Archives de catégorie : Psychology

COUPLES d’Orna Guralnik

A groundbreaking, definitive, once-in-a generation book about why couples fall in love, how they find themselves in inevitable crisis, and why it’s important—not just for them—how these crises are resolved.

The Crisis of Intimacy and the Influence of Big History
by Dr. Orna Guralnik
on submission
(via The Gernert Company)

Photo: Showtime

You may know Orna Guralnik from Showtime’s docuseries Couples Therapy, or from her excellent New York Times Magazine piece « I’m a Couples Therapist. Something New is Happening in Relationships ». Before Guralnik was a television star, however, she was a revered, influential academic—in fact, this was why the producers of the show approached her. Guralnik is part of a groundbreaking psychoanalytic movement which sees the self as nested in one’s community—collectives, as she terms it—as opposed to in conflict with civilization (as Freud thought), and understands that the unconscious cannot be set aside from the influence of history and politics (so goes much present-day thinking). As she has written in the New York Times, « psychoanalytic exploration is just as much about our deep ethical dilemmas regarding how to live with one another, and our environment, as it is about our early family dramas; my patients’ repressed experiences with the ghosts of their country’s history are as interesting as with their mothers. »

Hence, COUPLES: The Crisis of Intimacy and the Influence of Big History. In this groundbreaking, definitive, once-in-a generation book, Guralnik explores why couples fall in love, how they find themselves in inevitable crisis, and why it’s important—not just for them—how these crises are resolved. Following several couples along their dramatic developmental arcs, we learn that the person who is most important to us, who we depend on the most, is always also the exact person who is destined to fail and misunderstand us. Crisis is set into motion when differences become unbearable; couples find themselves caught up in maddening, repetitive cycles. They must then move from black-and-white thinking and blame to an understanding of the unconscious forces that guide them. The knowledge that these unconscious forces can be generational—a mother’s immigration trauma, say, or a father’s childhood poverty—enables us all to better understand personal conflicts in the context of shared history. Analysis that leads to the understanding of difference and the acceptance of multiple perspectives can heal the relationship with one’s partner—and also those in the world at large. The roots of Big History touch us all.

Dr. Orna Guralnik is a Clinical Psychologist and Psychoanalyst practicing in New York City. She is on faculty at NYU Postdoctoral Institute for Psychoanalysis and at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies in New York City, where she lectures and publishes on the topics of couples treatment and culture, dissociation and depersonalization, as well as culture and psychoanalysis. She is co-founder of the Center for the Study of Dissociation and Depersonalization at the Mount Sinai Medical School. Dr. Guralnik is a graduate of the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis. She has completed the filming of several seasons of Showtime’s documentary series Couples Therapy, the latest of which will be released on May 31, 2024.


Maggie Smith, bestselling author of the viral poem “Good Bones” and the memoir You Could Make This Place Beautiful, delivers a lyrical and reassuring picture book perfect for calming active minds at bedtime (or anytime).

by Maggie Smith
Balzer + Bray, February 2024

In this relatable story, a young girl is trying to fall asleep but can’t because of all her worries and what-ifs. Her mother gives her some excellent advice—that it’s understandable that thoughts would want to stick around in her beautiful mind, but that she’ll want to leave room for good thoughts, too—that helps her envision happy, calming moments that “nest” in her mind.

Smith has created a wonderful tale that mimics a very real problem that many children (and adults) face: anxiety. Even though this topic can be complicated, Smith has simplified it to an understandable story and metaphor perfect for young readers. The text is clear against the page, the vocabulary is simple, and the concept is one that children will not only understand, but will probably use in their own lives. Hatch’s child-friendly, sweet illustrations really show how a child experiences the world. From the fears that race through the girl’s head to the birds that are her racing thoughts to the happy moments that form her safe place, Hatch shows them all. This is a generous tale that is also an excellent tool to give to children and psychologists.

Maggie Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful: A Memoir, Goldenrod: Poems, Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change, and Good Bones.

Smith’s poems and essays have appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, The Best American Poetry, The Paris Review, AGNI, Ploughshares, Image, the Washington Post, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Poetry Review, The Southern Review, and many other journals and anthologies. In 2016 her poem « Good Bones » went viral internationally; since then it has been translated into nearly a dozen languages and featured on the CBS primetime drama Madam Secretary. Smith has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.


