‘Identity and Mental Health in a Sociopathic Society’ w/ Charles Derber and Paul Verhaeghe
The social sciences have taught us that, as the 1960s saying goes, the personal IS political (and, of course, vice versa). One of the themes of my own interviews has been to connect the dots between the psychological health of individuals in society with the sociological health of the communities we live in.
We’ve talked with evolutionary biologists, evolutionary anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, political theorists and even neuroscientists about what sort of creatures human be ings are, how we behave when we have our basic and developmental needs, and how we can understand the clearly unhealthy societies we find planet-wide, including here in the United States.
Today we will continue the exploration of where humanity is today, socially, and where we might like to see it change…and how. Our special guests this time around will be with sociologist Charles Derber and psychoanalyst Paul Verhaeghe.
Pain, the Brain, Compassion and Willpower: An interview with Kelly McGonigal
How can we cope with chronic pain, and how is it tied into memory and our outlook in ways that other sensations are not? How can cultivating self-compassion help us achieve our goals and cope with life challenges? And, most important, where is the empirical evidence that shows how well, and for whom, these mind-body systems work?
This Sunday, ETFF host Michael O’Neil will interview Kelly McGonigal, PhD, who is a health psychologist at Stanford University and a leading expert on the mind-body relationship. She teaches for the School of Medicine’s Health Improvement Program and is a senior teacher/consultant for the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Her popular public courses through Stanford’s Continuing Studies program including the Science of Willpower and the Science of a Calmed Mind demonstrate the applications of psychological science to personal health and happiness, as well as organizational success and social change.
McGonigal authored Yoga For Pain Relief for New Harbinger Press and will release The Willpower Instinct before the end of 2011. She has written for Psychology Today and numerous publications, and her videos and talks can be found online.
What is Humanistic Psychology? Does it fit the parameters of secular humanism and scientific naturalism? What is the legacy of some of its star names like Carl Rogers and Abe Maslow? What does Humanistic Psychology say about Free Will and Human Nature?
Arnell Dowret will explore these questions and more with Dr. Kirk Schneider, a licensed psychologist and leading spokesperson for contemporary humanistic psychology, and Dr. Edward Neukrug, Professor of Counseling and Human Service at Old Dominion University in Virginia.
Dr. Schneider has published over 100 articles and chapters and has authored or edited eight books including, Rediscovery of Awe: Splendor, Mystery, and the Fluid Center of Life; Horror and the Holy: Wisdom-teachings of the Monster Tale; The Paradoxical Self: Toward an Understanding of Our Contradictory Nature; and his most recent, Awakening to Awe.
Dr. Neukrug is also the author of numerous books on pyschology and counseling including Counseling Theory and Practice, Theory, Practice and Trends in Human Services: An Introduction to An Emerging Profession, Skills and Tools for Today’s Counselor’s and Psychotherapists, and Essentials of Testing and Assessment for Counselors, Social Workers, and Psychologists.
Personal Responsibility and Society w/ Dr. Les Garwood
In addition to having a deep distrust of government, those who oppose health care being extended to the uninsured will often express utter disgust for people who they see as “refusing” to take responsibility for themselves. Welfare to them is not about caring for the citizenry of the country, but the way the State babies and pampers to the “lazy” and “irresponsible.” Indeed, “personal responsibility” seems to be at the foundation of American Conservatism and R-Libertarianism, both often tied to an almost pathological “rugged individualism.”
But “personal responsibility” is a term widely used, but not often really understood…even by those few who agree with the idea that our behaviors are completely determined…who seem to embrace traditional ideas of “holding people responsible” and “keeping people in line” with punishment and rewards. Continue reading “Show 296: Personal Responsibility and Society w/ Dr. Les Garwood”
Belief in Free Will and Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome Denial
The belief that people’s behaviors are freely chosen, and not the result of all of their previous experience, enables some to justify the plight of others and perpetuates blaming victims for being victims. And although it’s a belief that is contradicted by a mountain of evidence, it remains replete throughout our entire society, primarily inculcated as part of a traditional religious worldview.
