In today’s depressing news, a couple is suing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over the state’s recent ban on gay conversion therapy. Christie signed the bill into law this August, which prevents therapists from attempting to “convert” gay teenagers into being straight. Because it’s complete and utter quack psychology bullshit.
But! These horrible parents, who have remained unnamed, claims their 15-year-old son doesn’t want to be gay and “needs” the conversion therapy. Their son has contemplated suicide and has, in their words, “unwanted gender identity disorder and unwanted same-sex attractions.” I don’t think it’s particularly presumptuous to assume that his parents’ — and perhaps, community’s — disapproval is a major factor in his unhappiness. I guess they’re not concerned with that, though. They feel that their rights to free speech and freedom of religion are being violated. (The American Association for Christian Counselors has filed a separate lawsuit over the bill.) Keep reading »
Hooray for the shy and insecure! As it turns out, eye contact isn’t always as powerful as we thought. A new paper in the journal Psychological Science says that eye contact can actually make you less persuasive to others. Keep reading »
Therapy has done me good. Off and on ever since I was 14, I’ve seen a couple therapists for a couple of years at a time each. They’ve helped me through family craziness, adjusting to college, adjusting to life after college, a boss possessed by Satan, and bouts of depression and anxiety.
Therapy isn’t about “solving” problems; it’s about learning ways to cope with them. It’s a credit to my most recent therapist that the few problems in my life feel manageable. In extraordinary circumstances I’ll feel anxious or depressed, but I’m proud to say that I’ve been living my life better than ever. So much so, in fact, that I’m not sure that I’m getting much out of therapy anymore. It feels less like an essential part of mental healthcare and more like a relationship I’ve been maintaining (and let’s be honest, paying for) out of guilt and habit.
So I decided to cut the cord. And my therapist … well, she didn’t take it so well. It felt like a breakup. Here are the five stages you can expect your therapist to go through when you’ve quit their services: Keep reading »
A new study suggests that girls suffering from anorexia display similar personality traits to those with autism, such as lack of empathy, high focus on detail, and rigid behavior. In some instances, girls with anorexia scored five times higher in autistic qualities than non-anorexic girls on the Autism Spectrum Quotient. Keep reading »
“What do YOU think?” That’s the number one phrase I hear in therapy over and over — usually because I’m asking my therapist for her opinion about some shit that is going down. But as those of us in therapy know, a therapist is not there to give advice or to tell you how to live your life. He or she will listen and offer observations about the way you talk about your life. But dishing out advice and tips is a big no-no. After a year-plus of asking my therapist, “What do you think?” and getting the response “What do YOU think?”, I’ve come to realize that what she really means is Stop asking me this because I’m not going to tell you.
Of course, that’s not the only thing my therapist says that actually means something else. Here are just a few things* that your therapist is saying to you and what it really means:
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“I have a shopping fetish!”
“I have a total fetish for caramel-covered popcorn — it’s my favorite snack!”
“She watches the Kardashians’ shows because she has a weird Kim fetish. She’s wants to dress like her so badly.”
You’ve probably heard a comment like this at least once a week your entire life. These sorts of comments drive me bonkers, because those people are not really referring to fetishes.
Instead, they’re misusing the word “fetish” to describe anything they really like, instead of something that sexually turns them on. I imagine it might be the same way gay folks would feel when a straight-person says to their same-sex friend “I’m gay for you,” when really they just mean their friend is a good buddy.
This is a subject we could all stand to know more about. Obviously I am not a psychologist or a medical expert of any kind; I’m just a woman with a spanking fetish who is researching official information on the subject on Google and including my own experiences and tips. I highly recommend visiting a sex-positive therapist, specifically a sex therapist, for a professional consult and to sort this stuff out if you or a loved one have a fetish or paraphilia.
But for a basic 101 on fetishes and paraphilia, here are some commonly asked questions and answers:
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Ladies, if you’ve ever wondered why you’re always heading home from the bar alone, the answer could be depressingly simple: you are too intelligent and alert. Slate.com has a really fascinating piece about an article soon to be published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior about “sexual exploitability,” or how the male of the species chooses to pursue a female of the species who seems most sexually susceptible. Or, put it in English, they wanted to find out how men figure out with whom they can score.
You should read the entire piece yourself for the full explanation, because it’s complicated and long-winded. But the bare bones version is men were studied as they responded to a bunch of qualities in potential long-term and short-term mates. And interestingly enough, pictures of women looking sleepy or intoxicated, as well as stupid or immature-seeming, were seen as the most easy lays and most attractive. Keep reading »
Most days, I just throw on whatever’s comfortable and cute, and whatever doesn’t make me feel self-conscious or overly-critical of my new thirtysomething gut. But according to some psychologists, my clothing choices — and yours — are actually much more deep-seated and pressing. Says Liz Jones (pictured), a writer for the Daily Mail UK (I know, I know), clothing choices actually express your inner neuroses, passions and subconscious fears.
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