Dr. Tomasz Witkowski

Tomasz Witkowski is a psychologist, skeptic and science writer who specializes in debunking pseudoscience in the fields of psychology, psychotherapy, and diagnostics.

He is the founder of the Polish Skeptics Club, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation actively engaged in the promotion of critical thinking, scientific skepticism and scientific methods, and in 2010 he was the recipient of the “Rationalist of the Year Award” from the Polish Society of Rationalists.

As well as running his own “Forbidden Psychology” blog and making regular contributions to the British Psychological Societies’ Research Digest, Tom has authored 200 popular science pieces, 40 scientific articles, and over a dozen books including the two which form the basis of today’s discussion, “Psychology Gone Wrong: The Dark Sides of Science and Therapy” and “Psychology Led Astray: Cargo Cult in Science and Therapy”.

In today’s episode we discuss why the results of almost half of all psychological studies are false or misleading, why 7% of academics in the field admit to fabricating data, why psychology journals are unwilling to publish negative study results and the effect this has on subsequent research, why the increase in mental health professionals results in worsening mental health statistics, and ultimately why the field of psychological research is merely a pale imitation of real science.

This episode has 12 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

 

Related Links

Forbidden Psychology – The Dark Sides of Science and Therapy

Psychology Gone Wrong – Facebook Page

Book Recommendations

                              

Image courtesy: dierk schaefer

Dr. Nassir Ghaemi

Nassir Ghaemi (@nassirghaemi) is a psychiatrist and researcher specializing in depression and bipolar illness.

He is Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, a Lecturer on Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

He has published over 200 scientific articles, over 50 scientific book chapters, and has written or edited over half a dozen books, including the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion, the New York Times Best-Seller “A First Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness”.

In today’s episode we discuss the subject of Psychobiography and the methods involved in learning to understand the psychology of historical figures, we explore the link between manic depressive illness and leadership through examples such as Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill, why mentally normal politicians make for good peacetime leaders but poor crisis leaders, and how people with mental illness can learn to channel their illness into something positive.

Related Links

NassirGhaemi.com – Nassir’s web site

Mood Swings – Nassir’s blog at Psychology Today

Book Recommendations

Image courtesy: Nasir Ghaemi / Penguin Press / Nicole Laroche

Prof. Graham Davey

Graham Davey (@GrahamCLDavey) is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Sussex.

Graham has published over 140 articles in scientific and professional journals, has served as President of the British Psychological Society, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Experimental Psychopathology and Psychopathology Review.

He is the author of the Psychology Today blog “Why We Worry”, and he has written or edited a number of books including “Worry and its Psychological Disorders”, “Managing Anxiety with CBT For Dummies”, and the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion, “The Anxiety Epidemic: The Causes of our Modern-Day Anxieties”.

In today’s episode we discuss the difference between anxiety disorder and plain old worry, the evolutionary origins and advantages of anxiety, how the nature of our anxiety has changed across the generations, why anxiety tends to manifest in different ways in different people, common causes of anxiety in the modern world and whether or not there really is an epidemic, and of course some tips and advice on what you can do to reduce your own anxiety.

This episode has 10 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

Related Links

Papers from Sidcup – Graham’s website

Why We Worry: Where anxiety comes from and what we can do about it – Graham’s blog at Psychology Today

Contact Graham Direct: grahamda@sussex.ac.uk

The English Malady by George Cheyne via Archive.org

Book Recommendations

                    

Image courtesy: Mark Turnauckas

Mark Hunter

Mark Hunter (@chimairamark) is a musician and photographer who spent almost two decades as the vocalist and one of the main songwriters for the heavy metal band Chimaira, a group which has sold more than a million albums worldwide and has debuted on the Billboard 200 Chart six times.

Marks latest project, in collaboration with award winning director Nick Cavalier, is a documentary film entitled “Down Again” in which Mark shares his personal story about utilizing art to combat personal struggles, which in his case includes depression and bipolar disorder.

