Chronic anger – and why the heart grows brutal from the fare

Over the last year, it seems as if we in Ireland are growing collectively angrier on a daily basis. There is no need to recite the litany of economic, banking, political, child abuse and other issues that have provoked that anger.  Rather I want to focus on the effects of anger on individuals and on a society and the relationship... Read More

Posted: 04 January 2010


Church's view of sex the root cause of its troubles

After the first wave of revelations over a decade ago, the sexual abuse of children by the clergy was explained away by the Roman Catholic Church by the bad apple theory – that these isolated “sexual acts” were transgressions by a minority of weak priests. In the wake of the Dublin diocesan report, that explanation has been amplified to include... Read More

Posted: 02 December 2009


Agencies are capable of pivotal role in recovery

Ladies and gentlemen, fellow citizens, we need to get a grip here. In the wake of the report of “An Bord Snip Nua”, there has been a national outbreak of self-loathing. How could we have got it so wrong? What national madness took hold? And that was even before the Sunday papers got going with the “bloodbath”of solutions ahead –... Read More

Posted: 23 July 2009

Book Review

Doctoring the Mind: Is Our Current Treatment of Madness Really Any Good? By Richard Bentall Allen Lane

In 'Doctoring the Mind: Is the Current Treatment of Madness Really Any Good?' Richard Bentall does not mince his words. Conventional psychiatry, he charges, has failed “because it has been profoundly unscientific and at the same time unsuccessful at helping some of the most distressed and vulnerable people in our society”. This charge is all the more startling given the much-heralded new... Read More

Posted: 18 July 2009


More to a country’s wellbeing than economic success

A few years ago, a group of eminent psychologists expressed the view that it was time that psychology changed direction and began to concentrate on what makes people happy and successful – what makes them flourish, instead of focusing on what was wrong with them – their disorders and problems.  Thus was born the Positive Psychology movement. Note the word ‘movement’ signalling the almost evangelical zeal for this new approach. In the past few years this has resulted in an outpouring of research on happiness, well being, optimal functioning, and individual strengths... Read More

Posted: 24 July 2008


Emotions at the heart of buying and selling

Buying a house for most people is freighted with feeling. What starts as a practical and commercial enterprise very quickly assumes a psychological dimension. The buying decision is not just about the cost, the location and the state of the property market. An essential part of the choosing and buying process is about imagining yourself living in that house - opening up issues... Read More

Posted: 24 January 2008