This Sunday on Equal Time for Freethought Dr. Joy Degruy, author of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome,” defends her work against criticism in the recent book by Sana Butler, “Sugar of the Crop: My Journey to Find the Children of Slaves.” Butler claims that the children of freedmen simply chose to leave their slave experience behind, and that any problems currently experienced in families who descend from African slaves is just the result of people deciding to not “choose” correctly.
Join us as Dr. DeGruy weighs in on personal choice, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome denial, and recent events in general.
The attached mp3 contains the interview with Stuart Brown MD meant for air for on May 31 2009 but was interrupted by technical difficulty. And there is an additional +5 minutes of the interview that we are including here as a bonus! A “Director’s Cut” if you will.
Michael O’Neil interviews Stuart Brown, MD about his book Play: How It Shapes The Brain, Opens The Imagination, and Invigorates The Soul. Stuart is the founder of the National Institute For Play, supporting research on play as a biological drive in nature and an essential component of society and personal development.
What is play?
Why does a Humanist movement need play?
What is a play history and what is your play personality?
Stuart Brown, M.D. is a medical doctor, psychiatrist, clinical researcher, and the founder of the National Institute for Play. He speaks regularly to Fortune 500 companies and groups across the country on the importance of play in our lives. Most recently, he appeared at the New York Public Library. The producer of a three-part PBS series, The Promise of Play, he has also appeared on NPR and was featured in a cover story in The New York Times Magazine.
Dr. Joy Leary is a social scientist and accordingly she takes a causation oriented view of behavior. In contrast to supernatural explanations she recognizes that there are causal determinants which lead people to behave as they do. In the black community this is a viewpoint which is under represented. The vast majority of public discussion by black Americans regarding behaviors by fellow black individuals which create problems for themselves and for those around them is void of social scientific causal frame work. Instead on the left we hear about racism and ongoing oppression by the white majority, and on the right we hear about the need for individual responsibility and the assertion that the blacks who have managed to succeed are proof that the claim that there continues to be racial barriers to success is false.
Leary’s work takes a more comprehensive view both acknowledging the intimate family cultural issues that result in perpetuating pain and suffering while also connecting it to the history that created those family dynamics, as well as the larger social issues which exist today. By reflecting on the challenges which continue to be faced by black Americans through the lens of psychology and sociology, Dr. Leary brings a level of rational analysis into the discussion that is desperately needed yet extremely rare. Rather than condemning white society, rather blaming black individuals, Leary stays clear of the partisanship; and, like a scientist, tries to describe what she observes as accurately as possible and without passing self-righteous judgments, she offers viable explanations for what she observes which are consistent with our best understanding of developmental psychology and various other fields of social science.
Michael O’Neil continues his series on “Ecstatic Humanism” in a conversation with Alisha Price of One Taste NYC. Since opening their first San Francisco center in 2004, the OneTaste movement has explored radical ideas of relationships, intimacy, pleasure and community. Now operating on both coasts, OneTaste offers a “post-New Age” vision of “Connected Living” that relies less on mysticism and more on psychology than some of their shamanism-chic contemporaries.
But what can humanists learn from these practices? Have we rejected superstitious institutions only to blindly continue aping their rigid mores and perpetuate a society of “sensual scarcity,” when healthier arrangements are possible?
From the Publisher:
Was human nature designed by natural selection in the Pleistocene epoch? The dominant view in evolutionary psychology holds that it was — that our psychological adaptations were designed tens of thousands of years ago to solve problems faced by our hunter-gatherer ancestors. In this provocative and lively book, David Buller examines in detail the major claims of evolutionary psychology — the paradigm popularized by Steven Pinker in The Blank Slate and by David Buss in The Evolution of Desire — and rejects them all. This does not mean that we cannot apply evolutionary theory to human psychology, says Buller, but that the conventional wisdom in evolutionary psychology is misguided.