Archive for August, 2014

Its natural to avoid getting hurt

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

You’re already busy and pushed to the end of your limits by the day-to-day grind. Taking on any more is just overwhelming — but suffering is also the secret to being successful.

Gain usually comes through pain.



The reset button in your brain

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Every day we’re assaulted with facts, pseudofacts, news feeds and jibber-jabber, coming from all directions. According to a 2011 study, on a typical day, we take in the equivalent of about 174 newspapers’ worth of information, five times as much as we did in 1986. As the world’s 21,274 television stations produce some 85,000 hours of original programming every day (by 2003 figures), we watch an average of five hours of television per day. For every hour of YouTube video you watch, there are 5,999 hours of new video just posted!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, there’s a reason: The processing capacity of the conscious mind is limited. This is a result of how the brain’s attentional system evolved. Our brains have two dominant modes of attention: the task-positive network and the task-negative network (they’re called networks because they comprise distributed networks of neurons, like electrical circuits within the brain). The task-positive network is active when you’re actively engaged in a task, focused on it, and undistracted; neuroscientists have taken to calling it the central executive. The task-negative network is active when your mind is wandering; this is the daydreaming mode. These two attentional networks operate like a seesaw in the brain: when one is active the other is not.


Confronting Reality by Reading

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Fantasy Author Lev Grossman says C.S. Lewis taught him that in fiction, stepping into magical realms means encountering earthly concerns in transfigured form.


I agree. I find inspiration and insight in fantasy that I can then bring back into what we normally term reality.

What Not To Say To Someone Grieving A Pet

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

If you’ve ever experienced the loss of a pet, you know that the pain and grief is deep and real — and can even be overwhelming.

Despite that, grief over the loss of a pet is often not treated with the same respect or sensitivity as grief over the loss of a human.


I’m doing more and more coaching and counseling around loss of animal as well as human companions, since I seem so well equipped by life experiences to deal with this. My popular book, Baltho, the Dog Who Owned a Man, and my other books all talk about this in one way or another.

This Tiny Dog’s Smart Tricks Will Knock Your Socks Off

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Even though this adorable Yorkie, Misa Minnie, is only 1 and a half years old, the intelligence level of her tricks will astound you — and make your day.


How to Tell a Sociopath from a Psychopath

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Many forensic psychologists and criminologists use the terms sociopathy and psychopathy interchangeably. Leading experts disagree on whether there are meaningful differences between the two conditions. I contend that there are significant distinctions between them.

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), released by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013, lists both sociopathy and psychopathy under the heading of Antisocial Personality Disorders (ASPD). These disorders share many common behavioral traits which lead to the confusion between them. Key traits that sociopaths and psychopaths share include:

A disregard for laws and social mores
A disregard for the rights of others
A failure to feel remorse or guilt
A tendency to display violent behavior
In addition to their commonalities, sociopaths and psychopaths also have their own unique behavioral characteristics as well.


This Guy Got Down Next To His Puppy. There’s Nothing Quite Like What Happens Next.

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014


Why Are Humans Violent? The Psychological Reason We Hurt Each Other

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

From the crises in the Middle East to mass shootings in U.S. schools to the reckless striving for wealth and world domination, there is one overarching theme that almost never gets media coverage—the sense of insignificance that drives destructive acts. As a depth psychologist with many years of experience, I can say emphatically that the sense of being crushed, humiliated and existentially unimportant are the main factors behind so much that we call psychopathology.


Facts about you and your dog’s personality

Thursday, August 7th, 2014


Homeless Man Tearfully Watches As Police Destroy His Shelter

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Sam had just one request for police about to destroy the makeshift shelter in the woods he’d built: “Can I watch?”

The video above, showing a visibly shaken Sam become teary-eyed as his home of several years crumbles to the ground, is promoting a new documentary shedding light at the current realities of homelessness in America.


The growing divide between rich and poor in this country–and around the world–is deeply upsetting. And dangerous.

Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.