Seeking a cure for religious fundamentalism

An Oxford University researcher and author specializing in neuroscience has suggested that one day religious fundamentalism may be treated as a curable mental illness, reports Huffington Postimages-2

“Kathleen Taylor, who describes herself as a “science writer affiliated to the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics,” made the suggestion during a presentation on brain research at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales on Wednesday.In response to a question about the future of neuroscience, Taylor said that “One of the surprises may be to see people with certain beliefs as people who can be treated,” The Times of London notes.

“Someone who has for example become radicalised to a cult ideology — we might stop seeing that as a personal choice that they have chosen as a result of pure free will and may start treating it as some kind of mental disturbance,” Taylor said. “In many ways it could be a very positive thing because there are no doubt beliefs in our society that do a heck of a lot of damage.”The author went on to say she wasn’t just referring to the “obvious candidates like radical Islam,” but also meant such beliefs as the idea that beating children is acceptable. Taylor was not immediately available for comment.”

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Therapists turn to branding as demand drops by 30 percent

It seems that people are spending less time on the therapist’s couch these days, due to economic pressures and the availability of alternative resources. An estimated 30 percent drop in the psychotherapy business in the past decade has sent many shrinks scrambling to find clients by “niche” marketing their services.

As essay in today’s New York Times Magazine tells the story of one such therapist. Opening paragraphs from “The Branding Cure: My So-called Career as a Therapist” appears below

“Since the 1990s, managed care has increasingly limited visits and reimbursements for talk therapy but not for drug treatment; and in 2005 alone, pharmaceutical companies spent $4.2 billion on direct-to-consumer advertising and $7.2 billion on promotion to physicians, nearly twice what they spent on research and development. Continue reading “Therapists turn to branding as demand drops by 30 percent”