Student

As the possibility of unemployment looms for many, more than 500,000 each year choose to pursue further study in the form of a postgraduate taught programme such as a master's. The motivation behind this decision is often related to belief that a higher-level qualification will result in a better job. But does the CV addition of an MA, MBA or MSc actually improve employment prospects?

Rising Star - Mia Wasikowskaactress

The 17-year-old Mia Wasikowska went tête-à-tête with Gabriel Byrne in the HBO psychoanalyst drama 'In Treatment' and emerged with a profile in top health. In the show she plays a teenage tearaway who seeks help after a motorcycle accident; as the weeks pass, more and more of her personal demons come out of the closet and the full extent of Wasikowska's remarkable range becomes apparent. British audiences will get their first chance to see why directors are clamouring to cast her when Ed Zwick's war drama 'Defiance' is released this week. The young actress plays a Holocaust survivor who is romantically linked with a soldier played by Jamie Bell. Arriving soon after is Mira Nair's star-studded biopic on Amelia Earhart, where the high-flying actress plays a rival pilot. If that were not enough, she's currently filming in the UK, playing Alice in Tim Burton's adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic text, but it's Wasikowska herself who should be in wonderland.

Child prostitution: suitable material for a musical?

By Rhoda Koenig

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/gordon-on-the-c.html">Ed Howker: Gordon on the couch</a>

According to psychologist Lucy Beresford, Gordon Brown is 'deeply insecure' and bringing Peter Mandelson back was "Freudian" bordering on "self-mutilating behaviour".

Making Time, By Steve Taylor

Why does time seem to speed up as we get older, racing ahead of us towards an inevitable and final end point? Why do new experiences seem to stretch time, and why does it often fly when we're having fun and drag when we aren't? Roving through an eclectic range of ideas, some drawn from psychology and psychoanalysis, a few from his own imagination, Taylor doesn't really offer answers so much as ideas. Given that this book is a popular paperback rather than a peer-reviewed thesis, that's a very good thing indeed.

Dr Cecil Todes: Author of 'Shadow Over My Brain'

Cecil Todes was a consultant child psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and author of an original and now classic book about his own Parkinson's disease, Shadow Over My Brain.

A Good and Happy Child, By Justin Evans

George Davis cannot bear to touch his newborn son, so he visits a psychoanalyst. The analyst prompts him to remember his own childhood, and he writes a series of notebooks about when he was 11, and his father had just died, and an invisible friend came to console him...

Anne Karpf: There's no such thing as a perfect mother &ndash; and that's half the fun

Raising a family is less stressful when we don't try too hard, says a mother-of-two. The Campaign for Real Mothers starts here...

The New Black, By Darian Leader

In his great, digressive encyclopaedia of the human condition, The Anatomy of Melancholy, Robert Burton noted that melancholy is the very "character of mortality". Three centuries later, in a brief but resonant essay, Freud teased out the links between mourning and melancholia and placed loss at the centre of the experience that makes each one of us who we are. Today, when happiness seems to be the point both of life and government reports, depression – the clinical category that has swallowed up melancholy – is everywhere. By 2010, the World Health Organization predicts, depression will have become the single largest public health problem after heart disease.

Dying City, Royal Court Upstairs, London

A nasty case of double vision

2006: From Beckett to Betjeman - a bumper crop of anniversaries

Ian Irvine surveys the year's anniversaries: births, deaths and a play that changed theatre for ever

Human Traces, by Sebastian Faulks

A Freudian repression

At The Sharp End: Poets? They've no rhyme or reason

THERE IS, says psychoanalyst Adam Phillips, "a tremendous fear in our culture about madness", but "no particular enthusiasm for the idea of sanity". It's an idea he has turned into a book, Going Sane - a lucid exploration of a state that's generally defined by an absence. Peppered with references to Hamlet, John Clare, et al, it aims to fly the flag for a state which rarely warrants a mention in literature or art.

Health: Tales from the Therapist's Couch

`Deeply moved by the scale of human suffering, she felt herself being freed from a habit of anxiety that had haunted her'

Don Giovanni, Grand Theatre, Leeds

A psychoanalytical approach to Mozart's Don Giovanni undoubtedly provides useful angles from which to explore the more manic tendencies of the "patient". But it doesn't necessarily make for a riveting production.

Arts and Entertainment
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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
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The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
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Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

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Michael Calvin's Last Word

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