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"Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts or happenings. It consist mainly of the..."‚ÄúLife does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts or happenings. It consist mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever flowing through one‚Äôs head.‚ÄĚ
- Mark Twain Frontline: Generation Like (PBS):
In Generation Like, an eye-opening follow-up to FRONTLINE‚Äôs 2001 documentary The Merchants of Cool, author Douglas Rushkoff returns to the world of youth culture to explore how the perennial teen quest for identity and connection has migrated to social media ‚ÄĒ and how big brands are increasingly co-opting young consumers‚Äô digital presences.
(click link above to watch the full 56 minute documentary)
"I think people‚Äôs attitudes need to change at a deep psychological level about how they view these..."‚ÄúI think people‚Äôs attitudes need to change at a deep psychological level about how they view these different personality styles. For introverts particularly, to get rid of the guilt and the shame that they feel about who they are, but also for how the world looks at them.
As far as the world is concerned, I‚Äôll give you three concrete places where it needs to change. Number one is in the establishment of psychology itself. What I do in my research, I was actually amazed at how biased psychology is against introversion. I expected it not to be that way because so many psychologists are introverts themselves. But I think it‚Äôs just the nature of the field that it mirrors whatever the biases are at the current time. So it used to be biased against homosexuality, biased against introversion and other stuff too. Right now, for example, they‚Äôre in a process of revising the diagnostics manual. And the last I heard is they‚Äôre considering an entry for something called introverted personality disorder. And that, to me, is just appalling.‚ÄĚ
- It‚Äôs OK to Eat Alone: Q&A with Susan Cain (the author of Quiet)
"The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone..."‚ÄúThe reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else‚Äôs highlight reel.‚ÄĚ
(as quoted by The Atlantic's Megan McArdle, in ‚ÄúWhy Writers Are The Worst Procastinators‚ÄĚ)Movie Date Night Can Double as Therapy:
by Tara Parker-Pope
One of the great divides in male-female relationships is the ‚Äúchick flick‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ movies like ‚ÄúTerms of Endearment‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúThe Notebook‚ÄĚ that often leave women in tears and men bored. But now, a fascinating new study shows that sappy relationship movies made in Hollywood can actually help strengthen relationships in the real world.
A University of Rochester study found that couples who watched and talked about issues raised in movies like ‚ÄúSteel Magnolias‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúLove Story‚ÄĚ were less likely to divorce or separate than couples in a control group. Surprisingly, the ‚ÄúLove Story‚ÄĚ intervention was as effective at keeping couples together as two intensive therapist-led methods.
The findings, while preliminary, have important implications for marriage counseling efforts. The movie intervention could become a self-help option for couples who are reluctant to join formal therapy sessions or could be used by couples who live in areas with less access to therapists.
‚ÄúA movie is a nonthreatening way to get the conversation started,‚ÄĚ said¬†Ronald D. Rogge, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Rochester and the lead author of the study. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs really exciting because it makes it so much easier to reach out to couples and help them strengthen their relationships on a wide scale.‚ÄĚ
The initial goal of the study was to evaluate two types of therapist-led interventions called CARE and PREP. The CARE method focuses on acceptance and empathy in couples counseling, while PREP is centered on a specific communication style that couples use to resolve issues. The researchers wanted a third option that allowed couples to interact but did not involve intensive counseling.
They came up with the movie intervention, assigning couples to watch five movies and to take part in guided discussions afterward. A fourth group of couples received no counseling or self-help assignments and served as a control group.
Going into the study, the researchers expected that the CARE and PREP methods would have a pronounced effect on relationships and that the movie intervention might result in some mild improvements to relationship quality. To their surprise, the movie intervention worked just as well as both of the established therapy methods in reducing divorce and separation.
Among 174 couples studied, those who received marriage counseling or took part in the movie intervention were half as likely to divorce or separate after three years compared with couples in the control group who received no intervention. The divorce or separation rate was 11 percent in the intervention groups, compared with 24 percent in the control group.
Dr. Rogge and senior author¬†Thomas N. Bradbury, a director of the¬†Relationship Institute¬†at the University of California, Los Angeles,¬†published the findings in the December issue of The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
In determining the list of relationship movies that might be useful to couples, the researchers eliminated popular romantic comedies or ‚Äúfalling in love‚ÄĚ movies like ‚ÄúSleepless in Seattle‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúWhen Harry Met Sally.‚ÄĚ Instead, they put together a list of movies that show couples at various highs and lows in their relationships. ‚ÄúHollywood can place very unrealistic expectations on romantic relationships,‚ÄĚ Dr. Rogge said. ‚ÄúThe idea that you are supposed to fall in love instantly and effortlessly is not reality and not relevant to most couples who are two, three or four years into a relationship.‚ÄĚ
Some of the movies on the list, like ‚ÄúCouples Retreat,‚ÄĚ are funny and not necessarily realistic. ‚ÄúBut they are enough to get a dialogue going,‚ÄĚ Dr. Rogge said.
Since completing the initial study, Dr. Rogge and his colleagues have been recruiting couples from around the country to study the effect of the movie intervention on different relationships, including long-married and same-sex couples. Megan Clifton, a 27-year-old student in Knoxville, Tenn., has lived with her boyfriend for nearly two years. Although she says the two have ‚Äúgreat communication,‚ÄĚ she opted to try the movie intervention.
