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Bert Olivier

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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Bert Olivier

The arts and transformation of the self and the world: ‘Take the Lead’

Recently, I had the privilege of delivering the opening address at the launch of Louisa Punt-Fouché’s volume of poetry, ‘Ek skryf met Bloed en Bene’ (read it here), at the newly established art gallery on her and her husband, Ian Punt’s Kredouw Olive Estate, in the Swartberg. Surrounding myself and all the guests gathered there…

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Psychological Society of South Africa

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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Psychological Society of South Africa

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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Bert Olivier

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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Bert Olivier

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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Psychological Society of South Africa

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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