Created with Sketch.
Dr. Gary Bell's Absurd Psychology
56 minutes | Jun 28, 2022
Child Rapist and Molesters Revealed
Images of child sex abuse have reached a crisis point on the internet, spreading at unprecedented rates in part because tech platforms and law enforcement agencies have failed to keep pace with the problem. But less is understood about the issue underlying it all: What drives people to sexually abuse children? Science in recent years has begun to provide some answers. One thing most pedophiles have in common: They discover, usually as teenagers, that their sexual preferences have not matured like everyone else’s. Most get stuck on the same-age boys or girls who first attracted them at the start of puberty, though some retain interest in far younger children.“People don’t choose what arouses them — they discover it,” said Dr. Fred Berlin, director of the Johns Hopkins Sex and Gender Clinic. “No one grows up wanting to be a pedophile.” Over the past generation, psychologists, forensic specialists and others have studied pedophilia, a disorder characterized by “recurrent, intense arousing fantasies, urges or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child,” according to psychiatry’s diagnostic manual. These experts have interviewed patients in depth, piecing together life histories and performing a variety of psychological and anatomical measures. While no study offers a complete picture, a portrait is emerging — one that helps elucidate the mental dynamic behind the surge in abuse images and the deepening depravity they depict. These findings also defy common stereotypes about what pedophilia is, and what the risks are for engaging in physical abuse. Tune in and learn about the profile of these horrible abusers!
55 minutes | Jun 21, 2022
Is Your Relationship Healthy?
Much of my professional career has involved speaking, writing, and interpreting research about how to handle relationships that have gone wrong: partnerships that are controlling or toxic, for instance, or where trust has been broken. I'm often asked how to handle infidelity, betrayal, or emotional upheaval within a relationship — and it can be heartbreaking how widespread those issues tend to be. But just as important is learning to identify when a relationship is going well. Many people are unsure of what to look for, or worse yet, they don't know all the positives that they truly deserve to have within a relationship. If someone grew up watching their parents or other family members act out chronically toxic patterns, then that person may very well come to define those patterns as normal and have difficulty understanding the baseline of what a good relationship looks like. ]Tune in and learn how to make your relationship healthy finally!
54 minutes | Jun 14, 2022
Responsibility: Our Lost Value
the word ‘responsibility’ and how often it gets confused with blame, which of course implies that someone or something is at fault for a given situation. And it always has a pejorative flavor to it; no one opens up their arms and says, ‘bring on the blame!’ Quite the contrary… while many love to give it, we’re loathe to get it and will do almost anything to keep the hot potato of fault as far away from ourselves as possible. Responsibility, on the other hand, to me is something vastly more powerful, as well as empowering. As the language suggests, it is a ‘response ability’: the ability to choose our response in every moment to all that is going on around us. A choosing that allows us to claim ownership of the circumstances of our lives, and thereby, to contribute to making them better. Tune in and learn how to take responsibility for your life!
56 minutes | Jun 7, 2022
School Shooter Profile
It's hard to empathize with someone who carries out a school shooting. The brutality of their crimes is unspeakable. Whether the shootings were in Uvalde, Columbine, or Parkland, they have traumatized students and communities across the U.S. Someone went out of their way to target and kill children who look like our children, teachers who look like our teachers — and did it for no other reason than to hurt them and that's very personal. Law enforcement agents as well spend a lot of time thinking about what it's like to be one of these school shooters. Understanding who the shooters are, they say, is key to prevention. Tune in and learn about the profiles of these monstrous killers.
56 minutes | May 31, 2022
Fear of Failure
Rejection is a bitter pill to swallow. And most of us have had a good dose of it. Whether we didn’t get a job we applied for, weren’t admitted to our top choice college, didn’t make it to the team we tried out for, or didn’t score a second date with the person we were sure was going to become our soulmate, many of us have experienced rejection first hand. Hearing “no, not interested” doesn’t feel good. Regardless of how hard you want to look at the bright side of it, rejection doesn’t build character. It breaks hearts, it brings tears, and it raises fears. And that fear can stick and become a hard-to-remove stain. Fear of rejection, or rejection sensitivity, as it is often referred to in the psychology literature, can become an obstacle to success and happiness. Research shows that fear of rejection can have a negative impact on emotional well-being, interpersonal relationships, and psychological functioning. It affects the way we feel about ourselves, the decisions that we make, and the goals we choose to pursue. Fear of rejection can make us think small and act even smaller. Tune in and learn how fear can dictate your life!
