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Psychology in the News

This spot is where we'll announce the most recent public reports we've seen that make us reflect on psychology as a science and a profession.   

Wouldn't it be swell if people could read minds by studying "body language"? It sure would.   Unfortunately, it is a whole lot more complex than the self-help book authors and organizational development seminar leaders would have you believe.  For a   closer look at the science of body communication, check out the animations at to see what you think for yourself.

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Replace electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) with transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)?   You mean some psychiatrists still use electroshock? Yikes! Unfortunately, they must.  The very purest forms of manic-depressive illness have been resistant to satisfactory (from the bi-polar patients' point of view) management by drugs alone.  As offended as you might be by the fact, ECT is still an invaluable treatment modality in a few select cases.   Recently, the neuroimaging community noticed that subjects undergoing magnetic stimulation of parts of their brains reported mood changes after the exposure to the strong magnetic field.  It sure would be nice if ECT could be replaced by rTMS because rTMS doesn't involve anesthesia, convulsions, or short term memory loss.   This makes it not only aesthetically more pleasing but also less expensive.  The only question is, does rTMS work as well  as ECT? It looks to me like it's too early to tell but check out what the scientist's are saying and decide for yourself.

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Bill Gates hires psychologists? Ever wonder what psychologists do who aren't college professors or psychotherapists?  Find out from An Interesting Career in Psychology: Psychologists at Microsoft.

Panic on the run?  Here's an interesting approach to Panic Attacks (e.g. Hyperventilation Syndrome, Vertigo, Phobias, Anxiety Attacks) that uses something more high-tech than a bag to control and get rid of them.  I don't know if it works any better than the bag (when used in conjunction in the 3-Step Belgian Technique) but it's a interesting notion.

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[This page last edited on 06/22/07.]

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On Sabbatical!

When my office lease expired at the end of 2004, I decided to turn it into a "sabbatical" from my private practice. Many years ago, in my grandfather's 89th year of life, he told me, "John, it is important to smell the roses while you can still smell them." His life gave living a very good reputation. It is also true that the pursuit of that philosophy required my grandfather to to re-open his assay office/ore market in Wickenburg, Arizona as a 75-year-old because he had run a little short of retirement money. Thus, if blessed with his luck and health, I'll be back.. --jjh

Copyright 1998-2007  John J. Herr, Ph.D.                                   Please send comments to