt if the majority of those who refer for such have any idea what they are suggesting.

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  • Tradition: But, we’ve always done it that way…
    Tradition: But, we’ve always done it that way…
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    Medical Daily

    Tradition: It can make life rich (big ethnic holiday feasts) and sometimes limited (seemingly arbitrary social taboos about clothing), but where does it stem from?

    New research out of Karolinska Institutet’s Emotion Lab in Sweden attempts to answer that question, by creating a psychological model behind the notion of tradition. It turns out that humans have a tendency to be quite sheep-like: the researchers found that it likely comes from a threat of punishment — as well as people’s willingness to copy others.

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  • Maybe faith is not so dead…
    Maybe faith is not so dead…
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    National Post

    You don’t need to be a churchgoer to pray. That’s one of the findings of a sweeping new poll on faith from the Angus Reid Institute, conducted in partnership with Dr. Reginald Bibby of the University of Lethbridge. The recent survey of 3,041 Canadians showed that even as our affiliation with organized religion continues to decline we still believe — just in our own, often deeply personal, ways. Here’s a snapshot of how faith shapes our behaviour and our views of one another today.

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  • Giving hugs later doesn’t help…
    Giving hugs later doesn’t help…
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    Science Daily

    “If you believe that you can shake your children or slap them across the face and then smooth things over gradually by smothering them with love, you are mistaken,” wrote lead researcher Jennifer E. Lansford on the Child and Family Blog. Lansford is a research professor at the Social Science Research Institute at Duke University. “Being very warm with a child whom you hit in this manner rarely makes things better. It can make a child more, not less, anxious.”

    The blog is a joint project of the Future of Children at Princeton University and the Applied Developmental Psychology Research Group at the University of Cambridge.

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  • What keeps men from seeking help?
    What keeps men from seeking help?
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    Good Men Project

    The shame experienced by men who have lost their position as the primary breadwinner in their family can be devastating. This is frequently more than just a lost job—it can also define the purpose of a productive life. The loss of purpose experienced in job loss can cripple self-esteem and destroy one’s concept of self-worth. This shame can create a solid barrier to the discussion, particularly discussion with a stranger in therapeutic situations.

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  • Have you discovered, THE SECRET???
    Have you discovered, THE SECRET???
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    Mark Manson

    Research also shows that actively engaging in positive thinking, such as when you imagine getting a job, doing well on an exam, or even successfully recovering after surgery, can actually result in poorer outcomes. Psychologists think that this kind of delusional positive thinking can make us complacent and lazy, as though we already accomplished something we have yet to accomplish, causing us to put forth less effort and to feel less motivated.

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  • Are you really so sure you, “Clearly remember???”
    Are you really so sure you, “Clearly remember???”
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    The new study proves for the first time what psychologists have long suspected: that manipulative questioning tactics used by police can induce false memories — and produce false confessions.

    Published in January in the journal Psychological Science by Julia Shaw of the Britain’s University of Bedfordshire and Stephen Porter, a forensic psychologist who studies the role of memory in the legal system at the University of British Columbia, the study holds striking implications for the justice system.

    “The human mind is very vulnerable to certain tactics in interviews,” Porter told the Star in an interview.

    Shaw and Porter recruited 70 students at a Canadian university who had never committed a crime and told them they’d be taking part in a study about how well people could remember their childhoods. They asked students’ past caregivers for details about a vivid event that had taken place in the students’ lives between ages 11 and 14, such as an accident or an emotional first day at school. Caregivers and students agreed not to communicate about the experiment while it was ongoing.

    Researchers questioned the students for three sessions of about 40 minutes each. They asked them to recall two events in their past: the true event and an added false one, both of which they said the caregivers had told them about. The false event was described in as general terms as possible — simply “an assault” or “an incident where you were in contact with the police.”

    If subjects said they couldn’t remember the false event, questioners reassured them they would be able to retrieve their “lost memories” if they tried hard enough. If they began to “remember,” experimenters asked for more detail. Do you recall any images? How did you feel? Visualize what it might have been like, they said, and the memory will come back to you.

    By the end of the third interview, more than 70 percent of subjects came to believe they had committed a crime just five or so years in the past. They didn’t merely agree they had done what the experimenters suggested — they generated all the details of the crime themselves, recalling vivid sensory memories and often becoming emotional and guilt-ridden.

    Some subjects persisted in believing they were guilty after they had been told the “crime” had been invented. “A few people argued with the experimenter and said, ‘Well no, I know this happened,’ ” says Porter.

    Think that’s scary? The psychologists did.

    “We ended the study prematurely,” says Porter. Once he and Shaw had interviewed 60 of the students and realized the proportion of them generating false memories was high enough to support their hypothesis, they decided to spare the remaining 10 subjects the unnecessary upheaval.

    If you really think the line, “The suspect later confessed during police interrogation,” means ANYTHING at all, you should probably read the full article.

    And, really, it means only somewhat less than another line: “I uncovered memories of my childhood ________ abuse during therapy.”

    The problem is, guilty people sometimes do finally crack under pressure and tell the truth — as also do innocent people admit to completely false things. People can partially or, in incredibly rare cases, completely repress memories only recovering them (sometimes in therapy) years later — but those memories can also be therapist created and implanted.

    Both the police and the therapeutic community would like to believe (or at least act like) the above abuses are difficult to accomplish and so rare they are nearly unheard of.

    Sadly, they’re not.

    There’s a reason the courts have forced the police to inform suspects of their right to have an attorney present — who nearly always ends the interrogation instantly. (Perhaps, so-called, recovered memory therapists or trauma memory specialists should have the same in their therapy offices…)

    But, even more importantly, when a research group is ethically forced to end a study early because it is TOO EASY to implant false memories, perhaps no one should ever again be quite as sure that they, “Clearly remember…”

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  • Proof of intelligent life — barely…
    Proof of intelligent life — barely…
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    The 2015 edition, as noted by The Washington Post, will mark perhaps the biggest change since the original 1977 advice by dropping the warning about cholesterol consumption. One of the six core goals since the 1970s has been to limit the intake of cholesterol to less than 300mg per day, however, the present Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) does not believe that cholesterol consumption is something we need to be worried about.

    Foods high in cholesterol — such as eggs, offal, and seafood — have long been considered contributors to the risk of heart disease, however, research seeking to establish any causative link between them and undesirable health outcomes has been equivocal. In the absence of a proper scientific consensus and given that the human body produces a lot more cholesterol than it takes in via the diet, the DGAC has decided that “cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.” That’s not to say that cholesterol is completely innocuous, and having it clog up your arteries is still a threat to heart health, but the amount of it that you consume is no longer thought to be important enough to restrict.

    That’s a nice way of saying: “So, we spent the last 38 years warning you not to eat something knowing from the start it was based on no evidence at all beyond the idea that something called fat must make you fat and cause heart attacks. Um, ya, our bad — and sorry about making an entire nation (and, to some degree, world) gorge itself on carbs, get sick and die in record numbers…”

    But, time is a wasting…

    I must run and get myself a copy of the updated guidelines — I’m sure they will utterly transform my diet. I just know I can trust the dietary experts at the U.S. Government — they’re not bought and paid for by big Agra Biz or anything…

    Whatever was I thinking listening to people who have real research to back what they are saying like Dr. Barry Sears?

    Ok, rant over…


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