Contributed by Diane Cole

63 Results
Open Book September 15, 2021

The Plasticity of Personality

Can We Switch Our Stripes?

A new book explores the science of personality change. Read more

Open Book July 15, 2021

A Cacophony of Opinion

Can We Trust "Expert" Judgment?

Why is it that two or more experts in a given field can look at identical case histories and data and come up with broadly differing assessments and... Read more

Open Book May 19, 2021

The Anthropocene Dilemma

Can We Save Ourselves from Ecological Despair?

It’s a truism that climate change has become an existential crisis. Can a new book by a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist help mitigate ecological despair? Read more

Open Book December 30, 2020

Beyond Normal

Our Evolving Attitudes Toward Mental Illness

A new book examines how different cultures view mental illness and the stigma that persists in America. Read more

Open Book November 3, 2020

Toxic Entwinement

The Roots of American Racism

Exploring the intertwined roots of caste and racism in America. Read more

Open Book August 27, 2020

Disrupters and Lifequakes

Moving Through the Big Transitions

A guide to dealing with the traumas and challenges that can redefine who we are and what we want to do in the world. Read more

Open Book June 30, 2020

A Family in Chaos

A Study of Dysfunction and Resilience

The story of the Gavins—a family of 12 children, six of whom suffered from schizophrenia—sheds new light on the nature vs. nurture debate. Read more

Open Book May 1, 2020

The Reality of Home DNA Tests

Are We Prepared to Deal with the Fallout?

A new book explores the reality of home DNA testing and the often unexpected fallouts. Read more

Open Book March 5, 2020

Exposing the Hoax

The Inside Story of the Rosenhan Study

In her new book, author Susannah Cahalan exposes the fabrications of one of psychology’s most famous studies. Read more

Open Book December 27, 2019

Out of Sight

Are Prisons Modern-Day Asylums?

Author Kenneth Paul Rosenberg explores the catastrophic inadequacies of our mental healthcare system that have led to “the greatest social crisis of our... Read more

Open Book October 28, 2019

The Myth of the Gendered Brain

What the Latest Science Tells Us

A new book debunks some fundamental myths about gender. Read more

Open Book July 3, 2019

The Vicious Cycle of Silence

How We Can Better Protect Victims of Domestic Abuse

A new book explores the devastating patterns of fear, shame, and secrecy that perpetuate intimate partner violence and too often escalate to murder. Read more

Open Book May 6, 2019

Who Am I to Judge?

The Question of the "Good Enough" Parent

A child-custody consultant wrestles with the question of what is a good enough mother. Read more

Open Book March 7, 2019

Where the Trauma Never Ends

Inside Chicago’s Urban War Zones

Chicago’s inner city has long been termed an “urban war zone.” A new book by acclaimed journalist Alex Kotlowitz reveals the personal stories of trauma... Read more

Open Book December 26, 2018

The Scourge of Opioids

A Close-Up Look at the Epidemic

A new book takes a close-up look at the opioid epidemic in America. Read more

Open Book November 9, 2018

Generations in Jail

When Crime Is a Family Value

A new book explores how criminal behavior gets handed down in families from one generation to the next. Read more

Open Book September 5, 2018

The U-Curve of Happiness

Should Big Data Be Believed?

A new book claims that even if you find yourself suffering through a gloomy midlife slog, you’re likely to experience a brighter landscape in your 50s and... Read more

Open Book July 6, 2018

When Is Enough Enough?

Our Obsession with Longevity May Have Gone Too Far

Bestselling author Barbara Ehrenreich believes that our obsession with longevity may have gone too far. Read more

Open Book May 9, 2018

A Tale of Mismatched Twins

The Power of Family Confronts the Bonds of DNA

A book about two sets of mismatched twins testifies to the power of both heredity and family loyalty Read more

Open Book March 9, 2018

Life After Extremism

What It Takes to Renounce Hate

Review: Healing from Hate: How Young Men Get Into—and Out of—Violent ExtremismA look at how to help former skinheads, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and... Read more

Open Book January 8, 2018

Measuring Mercy

Uncovering the Link between Cruelty and Compassion

There’s a surprisingly strong link between altruism and psychopathy. Read more

Open Book November 9, 2017

Beyond Illusion

Meditation May Not Be for Everyone

Exploring contemplative practice may not be for everyone. Read more

Open Book September 7, 2017

How to Change Minds

Reasoning Will Get You Nowhere

The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others. When it comes to truly changing minds, reasoning will get you nowhere. Read more

Open Book July 12, 2017

Back to Bedlam?

