The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous

Its faith-based 12-step program dominates treatment in the United States. But researchers have debunked central tenets of AA doctrine and found dozens of other treatments more effective. by GABRIELLE GLASER J.G. is a lawyer in his early 30s. He’s a fast talker and has the lean, sinewy build of a distance runner. His choice of profession seems preordained, as he speaks in fully formed paragraphs, his thoughts organized by topic sentences. He’s also a worrier—a big one—who for years used alcohol to soothe his anxiety. J.G. started drinking at 15, when he and a friend experimented in his parents’ liquor cabinet. … Continue reading The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous

Hermann Hesse on Little Joys, Breaking the Trance of Busyness, and the Most Important Habit for Living with Presence

Illustration by Sydney Smith from Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson, a wordless ode to living with presence “The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy.” BY MARIA POPOVA “Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy — to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work,” Kierkegaard admonished in 1843 as he contemplated our greatest source of unhappiness. It’s a sobering sentiment against the backdrop of modern life, where the cult … Continue reading Hermann Hesse on Little Joys, Breaking the Trance of Busyness, and the Most Important Habit for Living with Presence

Storyhealing

Untold stories; a country doctor, Ernest Guy Ceriani, going to visit his patients in the 400 miles of remote countryside surrounding Kremmling, Colorado in 1948. Photo by W. Eugene Smith/Magnum Literature can enthuse medicine, and medicine can inspire literature. They are complementary treatments for being human Gavin Francis is a doctor and an award-winning writer. His latest book is Adventures in Human Being (2015). He lives and practises medicine in Edinburgh, and writes for The Guardian, The New Republic, The London Review of Books and The New York Review. Every month or so, I see a patient called Fraser in my primary care clinic, a soldier who was … Continue reading Storyhealing