55 minutes | May 24, 2022
The Rise of Self Esteem
Confidence in one's value as a human being is a precious psychological resource and generally a highly positive factor in life; it is correlated with achievement, good relationships, and satisfaction. Possessing little self-regard can lead people to become depressed, to fall short of their potential, or to tolerate abusive relationships and situations. Too much self-love, on the other hand, results in an off-putting sense of entitlement and an inability to learn from failures. It can also be a sign of clinical narcissism, in which individuals may behave in a self-centered, arrogant, and manipulative manner. Perhaps no other self-help topic has spawned so much advice and so many (often conflicting) theories. Tun e in and learn how a be healthy and grow your self esteem!
54 minutes | May 17, 2022
Anxiety: Living in Fear
Anxiety is both a mental and physical state of negative expectation. Mentally it is characterized by increased arousal and apprehension tortured into distressing worry, and physically by unpleasant activation of multiple body systems—all to facilitate response to an unknown danger, whether real or imagined. The cognitive feelings of dread in anticipation of some bad outcome, and physical sensations such as jitteriness and a racing heart are designed for discomfort. Anxiety is meant to capture attention and stimulate you to make necessary changes to protect what you care about. Occasional bouts of anxiety are natural and can even be productive. Anxiety can be considered the price we humans pay for having the ability to imagine the future. When anxiety becomes a disorder But persistent, pervasive, or outsize anxiety can disrupt daily life, whether at school, work, or with friends—the mark of an anxiety disorder. Nearly one-third of adults in the U.S. will grapple with out-of-control anxiety at some point in their life. Anxiety is often accompanied by depression, and the two share many symptoms and involve many of the same brain pathways. Biology can contribute to vulnerability to anxiety, as can childhoodexperiences such as early trauma and parenting practices such as overprotection. Tune in and learn how to overcome anxiety!
56 minutes | May 10, 2022
The Desperate Price of Loneliness
Though our need to connect is innate, many of us frequently feel alone. Loneliness is the state of distress or discomfort that results when one perceives a gap between one’s desires for social connection and actual experiences of it. Even some people who are surrounded by others throughout the day—or are in a long-lasting marriage—still experience a deep and pervasive loneliness. Research suggests that loneliness poses serious threats to well-being as well as long-term physical health. Whether a person lives in isolation or not, feeling a lack of social connectedness can be painful. Marriage can be the loneliest place in the world. Given the potential health consequences for those who feel like they have few or no supportive social connections, widespread loneliness poses a major societal challenge. But it underscores a demand for increased outreach and connection on a personal level, too. Loneliness is as tied to the quality of one's relationships as it is to the number of connections one has. And it doesn’t only stem from heartache or isolation. A lack of authenticity in relationships can result in feelings of loneliness. For some, not having a coveted animal companion, or the absence of a quiet presence in the home (even if one has plenty of social contacts in the wider world), can trigger loneliness. Tune in and learn how to win the battle of loneliness!
56 minutes | May 3, 2022
The Resiliency of Wisdom
Keeping the brain engaged is key to building resilience. By seeking out new challenges and activities, people can take their resilience to the next level by developing wisdom. Wisdom is more strongly associated with life satisfaction than physical health, finances, socioeconomic status, social involvement, physical environment, and age. Among older hospice patients and nursing home residents, wisdom is more connected to their sense of wellbeing. One way to understand wisdom is to observe it as a 3-dimensional model that incorporates cognition, reflection, and compassion. The cognitive dimension refers to a person’s need to understand the deeper truths of life, including its positive and negative aspects. The reflective dimension paves the way to this understanding by pondering events from many perspectives rather than blaming others or circumstances. The compassionate dimension brings a broad awareness of human nature and suffering that motivates people to help others with sympathy and compassion. Tune in and learn how wisdom can improve your life!
54 minutes | Apr 26, 2022
Making Confident Decisions
When making a decision, we form opinions and choose actions via mental processes which are influenced by biases, reason, emotions, and memories. The simple act of deciding supports the notion that we have free will. We weigh the benefits and costs of our choice, and then we cope with the consequences. Factors that limit the ability to make good decisions include missing or incomplete information, urgent deadlines, and limited physical or emotional resources. When people are put in a familiar situation, their decisions are often fast and automatic, based on longtime experience with what works and what doesn’t. However, when encountering a situation they’ve never been in before, they have to take time to weigh the potential benefits and risks when choosing a course of action. They are more likely to make mistakes and face negative consequences. Tune in learn the art of making good decisions!
