Posts

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

William M. Epstein, Ph.D.

William Epstein is a professor at the School of Social Work, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he teaches social welfare policy.

He is the author of nine books, covering the politics, economics, and sociology of American Social Welfare, including the two which form the basis of today’s discussion, “The Illusion of Psychotherapy“, and “Psychotherapy as Religion: The Civil Divine in America“.

In today’s episode we explore two of Dr. Epsteins most compelling claims:

Firstly, that not only is psychotherapy most likely ineffective, but that “there is not one credible study conforming to the basic rules of objective proof that testifies to the effectiveness of any psychotherapeutic treatment.”

And secondly, that the practice of psychotherapy is not a science at all but rather the civil religion of America, reflecting the principles of radical self-invention and self-reliance deeply embedded in the psyche of the nation.

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

Democrats.org – Official website of the Democratic Party

Book Recommendations

                                   

Image courtesy: Jenavieve

Dr. John Cromby

Dr. John Cromby is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Leicester.

He is author of “Feeling Bodies: Embodying Psychology” a book which explores the nature of feelings and their relationship with other psychological phenomena, and co-author of “Psychology, Mental Health and Distress” which was a British Psychological Society Book of the Year in 2014.

John is part of the team that produced the recent “Power, Threat, Meaning Framework” which is intended as an alternative to more traditional ideas of mental ill health based on psychiatric diagnosis.

He is also a member of the Midlands Psychology Group, a group of psychologists who believe that psychology has served to make people individually responsible for their own misery by ideologically detaching us from the world we live in, and that what are too often seen as private predicaments are in fact best understood as arising out of the public structures of society.

In today’s episode we discuss why the origins of psychological distress lie outside the individual, why modern psychology tends to overstate the amount freedom and flexibility that people have in responding to negative circumstances, why notions such as willpower and resilience are more likely the byproduct of prior advantage than voluntary acts of will, why discussions about economic, political and ideological influence are sorely lacking in discussions around mental health, and why acknowledging the limits of our own personal power can actually prove quite liberating.

 

Related Links

Midlands Psychology Group – for a social materialist psychology

Draft Manifesto for a Social Materialist Psychology of Distress –  identifies the main assumptions of a social materialist psychology

David Smail’s books @ Karnac Press (cheaper than Amazon for brand new copies)

Book Recommendations

                    

Images courtesy: Taecilla