The Papal visit to North America in late September is expected to bring with it a wave of not only spiritual change but social change as well. More than any other pope in history, Pope Francis has proved to be concerned with the way in which his power is able to affect the lives of people across a broad swathe of society. This leader, who has cast himself as more than a spiritual guide and more than a political figurehead, is poised to offer a challenge to millions to change the way that they think about social justice, the way that they think about others, and even the way that they see themselves within their own world. [More]
New York Fashion Week is not an event that is known for its inclusive nature, as couture modeling is often associated with waifish models in outrageous clothing that has become a media circus full of high profile celebrities. Nonetheless, it continues to harness a great deal of media coverage and is becoming an effective means of bringing light to issues. This year the Fall version of New York Fashion Week has among its runway newcomers an young woman who has been for the past six months working to redefine beauty. Her name is Madeline Stuart, and she is an 18 year old with Down Syndrome. [More]
There are those who say that pandas remind us of ourselves. Consider the way they sit when they eat. The females are far more mannerly than the males (just like homo sapiens?). As a panda chomps on a stick of bamboo using a thumb-like bone to grasp the bamboo, it looks remarkably human. It is said that the human brain is programmed to respond to this creature that has big eyes (accentuated by black markings), a high forehead, a big round head, and a body that is chubby and roly poly, just like a human baby. The panda brings out our protective, nurturing instincts. “What fools these mortals be” (Shakespeare, Midsummer Nights Dream) — the panda has no interest in us whatsoever. [More]
It’s an uncomfortable topic yet significant enough to talk about despite the uncomfortable feelings and awkwardness a frank discussion may elicit. Suicide. It’s in the news. People reading this blog may know personally someone who has attempted suicide or died by suicide. It’s such a significant issue throughout the world that public service campaigns have taken to multimedia formats to educate the public and to raise awareness that family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers can help prevent an untimely death due to suicide. September has been designated as the time of year to draw attention to the growing tragedy of death by suicide. Aside from the readily recognized tragic elements is perhaps the greatest tragedy correlated with suicide – many people do not realize suicidality is treatable and often preventable. [More]
The images are searing and undeniably heart wrenching - three year old boy’s body washed up on a pristine beach. The boy could be sleeping, in that curled up limp way that toddlers are known to sleep wherever they find themselves exhausted. He doesn’t look to be gone, as if he might just wake up and rub his eyes at any moment, then scamper away to play. A police officer approaches, then scoops him up in the following image. [More]
In August 2015 the Food and Drug Administration approved the first pill designed to treat lowered sexual desire in women. Depending on who is speaking, this decision is either revolutionary, a breakthrough to marvel at and sign of progress because it promotes the viewpoint that low sexual desire is a biological reality versus something existing solely in a woman’s head. Or it’s a mistake caused by the F.D.A collapsing from the pressure created by various lobby groups and a sad reflection of society’s penchant of viewing the aging process as something that needs to be fixed rather than accepted. [More]
A young African-American woman was excited to finally land the job of her dreams. Though, she would be traveling some distance from her home town, she was ecstatic about the opportunity. Little did she know that she would never have the chance to start the job. On July 13, 2015, the woman was found dead in a prison cell. Where did it all go wrong? How did this young aspiring woman end up in jail and dead? [More]
September 4, 2015
by Mary Horn, Psy.D.
Professional NFL Player James Harrison sparked controversy and is being referred to as “old School” for returning trophies that were given to his children for participation in a sport’s camp (Wilson, 2015). There was a great deal of discussion sparked because of his action and his powerful words. His post to Instagram read: “I came home to find out that my boys received two trophies for nothing, participation trophies! While I am very proud of my boys for everything they do and will encourage them till the day I die, these trophies will be given back until they EARN a real trophy. I’m sorry I’m not sorry for believing that everything in life should be earned and I’m not about to raise two boys to be men by making them believe that they are entitled to something just because they tried their best…cause sometimes your best is not enough, and that should drive you to want to do better…not cry and whine until somebody gives you something to shut u up and keep you happy. [More]
The MTV Video Music Awards (VMA's) are known for the controversy that they generate - in fact the notion of controversy is precisely the reason that people, mostly young people, tune into the show. It serves as a platform for musicians and reality stars to make a splash in the world that they inhabit, something that has grown in magnitude in the last couple of decades during the broadcast. That ability to make a splash usually means engaging in extraordinary and shocking behavior, whether it be Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech in 2009, the infamous exchange between Britney Spears and Madonna in 2003, Lady Gaga's meat dress in 2010 or the lascivious dancing by a young Miley Cyrus in 2013, the VMA's certainly hand out their "moon man" awards for popular music videos, but the winners are rarely the big story. [More]
September 1, 2015
by Eric Ellis, Psy.D.
In this month's video blog, we explore the nature of memory and why early memories are so hard to forget. Why can't we simply overcome negative beliefs, emotions, and trauma? [More]