Understanding Fantasies

Fantasies are not frivolous. They can be entertaining, distracting, frightening, even arousing, but they also allow for creativity and help us plan for the future. As long as we don't mistake fantasies for reality (as in delusional disorder and schizophrenia) or let them become too rigid (as in paraphilias), they provide a necessary escape from the here and now.

Recent posts on Fantasies

Fetish Couture | by Bea Serendipity via Flickr, Labeled for Reuse

No, You Cannot Eradicate a Fetish

Evidence says fetishes can't be eliminated through psychotherapy, but many mental health practitioners still use harmful and antiquated techniques.

Follow Your Dream?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 29, 2016 in How To Do Life
Stories they don't tell you on Oprah

Emotional Illusion: "The Queen of the Human Heart"

We may be inclined to hold an illusion as truth, especially when seeking pleasure or in matters of the heart.

What Our Earliest Memories Say About Us

By Lee Eisenberg on April 23, 2016 in The Point Is
Do we choose this or that memory so that our life story will have nowhere to go but up?

Doctor Who Therapy: Can TV's Time Lord Teach Compassion?

Superhero Therapy author describes an empirical study testing whether Doctor Who could teach children learn about compassion or help them with depression and socializing.

Vorarephilia and Being Eaten for Sexual Pleasure

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on April 07, 2016 in In Excess
Vorarephilia is a sexual paraphilia in which people are sexually aroused by the idea of being eaten. But what do we know psychologically about this rare sexual behavior?

Love, Loss, and Heroic Rescue

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on April 05, 2016 in A Swim in Denial
Everyone wants to be rescued. For better or worse, rescue opens up romance. But it also reveals basic creaturely conflicts that define us.

The Problem With Contemporary Psychiatric Diagnosis

Patients today get stained by the specious medical diagnoses of biological psychiatry.

Five Questions to Ask Your Partner About Sex

Sexual questions to ask before marriage

Lying Vows

By Cortney S. Warren Ph.D. on April 03, 2016 in Naked Truth
Romantic love dominates our lives. It occupies our thoughts, experiences, and desires. Yet when we attempt to honor the specialness of the bond, we often lie.
"Sunshine" by Daphne Correa dos Reis

Falling Out of Love

Why, oh why, must we fall out of love?

Science Fiction Feminism

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on March 26, 2016 in More Than Mortal
Some of the most critically and commercially successful sci-fi film franchises have featured badass female protagonists.

Who’s in the Mirror?

Doubles and mirror images fascinate. Why? Maybe they echo a threat to our sense of self - from illness, physical damage, others too like us, even sexual and gender misalignment.
K. Ramsland

Murder Kits

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on March 20, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
What killers pack in their murder bags reveals not just methods but also rituals and levels of ingenuity.

Deep Down, Are You a Murderer?

By Kurt Gray on March 15, 2016 in Minding Morality
A man killed his in-laws while asleep. You could too.

How Do You Define What Is 'Sexually Normal'?

By Ryan Anderson on March 14, 2016 in The Mating Game
Do you ever wonder if what you do or think about is 'normal'? New evidence suggests that some of what we once thought was 'sexually unusual' is actually reasonably common.

How Can We Understand Our Fear of the Other?

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on March 11, 2016 in Off the Couch
What can science fiction and fairy tales tell us about our emotional selves?

Trump Towers Vs. Downton Abbey

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on March 09, 2016 in A Swim in Denial
Enthusiasm for particular stories can reveal much about the political allegiances and values of the audience. Two popular yet very different stories prove the point.

How Fiction Could Save Us All

If exposing artificial intelligence to fiction can help them understand human values, could reading fiction similarly make us better people?

A License for Concealed Motives

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on March 03, 2016 in A Swim in Denial
A new Texas law dictates that students may bring guns to campus. The law contributes to hysteria based on conflicts too disturbing to acknowledge.
Dengzeyu Li/Unsplash

How to Manage Competition in a Chaotic World

By Madelyn Blair Ph.D. on February 29, 2016 in Resilient Leadership
What do resilient leaders and Olympic athletes have in common? They both leverage the same key strategy to manage competition in ambiguous times.

Are You In Need of Bibliotherapy?

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on February 27, 2016 in Trouble in Mind
The allure of books has been recognized for centuries. But why is fiction so therapeutic? Can you take advantage of this and buy novels instead of therapy sessions?

The Only Socially Acceptable Psychosis

By Susan Rako M.D. on February 25, 2016 in More Light
What can be called "the only socially acceptable psychosis"?

Why We're Afraid of Heights

By Tom Bunn L.C.S.W. on February 19, 2016 in Conquer Fear Of Flying
Will our plane fall? Will I lose control? What about the urge to fly like Mary Poppins? What if the view is too much?

Exploring Our Endless Obsession With the End

By Guy P. Harrison on February 17, 2016 in About Thinking
Explore the rational and irrational sides of doomsday.
Candaulis/Wikipedia

What Secret Male Sexual Fantasy Is Surprisingly Common?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 17, 2016 in Evolution of the Self
Traditionally, men whose wives have cheated on them have been scorned and stigmatized. So why have stories, images, and videos of so-called “cuckold sex” become so popular?

How to Fantasize: Sex, Religion, Politics

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 17, 2016 in Ambigamy
Blaming politicians for lying is like watching a few hours of porn and, while cleaning up after yourself, cursing the porn stars for pretending they’re in love.

The 5 Most Dangerous Myths About Narcissism (Part 2)

By Craig Malkin Ph.D. on February 17, 2016 in Romance Redux
Steer clear of any book, blog or video that tries to convince you of anything even approaching these ideas about narcissism.

A New Look at Visual Thinking

By Laura Otis Ph.D. on February 16, 2016 in Rethinking Thought
It's time to move beyond general praise of visual thinking to consider all the different forms it can take.

Why I Fantasize about Divorcing my Amazing Husband

By Madeleine A Fugère Ph.D. on February 15, 2016 in Dating and Mating
I have to admit to a very unusual fantasy. I fantasize about divorcing my amazing husband, but only so that I can spend more time with him.