I gave a presentation for media, trauma therapists and survivors at the International Cultic Studies Association conference in Dallas. The presentation was called The Role of the Media in the Recovery, Retraumatization and Empowerment of Survivors of Traumatic Psychological Manipulation.Read More »
The Established Songwriter And Alt-pop Artist Taps Into An Emotional History On Her New Track ||| “In an exclusive premiere, V is debuting a new track from alt-pop songstress Lola Blanc to vamp up your Tuesday. Lola’s new single “Don’t Say You Do” comes from her upcoming EP The Magic, and is a perfect ballad about distrust and dishonesty.”Read More »
“Although the mainstream Mormon church abandoned polygamy over 100 years ago, many splinter groups across Utah still practice plural marriage. One such group is the Kingston Clan, known to members as The Order. The Kingstons live in Salt Lake City and run their religion like a secretive business empire.
VICE meets Joe Robinson, a young man banished from The Order and trying to build a new life around his true passion: being a magician.”Read More »
The Science of Gratitude | University of Pennsylvania, 2005. One of the greatest contributing factors to overall happiness in life is how much gratitude we show. And a noticeable difference can be experienced with as little as three expressions each day (“Thank you for…”).
Trust, Morality, and Oxytocin. Claremont Graduate University, 2011. Based on research findings, psychologists believe humanity’s trust, empathy, and morality increase as their levels of oxytocin increase. Neuroeconomist Paul Zak explains the simple act of eight hugs a day can increase internal oxytocin levels and result in a happier you and a better world.
For a Better Day, Smile. | Michigan State University, 2011. People who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts can significantly and immediately improve their mood. Simply put, one easy way to improve your mood right now is to recall pleasant memories—and smile because of it.
The Dynamic Spread of Happiness | University of California, San Diego, 2008. In this significant study, people who were surrounded by happy people were more likely to become happy in the future. So if you want to discover more happiness in your life, make a point to surround yourself with joyful people.
Kindness Counts | University of British Columbia, 2012. In this study conducted at an elementary school, students who performed kind acts experienced significantly higher increases in peer acceptance. In other words, people who are kind to others are more well-liked. This contributes to their own personal popularity as they help other people.
People who Exercise on Work Days are Happier | University of Bristol, 2008. People’s moods significantly improve after exercising. They are also more productive and equipped to manage stress in their workday.
Is Volunteering a Public Health Intervention? | University of Exeter Medical School, 2013. Evidence suggests volunteering benefits mental health and even, survival. Donating time to causes you believe in not only improves well-being and overall life satisfaction, it is also linked to decreased depression and a lower risk of dying early.
Spending Money on Others Promotes Happiness | University of California Berkeley, 2008. This study suggests that how people spend their money may be at least as important as how much money they earn. Specifically, spending more of one’s income on others results in greater happiness. So go ahead, be generous. You’ll be glad you did.
Well-being not Wealth | Harvard Business School, 2009. While there does appear to be some correlation between happiness and income when basic needs are not yet met, people tend to overestimate the influence of wealth on happiness by 100%. Money does not lead to nearly as much happiness as people think it will.
Experiences, not Possessions, Leads to Greater Happiness | San Francisco State University, 2009. The study demonstrates that experiential purchases, such as a meal out or theater tickets, result in increased greater well-being than material possessions. These experiences tend to satisfy higher order needs, specifically the need for social connectedness and vitality—a feeling of being alive.Read More »
WHAT IS POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY?
Traditional psychology is the study of mental illness: DARK
Positive psychology is the study of mental wellness: LIGHT
Positive psychology and happiness is an EXPLODING field, bursting out bestselling books for a reason.
Before we can be happy or successful, we need to first develop the ability to see that positive change is possible. Only once we learn to see the world through a more positive lens can we summon all our motivation, emotion, and intelligence to achieve our personal and professional goals.- Shawn Achor, Author -“Before Happiness”
A survivor journey with a Positive Psychology framework could benefit from a “guidemap” that incorporates the Positive Psychology character strengths.
The Six Classifications of Character Strengths
1. Wisdom and Knowledge
Cognitive strengths that entail the acquisition and use of knowledge
Emotional strengths that involve the exercise of will to accomplish goals in the face of opposition, external or internal
Interpersonal strengths that involve tending and befriending others
Civic strengths that underlie healthy community life
Strengths that protect against excess
Strengths that forge connections to the larger universe and provide meaning
Yesterday, Tim passed the oral defense of his Master’s Thesis at the University of Oslo in Norway, and is now officially a graduate with a master’s degree in International Comparative Education!Read More »
Vice article | This ban (on toys), in part, is what inspired Christine Marie to plan a Christmas celebration, dubbed the First Christmas, in Short Creek. “People say there is a cloud over the town,” she told me. “I planned the First Christmas to bring happiness and help that gray cloud get dispersed by love.”Read More »
By Scott Dickensheets | Multifaceted pair Tolga and Christine Marie Katas have embarked on their most important work yet: providing refuge and inspiration for escapees from sex trafficking.Read More »
A few months ago, I participated in a public debate on polygamy at UNLV with Kristyn Decker, Kollene Snow and Willy Steed. On the other side was the Brown family of TLC’s “Sister Wives” fame. The debate was filmed for the TV show “Sister Wives.”Read More »
This year I asked my children to be resourceful and make something homemade for Christmas. That they did, and their gift, a homemade music video, was the most amazing,Read More »
Video: Tolga and I. And yes, it is actually Tolga singing! Tolga also wrote and produced the song, and the photos were taken by Tolga too. I’m over the moon!Read More »
I grew up in Croton Dam, Michigan. It was truly like living in a post card, and the people in my tiny little town were like an extended family. People looked each other in the eye, everyone talked to everyone, and no one locked their doors.Read More »
Tolga and I went to Michigan where, among other things, we were blessed to be able to attend a dedication of a splendid park in the name of my father.Read More »