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Dr. Stephen Diamond

Dr. Stephen Diamond is a practicing clinical and forensic psychologist specializing in the psychology of creativity, evil, trauma, spirituality and existential life crises.

He is a resident faculty member in the Department of Graduate Psychology at Ryokan College in Los Angeles, and is currently guest editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology.

As well as writing a regular blog for Psychology Today, “Evil Deeds: A forensic psychologist on anger, madness and destructive behavior”, Stephen is the author of “Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic: The Psychological Genesis of Violence, Evil, and Creativity”.

Dr. Diamond currently maintains a private psychotherapy practice near Beverly Hills, specializing primarily in Existential Depth Psychology, a unique approach to treatment developed over the past four decades of his career, which he describes as a synthesis of psychodynamic, Jungian and existential therapy.

In this years Christmas episode we explore the issue of bitterness – and the proposed diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Embitterment Disorder (PTED) – by examining the character and story arc of Ebenezer Scrooge from the famous Charles Dickens Christmas tale “A Christmas Carol”.

Along the way we discuss issues related to bitterness such as childhood trauma, romance, grief, nostalgia, meaning, mortality, and personal redemption.

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Related Links

Evil Deeds – A forensic psychologist on anger, madness and destructive behavior

DrStephenDiamond.com – The website of Dr. Stephen Diamond, clinical and forensic psychologist.

Book Recommendations

          

Image courtesy: Internet Archive Book Images

Prof. Patrick Corrigan

Patrick Corrigan is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where his research examines psychiatric disability and social disadvantage.

He is principal investigator of both the National Consortium for Stigma and Empowerment, a collaboration of investigators and advocates from more than a dozen institutions, and the Chicago Health Disparities Center examining how ethnic and income disparities further lessen the opportunities of those with serious mental illness.

Pat has written more than 400 peer-reviewed articles, is the editor emeritus of the American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, the editor the American Psychiatric Association journal Stigma and Health, and he has authored or edited seventeen books, including the book which forms the basis of today’s conversation, “The Stigma Effect: Unintended Consequences of Mental Health Campaigns“.

In today’s episode we explore the origins of stigma and the various ways it tends to manifest, whether there is any truth in the stereotypes of people with mental illness being dangerous and/or incompetent, examples of anti-stigma campaigns that are either ineffective or counterproductive and some more effective alternatives, and why mental health professionals should step aside and allow people with lived experience to lead the charge against stigma.

This episode has 12 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

Related Links

Coming Out Proud – The Honest, Open, Proud (HOP) Program, reducing the self-stigma associated with mental illness.

Book Recommendations

               

Image courtesy: Christian Siedler

Dr. Nassir Ghaemi

Nassir Ghaemi (@nassirghaemi) is a psychiatrist and researcher specializing in depression and bipolar illness.

He is Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, a Lecturer on Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

He has published over 200 scientific articles, over 50 scientific book chapters, and has written or edited over half a dozen books, including the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion, the New York Times Best-Seller “A First Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness”.

In today’s episode we discuss the subject of Psychobiography and the methods involved in learning to understand the psychology of historical figures, we explore the link between manic depressive illness and leadership through examples such as Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill, why mentally normal politicians make for good peacetime leaders but poor crisis leaders, and how people with mental illness can learn to channel their illness into something positive.

Related Links

NassirGhaemi.com – Nassir’s web site

Mood Swings – Nassir’s blog at Psychology Today

Book Recommendations

Image courtesy: Nasir Ghaemi / Penguin Press / Nicole Laroche

Mark Hunter

Mark Hunter (@chimairamark) is a musician and photographer who spent almost two decades as the vocalist and one of the main songwriters for the heavy metal band Chimaira, a group which has sold more than a million albums worldwide and has debuted on the Billboard 200 Chart six times.

Marks latest project, in collaboration with award winning director Nick Cavalier, is a documentary film entitled “Down Again” in which Mark shares his personal story about utilizing art to combat personal struggles, which in his case includes depression and bipolar disorder.

