Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers (and Happy Fourth of July to you American readers)!
This week’s edition of Psychology Around the Net covers why we might benefit more from summer reading than books we pick up any other time of the year, several New York University studies gone wrong, how one psychiatry professor is fed up with the way new generations of psychiatrists are using their education, and more.
Summer Books: The Psychology Behind a Perfect Beach Read: Chances are, you’ve seen pictures or read status updates on social media about the various books your friends are reading this summer; maybe you’ve compiled a list yourself. Creating a summer reading list is almost a ritual for many of us and, according to psychotherapist Robin Rosenberg, reading a book during the summer — specifically during your vacation — can change your entire reading experience because you’re less likely to be stressed, over-scheduled, and carrying a heavy “cognitive load.” Simply put, reading during vacation increases our ability to truly lose ourselves in, and gain new insight from, a book. “You have time to wonder, to let your mind wander, to be really curious, to be introspective […]”
‘Anxiety: The Magazine’ Addresses Mental Health With Humor: “EVERYONE Is Talking About Your Weird Toenails! Eww, What Is Wrong With Them?” Twitter user @crayonelyse (who hasn’t yet revealed her real name but states she’s a PhD candidate in her mid-twenties who struggles with anxiety) is creating mock magazine covers to tackle mental health issues — specifically, anxiety, it seems — using humor. She acknowledges mental illness is a serious issue and not one that everyone feels comfortable joking about but, for her, looking at anxiety from a humorous perspective provides solace.
An N.Y.U. Study Gone Wrong, and a Top Researcher Dismissed: Multiple violations related to studying an experimental, mind-altering drug has led to New York University’s psychiatric research center shutting down eight studies and dismissing top researcher Dr. Alexander Neumeister. A federal investigation discovered an oversight of study participants (many of whom had serious mental health issues) and investigators from the Food and Drug Administration found falsified records and a failure to keep accurate case histories. One study participant, 40-year-old Diane Ruffcorn who suffered sexual abuse as a child, says “I think their intent was good, and they were considerate to me […] But what concerned me, I was given this drug, and all these tests, and then it was goodbye, I was on my own. There was no follow-up.”
8 Common Traits Among Partners That Lead to Long Lasting Healthy Relationships: The last trait might have you questioning your comfort level with your own relationship.
How Therapy Became A Hobby Of The Wealthy, Out Of Reach For Those In Need: Keith Humphreys, a psychiatry professor at Stanford University, believes many of the next-generation psychiatrists he trains should devote their education to helping patients with serious mental health problems, rather than setting up private practices and charging sky-high fees for people he dubs “the worried well,” those patients he describes as enjoying therapy’s assistance in self-exploration but who aren’t actually suffering from a mental health problem. Says Humphreys, “A minute I spend training that person is a minute of my life wasted […] That very well-trained person should be taking care of very, very troubled people. When they don’t, everyone who needs that care loses out.”
Is Solitude the Secret to Unlocking Our Creativity? “In almost every ‘system’ of creativity devised, the most important part of the process involves a letting go of your consciousness to let the deeper parts of your mind come in and make connections. Without incubation — that space away from direct thought — there is no Eureka!”