Why Everything Relates to Your Childhood

In certain moods, the founding principle of modern psychotherapy — that it is all to do with one’s childhood — can sound especially irritating. Why should we be forever tied to…

Why Those Who Should Love Us Can Hurt Us

Part of why it is so hard to understand ourselves is that people are constantly doing things to us that defy the common-sense of view of how human beings might plausibly…

The Upsides of Having a Mental Breakdown

One of the saddest and most puzzling phenomena of psychological life are the incidents commonly known as ‘breakdowns’, in which people find themselves suddenly unable to carry out their normal duties…

How Perfectionism Makes Us Ill

There is a kind of person who seems at first glance to have an admirable degree of self-motivation, thoroughness and drive. They are up at dawn, they rarely take holidays, they…

How We Should Have Been Loved

We hear so much about how difficult childhoods can damage people that we sometimes fail to consider the fascinating and telling obverse: what happens in emotionally-nurturing families, what does it mean…

Self-Hatred and High-Achievement

It might seem – at first glance – as though the people we term high-achievers could not possibly have any relationship to self-hatred: they are the ones who did exceptionally well…