In today’s episode we discuss Mark’s journey from a heavy metal fan to a heavy metal icon, his experience with a specific form of bipolar know as “hypomania”, the relationship between art and mental illness, the power of music to both represent and relieve emotional distress, the evolution of Mark’s artistic expression from music to photography, and whether of not creativity inspired by personal darkness is worth the price of admission.

Related Links

Mark Hunter Photo – Mark’s photography website

Down Again – A film exploring the connection between mental illness and creativity told through the lens of photographer and Chimaira frontman Mark Hunter.

@markhunterphoto – Mark’s Instagram page

Music Recommendations

               

Image courtesy: Nick Cavalier

Julia Samuel MBE

Julia Samuel is a psychotherapist and paediatric counsellor specialising in grief.

In 1994 she helped launch and establish Child Bereavement UK, a charity aimed at educating professionals in supporting children facing bereavement and families who have lost a child, and continues to play an active role as the charities Founder Patron.

Julia is a Vice President of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, an Honorary Doctor of Middlesex University, and in 2015 was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list for services to bereaved children.

Her first book is The Sunday Times bestseller “Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving“, which was published in 2017.

In today’s episode we discuss Julia’s work as a grief counsellor and how encountering death so frequently affects her own mental health, why death is such a taboo subject and the price we pay for this, whether it’s justified to classify prolonged grief as a mental illness, and we also explore some of the most and least helpful ways to deal with the death of a loved one.

Related Links

Grief Works – Julia’s website

Child Bereavement UK – Supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.

Julia Samuel on Facebook

Book Recommendations

Image courtesy: Marcela

Prof. Linda Gask

Linda Gask (@suzypuss) is an Emerita Professor of Primary Care Psychiatry at the University of Manchester and a retired psychiatrist with over thirty years of experience working in the NHS.

She is the director and co-founder of two social enterprises including STORM, which provides training in suicide prevention, and Six Degrees, providing primary care mental health services to people in Salford, in Greater Manchester.

Linda has worked as an adviser to the World Health Organization, served on the board of the World Psychiatric Association, and in 2010 she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners in recognition of her teaching in primary care mental health.

She is the author of more than 180 published articles, a number of books including “A Short Introduction to Psychiatry” , and the book which forms the inspiration for today’s conversation “The Other Side of Silence: A Psychiatrist’s Memoir of Depression“.

In today’s episode we explore Linda’s experience of walking the tightrope between both sides of the therapeutic process; as a trained psychiatrist helping clients through their darkest days whilst simultaneously engaged in a lifelong battle with her own recurrent bouts of severe depression.

This episode has 11 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

Related Links

Patching the Soul – Linda’s blog about mental health and fighting stigma

Book Recommendations

                    

Image courtesy: Peter Burka

Dr. Joanna Moncrieff

Prof. Carmine Pariante

The first in what will hopefully prove to be a brand new series of live YouTube debates with audience Q&A.

The topic up for debate today… Is antidepressant medication ever useful? featuring two of the UK’s most eminent psychiatrists, Dr. Joanna Moncrieff and Prof. Carmine Pariante.

Joanna Moncrieff (@joannamoncrieff) is a Reader in Critical and Social Psychiatry at University College London, and a practising psychiatrist with an interest in the history, philosophy and politics of psychiatry, and particularly in the use, misuse and misrepresentation of psychiatric drugs.

Check out my previous conversation with Joanna here: #062 – Psychiatry’s Very Own Delusion

Carmine Pariante (@ParianteSPILab) is Professor of Biological Psychiatry at Kings College London, where he also leads the Stress, Psychiatry and Immunology (SPI) Lab, investigating the relationship between stress, mental health and the immune system.

Check out my previous conversation with Carmine here: #030 – Why Stress Destroys Us

To read the live comments and feedback we received from the audience during the debate, you’ll need to head over to the video on YouTube.