54 minutes | Apr 19, 2022
What Happened to Common Sense?
For centuries scientists, science writers and philosophers have encouraged us to trust our common sense (Lilienfeld et al., 2010; Furnham, 1996). Common sense is a phrase that generally implies something everyone knows. One of the definitions of common sense given by Wikipedia is, “good sense and sound judgment in practical matters.” Common sense psychology is a myth. What appears to be common sense is often common nonsense. Scott Lilienfeld, co-author of 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology, says we should mistrust common sense when evaluating psychological claims (Lilienfeld et al., 2010).Some examples of common sense psychology include: Working while in high school will help students build character and value money. Children who read a lot are not very social or physically fit. People with low self esteem are more aggressive. The best way to treat juvenile delinquents is to get tough with them. Most psychopaths are delusional. We know what will make us happy. Tune in and learn how to access your own common sense!
56 minutes | Apr 12, 2022
Encore: Self-Sabotage: What have I done to myself?
Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems in daily life and interferes with long-standing goals. The most common self-sabotaging behaviors include procrastination, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, comfort eating, and forms of self-injury such as cutting. People aren't always aware that they are sabotaging themselves, and connecting a behavior to self-defeating consequences is no guarantee that a person will disengage from it. Still, it is possible to overcome almost any form of self-sabotage. Behavioral therapies can aid in interrupting ingrained patterns of thought and action while strengthening deliberation and self-regulation. Motivational therapies can also help reconnect people with their goals and values. Tune in and learn how self-sabotage manifests and how to heal it!
56 minutes | Apr 5, 2022
Living with a Depressed Partner
There is a great deal of information available about depression. But when you live with a depressed person, it can be painfully difficult. Anti-depressants are the number-one prescribed medication in this country, but they are not a panacea. Many with depression continue to suffer, or at least have symptomatic periods. This, in turn, affects those who love them. It can be especially difficult when the person with depression is your child or a partner. Many parents feel it is their duty to rescue their adult children. But the feeling of helplessness often prevails when you live with a depressed individual. It may not be healthy to feel it is your duty to rescue a partner, and it's also not healthy to take responsibility for his or her feelings. For men who have depressed partners, feeling helpless is especially common. Generally, men are fixers. When they hear of a problem, their reaction is to fix it. But depression is not so easily fixed, therefore the result is helplessness and frustration. This can complicate the helping process. For women who have a depressed partner, it is common to feel like the connection between partners is missing or inhibited. If the depressive symptoms lead to withdrawal, the female partner may feel shut-out. The feelings and thoughts of a depressed person may be difficult to share, which might compound the problem and leave the partner feeling there is a lack of communication. Worse, some men turn depression into anger and may be easily irritated with their partner, thereby further exacerbating the problem Tubne in and learn how to recognize and deal with a depressed partner.
56 minutes | Mar 29, 2022
The Effects of Childhood Abandonment
When children are raised with chronic loss, without the psychological or physical protection they need—and certainly deserve—it is most natural for them to internalize incredible fear. Not receiving the necessary psychological or physical protection equals abandonment, and living with repeated abandonment experiences creates toxic shame. Shame arises from the painful message implied in abandonment: You are not important. You are not of value. This is the pain from which people need to heal. Tune in and learn all about healing from childhood abandonment!
55 minutes | Mar 22, 2022
Finding your "Soul Mate"
Relationship scientist Raymond Knee coined the terms “destiny beliefs” and “growth beliefs” to describe an individual’s general approach to seeking and maintaining romantic relationships. People with destiny beliefs assume there is one person out there who they are meant to be with (a soulmate). They believe once they find the right person, the relationship will be relatively smooth and easy. In contrast, people with growth beliefs go into relationships assuming they will need to get to know each other and grow together through shared experiences. Their relationships aren’t “meant to be” but rather are “made to be.” Whether we have destiny beliefs or growth beliefs predicts how we think, react, and behave in relationships. For example, people with destiny beliefs tend to be more rigid in thinking about their partners. If relationships are either “destined to be” or not, there is little room to approach problems with flexibility and openness to change. However, people with growth beliefs generally expect that challenges will arise, and their relationship will grow as they address those challenges together. Tune in and learn if you can make that Soul Mate love connection!
