Lasting Impressions of the Fetus in Utero

Jessica M.E. Kirwan // It was my interest in the eccentric and macabre life of John Hunter, the Scottish father of surgery, which led me some years ago to his brother William’s 1774 book, An Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus, or “fetus in the womb.” But it has been a deeper interest in the…

The Apperception of Pain

Gabi Schaffzin // I’ve been staring at faces lately. Of course, as a grad student in the throes of dissertation writing, that must mean these are not live faces—no one has time for that anymore. No, these are drawn and photographed faces. These faces were all illustrated or captured in an effort to create a…

Authentic Empathy & Therapeutic Alliances (Part 1)

Chuka Nestor Emezue // “Laying the pus-covered pad on the desk in front of him, he gave up his secret. During his escape from the civil war in neighbouring Congo, he had been separated from his wife and taken by rebels. His captors raped him, three times a day, every day for three years. And…

Migrant Caravan and U.S. Public Health: Discerning Fact from Fiction

Manisha Mishra // On February 25, 2019 at 6:32 AM, President Donald Trump tweeted the following message: We have a State of Emergency at our Southern Border…without the Wall…you cannot have Border Security. Drugs, Gangs and Human Trafficking must be stopped. Since the start of his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump remains committed to building his…

Recording Women’s Contributions to the History of Victorian Health and Wellness

Jessica Kirwan // I recently interviewed Dr. Lesa Scholl, Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Victorian Women Writers, which is soon to be published by Palgrave Macmillan for their Major Reference Works portfolio. Dr. Scholl is Head of Kathleen Lumley College at the University of Adelaide in Australia. Readers of Synapsis will be interested to know…

A Discursive-Material Analysis of Stigma As Narrated By Victim Service Providers

Chuka Nestor Emezue// How and to what extent do victim service providers (VSP) co-construct stigma in their narratives of victimhood? In speaking with several VSPs – those who provide rehabilitative services for victims of trauma – my qualitative research study (ongoing as I write) on embodied stigma and narrated victimhood, has so far underscored the…

Wordsworth and ‘The Companionable Leech’

Lesley Thulin // John Stuart Mill famously suggested literature’s therapeutic potential when he declared William Wordsworth’s poetry “a medicine for my state of mind” (Mill 85). According to his Autobiography (1874), Mill read Wordsworth during a bout of “habitual depression” and was immediately cured (86). For Mill, Wordsworth’s poetry expressed “states of feeling, and of…

Health-Seeking, Stoicism, and Illness Behavior in Men’s Health

“Well-being is realized by small steps, but is truly no small thing.” – Zeno Chuka Nestor Emezue // While the concept of masculinity is socially conferred, its assumed philosophical attribute–stoicism–remains a personalized and guiding ideology practiced by stoical adherents (male and female) – either by omission or commission. My research looks at the foundational causes of…

Painful Memories and Memorable Pain

Gabi Schaffzin // The following contains spoilers for Amazon’s Homecoming series. Proceed with caution. I’ve been thinking a lot about memory. This started after I recently finished bingeing on the Amazon series, Homecoming, a quick but worthwhile watch for the psychological-thriller fan in all of us. Briefly, the show, directed by Mr. Robot’s Sam Esmail,…

Cuento Therapy, Storytelling, and Men Who Abuse Women

Chuka Nestor Emezue // In 1985, Dr. Giuseppe Costantino and his colleagues, Drs. Robert G. Malgady, and Lloyd Henry Rogler, drafted their foremost paperback: “Cuento Therapy: folktales as a culturally sensitive psychotherapy for Puerto Rican children.” Their work provided instruction in Cuento Therapy, as well as its hopeful application to the field of child psychotherapy…