APE Blog International

NOT JUST ONE TRAUMA….BUT PLENTY!

Reading time: 5 minutes People usually think of trauma as an isolated event in a person’s life, which can lead to more or less serious consequences, depending on the level of impact it has on the individual. These can vary according to the age of the individual, genetic variables, the attachment bond, and the social context. First, what is “trauma”? Simply put, a negative experience can become traumatic when a person (in this case, a child) feels powerless while facing it, and is not able to defend themselves. Traumatic experiences…

Traumatic events: differences between simple and complex trauma

Reading time: 4 minutes With trauma we mean the alteration of the normal psychic state following adverse, painful and negative experiences experienced by the individual. The response to trauma is subjective and varies according to the individual, contextual and social resources we have. A traumatic event is a stressful event, which cannot be avoided and alters or compromises the individual’s ability to use effective coping strategies as the stimulus is excessive and tends to overwhelm the subject, making him defenseless. There are several types of stressful events: Finally, the traumatic…

HOW DOES THE ORDER IN WHICH YOU ARE BORN INFLUENCE ON YOUR PERSONALITY TRAITS?

Reading time: 8 minutes How does birth order affect a child’s personality traits? Can the character of an older child change with the advent of a brother or sister? And what difficulties do only children face? The answers to these questions are given further in this article. WHAT IS A ‘BIRTH ORDER’? Birth order defines behavioral patterns of children depending on the presence or absence of siblings and the order in which they were born. Alfred Adler became the first to be interested in this issue. He studied a large…

Terror of the Night – Taking the fear out of sleep paralysis

Reading Time: 4 minutes “I felt something in the room. I woke up and opened my eyes. When I looked around, I saw a sort of vivid image, but when I tried to focus on somewhere, it dimmed out or seemed to have vanished ethereally. I felt the weight of a kind of black coming to me. I sensed I was falling, or that I had no support from the bed due to pressure. It was terrifying to not be able to move. I tried to focus on moving my fingers one at a time, until I eventually succeeded, which helped me to escape the night-time terror and properly awaken.”  -Personal experience with Sleep Paralysis- Over the centuries, symptoms…

AN OVERVIEW OF EFPSA DAY 2022

Reading time: 2 minutes On Friday December 2nd A.P.E. Info conducted the annual European Federation of Psychology Students’ Associations (EFPSA) Day, with the aim of raising awareness about EFPSA among the students of the Università Cattolica in Milan. EFPSA was established in 1987 with the mission to bring psychology students together and enrich their understanding and application of the psychology discipline. Along with this, their goal was, and continues to be, to make psychology students more equipped for the professional world through skill development and application, all while connecting with…

IMPOSTOR SYNDROME: the phenomenon of today’s society

Reading time: 5 minutes Have you ever felt that you are not good enough or deserving enough to be in the position you are in? Whether it is the university that you got in, or a job position, for which you worked so hard for, or even just your presence among a new group of people? It is quite likely that you have experienced this feeling of inadequateness in your everyday life, regardless if it was just a momentary wave of emotion about something seemingly irrelevant, or if you’re experiencing…

MENTAL ILLNESS STIGMA: POPULAR MISCONCEPTIONS NOWADAYS

Reading time: 8 minutes The term “stigma” comes from the ancient Greek verb stizo, which literally means “to carve by night”, “to cause a mark with an incandescent seal for shame or punishment”, “to carve the skin as a mark of dishonor”.   In ancient Greece the stigmata was a mark carved or impressed by burning on slaves, criminals and traitors, used to underline their social inferiority or to show them as “morally inferior”.   Regarding mental illness, stigma is when someone is marked or discredited somehow, or reduced from being a…

THE FORER EFFECT: WHY HOROSCOPES ALWAYS HAVE IT

Reading time: 4 minutes The Forer effect (also called subjective validation effect, or Barnum effect) is a phenomenon according to which everyone, faced with any profile that he believes refers to him, tends to identify with it, considering it precise and accurate, without realizing that that profile is vague and generic enough to fit a very large number of people. According to Forer, providing a person with a description of their personality in the form of a short, very vague, and generic text with not entirely absurd sentences, implies that…

