Rapid-onset Gender Dysphoria and Squelching Controversial Evidence

A flawed study suggested that rapid onset gender dysphoria around the time of puberty might be a result of peer pressure and media influence. It raised some important questions, but Brown University succumbed to pressure from activists and removed it from its website. On August 16, 2018, Lisa Littman, an assistant professor at Brown University,

Gender Dysphoria in Children

Gender transitions are becoming more and more common. Adults can make informed decisions about hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgeries, but what about children? In 1952, front page headlines trumpeted “Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Beauty.” George Jorgensen was an American army veteran who had sex reassignment surgery in Denmark and returned to the US as a

How We Believe

In James Alcock’s classic 1995 article “The Belief Engine“, he said, “Our brains and nervous systems constitute a belief-generating machine, a system that evolved to assure not truth, logic, and reason, but survival.” Now he has expanded that thesis into a book, Belief: What It Means to Believe and Why Our Convictions Are So Compelling.

Reflex Integration Therapy

Reflex integration therapy claims to relieve a variety of symptoms of a wide range of neurologic conditions including autism, ADHD, brain injuries, pain, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s, and more. I touched on the subject in a previous article, but there are new developments. Now we have Quantum Reflex Integration with the addition of cold

Freud Was a Fraud: A Triumph of Pseudoscience

Psychiatry is arguably the least science-based of all the medical specialties, and Freudian psychoanalysis is arguably the least science-based psychotherapy. Freud’s theories have been widely criticized as unscientific, and treatment of mental disorders has increasingly turned to psychotropic medications and effective therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Freud’s impact on 20th century thought is undeniable, but

The Brain Warrior’s Way: Standard Health Advice Mixed with Misinformation and Fanciful Ideas

Daniel Amen, the media-savvy psychiatrist and promoter of SPECT scans, has teamed-up with his wife Tana to write a self-help book that hopelessly muddles good medical advice with misinformation and speculation. Dr. Daniel Amen has been called the most popular psychiatrist in America. His main claim to fame is the SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography)

BrainPlus IQ: Lying with Advertising

I got an email urging me to check out a wonderful new product that boosts brain performance: it “doubles IQ, skyrockets energy levels, and connects areas of the brain not previously connected.” It is BrainPlus IQ, a dietary supplement that falls into the category of nootropics, substances that enhance cognition and memory. After looking into

Parkinson’s Disease: A Detective Story

I didn’t intend to review Jon Palfreman’s book Brain Storms: The Race to Unlock the Mysteries of Parkinson’s Disease, but after reading it I decided it was too good not to share. Palfreman is an award-winning science journalist who has Parkinson’s himself. He has done a bang-up job of describing Parkinson’s disease, its impact on patients,

Past Life Regression Therapy: Encouraging Fantasy

Buddhists believe in reincarnation. Some psychotherapists do too. I recently got an e-mail from a PR firm about an “internationally certified regression therapist,” Ann Barham, who has written a book and who claims to help patients to “heal enduring challenges, release unhealthy patterns and beliefs, and find their way to more happiness and success.” They

Cargo Cult Psychology

A cargo cult pseudo airplane. How much of psychology is like this? Last year I reviewed Tomasz Witkowski and Maciej Zatonski’s book Psychology Gone Wrong where they pointed out that many of psychology’s accepted beliefs and therapies were not based on good evidence. Now Witkowski has written a new book, to be published later this year, Psychology Led