In today’s episode we discuss Mark’s journey from a heavy metal fan to a heavy metal icon, his experience with a specific form of bipolar know as “hypomania”, the relationship between art and mental illness, the power of music to both represent and relieve emotional distress, the evolution of Mark’s artistic expression from music to photography, and whether of not creativity inspired by personal darkness is worth the price of admission.

Related Links

Mark Hunter Photo – Mark’s photography website

Down Again – A film exploring the connection between mental illness and creativity told through the lens of photographer and Chimaira frontman Mark Hunter.

@markhunterphoto – Mark’s Instagram page

Music Recommendations

               

Image courtesy: Nick Cavalier

Julia Samuel MBE

Julia Samuel is a psychotherapist and paediatric counsellor specialising in grief.

In 1994 she helped launch and establish Child Bereavement UK, a charity aimed at educating professionals in supporting children facing bereavement and families who have lost a child, and continues to play an active role as the charities Founder Patron.

Julia is a Vice President of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, an Honorary Doctor of Middlesex University, and in 2015 was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list for services to bereaved children.

Her first book is The Sunday Times bestseller “Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving“, which was published in 2017.

In today’s episode we discuss Julia’s work as a grief counsellor and how encountering death so frequently affects her own mental health, why death is such a taboo subject and the price we pay for this, whether it’s justified to classify prolonged grief as a mental illness, and we also explore some of the most and least helpful ways to deal with the death of a loved one.

Related Links

Grief Works – Julia’s website

Child Bereavement UK – Supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.

Julia Samuel on Facebook

Book Recommendations

Image courtesy: Marcela

Prof. Scott Lilienfeld

Scott is a professor of psychology at Emory University, famous for his work on personality disorders and psychopathy, as well as his efforts to debunk various myths and pseudoscience that populate much of popular neuroscience and psychology.

He is a fellow and executive board member of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, a consulting editor for Skeptical Inquirer Magazine, and the editor-in-chief of the journal Clinical Psychological Science.

Scott is the recipient of a number of awards including the David Shakow Award for Outstanding Early Career Contributions to Clinical Psychology, and the James McKeen Cattell Award for Distinguished Achievements in Applied Psychological Science.

And he is the author and co-author of a number of book including “50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology“, “Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience“, and “Facts and Fictions in Mental Health“.

In today’s episode we explore the scientific method as it applies to “abnormal psychology”, the motivating factors behind misleading claims in psychology, the ethics of debunking ideas and remedies that some people believe are helpful to them, and few general guidelines people can follow to attune themselves to pseudoscience and snake oil remedies

Related Links

Prisoners of Silence (YouTube) – Frontline documentary questioning method of facilitated communication for autistic people

The 10 Commandments of Helping Students Distinguish Science from Pseudoscience in Psychology – by Scott Lilienfeld

Book Recommendations

                         

Image courtesy: DJ Spiess via Flickr

Dr. Peter Langman

Peter Langman is a psychologist, author and trainer with expertise in the psychology of school shooters.

He has given presentations and provided training to numerous organizations including the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the US State Department.

His recommendations on preventing school shootings were presented by the CEO of the American Psychological Association to President Obama. His research on school shooters has been cited in congressional testimony on Capitol Hill, and he was recently invited by the Department of Homeland Security to participate in the 2018 National School Security Roundtable.

He is the author of a number of books including “School Shooters: Understanding High School, College, and Adult Perpetrators”, and “Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters”, the latter of which was named an Outstanding Academic Title of 2009 by the American Library Association.

Peter is also the man behind SchoolShooters.info, an online database of 400 documents, totalling over 60,000 pages profiling more than 100 perpetrators of school shootings.

In today’s episode we explore some of the myths and misconceptions about school shooters, some of the common traits, histories and motivations of the perpetrators, the influence of trauma and mental illness in shaping their personalities, and what can be done at the social and psychological level to prevent such incidents.

Related Links

SchoolShooters.info – Resources on school shootings, perpetrators, and prevention

Book Recommendations

     

Image courtesy: mabi2000

Prof. Linda Gask

Linda Gask (@suzypuss) is an Emerita Professor of Primary Care Psychiatry at the University of Manchester and a retired psychiatrist with over thirty years of experience working in the NHS.

