November 17, 2011
While browsing through various assessment scales I came across the Sensation Seeking Scale (Word document), a psychological tool published in 1971 for identifying personality traits that make people prone to risk-taking, experience-seeking or disinhibited behaviour. It asks the individual to choose between two different statements and decide which applies more to them. For example,
1.A I like “wild” uninhibited parties.
B I prefer quiet parties with good conversation.
Oh yes, and there’s lots of quotation marks in the questions, to the point that you feel like putting down the pen at intervals to do air quotes with your fingers.
I’m finding it an absolutely fascinating artefact – not so much for what it’s telling me about psychology, but what it says about how times have changed in what’s considered risky (or risque!) behaviour. Bizarrely, I’m told some professionals still recommend this as an assessment tool. Anyway, let’s delve in and find out whether we’re sensation seekers or not.
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November 16, 2011
Can there be any more pointless occupation than being a “professional contrarian”? I just don’t get it. Surely the purpose of a writer is to say something interesting or informative, rather than just coming up with the most facile disagree-with-everything bile purely for the sake of getting a reader reaction? Okay, I can understand there might be a certain thrill one can get from it, but personally it’s not for me. Maybe it’s because my parents gave me attention when I was a child.
Yes, I’ve been reading articles by Brendan O’Neill, the Telegraph columnist and editor of Spiked Online, the website for upper-middle class media types to massage their victim complexes.
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November 14, 2011
A lot of my working day is spent doing psychological therapies. Despite the image of child psychiatry as Ritalin-obsessed drug pushers, CAMHS probably makes more use of talking treatments than any other branch of NHS mental health services. Hence I take a keen interest in news about psychotherapy.
Just recently I was browsing a petition from the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy (ACP) which calls for reform of the NICE guidelines with regard to psychotherapy.
We, the undersigned providers and/or users of counselling and psychotherapy, call upon the Department of Health to instigate an urgent independent investigation into the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the use of psychological therapies in the NHS. These guidelines currently display unwarranted and well documented bias in favour of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). Their formulation involved inadequate representation of and consultation with the counselling and psychotherapy field, and relied upon a very narrow range of research methodologies which fail to do justice to clients’ subjective experience and the complexity of human interaction.
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