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

K. Ramsland

Packing Heat: Writing About Sex

Writing a sex scene is like playing jazz: you shut down lose self-censorship.

Forced Introspection: Appealing Fantasy or Horror Story?

By Laurie Helgoe Ph.D. on July 22, 2016 in Introvert Power
What if you were forced to spend two solid weeks alone, inside your own mind? How would you fare?

Creating Fictional Worlds That Feel Real

By Laura Otis Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 in Rethinking Thought
When you read a novel, do you know what color hair each characters has?
<a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_guita22'>guita22 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Why Do We Hate Difference?

By F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. on July 10, 2016 in Off the Couch
Why do leaders who nurture prejudice and fan the flames of hatred become so incredibly and disturbingly popular? And what can you do about it?

8 Common Myths (and 1 Truth) About Intimacy in Relationships

Without your realizing it, your beliefs about intimacy may be based more on myth than reality.

Nazi Fetishism

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on June 30, 2016 in In Excess
Examples of Nazi fetishism can be found in both musical content and films but what do we know about it from an academic and psychological perspective?

The Benefits of Creative Visualization

By Abigail Brenner M.D. on June 25, 2016 in In Flux
Creative visualization is a tested tool to help us achieve our goals and overcome limitations. By accessing the subconscious we can change our beliefs & ultimately,our reality.

The Power of Imagery

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on June 25, 2016 in Think Well
While the power of positive thinking is great, the power of positive imagery is often greater. Here are two of the most effective visualization techniques.

The Caregiver's Spouse

A fiction author gets the real-world details—fantasies, realities, and so much more—right.

The Motives Behind Murder of UK Member of Parliament Jo Cox

Clues as to the motives behind such a shocking and bizarre attack might be found in research conducted by a team of forensic psychiatrists and psychologists...

How Much of Porn Depicts Violence Against Women?

By Michael Castleman M.A. on June 15, 2016 in All About Sex
One study says 88% of porn videos show violence against women. Another says 2%. What explains this huge difference?
Wikimedia commons

Separating Fact From Fiction in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. Especially where autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is concerned.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Mothers

By Amy Tuteur M.D. on June 05, 2016 in Push Back
Why do we have more compassion for a gorilla than for a mother hoping to give her child the happiness of a day at the zoo?
used with permission from iclipart

Have You Ever Wished Someone Was Dead?

Many of us have wished someone would die or disappear when we're angry. But how common is it to actually fantasize about committing murder?

A Beautiful Visualization of Electrical Action in the Brain

By Kevin Murnane, Ph.D. on June 01, 2016 in The Info Monkey
A beautiful visualization shows a flythrough of electrical activity in the brain in real time.

Do You Have a Recurring School Dream? Tell Me About It

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on May 29, 2016 in Freedom to Learn
Dreams about being a student in school are very common, even for people who have been out of school for a long time. If you have had such a dream more than once, describe it here.
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.
&quot;Sunshine&quot; 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.