While watching the movie ‚ÄúDate Night‚ÄĚ with Tina Fey and Steve Carell, the couple laughed at a scene in which the husband fails to close drawers and cabinet doors. ‚ÄúHe leaves cabinet doors open all the time, and I become the nagging girlfriend and he shuts down a little,‚ÄĚ Ms. Clifton said. ‚ÄúWhen we were watching the movie, I said ‚ÄėThat‚Äôs you!,‚Äô and it was humorous. We ended up laughing about it, and it has helped us look at our relationship and our problems in a humorous way.‚ÄĚ
Matt and Kellie Butler of Ashtabula, Ohio, have been married for 16 years and also feel the movie intervention has helped their relationship. So far they have watched ‚ÄúLove and Other Drugs‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúShe‚Äôs Having a Baby.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs kind of powerful,‚ÄĚ Mr. Butler said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs like watching a role play in a group-therapy session, but it‚Äôs a movie so it‚Äôs less threatening and more entertaining.‚ÄĚ
Mr. Butler said that even though he and his wife have a strong bond, long-married couples sometimes forget to talk about their relationship. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve been married 16 years, but it‚Äôs not something you sit down and have a conversation about,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúWhen you watch the movie, it focuses your conversation on your relationship.‚ÄĚ
Couples interested in the method can find more information at¬†www.couples-research.com.
Dr. Rogge noted that more research is needed to determine the effect on a variety of couples. One flaw of the study is that the control group was not truly randomized. While the couples in the control group seemed similar to other couples in the study in terms of demographics and relationship quality, further research is needed to validate the movie method.
‚ÄúI believe it‚Äôs the depth of the discussions that follow each movie and how much effort and time and introspection couples put into those discussions that will predict how well they do going forward,‚ÄĚ said Dr. Rogge.
—Edward M. Hallowell & John J. Ratey, Answers to Distraction
- Bruce D. Perry, M.D., The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist‚Äôs Notebook
The Mindful Revolution
Finding peace in a stressed-out, digitally dependent culture may just be a matter of thinking differently‚Ä¶
"The endless, useless urge to look on life comprehensively, to take a bird‚Äôs-eye view of ourselves..."‚ÄúThe endless, useless urge to look on life comprehensively, to take a bird‚Äôs-eye view of ourselves and judge the dimensions of what we have or have not done: this is life as landscape, or life as r√©sum√©. But life is incremental, and though a worthwhile life is a gathering together of all that one is, good and bad, successful and not, the paradox is that we can never really see this one thing that all of our increments (and decrements, I suppose) add up to.‚ÄĚ
Christian Wiman,¬†My Bright Abyss
"Our attractions are forged in the deep space of our being, born of countless, often unknowable forces. When we encounter someone for the first time, our psyche and our heart begin an astonishingly complex scan, picking up obvious cues like physique and facial structure, but also noting myriad subtle cues such as body language, facial expression, the contour of the lips, the nuance of the voice, and the muscles around the eyes. We instantly process all this information without even knowing it. All we feel is desire or the lack of it. Scientists tell us that a silkworm can smell one other silkworm moth of the opposite sex from six and a half miles away. While our mating instinct may not be as developed as this species of moth, nature has bestowed an exquisite sensitivity upon our romantic radar, programmed to find just the right person to trigger whatever emotional circuitry we need to work through.
All of us are attracted to a certain type that stops us dead in our tracks: a physical type, an emotional type, and a personality type. Let‚Äôs say that there is a spectrum of attraction, from one to ten, and the people at the low end of the spectrum (like numbers one and two) aren‚Äôt physically or romantically attractive to us at all. But those on the ‚Äúten‚ÄĚ end of the spectrum are icons: they‚Äôre compellingly attractive, they make us weak in the knees, and they trigger both our insecurities and our longing. Harville Hendrix, the founder of Imago Therapy, illuminates this phenomenon in a way which sheds light on our entire intimacy journey. He teaches that these people are so attractive to us in part because they embody not only the best, but also the the worst emotional characteristics of our parents!
Even though we may be adults, all of us have unresolved childhood hurts due to betrayal, anger, manipulation or abuse. Unconsciously, we seek healing through our partner. And we try to achieve this healing by bonding with someone who we sense might hurt us in similar ways to how we were hurt as children, in the hope that we can convince him or her to finally love and accept us.
Our conscious self is drawn to the positive qualities we yearn for, but our unconscious draws us to the qualities which remind us of how we were wounded the most.
This explains part of why we get so awkward and insecure around people we‚Äôre intensely attracted to.
It also explains why our greatest heartbreaks often occur with these most intense, fiery attractions. Some of us react to these past heartbreaks by only dating those on the low end of the spectrum. We are frightened of the intensity and the risk of painful loss when we deal with people on the high end of the attraction scale. We often feel safest with people who don‚Äôt do much for us on a physical or romantic level because it just feels more comfortable that way. But the downside is usually boredom, frustration and lack of passion.
Many others only date people on the high end of the spectrum, just going for the iconic types, because they believe that that‚Äôs where real love and passion lie. With someone who is a ‚Äúhigh number‚ÄĚ on your attraction spectrum, you can tell that you‚Äôre attracted in a fraction of a second. While this can be achingly exciting, it‚Äôs rarely comfortable or secure.”
— How to Develop Sexual and Romantic Attraction to People Who Are Good for You (Psychology Today)