Monday, 21 May 2018

When You’re Overwhelmed with Being an Adult

a post by Margarita Tartakovsky for the World of Psychology blog

Working, paying bills, making meals, managing a household, running errands, making important decisions… adulthood isn’t for the faint of heart. Responsibilities regularly pile up. And it becomes a lot to juggle and handle on a regular basis.

And there isn’t exactly a class we take that prepares us for the nitty gritty of the day to day.

In fact, many of us go off to college with little to no training about how to handle the basics – like bills, budgeting and taxes. Psychotherapist Alyson Cohen, LCSW, works with many young adults who have a hard time “adulting”. In particular, her clients struggle with money: budgeting their expenses and spending above their means.

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How I Uncovered the Root Cause of My Social Anxiety (and Finally Healed)

a post by Berni Sewell for the Tiny Buddha blog

“I want to dare to exist, and more than that, to live audaciously, in all my imperfect, lumpy, scarred glory, because the alternative is letting shame win.” ~Shauna Niequist

I kept my head down. Staring at my plate of food.

I could hear the laughter of the other people around the table – work colleagues, my bosses, a couple of high-profile clients. They were having a great time, enjoying the company and their expensive meals.

I felt light-headed and clammy as I battled to fake a calm and relaxed appearance. My finger nails left painful, crimson marks where I dug them into my palms to distract myself from the overwhelming anxiety.

The whole situation was a nightmare I wanted to escape. But I couldn’t have refused my boss’s invitation. Not again.

I had dreaded this evening since I learned about it. The prospect of social interactions with my superiors in a formal setting made me sick with worry. I tried to prepare myself, convince myself that the event was no threat, work up confidence beforehand.

We know how to fight air pollution. So why leave so many to die?

an article by Harry Quilter-Pinner published in the Guardian

What if the water that came out of your taps made you – and thousands of others – ill? How would people respond? Voters would quite rightly demand that the government act decisively to address the problem. Heads would roll in the boardrooms of the big water companies. And demand for alternatives such as bottled water would spike. Yet scientists and campaigners – validated by the UK courts – have been telling us for years that the air we breathe is both lethal and illegal, and the response from our politicians has been negligible.

Invisible pollutants – such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM2.5) – put us at higher risk of everything from asthma to stroke, and cancer to heart disease. One study suggests that nearly 60% of the UK’s population live in areas where air pollution is above the legal limit. The end result is staggering: 40,000 early deaths every year in the UK. In London, this makes air pollution the second-biggest health risk, outranking alcohol consumption and obesity.

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The Collaborative Nature of Psychotherapy

a post by Linda Sapadin for the World of Psychology blog

“I don’t believe in psychotherapy.”

“Therapy is for crazy people; you’re not crazy.”

“Therapy is for narcissists who just like to hear themselves talk.”

“Therapy is for weak wimps who can’t solve their own problems.”

“Therapy is for whiners who complain about everything.”

“Therapy is like talking to a friend; why pay someone when you can talk to me?”

These beliefs are what stops many people from seeking out psychotherapy. Too bad. For when therapy is humming, the possibilities for growth are endless.
  • Instead of honing in only on your shortcomings, you learn ways to develop your best self.
  • Instead of living with a wounded heart, you learn how to heal it.
  • Instead of putting up with painful relationships, you learn how to enrich them.
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The populism backlash: An economically driven backlash

a column by Luigi Guiso, Helios Herrera, Massimo Morelli and Tommaso Sonno for VOX: CEPR’s Policy Portal

There has been some disagreement over the roots of the recent rise of populism in Europe. This column examines variations in exposure to economic shocks and in ability to react to them in different regions of Europe to show that the cultural backlash against globalisation has been driven by economic woes.

In regions where globalisation was present but that have benefited economically, there has been no such backlash and the populist message has retreated. The message is clear: if one wants to defeat populism, one must defeat first economic insecurity.

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I now understand a lot better what populism is and how it works or not as the case might be. I like my information visually so the charts and graphs from VOX please me and make the meaning of the words clearer.

Sex Work, Sensory Urbanism and Visual Criminology: Exploring the Role of the Senses in Shaping Residential Perceptions of Brothels in Blackpool

an article by Emily Cooper (University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK) and Ian R. Cook and Charlotte Bilby (Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK) published in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research Volume 42 Number 3 (May 2018)


Urban studies and criminology have much to offer each other, but the links between the two have so far been underexplored. This article is an illustration of how aspects of both can, and should, be brought into conversation: namely the literatures on sensory urbanism (in urban studies) and visual criminology.

The benefits of doing so are evidenced by a case study exploring the ways in which the senses shape residents’ perceptions of brothels in Blackpool.

Three key findings emerge from the case study.

  • First, the residents interviewed tended to focus on the visual aspects of brothels rather than other sensory aspects. Nevertheless, touch and smell (and their interaction with the visual) also played small but important roles in shaping residential perceptions.
  • Second, residential perceptions of sex work and brothels are linked to, and encompass, a plurality of emotional responses.
  • Third, while the residents could see or hear little of what was happening inside the brothels, they often sought out sensory clues from outside, typically drawn from the architectural features of the brothels.

Such insights, we argue, are made possible by, and highlight the possibilities of, the bringing together of urban studies and criminology.

Full text (PDF 17pp)

Making political citizens? Migrants’ narratives of naturalization in the United Kingdom

an article by Leah Bassel and Pierre Monforte (University of Leicester, UK) and Kamran Khan (Universitat de Lleida, Spain; King's College London, UK) published in Citizenship Studies Volume 22 Issue 3 (May 2018)


Citizenship tests are arguably intended as moments of hailing, or interpellation, through which norms are internalized and citizen-subjects produced. We analyse the multiple political subjects revealed through migrants’ narratives of the citizenship test process, drawing on 158 interviews with migrants in Leicester and London who are at different stages in the UK citizenship test process.

In dialogue with three counter-figures in the critical naturalization literature – the ‘neoliberal citizen’; the ‘anxious citizen’; and the ‘heroic citizen’ – we propose the figure of the ‘citizen-negotiator’, a socially situated actor who attempts to assert control over their life as they navigate the test process and state power.

Through the focus on negotiation, we see migrants navigating a process of differentiation founded on pre-existing inequalities rather than a journey toward transformation.

Full text (PDF 19pp)