Graphology

Have you ever heard of graphology?  Graphology is the science that studies the individual’s personality and character traits from their spontaneous handwriting. It is a mistake to think of it as an esoteric practice in which one “guesses” something about a person or in which paranormal abilities are required; in fact, writing is a neurophysiological gesture that originates in the brain and reaches the hand through a complex stimulus-response mechanism. The graphic gesture is a projection of neuromotor activity, while the objective of graphology is to identify the psychological implications…

UNDERSTAND DISORDERS TO OVERCOME PREJUDICES: BORDERLINE DISORDER, BIPOLAR DISORDER AND SCHIZOPHRENIA.

How many times have you used these terms to label someone without really knowing these disorders?  Have you ever called someone Schizophrenic just because they had a moment of “madness” or Bipolar because they quickly changed their mood?  Could you tell what the difference between Borderline disorder and bipolar disorder? With this article we try to shed some light on some of the most common mental disorders that they have become commonly used terms to label behaviors or individuals in a derogatory way. To fully understand and know the nature…

People Pleaser

“What if I haven’t done enough?” “Can I really trust my judgment?” “What if I’m unfair and I don’t see things from another point of view?” “What if it’s my fault?” People pleasers always have a compulsive need to please other, regardless of their health and well-being. Unlike altruists, people pleasers have a constant need for approval and therefore they try to satisfy the needs of others in every way. People pleasers also have a strong fear of rejection and when they fail to please others they feel a sense…

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN:A relational or social problem?

Violence against women exists, and it is one of the main social problems. It assumes various forms: from the most serious, such as murder, to those more mundane. In fact, violence against women is not only seen on the tortured body of a wife beaten by her husband, or on the face disfigured by the acid of a woman by the hands of her ex-partner. Violence has roots that are now intrinsic to our culture. The fact that during Covid-19, 99% of layoffs were against women is a form of…

PETER PAN SYNDROME

Peter Pan syndrome is a psychological situation in which the individual refuses to grow up and take full responsibility, assuming a typically child-like attitude. This term was coined by the American psychologist Dan Kiley, who belonged to the Jungian school. He defined these men as “men who did not want to grow up”. This condition can’t be found in the DSM-5 but is scientifically known as “Psychic neoteny”. Peter Pan syndrome mainly involves men between the ages of 20 and 25. It is possible that those suffering from this syndrome…

PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME: PROBLEMATIC KID, MANIPULATIVE PARENT OR DYSFUNCTIONAL PARENTING?

In the psychological-forensic area, the topic of Parental Alienation is one of the most debated in the last few years. There are a lot of international scientific publications on it and, even today, there is much confusion about this topic, especially for the use of the term that is made by the population. When a child refuses to meet the noncustodial parent, normally the father, saying he fears him, and the mother supports this, the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PSA) is evoked. The child would refuse to meet the father not…

Pennebaker method and the beneficial effects of creative writing

Something torments us… that’s normal, everybody experiences moments of discouragement, but how can we cope with them?Write it off!Putting onto paper our feeling about a painful experience is therapeutic.It is proven by James Pennebaker’s studies, which have confirmed how creative writing, meant as giving written expression to our thoughts and emotions regarding grievous or traumatic situations, can alleviate discomfort.So, writing is useful not only to clear our head and vent our feelings, but it can also improve health, foster personal effectiveness, and positively modify behaviours and interpersonal relationships.Among the beneficial…

Some reasons why you should watch “Maid”

The TV series (2021), directed by John Wells, focuses on psychological violence, empathy, and courage. Alexandra (Margaret Qualley), the main character of the series, runs away from her abusive partner, Sean, taking her three-year-old daughter Maddy with her. This escape triggers a series of events, and the audience is completely absorbed in this introspective story.Alexandra is a victim of verbal and psychological abuse, a type of violence that does not leave any obvious traces, and, for this reason, she is often belittled. In this TV series, there are no well-defined…

