Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 21, Number 46
Featured Reviews
No One Cares About Crazy People by Ron PowersNo One Cares About Crazy People
by Ron Powers
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017
The Digital Mind by Arlindo OliveiraThe Digital Mind
by Arlindo Oliveira
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017
Personalities on the Plate by Barbara J. KingPersonalities on the Plate
by Barbara J. King
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017
Testosterone Rex
Myths of Sex, Science, and Society
By Cordelia Fine
Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Nov 14th 2017.
Testosterone Rex by Cordelia Fine In Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science and Society, Cordelia Fine looks into the past, present and future research regarding sex differences and testosterone. Fine does not state that there are no sex differences among women and men, and does not state that testosterone does not play a role when looking at biological differences, but the overall message based on research is that these differences are often minute and in many ways do not display the stark differences that are culturally entrenched and part of popular belief. Fine therefore starts with past research. Studies of the past h
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How and Why Are Some Therapists Better Than Others?
Understanding Therapist Effects
By Louis G. Castonguay and Clara E. Hill (Editors)
Review by Maura Pilotti, PhD on Tue, Nov 14th 2017.
How and Why Are Some Therapists Better Than Others? by Louis G. Castonguay and Clara E. Hill (Editors)In essence, How and why are some therapists better than others? Understanding therapist effects, a book edited by Louis G. Castonguay and Clara E. Hill, is a review of how little scholars and practitioners know about the contribution made by therapists to the effectiveness of psychological interventions. The term therapist effects has been specifically coined to label the impact of clinicians' individual characteristics, competencies, and actions on client outcomes, which can be statistically separated from the impact of type of treatment and clients' symptomatology (encompassing needs and sev
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We Are Okay
By Nina LaCour
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Nov 14th 2017.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCourSlow placed and meditative, We Are Okay has Marin telling her story of grief and disappointment. She is in her first year of college, and, implausibly, she is staying alone in the dorms over the winter break. She is clearly depressed and soaking in misery. She is planning to spend the time mostly alone, in the deep winter cold. She is preparing to read books and to listen to podcasts. But her friend Mabel is visiting and she also prepares for that. Marin isn't sure she can really cope with the visit but they used to be best friends and they used to have a relationship. Marin has lost her grand
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Lillian in Love
By Sue Katz
Review by Kaolin on Tue, Nov 14th 2017.
Lillian in Love by Sue KatzLillian in Love is about an on-going romantic union between two women who have begun to come together to see if they can take their relationship to a higher level. One of the women, Lillian, had always been straight while the other, Sarah had identified as a lesbian all of her of her life. The cover of this 209 page romantic novel is extraordinary and a precursor for what is to come. Being in her eighties, 84 to be exact, Lillian moved to The Manor, a residence for seniors to be near Sarah. Lillian stays in a friend’s apartment at The Manor who has gone away for several weeks. One mig
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An American Sickness
How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back
By Elisabeth Rosenthal
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Nov 7th 2017.
An American Sickness by Elisabeth RosenthalIn An American Sickness, Elisabeth Rosenthal outlines the unscrupulous business practices of hospitals, doctors and insurance companies in the USA that result in massive medical bills for patients and often second-rate health care too. She is a doctor and now works as a medical journalist, and in An American Sickness she piles up the evidence for her case. There is shameless profiteering, exploiting of patients, deception, collusion, between the different health providers and the bureaucrats who run them. She powerfully presents medicine in the USA as a profession that has betrayed its roots a
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The Reflective Parent
How to Do Less and Relate More with Your Kids
By Regina Pally
Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Nov 7th 2017.
The Reflective Parent by Regina PallyThe Reflective Parent: How to Do Less and Relate More with Your Kids, by Regina Pally, takes the perspective of how to parent using reflective parenting, which as Pally describes it , is relationship based, and focuses on the mental skill of understanding what is going on inside the mind of a child, by listening, being open, and by also looking inside oneself, taking a step back from jumping to conclusions while attempting to be non-judgmental. Pally starts out with describing reflective parenting, and the 10 principles of the system. At the same time, Pally assures her readers that parenting
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Inclusive Ethics
Extending Beneficence and Egalitarian Justice
By Ingmar Persson
Review by Jonathan Lewis on Tue, Nov 7th 2017.
Inclusive Ethics by Ingmar Persson With his latest work, Ingmar Persson has developed extant ideas found in almost thirty publications produced during the last three decades. The result is an original, eclectic, highly provocative and, what he calls, 'revisionary' piece of morally-oriented thought, one that strives to be systematic (despite Persson acknowledging its limitations) and draws upon debates in biology, psychology, metaphysics and philosophy of mind in order to challenge commonly-held justifications and intuitions regarding moral concepts, ethical frameworks and the point of moral philosophy. (Critics would likely arg
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Mathematical Doodlings
By Geoffrey Marnell
Review by Karl Pfeifer on Tue, Nov 7th 2017.
Mathematical Doodlings by Geoffrey Marnell The mathematics of doodling is a very small subfield of mathematics, popularized by advocates like Ravi Vakil [1], [4]. Moreover, the renowned John Conway tells us his famous game of Sprouts, a game with significant mathematical properties, originated in some tea-time doodling with the aim of inventing a good paper-and-pencil game [2]. Also, doodles have a large presence in children's mathematical education, although there it is generally not because of their interesting mathematical properties; instead, the doodles are mainly eye-candy for the purpose of providing a context that's supposedly
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Extraordinary Science and Psychiatry
Responses to the Crisis in Mental Health Research
By Jeffrey Poland and Serife Tekin
Review by Anke Bueter, PhD on Tue, Oct 31st 2017.
