Health

Decolonizing the Self, transforming psychology

Dr Shahieda Jansen Right from the start of my career as a psychologist, I struggled with a sense of alienation, with feelings of resistance to the very idea of “being a psychologist”. After qualifying as a psychologist I self-identified as a researcher in health program development for many years. I finally surrendered and ventured into…

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The destructive approach to nature: ‘Geostorm’

We are in Porto, Portugal, for an interdisciplinary international conference, and already we are impressed by the beauty of this old city. As usual, because I find seats on a passenger jet too uncomfortable to sleep, I used the time to catch up on some movies, including I, Tonya, with Margot Robbie’s Oscar-quality performance in…

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Inner demons of sports: what happens to players after the soccer world cup ends?

By Dr Kirsten van Heerden ‘What makes one heroic?’ wrote Friedrich Nietzsche. Interesting question. What would your answer be? Nietzsche’s answer was profound in its simplicity: Heroic is to face simultaneously one’s greatest suffering and one’s highest hope. Sport is littered with examples that give life to this definition. Take the current Soccer World Cup…

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Book review: Yalom’s memoir bravely turns the psychoanalytic gaze inwards

  By Suntosh R. Pillay When I read The Gift of Therapy after my internship, I felt liberated. I started my first year of independent practice with a newfound confidence and ease born directly from my first foray into the masterful, soulful, instructive storytelling of Dr. Irvin D. Yalom. I have, over the years, internalized…

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Inequality and violent protests in South Africa

In 2014 I wrote a piece for this site on the work of psychoanalyst, Paul Verhaeghe, specifically the book in which he writes about the link between inequality in a market-based society and health problems across a wide spectrum. In addition to stress and anxiety symptoms, Verhaeghe pointed to something confirmed by other researchers too,…

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How technological control undermines human desire

Contrary to what most people believe, the world is approaching the dystopian totalitarian society portrayed in George Orwell’s 1984, although ours does not, at first sight, appear to be totalitarian. And yet it is every bit as controlled, albeit in a much more subtle way. The Canadian thinker, Gilbert Germain, homes in on this state…

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For black women, marriage is not a happily ever after

By Refiloe Makama On the 19th of May 2018 the world watched the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. With over 29 million people watching, the wedding was filled with every detail that marks a ‘true fairy-tale‘. Right here at home, every Sunday on the popular channel Mzanzi…

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Where’s my invite?

Like many people I have not been invited to Jacob Zuma’s forthcoming wedding. I also have not been invited to address the crowds gathering at Jacob Zuma’s court appearances. In general Jacob Zuma and I have been on the outs ever since he said, “We don’t want Winner Take All”. I could have forgiven him…

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The politics of mental health provision in a liberal democracy

By Sipho Dlamini The recent discussion between Eusebius McKaiser and Mazibuko K Jara on the place of liberalism in South Africa sparked an interesting question on mental health provision in a liberal democracy such as ours. In reading these discussions, I was reminded about a simple and yet incisive point about liberalism given by Professor…

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Researching and re-imagining the “Fag Hag”

By Zipho Dolamo We’ve all heard the term “fag hag” – generally defined as a heterosexual woman who primarily associates and maintains friendships with gay men. Bruce Rodgers is one of the authors accredited for coining the concept in his 1972 book The Queen’s Vernacular: A Gay Lexicon. Rodgers(1972, p.78) defines a fag hag as:…

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