Essential Reads

Happiness versus Success

In Silicon Valley, happiness & success are regrettably too often in opposition.

Ten Years of Rural Life

What happens when you move to the country?

Apocalypse Again: Why Can't We Get Enough?

Unpacking why we love the threat of disaster

What Do Children Know About Climate Change?

There are proven strategies to help children become eco-warriors

Recent Posts on Environment

Happiness versus Success

Over the decades - as both a psychiatrist practicing in Silicon Valley and a civilian living here locally - I have witnessed so much success and yet so little happiness. In our valley of material riches and natural beauty, the two are regrettably too often in opposition.

Ten Years of Rural Life

Ten years ago this week, Geoff and I were packing our belongings. We had bought a farm, sold our house, and were preparing to move to a place where we had no friends, no family, no connections, no jobs—a place where we had been only once before, two weeks earlier. What would our new rural life be like?

A Child is Being Beaten—Ever or Never?

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) made famous the stark phrase “the banality of evil.” This complex idea connotes colossal destructiveness done by men of less than colossal character. The everyday pervasiveness of senseless cruelty---humankind’s inhumanity toward itself---makes it clear that the inclination of destructiveness is real. Effective parenting is primary prevention.

Manifesting an Authentic World

If we live from our authentic selves, we will ultimately act in the best interest of the world.

How to Live Five More Years

Move more, live longer.

Apocalypse Again: Why Can't We Get Enough?

Why do we love the idea of our own demise?

What Do Children Know About Climate Change?

Children are the future stewards of our fragile ecosystem. What does research tell us about what children know and feel about environmental threats, such as climate change? What are the best ways to educate and engage children on these issues?

Room Rights in Adolescence

Parents need to respect the adolescent room for the many personal functions it can provide; the adolescent needs to respect parental needs for that room to fit into what they want in a family home. This is an accommodation that must be made.

Reconnecting with Nature

Listening to and communing with nature affects our health, both physical and psychological. Whether is is taking a walk or listening to the sounds of other species, creating a sense of connection with the natural world is beneficial, restorative, and necessary for our well-being.

More Evidence that Dogs Rose Early On

By Mark Derr on May 24, 2015 in Dog's Best Friend
New evidence that dogs emerged in multiple places before the end of the last Ice Age.

How Do Our Clients Feel About Therapy?

Did you know that therapy is not openly supported within every culture? There are a number of questions that might be beneficial to weave into the early stages of treatment if a client admits that he or she could be judged or ridiculed for getting such support.

Skin Cancer Prevention

Learn some essential tips to prevent skin cancer.

A Workover: A Career Changer Wants into Renewable Energy

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 22, 2015 in How To Do Life
Advice I gave to a caller to my NPR-San Francisco radio program.

We Are What We Landscape

Home and business owners in drought stricken California are painting their brown lawns green. With the wave of a sprayer wand, parched blades of grass instantly turn emerald. It is like dying grey hair back to its original hue; we read youth and vitality into colored locks. What messages do we see in a lawn?

The Power of Awe: A Sense of Wonder Promotes Loving-Kindness

A new study led by researchers at the University of California reports that having a sense of wonder and being in awe of something greater than oneself promotes loving-kindness and prosocial behavior.

How We Decide Who's Creepy

Given how frequently creepiness gets discussed in everyday life, it is amazing that it has not yet been studied in a scientific way. What I found in an exploratory study suggests that creepiness is a response to the ambiguity of threat; it is not the clear presence of danger that creeps us out, but rather the uncertainty of whether danger is present or not.

The Great Grief: How To Cope with Losing Our World

A “Great Grief” a feeling that rises in us as if from the Earth itself

What to Do When Your Anxiety Won’t Go Away

Outsmart your brooding ways with these nine mind games. After all, calm is an inside job.

Mad Men vs. Hill Street Blues

Which world do you choose?

Solving Humanity’s Emotional Disorders

In the last 1% of human genus existence, mental illness has become rampant. What are we doing wrong?

The Digital Revolution & the Nature of Adolescent Passage

The very essence of communication has changed. The various social media, 24/7 news cycles and the ubiquitous presence of smart phones keep us connected whether we want to participate or not. As families have become more comfortable with allowing their children to have cell phones, there seems to be an evolution in the nature of the dynamics of child development.

GMO Labels May Encourage Sales, Not Scare Them Away

Mandatory GMO labels on food, by giving consumers choice, may not scare buyers off as much as GMO opponents hope.

Tom Brady Broke the Rules, But Don't We All?

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on May 14, 2015 in The Sports Mind
Before we tie Tom Brady to the whipping post, perhaps we should think about the times we bent, finessed, or massaged the rules for our own benefit.

My Design Psychology Career: 'Art + Science' = True Love

By Toby Israel Ph.D. on May 14, 2015 in Design on My Mind
DESIGN PSYCHOLOGY offers a better way to finally bridge the gap between 'human factors' THINKING and design PRACTICE.

Spring Forward or Fall Back?

The biggest unsolved problem of neuroscience can't be solved by neuroscience alone. Neuroscience needs embodied cognitive science. The brain doesn't generate the mind; it facilitates it.

Multilingual Environments Enrich Our Understanding of Others

Even if you're not bilingual, exposure to multiple languages improves the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes and see the world from another perspective.

Going Old School: College in the 1850s

While there has been undeniable flux in musical taste, fashion statements, hairstyles, and all of the other symptoms of pop-culture evolution, I am more convinced than ever that there is something essentially eternal about being 19 years old.

A Postscript to the Baltimore Riots

Criminals, not the environment, cause crime

The Psychology of Feedback vs. Praise

By Gregory Ciotti on May 10, 2015 in Habits, Not Hacks
Providing the right kind of feedback means everything.

On The Nature of True Love

We care about another’s wellbeing simply because the act of loving is enjoyable.