America’s Neglect of Its Mentally Ill

America continues to turn its back on the mentally ill. Read more

Open Book May 1, 2017

When the System Fails

Tales of the Wrongfully Convicted

The waking-nightmare stories of people wrongfully imprisoned, often for decades, for crimes they didn’t commit expose the flaws in our criminal justice... Read more

Open Book April 10, 2017

Viktor Frankl's Classic Has Just Been Released for Young Adults!

A YA Edition Brings "Man's Search for Meaning" to a New Generation

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl is best known for is his extraordinary first-person narrative about his experiences in a Nazi concentration camp, as told in Man’s... Read more

Open Book March 13, 2017

Hearing Voices

Eavesdropping on Our Inner Conversations

The Voices Within: The History and Science of How We Talk to Ourselves Making sense of the particular internal mix of words, conversation, music, and images... Read more

Open Book November 3, 2016

When the Rules Change

Learning to Learn from Your Children

There’s a crucial point in the parenting life cycle that’s not often discussed in the literature. Read more

Open Book August 30, 2016

Mistaken Identity?

A Daughter Reflects on Her Father's Decision to Change Gender

Pulitzer Prize–winning author Susan Faludi explores the story of how the despotic father who’d once ruled her terrified family underwent sex reassignment... Read more

Learning to Manage the OCD Bully

A Therapeutic Odyssey

An OCD sufferer describes the frustrating stops and starts and misdirections of her circuitous search for help in escaping the maze of her family of origin and... Read more

Open Book June 30, 2016

Have SSRIs Gotten a Bad Rep?

The Author of "Listening to Prozac" Thinks So

In his latest book, Peter Kramer argues that medications represent the best, most effective tool for fighting the bleakness of depression. Read more

Open Book May 9, 2016

Unraveling the Mind-Body Mystery

A Survey of the Latest Research

Therapists may be fascinated with harnessing the mind-body connection in their work, but what has science taught us about separating hype from solid evidence... Read more

Open Book March 8, 2016

Examining the Science of Torture

The Price of Coercive Interrogation

A startling new book exposes how much more the military’s embrace of enhanced interrogation tactics in the war on terror was influenced by Hollywood, rather... Read more

Open Book January 11, 2016

Who’s the Grown-Up Here?

Helping parents abandon the “buddy” system

Family physician and psychologist Leonard Sax insists that too many parents these days misunderstand the role they should play in their children’s lives. Read more

Open Book November 18, 2015

Who Do You Trust?

Revisiting the McMartin Preschool Case

Sometimes it can be easier to argue about witch-hunts than risk confronting the dark, unsavory reality of child abuse. Read more

Open Book October 15, 2015

America’s Opportunity Chasm

A Noted Scholar Documents Our Decline in Social Mobility

Robert Putnam documents the myriad psychological, health, and political consequences of the ever-growing disparities between rich and poor in America today. Read more

Open Book September 1, 2015

Life after Trauma

What are the possibilities for post-traumatic growth?

The new emphasis on the transformative power of trauma can be a template for false assumptions about the “gift” of suffering and the meaning of recovery. Read more

Open Book May 1, 2015

Getting Over Weight?

A Critic of our Cultural Obsession Goes Too Far

A critic of one of our central cultural obsessions goes too far Read more

Open Book March 1, 2015

Lost in the Maze

Finding the exit from OCD

Review: The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in ThoughtFinding an exit from the bewildering maze of a disorder that confounds... Read more

Open Book January 1, 2015

Who Failed Robert Peace?

Even a Yale Degree Couldn’t Save Him

Why did a seeming rags-to-riches story of a young man’s triumph over poverty and the lure of the streets end so tragically? Read more

Open Book November 12, 2014

Face to Face

Virtual reality is no substitute for the real deal

Research increasingly shows that screen time is no substitute for old-fashioned human contact. Read more

Open Book September 11, 2014

Side By Side

No creative artist is an island

An investigation of some of history’s most famous creative teams leads to the conclusion that no artist is an island. Read more

Open Book July 11, 2014

What Makes Fanatics Tick?