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Related Links

Stress, Psychiatry and Immunology (SPI) Lab – Carmine’s Facebook Page

JoannaMoncrieff.com – Books, papers and blogs by Joanna Moncrieff

Book Recommendations

     

Image courtesy: sayo ts

Dr. Brian King

Dr. Brian King (@drbrianking) is a psychologist, stand-up comedian and public speaker who travels the world as a performer and an instructor, giving seminars to thousand of people each year on the health benefits of humor.

He was the founder and producer of the highly reviewed Wharf Room Comedy show in San Francisco and produces the annual Bay Area comedy competition “Walk the Plank”.

Brian is the author of a number of books including “Frozen Coffee Melting“, “A Field Guide to the North American Bloody Mary“, and the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion, “The Laughing Cure: Emotional and Physical Healing – A Comedian Reveals Why Laughter Really is the Best Medicine“.

In today’s episode we explore the evolutionary origins of humor, whether being funny is a natural ability or a skill that anyone can learn, the anatomy of joke-telling, the mental and physical benefits of laughter, and why humor can be the perfect antidote to some of life’s darkest moments.

 

This episode has 22 minutes of bonus content! Subscribe for as little as $2 /month to gain access to this and other exclusive content.

 

Related Links

Brian’s Website

Brian’s Facebook Page

Brian’s YouTube Channel

Science declares this is the funniest joke in the world – CNet

Book Recommendations

               

Image courtesy: Petful via Flickr

Roland Griffiths, Ph.D.

Roland Griffiths, Ph.D. is Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Roland is author of over 360 journal articles and book chapters. He has been a consultant to the National Institutes of Health, and to numerous pharmaceutical companies in the development of new psychotropic drugs. He is also currently a member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence for the World Health Organization.

In 1999 he initiated a pioneering research program at Johns Hopkins investigating the psychological and therapeutic effects of the hallucinogen psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced in psilocybin mushrooms, known colloquially as magic mushrooms.

His studies have included investigations into psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experiences in healthy volunteers, psilocybin-facilitated treatment of cigarette smoking cessation, and treatment of psychological distress in cancer patients with life threatening prognoses.

In today’s episode we explore the origin and history of psilocybin research, what it looks like to experiment with psychedelics in a clinical setting, the nature of the hallucinations experienced by participants, and the potential for psilocybin to produce long term, clinically significant reductions in depression and anxiety, along with increases in quality of life, life meaning, and optimism, with just one single dose.

 

Related Links

Roland Griffiths Laboratory at John Hopkins

The science of psilocybin and its use to relieve suffering – Roland’s TEDMED Talk

Book Recommendations

               

Images courtesy: Bernard Spragg. NZ 

 

Dr. Christopher Hamilton

Dr. Christopher Hamilton is Reader in Philosophy at King’s College, London, where he teaches philosophy, literature and film.

His research interests include the relationship between philosophy and literature, and between moral, religious and aesthetic value, the nature of good and evil, the philosophy of tragedy, and the work of both Friedrich Nietzsche and Søren Kierkegaard.

He is the author of a number of books including “How to Deal with Adversity“, “A Philosophy of Tragedy“, and the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion “Middle Age” from the Art of Living Series.

In today’s episode we discuss the philosophy of middle age, and the midlife crisis.

What does it mean to be middle aged, when does middle age start and why does it matter? We discuss the relationship between the midlife crisis and such things as loss of identity, the search for meaning, and the fear of death.

We ask why the crisis of middle age tends to be a uniquely male phenomenon, whether or not our cultural worship of youthfulness is justified, reasons why the midlife crisis can sometimes find expression in immature and reckless behaviour, but also, why purchasing a leather jacket and a convertible sports car might not necessarily be such a bad thing.
 

Related Links

Christopher’s Profile at King’s College London

Christopher’s Speakers Profile at the Institute of Art and Ideas (includes a bunch of different video talks and debates)

Christopher’s FREE online course on Life, Meaning and Morality

Book Recommendations

                          

Image courtesy: Ubi Desperare Nescio