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Sunday, February 9, 2020

Facts don't matter; preconceived notions do.

From Humans Are Hardwired To Dismiss Facts That Don't Fit With Their Worldview published on The Conversation on 01/31/20
Something is rotten in the state of American political life. The U.S. (among other nations) is increasingly characterized by highly polarized, informationally insulated ideological communities occupying their own factual universes.
Within the conservative political blogosphere, global warming is either a hoax or so uncertain as to be unworthy of response. Within other geographic or online communities, vaccinesfluoridated water and genetically modified foods are known to be dangerous. Right-wing media outlets paint a detailed picture of how Donald Trump is the victim of a fabricated conspiracy.
None of that is correct, though. The reality of human-caused global warming is settled science. The alleged link between vaccines and autism has been debunked as conclusively as anything in the history of epidemiology. It’s easy to find authoritative refutations of Donald Trump’s self-exculpatory claims regarding Ukraine and many other issues.
For more click here.
Most human beings can't be persuaded by facts. They have too much emotionally at stake to see the truth even when it is apparent. This tendency is called by many names: denial, minimalization, confirmation bias, prejudice, delusion, etc. Whatever you call it, it is unhealthy and destructive for the individual and for the groups in which they participate.
What is to be done about denial and delusion? Usually a direct approach of pointing out and bolstering the facts doesn't help, but only forces the person to become more entrenched in their false beliefs and upset to the point of loss of control and violence.
The best approach is to sidestep the topic and continue to focus on the consequences of the correct belief and make these achievements the satisfying elements of one's life. In other words leading by example rather than by argument is usually the better path.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Posting on social media is a performance not a relationship.


Posting on Facebook and other social media is about performing for an audience, not about developing reciprocity in relationships. People on social media are not “friends”, but fans and critics.

David G. Markham, L.C.S.W. - R.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Suicide rate by state. New York has lowest, Montana has the highest.

It is very interesting to compare the quality of life in blue states as compared to red states. I am using this descriptor not in a political way but as indicators of existing social policies in those states. A simple example are suicide rates. They are double in red states and even three times higher than in blue states. 

New York, my state, has the lowest suicide rate in the Nation at 8.1/100,00 as compared to Montana with the highest rate at over three times higher with 29.9/100,00. 

If you would like to see the suicide rate in your state click here. The average rate in the U.S, in 2017 was 14.0/100,00 

Why do you suppose the quality of life is so much higher in New York than in Montana? Just for starters we have the best University system in the World, and the best gun laws in the nation and the best minimum wage laws, and the best health care coverage and some of the most enjoyable arts and recreational areas and plenty of fresh water.

Click on image to enlarge

Monday, December 23, 2019

How are attachment styles distributed in the U.S. population?



Levine and Heller in their book, Attachment, suggest that about 50% of the population in the U.S. exhibit a secure attachment style while 20%  exhibit an anxious attachment style, 25% an avoidant attachment style and 5% may be disorganized or some combination. These percentages are guesstimates and I don’t know at this writing of a better scientific basis for judging any different. There is some evidence that anxious attachment styles are increasing with the rise of social media resulting in poorer face to face interpersonal skills. Turning to social media for solace when upset does not seem to have the same physiological calming effect as physical presence and touching.

In the psychotherapy office, the majority of clients seeking consultation usually exhibit an anxious attachment style. It is less frequent to meet with a person with an avoidant attachment style unless that person is encouraged or coerced by another person to go for counseling. The most symptomatic clients seeking psychotherapy may have a disorganized attachment style and often they are diagnosed as suffering from Borderline or some other Personality Disorder.

The main benefit that people obtain from a psychotherapeutic relationship is to create a supportive relationship with a counselor who has a secure attachment style whom the client can use as a secure base from which to explore and experiment and make changes in their life.

This is post #3 in a series on Attachment Styles.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Attachment styles - definitions


Below are some definitions of the three main attachment styles. Some theorists also add a fouth style which is named "disorganized."

Being able to name one's own predominant attachment style, and those of others with whom one interacts, provides guidance for how to be manage those relationships.

Adult attachment designates three main “attachment styles,” or manners in which people perceive and respond to intimacy in romantic relationships, which parallel those found in children: Secure, Anxious, and Avoidant. 

Basically, secure people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving; 

anxious people crave intimacy, are often preoccupied with their relationships, and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back; 

avoidant people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness. 

In addition, people with each of these attachment styles differ in: their view of intimacy and togetherness the way they deal with conflict their attitude toward sex their ability to communicate their wishes and needs their expectations from their partner and the relationship

Levine, Amir. Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love (p. 8). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

This is post #2 in a series on Attachment Styles.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Attachment theory, part one, overiew

This is a first posting in a series on attachment theory.

 This first posting is a video providing an oveview of the theory.


 

Editor's note:

I have found attachment theory very powerful for understanding problems that people have in their relationships. Behavior which is confusing and appears irrational when perceived out of context, starts to be more understandable. Understanding the dynamics and motivations for behavior is usually the first step in conscious behavior change.

This post is #1 in a series.