Currently viewing the tag: "psychology"
I glance around, staring at the framed pictures that fill this temporary home. Every place I have been, memorialized forever on glossy paper. Through the prism of a camera lens, I have seen the beauty of the world. Monuments created by humans stand in competition with art sculpted by nature. Each image serves as a reminder that a light shines through so many people, and yet, no matter how far I run, I cannot seem to escape my shadow. –Sejal Badani, Trail of Broken Wings

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the backstory of your protagonist, paying particular attention to his or her shadow self.

Journaling Prompt: What do you know about your shadow self? Write about it.

Art Prompt: My Shadow

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about their shadow and how they can accept the disowned parts of their personality.

Photo Credit: Travis Isaacs on Flickr

…researchers assessed each individual’s homelessness, inpatient mental-health treatment, psychological symptoms of mental illness, substance use and as victims or perpetrators of violence. The researchers evaluated all of these items as both indicators and outcomes — i.e., as both causes and effects.

“We found that all of these indicators mattered, but often in different ways,” says Sarah Desmarais, an associate professor of psychology at NC State and co-author of the paper. “For example, drug use was a leading indicator of committing violence, while alcohol use was a leading indicator of being a victim of violence.”

However, the researchers also found that one particular category of psychological symptoms was also closely associated with violence: affective symptoms.

“By affect, we mean symptoms including anxiety, depressive symptoms and poor impulse control,” Desmarais says. “The more pronounced affective symptoms were, the more likely someone was to both commit violence and be a victim of violence…

…on average, the researchers found that one event in which a person was a victim of violence triggered seven other effects, such as psychological symptoms, homelessness and becoming perpetrators of violence. Those seven effects, on average, triggered an additional 39 additional effects.

“It’s a complex series of interactions that spirals over time, exacerbating substance use, mental-health problems and violent behavior,” Van Dorn says. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a protagonist with poor impulse control and high anxiety.

Journaling Prompt: Write about the state of your mental health and how it affects your behavior.

Art Prompt: Mental Illness and Violence

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell  your audience about the complicated relationship between mental illness and violence.

Photo Credit: Alvaro Tapia on Flickr

Chance is a funny thing and it is easily mistaken for portent. –Faitheist by Chris Stedman

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which the conflict arises from a character misreading a chance occurrence.

Journaling Prompt: Have you ever made the mistake of taking a random event as a sign?

Art Prompt: Chance

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about a random occurrence you thought was a sign.

Photo Credit: Mark Strozier on Flickr

She was beautiful when she was angry, and she was more than beautiful today. –Celtic Skies by Delaney Rhodes

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about someone who is in love with an angry woman.

Journaling Prompt: How do you act when you get angry.

Art Prompt: My anger

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a story about a time when you got angry and what you learned from that experience.

Photo Credit: Matthew Kenwrick on Flickr

Sexual harassment is a prevalent form of victimization that most antibullying programs ignore and teachers and school officials often fail to recognize, said bullying and youth violence expert Dorothy L. Espelage.

Espelage recently led a five-year study that examined links between bullying and sexual harassment among schoolchildren in Illinois. Nearly half — 43 percent — of middle school students surveyed for the study reported they had been the victims of verbal sexual harassment such as sexual comments, jokes or gestures during the prior year…

…While verbal harassment was more common than physical sexual harassment or sexual assault, 21 percent of students reported having been touched, grabbed or pinched in a sexual way, and 18 percent said peers had brushed up against them in a suggestive manner.


Students also reported being forced to kiss the perpetrators, having their private areas touched without consent and being “pantsed” — having their pants or shorts jerked down by someone else in public.

About 14 percent of the students in the study reported having been the target of sexual rumors, and 9 percent had been victimized with sexually explicit graffiti in school locker rooms or bathrooms.
Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a middle school child who is being sexually harassed.

Journaling Prompt: Journal about an embarrassing incident that happened when you were in middle school.

Art Prompt: Sexual harassment

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the problem with sexual harassment among teens.

Photo Credit: Judite B on Flickr

An old therapeutic axiom in Gestalt psychology, which also lies at the very heart of shamanism and contemplative mysticism worldwide, suggests that the healing of a wound must come from the blood of the wound itself. In other words, the healing of an emotional or psychospiritual wound is brought about precisely by entering into its terrain, not by avoiding it. –The Mist-Filled Path: Celtic Wisdom for Exiles, Wanderers, and Seekers by Frank MacEowen

Fiction Writing Prompt: What is your protagonist’s wound, and what will he or she have to do to enter it and heal it?

Journaling Prompt: Write about an emotional wound that you need to heal. What will you have to do to get the courage to enter into that healing?

Art Prompt: Entering the wound

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about shamanism or comtemplative mysticism and give them one thing that they can learn from those traditions.

Photo Credit: Janice L. on Flickr

home

You can go home again, the General Temporal Theory asserts, so long as you understand that home is a place where you have never been. –The Dispossessed by Ursula LeGuin

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a scene where your protagonist tries to go home again.

Journaling Prompt: How has your childhood home changed since you moved out on your own?

Art Prompt: Going Home

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a touching story about going home.

Photo Credit: Sharon Brogan on Flickr

crazy-chef

…anyone who willingly turns their life upside down by becoming a cook is totally insane to begin with. So many chefs that I have met are dyslexic and totally not school people or intellectuals. That could be symbolic of the kind of lifestyle that they choose to live. They all drink a lot, do a lot of drugs, drink a shitload of coffee and espresso. They don’t sleep much, and obviously don’t have much of a life outside the kitchen. A cook’s friend is a cook, there isn’t much time for a non-cook friend or girlfriend. And time really isn’t the issue so much as it’s a lifestyle and a culture that is very hard to understand or identify with unless you are on the inside. Cooks hang out with cooks because there is nobody else awake, hungry and totally wired at 2 am on a Tuesday. –Jennifer Topper, 29 Jobs and a Million Lies

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story with a chef as a protagonist.

Journaling Prompt: What personality traits do you have that make you perfect for your job?

Art Prompt: Crazy Chef

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about how different personalities are attracted to different careers. Give them resources to find their perfect career. 

Photo Credit: Joe Benjamin on Flickr

key-to-secret

I’ll tell you right now, the doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door. –Women Who Run with Wolves:Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch: what is the door to your protagonist’s wild Self? Write the background for this door.

Journaling Prompt: What old scar or old story holds the key to your wild Self? 

Art Prompt: Discovering your wild Self

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the wild Self and why it is worth discovering.

Photo Credit: KostaNostra81 on Flickr

creepy-clown

According to McAndrew, what really makes clowns creepy is that they are ambiguous characters in so many ways. “If a person is willing to flout the conventions of society by dressing and acting as they do,” McAndrew says, “what other rules might they be willing to break?”

That tracks with what McAndrew found in his study, where he surveyed more than 1,300 people to figure out what behaviors and physical characteristics people find creepy. The common factor was unpredictability.

“It is only when we are confronted with uncertainty about a threat that we get the chills,” he writes in an article about psychology. “It would be considered rude and strange to run away in the middle of a conversation with someone who is sending out a creepy vibe but is actually harmless; at the same time, it could be perilous to ignore your intuition and engage with that individual if he is, in fact, a threat. The ambivalence leaves you frozen in place, wallowing in discomfort.” –The Real Reason Clowns Creep Us Out by Erika Engelhaupt

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story featuring a creepy clown.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about clowns?

Art Prompt: Creepy clown

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Are clowns really creepy? Take a stand and persuade your audience to your point of view.

Photo Credit: Donnie Nunley on Flickr