Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday News Roundup

Psychological Debriefing Can Cause Trauma

I have frequently thought about volunteering for a disaster relief organization as a psychology. Every time I think about it, I remember what I learned in graduate school: critical incident stress debriefing has been shown to be ineffective and can possibly be harmful. That's certainly not something that I want to do.

Research from 9/11 has suggested than when relief workers engage survivors in critical incident stress debriefing, having individuals rehash their traumatic experiences, more harm was done than good: instead of preventing PTSD this type of counseling provoked it. What is the suggested intervention? Research and experience suggest that interventions that focus on promoting a sense of safety, calmness, and a sense of agency, connectedness, and hope are most effective.

What Makes Music So Emotional?

Every wonder why some music, regardless of the vocals, makes you happy while other tunes make you sad? I thought I learned the answer to that from my third grade music teacher. While playing the xylophone I learned that music in the major key was happy and music in the minor key was sad. For the next 15 years of trumpet, horn, violin, and piano lessons I didn't question it again.

Silly me.

Understanding why this is so is a little more complicated. Part of the more complicated answer involves our use of language: patterns of pitches in major keys mirror the patterns of exited speech. Music in minor keys mirror speech that is more subdued. Check out the article if you want to know more.

HBO Movies: Temple Grandin

"Think of it as a door, a door that is going to open up onto a whole new world for you."

I've not been able to stop talking about this movie since I watched it last week. What I like, is the stunning way the movie is able to take the inner-experience of Temple Grandin and create a visual experience so other's can see the world from a new perspective. Clicking on the link will take you to a promo to the movie.

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