Psychology Melbourne Blog

News and Insights from the Science of the Mind

Changing the way you are

As someone who spends what some might regard as an inordinate amount of life online - Psychology Melbourne is a largely paperless office that employs modern technology to organise our business, provide a high level of service to clients and stay abreast of the latest research etc - I am constantly fascinated by the sheer serendipity of what one might call, perhaps, the electronic life.

Take this morning, for instance. I started with my usual review of psychology journals and psychologists' blogs etc., during which I found a Guardian article that looked at some of the best psychology books of 2013.

I'd already read and enjoyed Stephen Grosz's The Examined Life and marked Adam Phillips' One Way and Another as a must-read, but the article pricked my interest in Brett Kahr's Freud, which is one of a series published by Pan Macmillan, called Life Lessons.

As it happened, Life Lessons springs from the London-based School of Life, an initiative of pop philosopher Alain de Botton, which is something I would love to see duplicated in Melbourne. 

The School of Life describes itself as "a cultural enterprise offering good ideas for everyday life", and offers a range of interesting programmes and services, including an alternative guide to time management, which was commissioned by The Guardian.

It had been a little while since I had looked at the site, so I was delighted to discover what I think is a new initiative - an online video channel  which includes some interesting "Sunday Sermons". 

I watched Ruby Wax's "sermon" on "Mastering Your Mind", and intend to treat myself to several more over the holiday break. A fine comedian, Ruby has in recent years cured her depression, studied psychology at Oxford University and become a campaigner for mental health, and she never fails to deliver delightful insights. 

Her advice that the relatively recent discoveries about neuroplasticity and other advances in neuropsychotherapy allow anyone to "change the way you are" is both true and inspiring, and her guided tour of the brain is well worth the time.