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CIA Psychologist: 'I Will Cut Your Son's Throat'

James Mitchell testifies in pre-trial hearing at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

(Newser) - First came 183 waterboardings. Then, a threat: Another attack on US soil, and I'll kill your son. That's what CIA psychologist James Mitchell admitted Monday at a pretrial hearing in the case of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the LA Times reports. "If there was a... More »

Shkreli Looked Forward to Psych Test. It Didn't Go Well

He predicted press would 'squirm' when seeing great results

(Newser) - The negative headlines keep on coming for Martin Shkreli, even after his seven-year sentence over securities fraud. Newly unredacted court documents show that the 35-year-old thought he'd aced his psychiatric evaluation and hoped it would be made public to show reporters how smart he was, reports CNBC . "I... More »

Psychologist Jordan Peterson Is Becoming a Phenom

His message to men to 'grow the hell up' is one reason

(Newser) - Heard of Jordan Peterson? If not, it seems inevitable that will happen soon, given his viral videos and headlines referring to the "Jordan Peterson Moment" and the "Jordan Peterson Phenomenon." Peterson is a 55-year-old psychologist at the University of Toronto whose latest book, 12 Rules for Life... More »

CIA Told Psychologists They'd Be to Blame for Terrorist Nuke

It was part of pressure on them to continue harsh interrogation techniques

(Newser) - The two psychologists who were handsomely paid by the CIA to devise harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding say they had reservations about using them but were pressured by US security officials to keep going. "They kept telling me every day a nuclear bomb was going to be exploded... More »

'Sinister' Kids' Book Makes Children 'Conk Out'

'The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep' functions like hypnosis, doctor says

(Newser) - A new children's book isn't just written for kids—it's written to make them fall asleep, and fast. Author Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin, a Swedish behavioral psychologist, says he filled The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep with psychological reinforcement techniques to make young listeners doze off in... More »

Psychologists Aided Torture Program: Report

American Psychological Association details behavior in new report

(Newser) - Accusations have been flying for a while now about the role of the American Psychological Association in justifying US interrogation techniques now considered to be torture. So much so that the group's own board commissioned the most extensive review to date about its work with the CIA and Pentagon... More »

Teen Ordered to Hand Over 'Affluenza' Records

Judge sides with passenger injured by Ethan Couch

(Newser) - The psychologist who inadvertently made the term "affluenza" a term to be ridiculed isn't out of the national spotlight just yet. A judge has sided with the family of a teen injured in the crash caused by Ethan Couch, ordering Couch's attorneys to turn over all their... More »

Psychologist Regrets Using 'Affluenza' in Court

But controversial concept got DUI teen out of jail

(Newser) - Chances are you've heard about the "affluenza" defense that enabled a Texas teenager who killed four people while driving drunk to escape jail time this week. Well, the psychologist who used it in court wishes that weren't so. “I wish I had never used the term,... More »

Dad Called Unfit for Denying Son McDonald's: Lawsuit

David Schorr is suing psychiatrist over the designation

(Newser) - A New York dad is suing a court-appointed psychiatrist for telling a judge he was an unfit parent—because he refused to take his son to McDonald's. David Schorr, who's in the midst of a custody battle, says his son, 4, threw a temper tantrum when his dad... More »

Dottie Sandusky Defends Her Husband

She says Jerry didn't molest boys who slept over

(Newser) - It was a busy day in court for Jerry Sandusky's defense team:
  • Wife defends him: Sandusky's wife, Dottie, said her husband never had inappropriate contact with boys who slept over, reports AP . She also denied that the basement had a soundproof room, and she specifically refuted one man'
... More »

9/11 Shows Psychology's Shortcomings

Report gives humbling assessment of therapists' work

(Newser) - Psychologists rushing to Ground Zero on September 11 might have done more harm than good. Experts overestimated how many people—including firefighters and police who responded—would experience stress for a prolonged period following the disaster, according to a report coming out in American Psychologist. Many also might have been... More »

CIA Promised to Cover $5M in Legal Fees for Waterboarders

Psychologists first known waterboarders in secret prisons

(Newser) - The CIA secretly agreed to pay at least $5 million in legal fees for two contractors who designed interrogations and repeatedly waterboarded detainees, say former US officials. Whereas CIA agents generally receive agency-paid insurance for potential legal bills, psychologists Jim Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the first individuals to have been... More »

Psychologist Explains Why Your Boss Is a Jerk

It's a family affair: Yelling dads spawn tyrant bosses

(Newser) - People plagued by tyrant bosses or troublesome co-workers can blame their families, says leadership coach and psychologist Sylvia Lafair. Lafair has identified 13 patterns of annoying office behavior and the family dynamics behind each. They include the abusive, micro-managing "persecutor," who likely comes from a background of neglect,... More »

'Papa Joe' Simpson Scores Sitcom Deal

Jessica Simpson's dad will star in Nickelodeon show

(Newser) - Joe Simpson, father of Jessica and Ashlee, will star in a Nickelodeon comedy loosely based on his experience raising his singer/actress daughters. Joe, who is a psychologist in addition to being his daughters’ manager and a TV producer, and will portray a Texas psychologist raising two daughters. The twist? One... More »

Speed Shrinking Offers Quicker Fixes

... And promotes shrinks' books, in 180-second encounters

(Newser) - Freud must be shuddering in his grave, but that doesn't bother Susan Shapiro, the author of Speed Shrinking and the cheerful organizer of speed-dating-style therapy sessions for New Yorkers. On a recent evening, 200 talk-therapy-seekers stood in line at a lecture hall for their turn to spill their problems and... More »

Study: Talking to Pretty Women Makes Men Stupid

Trying to impress women can take up all the male brain's power, experiment finds

(Newser) - Men literally lose their minds when talking to women they find attractive, a new study finds. A group of Dutch psychologists—inspired to carry out the experiment after one of them forgot his address while talking to a pretty woman—tested the memory skills of 40 heterosexual volunteers before and... More »

Jaycee May Never Recover

Overcoming lost years will be a huge challenge, mental health experts say

(Newser) - It will be a struggle for Jaycee Lee Dugard and her two daughters to recover from the years they spent in captivity, writes Karen Kaplan in the LA Times. Psychologists have few comparable cases to draw from, and those that exist are not encouraging. Kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch, of Vienna,... More »

First US Internet Addiction Rehab Center Opens

For $14,500, reStart offers therapy, socialization

(Newser) - The first US Internet addiction clinic has opened in Fall City, Wash. The Heavensfield Retreat Center offers “reStart,” a 45-day in-patient rehab program for Internet, video game, and texting addictions, LiveScience reports. Clients undergo talk therapy and social skills training, as well as feeding goats, raising chickens, and... More »

Shrinks Fume Over Wiki's 'Rorschach Cheat Sheet'

(Newser) - Psychologists are seeing red in a row over Rorschach's famous inkblots, the New York Times reports. The original series of 10 inkblot images, whose interpretations are used to gain insight into a viewer's mind, have been posted on Wikipedia along with the most common responses. Psychologists fear that some people... More »

Inside the CIA Torturers' Heads

Post: Higher-ups pushed interrogators for harsher methods than they wanted

(Newser) - The FBI was already getting information out of a suspected terrorist in a series of relatively friendly interrogations in 2002 when the CIA stepped in, a former US official tells the Washington Post. Agency contract psychologists escalated the techniques to sleep deprivation, extreme cold, and waterboarding, which the FBI interrogators... More »

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