Archive for April, 2012

Social Power and Stages of Relationship

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Footsteps in the SandIn social relationships, consciously and subconsciously, we are playing “tug-of-war” with others. Exchanges of energy occur at various levels; those with higher social power tend to “steal” energy from those with lower ranks.

By taking energy from those with less social power than us, we actually make them less secure and less trusting. Such abuse of power occurs in any direct and indirect subordination relationships, such as parents-children, governor-governed, manager-managed, employer-employee, etc.

In an ideal world, we all live with mutual respect and don’t “steal” each other’s energy, despite the direct and indirect subordination relationship. This explains the importance of good parenting, good management, and good governance.

The more respectful and equal our relationship with others, the more harmonious and peaceful world we live in. This contributes to the on-going evolution of the natural world.


Consulting, Therapy and Coaching: Demystified

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Human Behavior Research Conference - 1How do you define and introduce yourself? Are you a consultant, a therapist, or a coach?

Sure, if you are trained as a psychologist in a university, then you’re likely a “therapist.” But some positive psychologists also claim that they are “coaches.” And other psychologists who specialize in organizational behavior call themselves “consultants.”

So, what are the differences of these three terms? Are there any overlaps?

Here are the differences according to Start it Up! Start Your Successful Coaching Business by Erik Bowman.


Our Brain on Fiction

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Paris 2012I admit that I don’t read romance books that much. I read detective and science fiction books, but none of them contain much romantic plot. A practical person by nature, anything “overly romantic” is corny to me.

An article by Annie Murphy Paul in New York Times on March 17th, 2012 titled “Your Brain on Fiction” shook my core.  Perhaps I should read more romance fictions, or well, at least, more fiction books.

Cited from Paul’s article:

Researchers have discovered that words describing motion also stimulate regions of the brain distinct from language-processing areas. In a study led by the cognitive scientist Véronique Boulenger, of the Laboratory of Language Dynamics in France, the brains of participants were scanned as they read sentences like “John grasped the object” and “Pablo kicked the ball.” The scans revealed activity in the motor cortex, which coordinates the body’s movements. What’s more, this activity was concentrated in one part of the motor cortex when the movement described was arm-related and in another part when the movement concerned the leg.


Psychological Abnormality Defined

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Going Somewhere Sometimes we ask ourselves, “Am I normal?” I usually double-check whether I’ve closed and locked the door or not, which seems like I may have the so-called Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  I’m also considered “arrogant” by Asian standards as I always speak my mind, thus some people consider me “narcissistic.”

From time to time, I wonder whether I’m “normal.”

What’s normal enough?

The question is: by whose standards are you “normal” or “abnormal” ? Depending on the society we live in, a behavior can be considered either normal or abnormal. In Japanese culture, honor is taken seriously, thus any incident that hurts one’s pride is worthy of self-killing or suicide. In the United States, however, the first thought that comes to mind whenever someone kills himself is: clinical depression.

Thus, culture determines whether one’s behavior or suspected “psychological pathology” is abnormal or not. “Milder” and “somewhat accepted” bizarre behaviors, for instance, may be called “eccentric” instead of “abnormal.” An artist who paints with his own saliva, for instance, may be considered “eccentric” instead of “abnormal.”


Perfectionism: Virtue or Vice?

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Path to perfection“You are such a perfectionist,” may sound like a compliment. But is it, really? In working on any project, it would be nice to have a tinge of perfectionism to ensure an excellent result. However, too large a dose of perfectionism may become more of a liability than an asset.

According to Flett and Hewitt, perfectionism can be directed inwardly or outwardly. Inward perfectionists tend to ruminate on the slightest idea of imperfection of themselves. Outward perfectionists are directed at others, which explains why they are tough on others and become frustrated of others’ less-than-perfect stance.

Perfectionism can also be directed on all domains of life, which is “generalized,” or directed on specific domains of life or “situational” perfectionism.

In addition, perfectionism can be categorized into primary and secondary, in the former its pursuit of perfection is the beginning and the end and in the latter is a means to an end. Whichever type it is, perfectionism pivots around approval, reflection and control. Researchers Million and Davis called it a conscientious compulsive variant of OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder).


 

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