Extraordinary Science and Psychiatry by Jeffrey Poland and Serife TekinFueled by the latest revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (APA 2013, DSM-5), psychiatric classification and the research based upon it have received an enormous amount of critical attention lately. Jeffrey Poland's and Serife Tekin's edited volume brings together different perspectives from philosophy and mental health research on these controversies. Surely, a certain amount of debate about a classification of mental disorders is expectable due to the complexity of the subject matter, as well as the impacts on science and clinical practice. Yet, the editors co
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Twilight of American Sanity
A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump
By Allen Frances
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 31st 2017.
Twilight of American Sanity by Allen FrancesAllen Frances has a considerable reputation in psychiatry as one of the main architects of DSM-IV and one of the main critics of DSM-5, and especially some of the proposals for early drafts of DSM-5. He has an active Twitter feed, he used to write a blog for Psychology Today, and he also posted regularly for Psychiatric Times. In his new book he writes about the political crisis facing the USA with the terrible policies proposed by the White House and the incompetent leadership of the President. Frances writes at length of the many problems facing the world today and the ways in which the curr
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Deep Listening
A Healing Practice to Calm Your Body, Clear Your Mind, and Open Your Heart
By Jillian Pransky with Jessica Wolf
Review by Beth T. Cholette, Ph.D. on Tue, Oct 31st 2017.
Deep Listening by Jillian Pransky with Jessica WolfIn the opening chapter of this book, author Jillian Pransky describes the circumstances surrounding her first panic attack.  At that point in time, Pransky was already teaching yoga—an athletic, energetic style which had always suited her competitive nature.  But as her body neared exhaustion, Pransky found that she needed something different.  She sought out more mindful yoga practices, eventually becoming a restorative yoga instructor and a certified yoga therapist. In Deep Listening: A Healing Practice to Calm Your Body, Clear Your Mind, and Open Your Heart, Pransky pr
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Bipolar, Not So Much
Understanding Your Mood Swings and Depression
By Chris Aiken and James Phelps
Review by Hans Krauch on Tue, Oct 31st 2017.
Bipolar, Not So Much by Chris Aiken and James PhelpsBipolar, Not So Much - an excellent book on the nature, symptoms and causes of Bipolardisorder.  Indeed, 'Not-so-much' is a colloquial phrase that attempts to communicate how complex this disorder really is.  The word they use is 'spectrum' – where one falls between a level of depression or mania balanced between a neutral or opposite state of mood.  There is a generally dismissive attitude in the general public about this disorder because of the ubiquity of experiencing highs and lows in everyday life.  Yes, all people experience highs and lows, but that is not the p
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Sometimes Amazing Things Happen
Heartbreak and Hope on the Bellevue Hospital Psychiatric Prison Ward
By Elizabeth Ford
Review by Christian Perring on Fri, Oct 13th 2017.
Sometimes Amazing Things Happen by Elizabeth FordBellevue Hospital, looking over the East River, on 26th Street, is 7 miles from Rikers Island, adjacent to La Guardia Airport, and prisoners with severe mental disorders will often move from Rikers to Bellevue when they need assessment or hospitalization. Elizabeth Ford worked for many years at Bellevue, most recently as Director of Forensic Psychiatry. Sometimes Amazing Things Happen: Heartbreak and Hope on the Bellevue Hospital Psychiatric Prison Ward tells the story of many patients she has treated. It is a difficult population to treat, partly of the severity of their problems, and partly
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Wisdom Won from Illness
Essays in Philosophy and Psychoanalysis
By Jonathan Lear
Review by Gregory A. Trotter on Fri, Oct 13th 2017.
Wisdom Won from Illness by Jonathan Lear Jonathan Lear has done more than most to draw out the philosophical implications and import of psychoanalysis. In much of his work at the intersection of philosophy and psychoanalysis, Lear focuses on the practical, moral dimension of psychoanalytic theory and practice. He poses basic but far-reaching questions like: How does psychoanalysis work? What would it mean to affect psychical change? What are the conditions in which such a change can occur? This practical focus stems from both his experience as a clinician as well as from his vast knowledge of psychoanalytic and philosophic literature
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The Ethics of Human Enhancement
Understanding the Debate
By Steve Clarke, Julian Savulescu, C. A. J. Coady, Alberto Giubilini, & Sagar Sanyal (Editors)
Review by Diane Gall on Fri, Oct 13th 2017.
The Ethics of Human Enhancement by Steve Clarke, Julian Savulescu, C. A. J. Coady, Alberto Giubilini, & Sagar Sanyal (Editors)This volume is a welcome addition to the literature at a propitious time. The debates about human medical enhancement have been more or less deadlocked between The Ethics of Human Enhancement have drawn together papers which attempt two ends: to advance the debate through the impasse and to explore ways to recast the debate in order to get on with it. In the introductory paper, Giubilini and Sanyal the agreements and disagreements historically, across issues of instrumentality versus 'substantive' bioethical concerns, the worry about 'playing God', how important intuition should be seen in th
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