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International Psychoanalytic Congress, 1911
Human brain, lateral view, with brainstem

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Psychology is an academic and applied discipline that involves the scientific study of mental functions and behaviors. Psychology has the immediate goal of understanding individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases, and by many accounts it ultimately aims to benefit society. In this field, a professional practitioner or researcher is called a psychologist and can be classified as a social, behavioral, or cognitive scientist. Psychologists attempt to understand the role of mental functions in individual and social behavior, while also exploring the physiological and biological processes that underlie cognitive functions and behaviors.

Psychologists explore concepts such as perception, cognition, attention, emotion, phenomenology, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behavior, and interpersonal relationships, including psychological resilience, family resilience, and other areas. Psychologists of diverse orientations also consider the unconscious mind. Psychologists employ empirical methods to infer causal and correlational relationships between psychosocial variables. In addition, or in opposition, to employing empirical and deductive methods, some—especially clinical and counseling psychologists—at times rely upon symbolic interpretation and other inductive techniques. Psychology has been described as a "hub science", with psychological findings linking to research and perspectives from the social sciences, natural sciences, medicine, and the humanities, such as philosophy. (Full article...)


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Gender identity disorder (GID) or gender dysphoria is the formal diagnosis used by [nurse practitioner]]s,[psychologist]]s and physicians to describe people who experience significant dysphoria (discontent) with the sex they were assigned at birth and/or the gender roles associated with that sex. Evidence suggests that people who identify with a gender different from the one they were assigned at birth may do so not just due to psychological or behavioral causes, but also biological ones related to their genetics, the makeup of their brains, or prenatal exposure to hormones.

Estimates of the prevalence of gender identity disorder range from a lower bound of 1:2000 (or about 0.05%) in the Netherlands and Belgium to 1.2% in New Zealand. Research indicates people who transition in adulthood are up to three times more likely to be male assigned at birth, but that among people transitioning in childhood the sex ratio is close to 1:1.

Gender identity disorder is classified as a medical disorder by the ICD-10 CM and DSM-5 (called gender dysphoria). Many transgender people and researchers support declassification of GID because they say the diagnosis pathologizes gender variance, reinforces the binary model of gender, and can result in stigmatization of transgender individuals. The official classification of gender dysphoria as a disorder in the DSM-5 may help resolve some of these issues, because the term "gender dysphoria" applies only to the discontent experienced by some persons resulting from gender identity issues.

The current medical approach to treatment for persons diagnosed with gender identity disorder is to support the individual in physically modifying the body to better match the psychological gender identity. This approach is based on the concept that their experience is based in a medical problem correctable by various forms of medical intervention. (Full article...)

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Mignon Nevada Ophelia2.jpg
Mignon Nevada as William Shakespeare's character Ophelia, circa 1910. An artistic representation of insanity leading to suicide
image credit: public domain

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Albert Ellis (September 27, 1913 – July 24, 2007) was an American psychologist who in 1955 developed Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). He held M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology from Columbia University and American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). He also founded and was the President of the New York City-based Albert Ellis Institute for decades. He is generally considered to be one of the originators of the cognitive revolutionary paradigm shift in psychotherapy and the founder of cognitive-behavioral therapies. Based on a 1982 professional survey of USA and Canadian psychologists, he was considered as the second most influential psychotherapist in history (Carl Rogers ranked first in the survey; Sigmund Freud was ranked third). (Full article...)

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