GASLIGHTING: THE MENTAL MANIPULATION THAT MAKES YOU DOUBT YOURSELF

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that occurs through actions taken by one person to make the other doubt himself/herself and his/her judgments of reality, making him/her feel confused and mistaken. Gaslighting is psychological violence that deprives the victim of freedom and independence. The goal of this kind of manipulation is to control and denigrate the victim’s identity by attacking their freedom and self-esteem. The gaslighter (i.e., the person who manipulates) has several purposes: To reduce the victim to a total level of physical and psychological dependence.To imprison the victim…

THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL: AN EXAMPLE OF TOXIC CONCEPTION OF MASCULINITY

The Catholic School is a film adaptation – realized by director Stefano Modini, of the homonymous novel written by Edoardo Albinati, the winner of Pulitzer Prime in 2016. The film tells the events that preceded the Circeo massacre, a chronicle fact happened In the Italian COMUNE of San Felice Circeo between the 29th and the 30th of September 1975, that involved two friends, Rosaria Lopez, lured with deception by Gianni Guido, Angelo Izzo and Andrea Ghira in a house outside Rome on the pretext of a party. Here the young…

TO COMMUNICATE THROUGH COLOUR

When we look at certain colours we feel certain emotions, but why is that? “Inside out” is an animated film that allows us to understand the value of emotions and our behaviour. In Riley’s mind, an 11-years-old girl, there are 5 characters, each characterized by a specific colour: Joy is yellow.Disgust is green.Fear is purple.Anger is red.Sadness is blue. Did you know that there is colour Psychology? Colour Psychology was born because colours can stimulate the human mind the Limbic System. This stimulation causes specific emotions and moods. For this…

“CERTAIN THINGS ARE BETTER DONE IN PRIVATE”: A PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATION OF HOMOPHOBIA

Voghera, March 2021: two girls, Aurora and Valentina, are standing unbothered in a park, kissing on the lips. This peaceful moment is interrupted by a man who approaches the girls and intimidates them to stop, because “there are children, and two women kissing is not a nice view”. Behind this man’s words, apparently calm, prejudice and discrimination are hidden. Saying something in a peaceful way doesn’t make it less bad. This episode aroused the indignation of many, who, condemning the man’s behavior, showed their support for the couple by leaving…

A reflection on modern society: the Squid Game Case

Squid Game, a television series produced by Netflix, talks about characters and worlds completely different from the well-known North American context.    The origins of success  Why is Squid Game such a successful TV series?  First of all, Squid game’s production took more time than the average series (to be more precise, ten years between its drafting and its actual production). Moreover, it gives a lot of points of reflection for the contemporary world. Let’s see them together! Critique of Capitalism  Squid Game examines the modern capitalist society, which is characterized…

How has the pandemic influenced the risk of developing an eating disorder and its symptoms?

The pandemic and the resulting change of our habits have remarkably influenced the possibility of developing an Eating Disorder (ED) and exacerbated the symptoms of those who previously suffered from it (Rodgers et al., 2020). It is easy to understand how “remote” working and academic activities have affected our habits, in particular, our physical activity and circadian rhythm. As a matter of fact, the anxiety derived from the pandemic situation and the interruption of our daily routine can have an impact on the quality of sleep, which is associated with…

Emotional Eating

Nowadays we live in a world that seems to be going towards the path of ecology, reduction of consumption, pollution, and, in general, economic and social sustainability. In this panorama, people are implementing changes in their lifestyles, to follow a proper diet that does not include the use of junk food and, above all, waste, that go hand in hand with this real evolution. Several studies, however, have stated that due to the pandemic, there has been an increase of 30% on kids that deal with any type of eating…