Exploring the Psyches of People on the Fringe

A new book investigates the worldview of a range of fanatics who’ve dedicated their lives to holding onto to their antiscientific and antihistorical claims. Read more

Open Book May 12, 2014

12 Missteps?

The evidence that AA works is many steps behind

The authors of a provocative new book argue that, despite its sterling reputation, alcoholics anonymous has one of the worst success rates in all of medicine. Read more

Open Book March 7, 2014

Mad as Hell

The End of the Era of Male Entitlement

The era of unchallenged male entitlement has come to an end, and many men are mad as hell. A new book provides context to help us deal with this anger in the... Read more

Open Book January 8, 2014

Sizing Up Goliath

The Upside of Being Underestimated

With his enormous success, Malcolm Gladwell has morphed from a darling underdog to a publishing juggernaut at whom it’s now trendy to sling insults. Read more

Open Book November 5, 2013

Love and Terror

Penetrating the Heart of Evil

A new book examines how one man, under the guise of religious faith, kept his family isolated in a world of abuse and brutality, and how another family broke... Read more

Open Book September 5, 2013

The Pathologizing of Everyday Life

When Did Sadness Become a Disease?

The increasingly blurry distinction between normal and abnormal not only makes us easy targets for Big Pharma’s advertising, but also distracts us from the... Read more

Open Book July 8, 2013

The Taste Bud Conspiracy

Are we the victims of the food industry?

A new book exposes the story of the corporate competition for our taste buds and ever-expanding tummies. Read more

Open Book May 1, 2013

Is Now Really Better?

Lessons from Traditional Societies

Jared Diamond’s new book explores the many lessons modern cultures can draw from the wisdom of small-scale, preindustrial societies. Read more

Open Book March 14, 2013

Testing the Bond

What's family without shared identity?

In an encyclopedic new book, Andrew Solomon explores how parents and children forge emotional bonds with one another in the presence of sometimes vast inborn... Read more

Open Book January 1, 2013

Driven Crazy

TBI is Claiming the Hearts and Minds of Too Many Vets

With the U.S. Army suicide rate at an all-time high, there’s a greater need than ever to understand the struggles of soldiers returning from war zones and... Read more

Open Book September 1, 2012

Bookmarks: Creatures of Habit

Understanding the automatic loops that shape our lives

A surprise bestseller shows us the crucial roles that even minor habits can play in individual and group behavior. Read more

Open Book July 1, 2012

Stop, Look, and Listen!

Resisting the Culture of Extroversion

A new book about the power of keeping your mouth shut provides a much-needed corrective to our cultural enchantment with extroversion. Read more

Open Book May 1, 2012

System One Meets System Two

Daniel Kahneman Expands Our Vision

Daniel Kahneman, the founder of behavioral economics, has written a comprehensive dissection of the reasoning mind, which should be on every therapist’s... Read more

Is Psychotherapy Getting Better?

A Progress Report on the Science—and Art—of the Psychotherapy Field

What do we know today about the effectiveness of psychotherapy that we didn’t know 30 years ago? Even more important, how do we improve our treatments? Read more

Open Book January 1, 2012

A Bond Like None Other

Sometimes proximity isn’t the same as closeness

Exploring the complex fabric of an often poorly understood family bond that shapes us, in one way or another, throughout our lives. Read more

Open Book November 1, 2011

The Heart of Darkness

Plumbing the Nature of Evil

Plumbing the eternal question: Why are there bad people? Read more

Open Book September 1, 2011

Kids For Sale

The Realities of Sex Trafficking on Our Streets

Those gritty TV depictions of kids scratching out an existence on the streets aren’t just a sensationalistic fabrication. Read more

Open Book June 1, 2011

Creating New Paths for Change

How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World

In an age of cynicism, a refreshing look at “the social cure.” Read more

Open Book May 1, 2011

The Most Famous Book Never Read

What Makes the Feminine Mystique so Special?

Nearly 50 years after its publication, a look at the shortcomings and enduring power of one of the most influential books of our time.  Read more

Open Book March 1, 2011

The Specter of the Big "C"

A Modern Look at an Age-Old Malady

A modern look at cancer treatment through the ages. Read more

Open Book January 1, 2011

Misstating the Obvious

The Pitfalls of Doing What Comes Naturally

While many therapists like to trust their intuition, research shows how often "gut instinct" can lead us astray. Read more

Diane Cole

Diane Cole is the author of the memoir After Great Pain: A New Life Emerges and writes for The Wall Street Journal and many other publications.