How The Brain Shapes Pain And Links Ouch With Emotion

When Sterling Witt was a teenager in Missouri, he was diagnosed with scoliosis. Before long, the curvature of his spine started causing chronic pain. It was “this low-grade kind of menacing pain that ran through my spine and mostly my lower back and my upper right shoulder blade and then even into my neck a…

Listening For The Meaning Between The Words

The potency of “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay,” Whitney Houston’s triumphant 1999 call out single, hangs from a tiny ad lib she deploys with surgical efficiency. She uses it to puncture the song’s third line, “If six of y’all went out — uhhh — then four of you were really cheap,” succinctly conveying a…

A Psychotherapist Goes To Therapy

Even therapists need someone to talk to sometimes. Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist who started seeing a therapist herself five years ago, when the man she thought she would marry unexpectedly broke up with her, shattering her sense of the present and the future. “My reaction was the reaction of everybody that I told at…

Why Do Therapists Ask Open-Ended Questions?

If you’ve ever been in therapy, you have probably noticed that your therapist asks a lot of vague questions. In fact, this has even become a source of humor in pop culture. Bob Newhart’s famous question, “How did that make you feel?” has become a standard way to lampoon therapy. Open-ended questions are tools that…

Antidepressants Can Interfere With Pain Relief Of Common Opioids

Antidepressants may dampen the effects of some common opioids, resulting in less effective pain management according to research findings published Wednesday. The researchers suggest physicians should consider alternative pain management strategies for patients on antidepressants. Opioids come in two broad varieties: those that act directly and others that have to be chemically processed by the…

What Is Self-Awareness?

Self-awareness involves being aware of different aspects of the self including traits, behaviors, and feelings. Essentially, it is a psychological state in which oneself becomes the focus of attention. Self-awareness is one of the first components of the self-concept to emerge. While self-awareness is something that is central to who you are, it is not…

What Do Tears Look Like?

When you first view Rose-Lynn Fisher’s photographs, you might think you’re looking down at the world from an airplane, at dunes, skyscrapers or shorelines. In fact, you’re looking at her tears. The Los Angeles-based photographer’s project, The Topography of Tears, stemmed from a curiosity steeped in emotional release. After losing contact for years, Fisher reconnected…

Why Following Your Passions Is Good for You

Whether you plan to turn your hobby into a career, or just use it as a release valve for the stresses in your life, here’s how to find time for a little self-care. Before Andrew Rea started his popular “Binging With Babish” YouTube channel, he could barely get out of bed. Today, he credits the…

Why Relationships Are the Secret to Healthy Aging

A new book outlines why our brains and bodies need social connections to age well. Plenty of exercise. Healthy food. Positive attitude. Plain old good luck. There’s lots of advice out there about how to keep body and brain in optimal shape as the years roll by. But Louis Cozolino, professor of psychology at Pepperdine…

Hume The Humane

Hume believed we were nothing more or less than human: that’s why he’s the amiable, modest, generous philosopher we need now. Socrates died by drinking hemlock, condemned to death by the people of Athens. Albert Camus met his end in a car that wrapped itself around a tree at high speed. Nietzsche collapsed into insanity…

Forget a Fast Car. Creativity Is the New Midlife Crisis Cure.

Who needs a Ferrari when you can pick up a paintbrush? Remember those days? When a midlife crisis meant swapping your hatchback for a sports car, preferably red, or taking up a boozy, illicit affair? Not today. In this era of mindfulness, and today’s preoccupation with pursuing a meaningful life, a new antidote has emerged…