I’ve just re-read William James’ Varieties of Religious Experience, which he gave as a series of lectures in 1902. It is a marvelous book, in which James attempts to take a pragmatic and empirical approach to religious experiences, remaining open to the question of where such experiences come from, and evaluating them by looking at Read more…

2 Comments

I’m a great fan of Professor Jerome Kagan, the eminent Harvard psychologist, who has done important work on the role of the amygdala in emotional disorders like social anxiety. I admire his humane appreciation for both the sciences and the humanities, and his awareness of psychology and psychiatry’s dangerous tendency to ignore the role of Read more…

15 Comments

Jon Ronson’s new book, The Psychopath Test, begins with a visit to Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, the high security facility for the criminally insane, where the state puts people like Peter Sutcliffe, if it ever captures them. Jon meets Tony, a charming young man in his late 20s who had contacted Jon to tell him his Read more…

3 Comments

Raj Persaud, a famous ‘celebrity therapist’ in the UK, admitted in court today that he’d plagiarized heavily for several articles and books he has written in his lucrative media career. Apparently among the people he plagiarized from are Richard Bentall, who wrote the book ‘Madness Explained’. I have to say, I read Raj Persaud’s book Read more…

1  Comment

Some trainee therapists and I are running an anxiety-management workshop in a drop-in centre in London. The administrators of the group, all four of us, were discussing how to run the group and how to get the most out of it. One of the therapists said: “Well, all four of us are fully functioning, we’re Read more…

3 Comments