PLAYING PUZZLES WITH DOLPHINS promises to be a wonderfully informative and entertaining book on how dolphins think, revealing the vast cognitive ability of so many of our animal companions. A book for all readers interested in the latest research on animal intelligence.

by Kelly Jaakkola, Ph.D.
Anchor/Doubleday, 2025
(via The Martell Agency)

Perhaps more than any other wild creature, we have long been dazzled by dolphin intelligence and their affecting level of interaction with humans. But what is the nature and dimension of dolphin intelligence? Do they count? Do they have language or anything like it? Can they imitate behavior (even if blindfolded)? How do they coordinate their communication and cooperation?

Writing with insight and wit, Jaakkola will reveal the crucial role of puzzles and games for both researching and challenging dolphins’ minds and take readers behind the scenes of her own research on dolphin cognition to show the logic of how we know what we know, as well as the complexity, humor, and pure thrill that comes from running creative experiments with animals who don’t know your intended script and very clearly have minds of their own. The new information presented enhances our understanding of the inner life of these special creatures, as they actually exist and can thrive in nature, not just in the popular imagination.

Kelly Jaakkola is a cognitive psychologist, marine mammal scientist, and Director of Research for DRC. She earned her Masters degree in Psychology from Emory University, where she began her career studying cognition in chimpanzees and human children and received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from MIT. Her past research includes studies on number concepts, object permanence, imitation, and communication in dolphins, chimpanzees, and human children. Her current work focuses on dolphin cognition, communication, and welfare.

Dr. Jaakkola’s research has been published in numerous international scientific journals and book chapters, and her work on dolphin cognition has received worldwide coverage in newspapers, magazine articles, books, and television. She has taught courses on human and animal cognition at several colleges and chairs the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums.


Cynicism is making us sick; Stanford Psychologist Dr. Jamil Zaki has the cure—a “ray of light for dark days” (Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author).

The Surprising Science of Human Goodness
by Jamil Zaki
Grand Central Publishing, September 2024
(via The Gernert Company)

For thousands of years, people have argued about whether humanity is selfish or generous, cruel or kind. But recently, our answers have changed.  In 1972, half of Americans agreed that most people can be trusted; by 2018, that figure had fallen to 30%. Different generations, genders, religions, and political parties can’t seem to agree on anything, except that they all think human virtue is evaporating.

Cynicism is a perfectly understandable response to a world full of injustice and inequality. But in many cases, cynicism is misplaced.  Dozens of studies find that people fail to realize how kind, generous, and open-minded others really are.  And cynical thinking worsens social problems, because our beliefs don’t just interpret the world—they change it. When we expect people to be awful, we coax awfulness out of them.

Cynicism is a disease, with a history, symptoms—and a cure. Through science and storytelling, Jamil Zaki imparts the secret for beating back cynicism: hopeful skepticism. This approach doesn’t mean putting our faith in every politician or influencer. It means thinking critically about people and our problems, while simultaneously acknowledging and encouraging our strengths. Far from being naïve, hopeful skepticism is a more precise way of understanding others, and paying closer attention re-balances how you think about human nature.  As more of us do this, we can take steps towards building the world we truly want.

Dr. Jamil Zaki is a professor of psychology at Stanford University and the director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab. He trained at Columbia and Harvard, studying empathy and kindness in the human brain. He is interested in human connection and how we can learn to connect better.


THE EXTREME BRAIN weaves together personal memoir with evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, political economics, and anthropological fieldwork with jihadists, white nationalists, QAnon devotees, and violent extremists of other stripes including climate activists who tried to recruit Nafees to teach them the ways of ISIS.

by Dr Nafees Hamid
(via Northbank Talent Management)

We’ve all been exposed to extremist, populist, and conspiratorial narratives and yet most of us roll our eyes at it or laugh it off. What causes some small minority of people to take these narratives seriously? What causes an even smaller percentage of that population to actually act on those narratives? Why do some even give their lives based on those ideas? And, most importantly, what can we do to stop people from committing political violence?

Cognitive scientist Nafees Hamid has travelled the world meeting members of ISIS, Hezbollah, NeoNazis, QAnon, and a variety of other violent and divisive movements. He has interviewed, surveyed, conducted psychology experiments with them and is one of the few people to have scanned their brains. The book details Nafees’s experiences going out into the field to find the subjects: from escaping an ISIS recruiter; to realising his research assistant had gradually been radicalised right under his nose; to a former flatmate who turned to QAnon during the pandemic, challenging Nafees to put into practice everything he had learned in order to de-program his friend.

Dr Nafees Hamid is a Cognitive Scientist of extremism, conspiracy theories, and political violence. In his current role at King’s College London, he co-leads a multi-nation research project which explores the role of trauma and mental health on pathways to peace versus violence in fragile and conflict affected states.