Revealing the Hidden Pain of Family Estrangement

Estrangement from family is among the most painful human experiences. We are born into a close family tie, and our continued inclusion is literally a matter of life and death. Without an adult’s attention, care and love, we cannot survive infancy. This basic need does not go away, even we are able to look after ourselves. Instead, that early dependence … Read More

What Parents Need to Know About Talking to Teens

Vicky and her daughter Alex are chatting about Alex’s friend, Amber, when Vicky says, “She sounds like trouble.”  Thunderclouds cross the teen’s face.  “You are so annoying!” the 14-year-old proclaims.  Vicky is torn between the wish to comfort her daughter and outrage: “Why are you so upset?  What have I done?  I was agreeing with you!” “All I have to do is … Read More

Are We Missing the Point when it Comes to Anorexia?

Anorexia nervosa is a hot topic in two senses: it is a subject of high-profile discussion and it is emotionally charged. Recent remarks by Dame Joan Bakewell have fuelled the fire; the meanings of her moderate words (anorexia “could be about…narcissism really” arising from preoccupation with “being beautiful and healthy [sic!] and thin”) have sparked idiosyncratic interpretations that generate argument … Read More

Why We Need International Women’s Day

Explanations of women’s under-representation in science, technology, engineering and maths (only 14% of women entering University choose science related subjects, compared to 39% of boys) are usually stacked up like layers on a wedding cake. The bottom layer, the stodgy foundation, is about “hard wiring”. Fortunately, claiming that gender career segregation is down to differences in women’s and men’s brains … Read More

Is Your Brain Male or Female?

BBC Horizon’s recent programme, “Is your brain male or female?” made a valiant yet narrow minded attempt at measure and reason. I offer this blog to anyone who remains as riled as I by Michael Mosley’s acceptance of Simon Baron-Cohen’s carefully paired claim that, “The male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems,” and, “The female brain is predominantly hard-wired … Read More

Family Matters: Learning to Love Your In-Laws

Boy meets girl. Love blossoms. Boy marries girl — and inherits the in-laws. The in-laws we acquire can affect our quality of life, from long-term happiness to family life. In “What Do You Want From Me?: Learning How to Get Along With In-Laws,” author and psychologist Terri Apter offers advice on how to ease tension and build healthy relationships with … Read More