Bullshit jobs

Wow! Incredible podcast about “bullshit jobs”. How I have related to this from my professional (pre-counselling) life!

“Have you ever had a job where you had to stop and ask yourself: what am I doing here? If I quit tomorrow, would anyone even notice? This week on Hidden Brain, we talk with anthropologist David Graeber about the rise of what he calls ‘bullshit jobs,’ and how these positions affect the people who hold them.”


Psychology and interaction with nature

This psychology podcast discusses the influence of “greenery” – nature – on psychological outcomes, reduction in crime and other psycho-social factors.

“If you live in a big city, you may have noticed new buildings popping up — a high-rise here, a skyscraper there. The concrete jungles that we’ve built over the past century have allowed millions of us to live in close proximity, and modern economies to flourish. But what have we given up by moving away from the forest environments in which humans first evolved? This week, we discuss this topic with psychologist Ming Kuo, who has studied the effects of nature for more than 30 years.” (Accessed 14 Sept 2018, https://player.fm/series/series-1324366/our-better-nature)


Importance of therapeutic relationship to Freud

Well-Being in Positive Psychology

I purchased and read Martin Seligman’s, “Authentic Happiness” when I was a student counsellor. I was not impressed. Yes, I was interested in Positive Psychology as a shift of interest away from the “problems” (and more medical) model that had been the emphasis of psychology since the 19th Century. Yes, I wanted to see an emphasis on the “good life” (which was also the emphasis of the earliest Greek philosophers), but what I couldn’t accept was “happiness” as a motivation in and of itself. Things, events, relationships, accomplishments and other interactions can lead to feelings of “happiness”, but looking for happiness will always be illusive, because it is not a thing in itself (it is also completely subjective). Martin has understood the flaw in this approach and has revised his theory to make “well-being”, rather than happiness, the goal of Positive Psychology.

Martin, in his book “Flourish”, says that well-being is analogous to weather. Weather is not a thing in and of itself, but is a concept (or “construct”) which includes more basic elements, such as temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, etc. Well-being is a comparable construct, in that it is composed of elements (some more subjective than others). These elements for Martin, include:

  • Positive emotion (happiness and life satisfaction are aspects)
  • Engagement
  • Relationships
  • Meaning and purpose
  • Accomplishment

Martin refers to this as PERMA and says, “No one element defines well-being, but each contributes to it. Some aspects of these five elements are measured subjectively by self-report, but other aspects are measured objectively.” (Source: https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/learn/wellbeing, Accessed 29 August 2018)

As I read “Flourish”, I began to imagine these elements within one’s work. This site is about the application of these elements (and psychology more generally) to work and creative endeavours.