She is the director and co-founder of two social enterprises including STORM, which provides training in suicide prevention, and Six Degrees, providing primary care mental health services to people in Salford, in Greater Manchester.

Linda has worked as an adviser to the World Health Organization, served on the board of the World Psychiatric Association, and in 2010 she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners in recognition of her teaching in primary care mental health.

She is the author of more than 180 published articles, a number of books including “A Short Introduction to Psychiatry” , and the book which forms the inspiration for today’s conversation “The Other Side of Silence: A Psychiatrist’s Memoir of Depression“.

In today’s episode we explore Linda’s experience of walking the tightrope between both sides of the therapeutic process; as a trained psychiatrist helping clients through their darkest days whilst simultaneously engaged in a lifelong battle with her own recurrent bouts of severe depression.

This episode has 11 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

Related Links

Patching the Soul – Linda’s blog about mental health and fighting stigma

Book Recommendations

                    

Image courtesy: Peter Burka

Dr. Joanna Moncrieff

Joanna Moncrieff (@joannamoncrieff) is a Reader in Critical and Social Psychiatry at University College London, and a practising psychiatrist with an interest in the history, philosophy and politics of psychiatry, and particularly in the use, misuse and misrepresentation of psychiatric drugs.

She is the author of several books including “The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment“, “A Straight Talking Introduction to Psychiatric Drugs“, and “The Bitterest Pills: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drugs“.

Joanna is also is also a founding member and co-chairperson of the Critical Psychiatry Network, a group of psychiatrists from around the world who are sceptical of the idea that mental disorders are simply brain diseases and of the dominance of the pharmaceutical industry.

In today’s episode we explore the history and development of psychiatric medication, why there is little, if any, evidence to support the idea that psychiatric medication is correcting a “chemical imbalance” or any other underlying cause of mental illness, why the disease-centred model of mental health issues is both misleading and disempowering to service users, and ultimately, why much of the “science” supporting psychiatric medication is based more on ideology than evidence.

This episode has 12 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

Related Links

JoannaMoncrieff.com – Books, papers and blogs by Joanna Moncrieff

Mad in America – MiA’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for rethinking psychiatric care in the United States (and abroad)

Critical Psychiatry Network (CPN) – A network primarily for psychiatrists, psychiatric trainees and medical students with an interest in psychiatry

Rxisk – A free, independent drug safety website to help you weigh the benefits of any medication against its potential dangers

Mental Elf – Keeping you up to date with reliable mental health research, policy & guidance

Hearing Voices Network – For people who hear voices, see visions or have other unusual perceptions

Book Recommendations

                              

Image courtesy: IGypsyWoman

Juliet Grayson

Juliet Grayson (@CounsellorsCPD) is an psychotherapist, coach and teacher, specialising in working with people with relationship and sexual problems, and people with terminal illness.

She is the author of “Landscapes of the Heart, The Working World of a Sex and Relationship Therapist“, and the director of StopSO (Specialist Treatment Organisation for Perpetrators and Survivors of Sexual Offences), a UK-wide independent network of suitably qualified professionals willing and trained to work with potential sex offenders, sex offenders and their families.

In today’s episode we explore the causes of sexual attraction to minors in adults, what causes a pedophile to move from a sexual attraction to minors to actually committing an offense, how and why we should change public perception towards non-offending pedophiles.

We discuss the importance of providing people who are attracted to children with access to treatment, what therapy for pedophilia consists of and how it can help, and why preventing the first offense is not only more ethical, but more cost effective than punishment.

This episode has 20 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

Related Links

StopSo – Stopping sexual abuse before it starts

StopSo UK Facebook Page

@StopSo_UK on Twitter

There are currently 1,417 victims of sexual abuse EVERY DAY in the UK.

StopSO works with those at risk of sexual offending or reoffending, to enable them to stop acting out, reducing the risk to society and reducing the number of victims.

StopSO relies on public donations and receives no funding from government. Please consider making a donation.

Book Recommendations

                    

Image courtesy: theshutterbug