Therapy based on the controversial concept of ‘mindfulness’ works as well as some anti-depressant drugs, according to a major new study. Inspired in part by Buddhist philosophy, mindfulness involves training the brain to deal with negative emotions using techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises and yoga. Some critics have claimed mindfulness techniques can bring on panic attacks and lead to paranoia, delusions or depression.
Greetings, Offworlders! We're proud to team up with our friends at Critical Distance to bring you a special digest edition of their popular This Week in Videogame Blogging feature, showcasing games discussion from all around the web. This week, a therapist shares her successes getting through to young patients through Mario Kart, actor Wil Wheaton discusses a possible union strike by industry voice actors, and we explore Line Hollis's mixtape of games that break the fourth wall. - Leigh First up, at Ontological Geek, therapist Kim Shashoua shares a couple of experiences where videogames became an essential tool for reaching young people in group therapy: I finally thought, "screw it, I'm just going to talk about Mario Kart." I asked everyone who had played Mario Kart to raise their hands. The response was universal. Okay, already we had a better recognition rate. I asked about a time when they were doing great in the game, and if a friend had ever done something that left them feeling betrayed and angry. Their immediate answer: the blue shell. And there it was. A simple term we could use to parse the mire of childhood friendships. [...] Instead of tearing up the floorboards and replacing all of our current analogies with gaming references, I suggest that we recognise video games as a font for cases where kids have already encountered (and often triumphed over) real-world issues. Mario Kart wasn't just a thing that those kids knew -- it was a place where they felt anger and betrayal. It confronted them with the fact that their friends don't always support them. For those kids, a reference to Mario Kart was an acknowledgement of these complex experiences.At Playboy, Jake Muncy looks back on the critically-panned The Order: 1886 and attempts to salvage one of its few redeeming features:
A Princeton psychology professor has come up with a way to show people that that their “invisible” failures and setbacks are as important as their successes. Johannes Haushofer, a princeton professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, posted a CV of failures in an attempt to “balance the record” and “provide some perspective”. He was inspired by a 2010 Nature article by Melanie Stefan, a lecturer at the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. She suggested that keeping a visible record of your rejected applications can help others to deal with setbacks
To help understand the DNA of a happy song, we spoke with Dr. Adrian North -- an Australian music psychologist who consulted with Rock Mafia during the creative process. Dr. North is the author of How to Produce Happy Music.
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