Friday, September 22, 2017

On the Difficulty Of Getting People to Change

My most well-received tip is the Traffic Light Rule: an antidote to long-windedness. Yet even when clients claim to want to use it, despite guided practice and homework, they rarely do. I explore why in my PsychologyToday.com article today.


Monday, September 11, 2017

A Kinder, Gentler Approach to Kim Jong Un

Today, C-SPAN broadcast the United Nations’ unanimous Security Council vote to increase sanctions against North Korea and its nuclear-threatening Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un. Speech after speech seem psychologically oblivious, merely returning threats of might with threats of greater might.

Of course, it’s possible that the sanctions will work. Some people understand nothing but pain and the threat of more pain. And it’s possible that Kim Jung Un is simply "crazy:” a psychopathic, megalomanical, sociopathic monster, as is often claimed.

But on the possibility that Kim Jong Un is not crazy but just a human being who for, some psychological and practical reasons, has felt backed into a corner and thus feels he must threaten and alienate the world with nuclear threats, assassinations, and human rights violations, even at the cost of great pain to his people, I thought it might be instructive to you if not to him to write a letter to him.

I can't imagine he'd actually read it, so its primary purpose is to offer my readers an approach to dealing with a hated person and to conflict in general that is more consonant with Psychology Today's and its reader's humanistic sensibilities. Perhaps the tactics I use in the letter may be useful as you address conflicts in your life. In that letter, which I post on PsychologyToday.com, I embed those tactics in parentheses and italics.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Tips for Sub-Clinical Sadness, Worry, Anger, ADD/ADHD

Many people have “issues” that don’t rise to the level of a disorder requiring professional help. For example:
  • They’re sad by nature or because of external events but they’re not—as in clinical depression— numb or inert, let alone suicidal. They function, just not as happily as they’d like.
  • They tend to worry more than they'd like but rarely panic, nor does their anxiety greatly impede their quality of life.
  • They’re predisposed to anger but aren’t in an ongoing state of suppressed anger nor are subject to frequent outbursts let alone physical violence.
  • They have trouble staying focused but their distractibility doesn’t rise to the level of clinical attention-deficit disorder; neither the spacey version (ADD), or the hyperactive version (ADHD.)
My PsychologyToday.com article today offers not-magic pills that have helped a number of my clients address their sub-clinical malaise. Of course, many of these tips are obvious, yet many of us can benefit from reminders to do even things we’ve successfully used before.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Where Will the Jobs Be?

The University of California Berkeley has invited me to give a lecture open to the public. I’m calling it, The Future of Work. In my PsychologyToday.com article today, I present its key content.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

An "Intelligence Pill: One of humankind's most important goals

Psychology professor Jordan Peterson interviewed University of California School of Medicine emeritus Richard Haier, a leading expert on the neuroscience of intelligence. Haier believes that, with a concerted societal effort, an "intelligence pill1" could be developed.

Thousands of genes may affect intelligence but identifying even a small proportion of them could be of inordinate benefit. A May 25, 2017 article in Nature came to a similar conclusion.

My PsychologyToday.com article today offers some implications.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Pressing the Button: A short-short story about a deathbed review of one's life.

A deathbed patient reviews her life. 

That's the topic of my latest PsychologyToday.com short-short story. They're composites of real-life events with psychological or practical implications.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Making This Your Child's Best School Year Yet

True, your child can probably survive a bad school year. Indeed, genes, parenting, and peers matter more, at least in terms of long-term outcomes.

But think back to your own schooling. Weren’t there years in which you were much happier or less so. Helping your child have a whole year of more happiness—That’s worth your effort.

And much is in your control. My PsychologyToday.com article today offers potent things you can do. No, you needn't volunteer in your child’s class. That’s just not realistic for so many of today’s parents.


 

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