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Covid-19 sends the world into a global pandemic, and one of the first things to happen is toilet paper hoarding? The quip: “Freud would have a field day with that” comes to mind.

Modern day psychology has moved away from traditional Freudian techniques, which often entailed analyzing behavior in terms of early childhood experiences, and coming to disprovable — sometimes laughable, conclusions. However, we did learn the art of understanding our present in terms of our past from Freud. After all, it’s been said that Freudian ideas are so embedded in our society, all that’s left are his mistakes.

Freud was known for analyzing anything from dreams to tongue slips in terms of an individual’s unconscious processes. Despite his reputation for finding the secret meaning in any object of interest, Freud famously exclaimed “Sometimes a cigar is just a…


OVERSPENDING, OVEREATING, RISKY BEHAVIOR… WHY DO SOME DEMENTIA PATIENTS MAKE POOR DECISIONS?

Did you know that about 48 million people worldwide are living with dementia, and by 2050, it is projected that this number will more than triple? Each specific type of dementia comes with its own brand of unfortunate symptoms, often devastating the patient’s family and friends. In one particular form of dementia, such devastation largely arises from witnessing changes in the patient’s personality and decisions.

What causes some dementia patients to make poor decisions?

I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, I make poor decisions, too, and I don’t have dementia.” Sure, poor decision making is something that we can all relate to from time to time. But, for patients with a certain type of dementia called behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), uncharacteristically poor decision making is one of the first changes that people notice. In fact, many responsible individuals diagnosed with bvFTD suddenly find themselves overspending, overeating, gambling away their life savings in secret, acting inappropriately at work or in social situations, and even exhibiting criminal behaviors for the first time. …


A few weeks ago, I was at a workshop, led by Dr. David Wallin, in which I, a psychologist-in-training, and other seasoned professional counselors answered questions in dyads. They were questions like, “Do you feel safe being curious about yourself in the presence of others?” and “How did your childhood trauma shape who you are today?” In our dyads, one person was the Asker and the other was the Answerer. Askers were instructed to ask the question, not say a word, only provide non-verbal feedback, and stay silent for ten minutes while the Answerer responded.

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Sedona before Thunderstorms, image by Kristie Wood.

If the Answerer ran out of steam, the Asker could only respond with “Thank you” and re-ask the question. The Answerer’s response had no choice but to go deeper and deeper as the time and silence went on. …

About

Kristie A. Wood

Counseling Psychology PhD student, therapist, researcher, and artist. https://kristiewood.com

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