55 minutes | Mar 15, 2022
Raising Special Needs Children: Herding Squirrels
For anyone whose life revolves around caregiving, including the parents of special-needs children, there are inherent risks that can jeopardize both their own well-being and that of the people they care for. Insufficient management of one’s own stress as one cares for others can lead to emotional burnout and feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and paralysis. Experts advise parents to find a practice that works for them, whether therapy, exercise, mindfulness, or another approach. It may bring on feelings of guilt, but caregiving parents need to redirect some of their energy to self-care and remind themselves that these efforts will directly benefit their child. Tune in for all kinds of tips and information of how parents can take care of their children and themselves!
55 minutes | Mar 8, 2022
Delusional People: Sold on Their Own Story
Delusional disorder, previously called paranoid disorder, is a type of serious mental illness — called a “psychosis”— in which a person cannot tell what is real from what is imagined. The main feature of this disorder is the presence of delusions, which are unshakable beliefs in something untrue. People with delusional disorder experience non-bizarre delusions, which involve situations that could occur in real life, such as being followed, poisoned, deceived, conspired against, or loved from a distance. These delusions usually involve the misinterpretation of perceptions or experiences. In reality, however, the situations are either not true at all or highly exaggerated. People with delusional disorder often can continue to socialize and function quite normally, apart from the subject of their delusion, and generally do not behave in an obviously odd or bizarre manner. This is unlike people with other psychotic disorders, who also might have delusions as a symptom of their disorder. In some cases, however, people with delusional disorder might become so preoccupied with their delusions that their lives are disrupted. Tune in and learn how pervasive and detrimental this disorder is!
56 minutes | Mar 1, 2022
Living Through Dark Times
The Covid-19 pandemic led to a prolonged exposure to stress. As a consequence, researchers showed an increased interest in measuring social and community uneasiness in order to psychologically support the population. This increased attention might help in managing the current situation and other possible epidemics and pandemics. The security measures adopted in managing the pandemic had different consequences on individuals, according to the social role invested. Some segments of the population seem to be more exposed to the risk of anxious, depressive, and post-traumatic symptoms because they are more sensitive to stress. Tune in and learn how COVID has changed our psychology!
56 minutes | Feb 22, 2022
The Need for Power and Control
There is a downside to being in control when it involves trying to control other people, because other people don't want to be controlled by you any more than you want to be controlled by other people. In therapy, we often hear that if we do not like the way in which others are behaving, we are better off changing our own feelings about their behavior than trying to change their behavior. The reason for this is that behavioral habits are notoriously difficult to change, even when a person really wants to change his or her own habits; if people are not interested in changing their behavior, it is almost impossible to make them change. Tune in and learn about the consequences of our obsessions for power and control!
56 minutes | Feb 15, 2022
The Inner Child: Aggression, Tantrums and Trauma
Destructive behavior takes various forms: from subtle self-sabotage and self-defeating patterns to passive hostility to severe self-destructive symptoms, violent aggression and, sometimes, evil deeds. Commonly, destructive behavior in adults bears the impetuous, impulsive quality of childish petulance or narcissistic temper tantrums. Or an infantile neediness, dependency, and dread of abandonment. Or an irresponsibility and angry refusal to be an adult: the Peter Pan syndrome, or what Jungians refer to as a puer or puella complex. The archetypal Jungian notion of the puer aeternus (male) or (female) puella aeterna--the eternal child--provides the basis for what has come in pop psychology and self-help movements (see, for example, the writings of Dr. Eric Berne, Dr. Alice Miller, or John Bradshaw) to be known as the inner child. What exactly is this so-called inner child? Does it truly exist? And why should we care? To begin with, the inner child is real. Not literally. Nor physically. But figuratively, metaphorically real. It is--like complexes in general--a psychological or phenomenological reality, and an extraordinarily powerful one at that. Indeed, most mental disorders and destructive behavior patterns are, as Freud first intimated, more or less related to this unconscious part of ourselves. We were all once children, and still have that child dwelling within us. But most adults are quite unaware of this. And this lack of conscious relatedness to our own inner child is precisely where so many behavioral, emotional and relationship difficulties stem from. Tune in and learn about this incredible experience all of us have!
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2022