We tend to assume that once we are adults there are aspects of our personalities that never alter. But a huge new re-analysis of more than 200 studies has found that therapy can change your personality in just a few weeks. The idea of therapy is to make you feel happier, and to help you find a way of resolving your problems. But as Professor Brent Roberts from the University of Illinois reveals, it can also change our personalities in surprising ways. Over 25 years ago as a junior doctor, Tom Solomon soon learnt that a patient on his ward, the children’s author Roald Dahl, was fascinated by the brain. Then years later, away from his day job as a neurologist at Liverpool University, he decided to trace the influence of that interest on Dahl’s writing. Last year he recounted it in a book which has now been adapted into a stage show for this year’s Edinburgh Fringe – Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Medicine. He tells Claudia Hammond how Dahl’s interest in the brain began with an accident. The final Insiders’ Guide to getting the best out of mental health services is probably the most important of all. What to do […]
All in the Mind examines how we think and behave. It’s presented by psychologist Claudia Hammond. She investigates the latest techniques being used by mental health practitioners, speaks to people with psychological issues and uncovers all the most recent research from the world of the mind.
Neurogenesis is the process where we create new brain cells. Many researchers believe that if someone has depression then neurogenesis is reduced. Could this in some cases even be the cause of depression? It’s possible this idea could lead to the discovery of new drugs for depression, drugs which don’t tackle mood, but which encourage the creation of new brain cells. Claudia Hammond brought together Timothy Powell, MRC postdoctoral research fellow, and Sandrine Thuret, Head of Neurogenesis and Mental Health, from Kings College London to examine the latest research. The Government has committed to make prisons not just places of detention, but of rehabilitation. Some prisons are hoping that yoga classes could make a difference. Research from Oxford University is beginning to suggest that yoga can help with prisoners’ mental health. Claudia Hammond hears from lead researcher and psychologist Amy Bilderbeck, Sam Settle Director of the Prison Phoenix Trust and former prisoner Richard for whom yoga was to become a vital tool during his years as an inmate. This week’s Insiders’ Guides to mental health asks with all the guidance out there in the public domain, how do you decide what is best for you? We hear from Stephen Buckley […]
Claudia Hammond has been following some of the first tranche of trainee mental health social workers setting out on the Think Ahead scheme which is getting high-flying graduates into social work. As a 22 year old English graduate Al Toombs was one of the youngest people on the course. It’s rare to be able to eavesdrop on actual sessions between mental health professionals of any kind and their clients, but Claudia spent the day with Al in Coventry on visits to clients such as Jo, who’s lived with depression for several years whilst juggling a complicated family life. As we grow up we get better at tasks involving thinking. But there is something at which 5 year olds excel and that adults are really not very good at – and that is noticing things. New research by Vladimir Sloutsky, a psychologist at Ohio State University, shows that small children pay more attention to what’s going on around them than adults do. It’s a skill he thinks we’ve been underestimating and a finding that holds lessons for the appearances of our primary schools. In this week’s Insiders’ Guide to getting the best out of mental health services – what should you […]
For parents, it can be very hard to watch their child struggle with anxiety. Parents often blame themselves, thinking that it must be their fault that their child feels so worried. What can parents can do about it and how much of a genetic component there is in anxiety? Claudia Hammond meets Professor Cathy Creswell from Reading University who’s done extensive practical research helping parents to deal with their child’s anxiety, Thalia Eley Professor of Developmental Behavioural Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, and Rachel – whose daughter suffers constant anxiety. When we see a photograph of a person we make instant judgements about how trustworthy or competent we think they are. But how reliable are these snap decisions? Claudia meets Professor Alexander Todorov from Princeton University who studies first impressions from faces and has brought his findings together in a new book called Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions. Politicians know people really care about mental health. So what are the different parties promising in their election manifestoes? We set Rachel Schraer from the BBC’s political research unit, the task of scrutinising each manifesto and summing it all up for us. The next in our insiders’ guide […]
Claudia Hammond’s guest today is Tim Dalgleish a clinical psychologist at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. Transient global amnesia is a sudden, temporary episode of memory loss that can’t be attributed to a more common neurological condition, such as epilepsy or a stroke. Following a letter from a listener who suffered an episode of this curious condition we were intrigued to find out how it is triggered and what’s really occurring in the brain. Claudia Hammond spoke with Adam Zeman, Professor of Cognitive and Behavioural Neurology at Exeter University. Is the enthusiasm for mindfulness in schools running ahead of the evidence? The skill of learning to become aware of what’s going on around you and in your body and mind at a given moment has been shown to benefit people who’ve had recurrent episodes of depression. An increasing number of schools are holding mindfulness classes. But when it comes to the research on its benefits in school, the results are mixed. Andre Tomlin started the blog Mental Elf which examines the evidence when it comes to mental health so we got him into the All in the Mind studio to help us examine what difference mindfulness […]