Reviewed Books & Films

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October 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rethinking Resilience

APA I was recently asked to discuss mental health with a community group. One of my take-home messages was that we should work to develop resiliency as a preventive strategy for mental illness. Resilience in Deaf Children: Adaptation Through Emerging Adulthood, edited by Debra H. Zand and Katherine J. Pierce and reviewed by Ros Hunt, has led me to think more critically about my use of the term. Indeed, I am now engaged in the kind of questioning the contributing authors call for. As Hunt summarizes,

What do we mean by resilience? Is it inherent traits or acquired skills? Is it adaptability to disadvantageous circumstances or challenges? Is it synonymous with achieving desired outcomes?
The most important and challenging questions put forward in Hunt's review relate to how we view the state of being deaf. He asks,
If resilience is a response to risk, how is risk assessed? For example, is being deaf a risk factor, or is it the results of being deaf that create the risk?
The questions made me stop to consider whether my cultural competence training has adequately addressed this issue and why issues related to deaf children, but also children and adults across a range of ability statuses, so rarely receive our attention. What are your thoughts on the questions above?

Read the Review
ReviewResilience in Deaf Children?
By Ros Hunt
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(43)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How Much and What Kind of Psychological Help Should Be Offered After Disasters?

APA In her review of Lewis Aptekar's book In the Lion's Mouth: Hope and Heartbreak in Humanitarian Assistance, Judy Gibbons notes Aptekar's point that "mental health services must be an essential component of humanitarian assistance."

What are the best ways to offer mental health assistance to those who need aid after disasters? And, how much and what type of mental health services should be offered? If you have had experience offering such services, how well do they work and are they welcomed by other types of aid workers (medical professionals, etc.)?

Read the Review
ReviewThe Challenges and Costs of Humanitarian Aid: Working With the Displaced in Ethiopia
      By Judith L. Gibbons
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(27)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Amazing Potential Meets Hidden Dangers

APA The film Limitless, about a protagonist who must deal with newfound supermental powers, raises some interesting themes of interest to psychologists and the general public. Mary Spiers, in her review of the film, reflects on the film's core theme by discussing the current trends and research in neuroenhancement, in which drugs are used or studied as methods for improving cognitive performance. Addiction and physical and psychological side effects loom large with these drugs, yet uncharted self-improvement and societal change hold an irresistible allure for many.

What would you suggest are the ethical parameters for the use of such medications? Should a line be drawn with such medications? What are the hidden, potential dangers of pursuing neuroenhancement? In your future practice, a client will likely be speaking to you about similar medications; how might you provide a balanced point of view to help him or her arrive at a useful decision?

Read the Review
ReviewNeuroenhancement: Do “Smart Pills” Have Limits?
By Mary V. Spiers
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(31)

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Should Psychology Professors Use More Popular Culture to Teach?

APA In his review of D. E. Wittkower's Facebook and Philosophy: What's on Your Mind?, Richard Bloom notes the use of popular cultural products by philosophy professors.

Should psychology professors make more use of popular culture? Should we design our approach to teaching to the (ever changing) popular culture? This would go beyond just a few examples in class, as many of us do, by incorporating popular culture into our pedagogy, maybe even making it the basis of our pedagogy.

Read the Review
ReviewMinding Facebook
By Richard W. Bloom
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(27)

Editor of PsycCRITIQUES

Danny Wedding, PhD

Chair of Behavioral Sciences,
College of Medicine,
American University of Antigua

Associate Editors of PsycCRITIQUES

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