Art Therapy

“No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modelled, built, or invented except to get literally out of hell.” ― Antonin Artaud The expression “Art Therapy” was first used in 1942, in England, by the British artist Adrian Hill, who argued that, through the artistic work, the patient could rebalance his mind and body.  While this technique was already used in American psychiatric hospitals, Art Therapy came to Italy only in the 70s thanks to the efforts of Franco Basaglia, who used this technique to identify and express the potentials of…

The Mandela Effect

The Mandela Effect, or “false memory syndrome” is a memory distortion and it occurs when people recall an event that never happened. Why is this phenomenon called this way? The phrase “Mandela Effect” came up during a congress, in which Fiona Broome said that Mandela’s death took place in a prison in the 80s and not in 2013 (as it happened). She was able to recall all the details of the funeral and many attendees started to support her idea. This phenomenon produces a distortion of both personal and collective…

Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis is a psychological approach and a therapeutic method. The basic principle is the presence of a psychic unconscious life.  Psychoanalysis is a very common term, which we have all heard at least once. Have you ever wondered what it means? Psychoanalysis has developed thanks to the studies of Sigmund Freud. It represents a psychological approach based on the assumption that a huge part of psychic life takes place in an unconscious form, out of the person’s control and awareness. The same term is also used to indicate a procedure…

Hikikomori

The psychiatrist Tamaki Saito coined the word “Hikikomori” to describe a worrying phenomenon that is catching on in Europe, USA, and Japan. In Japan, there are already more than 1 million cases. The main feature/characteristic of this phenomenon is social withdrawal, which causes/leads the individual to isolate himself from the outside world on purpose. People suffering from this condition usually don’t take part in social life for at least 6 months, they tend to develop apathy regarding social contacts and they may become aggressive towards family members. In addition, the…

Overthinking

Overthinking is an extremely widespread phenomenon and it occurs when we think too much. Obviously, thinking is a good thing: all of us, at least once in our lives, have heard someone saying “remember to think before you speak”.  The ability to think is very important: it helps us make the right decisions, reflect on different situations, and to implement a more sophisticated and more critical type of reasoning towards the world surrounding us. Furthermore, from a more social and relational point of view, thinking also means being able to make…

Zoom Fatigue: why is the video call so exhausting?

The daily use of video calls is anything but relaxing!  In fact, the expression “Zoom Fatigue” refers to a feeling of tiredness at the end of long online conferences through regular web platforms and specific websites for video calls. Why do we feel so exhausted after a video call? Lack of “non-verbal” language: There is a significant lack of non-verbal aspects during a video call. This means that people have to work harder to process non-verbal cues such as facial expression, tone of voice, and body language in general.Technical Issues:…

Psychologist, Psychotherapist and Psychoanalyst

We all know, for better or worse, what is the meaning of the word “psychologist”, who he is and what he does, but what if I told you “psychotherapist” or “psychoanalyst”? Would you be confused?  It is not a problem, it’s normal, if you don’t study psychology, to be a little unaware of the differences between these professionals figures, and this is the reason why we will try to explain to you how it works in Italy, with simple words!  The PSYCHOLOGIST is a professional who has obtained a master’s…

Six Tips To Make Your Life A Wonderful Project

1. START WHERE YOU ARE: it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, what you do or what you’re doing for a living, or how old you are.  It is never too late to project your dream life.  First of all, you need to start considering 4 different aspects – love, health, work and fun.  Then, you need to figure out how you can start improving these aspects as early as two weeks.  2. DEFINE YOUR “COMPASS”:  If you want to build your compass, you need two things: first of all,…

The language you speak influences the way you think

How? In every community, there is a code, called jargon/slang, which allows (us) to feel a sense of belonging. The jargon/slang influences the process of categorization and creating concepts, thus the way we think! So… Since there are between 6,000 and 7,000 spoken languages, how many ways of thinking could exist? For example… The community of Kuuk Thaayorre, an Australian tribe, sees the space in terms of “North”, “South”, “East” and “West”. For example… British people usually define space from the speaker’s point of view, by referring to right, left,…