Psych Central

Archive for April, 2011

Why We Blame: Uses and Misuses

Monday, April 25th, 2011

why we blameTo err is human. To blame seems to be human also.

We blame nature, we blame God, we blame our enemies, our spouses and ourselves. We even blame politicians for never taking the blame!

Why?

The definition of blame is to hold responsible, to find fault with, to censure, for something that has happened, has failed to happen or which has had a negative impact in some way.

We need to blame for regulations of feelings, reparation of harm and restoration of order on personal, interpersonal and broadly social levels.

The Uses of Blame

In the best of circumstances blame for wrong doing once acknowledged results in apology, concessions to meet the demands of restorative justice or punishment to meet the demands of retributive justice.


Pets in the Office: Unexpected Resources

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Who let the dogs in? Many people from members of Congress to advertising executives have welcomed dogs into the workplace and for good reason.

Historically we know of the value of dogs in firehouses, on police canine teams, on farms, ranches, and certainly as companion dogs to those with physical disabilities.

Recently the diversity of workplaces that benefit from pets have expanded and while cats, and some birds have an important place next to the many professionals and business owners working from home, dogs seem to have found their way into the office.


Fear of Being The Bad One: The Problem of Breaking Up

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

fear of breaking upFor as many people as there are who dream of being with the right person, there are as many who dread breaking up with the wrong person.

Recently, there was a good deal of press about a study by social psychologists Ethan Kross and Marc Berman reporting that social rejection from an unwanted break-up was registered in the same regions of the brain activated when people experience painful sensations in their body. Clearly having someone break-up with you is not only emotionally but physically painful.

Is it equally painful to be the person who sets in motion the break-up?

While we may not yet have the MRI scans, most have personally experienced or witnessed through family and friends that breaking up is, in fact, “hard to do.” What I have found to be a commonly voiced deterrent for both men and women is the fear of being the bad one.

What Does this Reflect?

Whether the fear of “ being the bad one” is self-reflection or the expected judgment by the other partner, the fear of breaking up  is complex and is underscored by human drive, attachment needs, sense of self, dependency issues, historical and cultural expectations.


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Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP & Dianne Kane, DSW are the authors of Healing Together: A Couple's Guide to Coping with Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress. Pick up the book today!

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