Your attention is now a commodity. This is not a new phenomenon. For example television ratings and advertising are linked. If the right people are watching at the right time then the adverts, sponsorship etc are sold at the price to matches the viewers ability to pay. Newspapers and magazines are also designed to sell audiences to advertisers. Your attention has always been valued but the rise of the online world has changed the way this works. One of the great freedoms enjoyed by the consumer under the old system was that he or she could always switch paper and… Read More »Attention to…
Superman knew a thing or two about X-ray vision, changing in a phone box and flying around the world to turn back time. But why did he need a fortress of solitude? One argument is that being the only known survivor of his race Clark Kents’s racier alter ego felt the need to be alone with his thoughts. Melancholy comes easily to the man who feels apart from others. But perhaps this feeling of being apart from others is a common sensation for men. Men are three times less likely than women to seek help for mental distress. They are… Read More »Destroy the Fortress of Solitude!
While a great deal is written about the changing forms of masculinity and the ways in which men can address the practical challenges of their lives a great deal more needs to be done before men are ready to accept the legitimacy of their feelings and emotions. One of the greatest struggles we experience in therapy is getting men to see how their early years were shaped by the sensations, feelings and responses of those closest to them. A great deal of sense-making goes into rationalizing their experiences rather than realising their lasting impact. One by-product of this intellectual layering… Read More »Men and Emotions
Imagine yourself in a new town. You have time to spare so you hire a tour guide. You meet at 9 am and he offers you an itinerary – the local museum, the waterfalls, the historic bridges, the castle etc. You turn up at 9 am all ready for the day. All goes according to plan – for the first three minutes. You follow his words and gaze around the charming little museum and then he’s off… First he talks about where the word museum comes from then what museums would be like if they were all under water, then… Read More »Tour Guide
One of the most challenging aspects of life as a human is dealing with our brains. The history of our species is written into this ugly jelly sloshing around in our heads and there’s not much we can do about it. At the root of us is the reptilian brain, that core set of responses we share with reptiles and which still takes up space inside us – and it’s a good thing too. We might live in the twenty-first century but we still need to be aware of any dangers in our environment. The mammalian brain is still there… Read More »Stop Fighting: You’ll lose!
It’s a common experience – that eerie feeling that you cant quite see the way ahead. As the Talking Heads song has it ‘Well – how did I get here?” But what you probably do when this happens is bury the feeling and just keep on keeping on. Here’s an exercise that you might try to open up your sense of the here and now and potentially re-orient yourself. It’s very hi-tech – you’ll need a pencil and paper. Step One – Who drew your map? We’ve all heard the cliché that life’s a journey but its worth taking a… Read More »Lost?
Are you paying attention? Really? Are you? Or is your mind elsewhere already? Have you jumped a couple of lines to see how this ends? Is 300 words too long to wait? If it is and you are then settle down (or at least try to!) what you’re doing is utterly typical and completely in fashion Have you noticed that so much of your life is postponed, distracted, ill-focused? You walk down the street listening to music that reminds you of your past while emailing a friend about something that may or may not happen in the future. In the… Read More »Monkey Brains
(Or as Homer once mis-pronounced it – ‘What’s a gyyymm?’) It’s common enough nowadays to talk about the body as a machine. Ever since the early physicians began to examine cadavers they seized on mechanical explanations for how we operate. Yes indeed – the thigh bone’s connected to the knee bone. Such mechanical explanations are very useful. Anyone visiting a doctor who dismissed such connections is best advised to move rapidly in the opposite direction. Gyms are themselves giant machines in which we run and pull on machines to gain rewards from machines – they’ll even reward you with a… Read More »Men and the Gym
What’s the trickiest part of meditation? The most common complaint is that it’s so difficult to find the time and even when you do there’s the constant interruptions… Another classic excuse is that ‘there’s just this problem at work/with the kids/with my Oyster card/with my Gilbert O’Sullivan fan club membership etc etc. You know… But perhaps the trickiest part of a meditation is what to do once you do manage to get to you bench, cushion or chair. Lets imagine that you have managed to put things on hold and he/she/it is not bothering you. The real difficulty lies in… Read More »Life sentences
Does intimacy means different things to men and women? Despite the considerable advances made by feminism it remains the case that popular culture offers more time and space for women to discuss their problems with men rather than vice versa. From daytime television to weekly magazines men are often seen as objects of ridicule: daytime talk shows portray men as failing to meet bogus standards of masculinity; problem pages offer endless testimony to men’s unreliability and fecklessness. An alien coming to earth would be confused that this much derided category of being seems to be the most maligned while still… Read More »Intimacy