This book was inspired by Prof. Sardamov’s efforts to understand a troubling paradox in his own work – while he has worked to become a better college teacher, his students have not shown the expected advances in learning. He draws on key findings in neuroscience to explain the waning interest in and knowledge of complex social issues in the United Statesand other countries. He attributes this troubling trend primarily to the effects of information overload, ubiquitous screens, and constant internet access. He argues that the chronic overstimulation generated by our current sociotechnological environment is turning us into “mental penguins” – developing new and shedding old aptitudes as we adapt to an extreme mental environment. These changes affect us all, but have the strongest impact on children, adolescents, and young adults whose brains are more”plastic.” As a result, their enjoyment of the written word, and even of the real world, is often blunted – a tendency which reflects a largercultural and neurophysiological crisis within contemporary societies. Prof. Sardamov believes that the shift toward online and experiential forms of learning will not alleviate existing problems but is likely to make them worse. He emphasizes the need to foster love and capacity for reading in children and adolescents since this is the only constantly available tool of knowledge accumulation. Though the book is inevitably provocative, it will appeal to readers interested in alternative forms of education (like Steiner-Waldorf and Montessori), or to those who share the concerns of authors like Jane Healy (Endangered Minds), Sven Birkerts (The Gutenberg Elegies), Nicholas Carr(“Is Google Making Us Stupid” and The Shallows), Peter Whybrow (American Mania), Susan Greenfield(Mind Change), Catherine Steiner-Adair (The Big Disconnect), Richard Arum and Josipa Roxa (Academically Adrift), etc.
When the wind of the 1960s blew through the world of psychiatry
In 1961, when Franco Basaglia arrived outside the grim walls of the Gorizia asylum, on the Italian border with Yugoslavia, it was a place of horror, a Bedlam for the mentally sick and excluded, redolent of Basaglia’s own wartime experience inside a fascist gaol. Patients were frequently restrained for long periods, and therapy was largely a matter of electric and insulin shocks. The corridors stank, and for many of the interned the doors were locked for life. This was a concentration camp, not a hospital.
Basaglia, the new Director, was expected to practise all the skills of oppression in which he had been schooled, but he would have none of this. The place had to be closed down by opening it up from the inside, bringing freedom and democracy to the patients, the nurses and the psychiatrists working in that “total institution.”
Inspired by the writings of authors such as Primo Levi, R.D. Laing, Erving Goffman, Michel Foucault and Frantz Fanon, and the practices of experimental therapeutic communities in the UK, Basaglia’s seminal work as a psychiatrist and campaigner in Gorizia, Parma and Trieste fed into and substantially contributed to the national and international movement of 1968. In 1978 a law was passed (the “Basaglia law”) which sanctioned the closure of the entire Italian asylum system.
The first comprehensive study of this revolutionary approach to mental health care, The Man Who Closed the Asylums is a gripping account of one of the most influential movements in twentieth-century psychiatry, which helped to transform the way we see mental illness. Basaglia’s work saved countless people from a miserable existence, and his legacy persists, as an object lesson in the struggle against the brutality and ignorance that the establishment peddles to the public as common sense.
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Research: Evidence-Based Practice and Practice-Based Evidence continues the important work of the first book published in 2009 by Humana Press (Handbook of Evidence-Based Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: Bridging the Gap Between Science and Practice). This landmark title presents in one volume significant developments in research, including neuroscience research, in psychodynamic psychotherapy by a team of renowned clinician-researchers. The demand for ongoing research initiatives in psychodynamic psychotherapy from both internal and external sources has increased markedly in recent years, and this volume continues to demonstrate the efficacy and effectiveness of a psychodynamic approach to psychotherapeutic interventions in the treatment of psychological problems. The work in this volume is presented in the spirit of ongoing discussion between researchers and clinicians about the value of specific approaches to specific patients with specific psychiatric and psychological problems. Multiple forms of treatment interventions have been developed over the past fifty years, and this volume makes clear, with firm evidence, the authors’ support for the current emphasis on personalized medicine. Groundbreaking and a major contribution to the psychiatric and psychologic literature, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Research: Evidence-Based Practice and Practice-Based Evidence provides firm grounding for advancing psychodynamic psychotherapy as a treatment paradigm.
This book reviews important neuropsychological measures currently used in the assessment of dementia by the principal clinicians and researchers associated with the test, offering practical guidance on each test along with an analysis of its limitations.
This volume seeks to explore the idea of identity as a flexible center of events around which aspects of the self and events in the outside world are organized. Historically, in much of the literature, identity was conceptualized as a somewhat fixed, unchanging construct. Scholars now have a greater awareness of more nuanced theories about identity and there is a greater willingness to accept that identity is not fixed, concrete, and permanent, but rather evolving and fluid.
Although this volume discusses a wide variety of aspects of identity as it flexibly changes during adulthood in the face of numerous experiences, it is really addressing one key question. How adaptive and fluid is identity and how can we know ourselves as both continuing and changing? Exploring these ideas raises the importance of future research on adult identity.
With a firm grounding in the historical and theoretical background of identity research, this volume begins by defining identity and the psychological “self” as a center around which the person’s behaviors and self-concepts revolve. The following chapters gather the wisdom of many writers who all accepted the challenge of talking about creating a flexible adult self and identity during adulthood. They come at this challenging question from many different perspectives using different tools. Some survey existing literature and theory, then summarize prior work in a meaningful way. Some discuss their own research; some reflect on personal experiences that have demanded a flexible identity. Also included in the coverage are discussions of methodology and validity issues for studies and scales of identity. With its dual focus on research and applied fields ranging across social and personality psychology, industrial/occupational psychology, cross-cultural psychology, mental health, existential issues, relationships, and demographic categories, Identity Flexibility During Adulthood: Perspectives on Adult Development is a fascinating and complex resource for psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, gerontologists, and all those interested in our changing identities.