Is it Possible to Forget? – The Reality of Repressed Memories


The concept of ‘repressed memories’ is one of the few ideas from psychology that have become ‘mainstream’ enough that they are a part of our day-to-day vocabulary. Many people know what a repressed memory is, even if they have no experience with psychology and no direct experience with the phenomenon themselves. So why is this? Partly, it comes down to the fact that repressed memories are...

Why Embarrassment Can Be a Good Thing


When looking at any aspect of our psychology, it is always useful to think of it in terms of our evolutionary history. Humans did not become the complex creatures they are by accident: nearly every aspect of our biology and our psychology evolved to be the way it is and was selected for its survival value. It either helps us survive, or it helps us to pass on our genes. This is why we get...

How to Correct Impulsive Behavior


Impulsivity isn’t always a destructive trait. In some cases, risk taking behavior and a tendency to leap without looking can actually help us to function more effectively. People who take risks tend to be more successful in business, while some psychologists believe that our first decision is often our best one (as is postulated in the 2005 book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by...

The Psychological Effects of Social Ostracism


Remember back to high school how much it hurt when you didn’t get an invitation to the party? Or just how big a deal it was when you saw your friends drive past you to the mall and you never got the memo? (Okay, I may watch too many High School movies). There’s actually a very good reason for this: during our teenage years, the part of our brain that is responsible for our social intelligence has...

How to Handle Shame-Based Avoidance


For some people, life is characterized by patterns of avoidance. Often, they fear intimacy, which they associate with shame. Such shame-based avoidance usually begins young. Unfortunately, if left untreated it can last a lifetime. The Nature of Shame The word “shame” is rather vague and needs clarifying. To begin with, it is not the same as guilt. People use these as though they were...

Can Money Buy You Happiness?


Someone once joked “I am told money can’t buy you happiness, but I’d still like the opportunity to find out for myself,” a quotation that neatly captures most people’s true feelings. Of course, few would dispute the idea that poverty makes you miserable. But that does not mean wealth makes you happy! Money and Symbolism The problem with money is that, though it...

Considering Marriage Counseling – Here Are Some Important Questions to Ask


If you and your partner are going through a rough patch in your relationship, you may be considering marriage counseling. In many cases the intervention of a qualified marriage counselor can save the day, and many unhappy marriages have been turned around with the help of a qualified independent professional. Even so, not every marriage counselor will be up to the task, and it is important to...

Healthy Compartmentalization and the Pomodoro Technique


Normally when we read or hear about compartmentalization, it is in a negative sense. We’re often led to believe that creating separation in your mind can lead to various health problems as you end up repressing negative experiences and generally refusing to face your fears, anxieties and concerns. But while this can be the case, compartmentalization can also actually be a useful tool. Why...

How to Effectively Deal With Confrontation


Confrontations can flare over the most trivial of issues, from putting your trash too near a neighbor’s driveway to parking too close to someone in a car park. And they often occur when you least expect them. No matter what form they take, however, sooner or later you will have to deal with one. Calmly Assertive When involved in a confrontation, you need to be calmly assertive. Perhaps the...

Coping With a Sense of Failure


When they look back over their life, many people feel a sense of failure: they never did write that play, meet “the one,” stay loyal to the mother of their child, or whatever it may be. Sometimes, the individual obsesses over one thing, like their failure to get into Oxford or make up with their father; for others, the sense of failure is a vague and indefinable feeling of wasted...

Mark Goddard, Ph.D.

Mark Goddard, Ph.D.

Mark Goddard, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and a consultant specializing in the social-personality psychology. His publications include magazine chapters, articles and self-improvement books on CBT for anxiety, stress and depression. In his spare time, he enjoys reading about political and social history.

*The views expressed by Mr. Goddard in this column are his own, are not made in any official capacity, and do not represent the opinions of his employers.