Arts and Entertainment

The Orange Prize winner Suzanne Berne is on familiar ground with her fifth novel examining life in an affluent American village. Littlefield, Massachusetts, is named one of the 10 best places to live in America. Curiously, it also houses an unusually high number of psychotherapists. Clarice Watkins, a sociologist from the University of Chicago, decides to study Littlefield to find out exactly what makes it such a good place to live. She arrives to find a town at war, split between those who want their dogs to be off the leash in the local park and those who object. Opinions become more polarised when someone starts poisoning dogs and an undercurrent of fear pulses through the community.

Cross Words: Stars in their eyes

Head to head Credible or credulous? Astrology is a useful tool, says Nicholas Campion, president of the Astrological Association. It's just a game, says novelist Fay Weldon

Tough love finds a way to beat heroin

Young addicts, skilled manipulators of parental love, need a change in strategy if they are to achieve a lasting cure. By Emma Cook

Letter: Therapist registers

Sir: Jack O'Sullivan, in his article "Far too long on the couch" (4 August), refers to the need for a respected regulatory framework for therapists in the mental health field; yet he fails to mention the two registration organisations that have been formed, precisely to protect the public.

Why do men kill their children?

This most tragic, illogical crime begs a vital question.

Health: It's all too much. I'm off to the pub

Postnatal depression is a woman's problem, isn't it? Wrong. It also hits new fathers. By Heather Welford

There's a hole in Dad's argument

A Family Affair- This Week: A Father And Son Talk About Their Revulsion And Enthusiasm For Body-Piercing

Obituary: Dr Charles Rycroft

CHARLES RYCROFT was one of British psychoanalysis's most lucid exponents and one of its severest critics. He produced several highly influential books including A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, which has been continuously in print since it appeared in 1968, and The Innocence of Dreams (also 1968), which he considered to be his finest work.

Counselling: How to make a career out of solving problems

So you want to be a counsellor. Rebecca John explains how to get started

Counselling Course: How to become a counsellor or psychotherapist

Training in counselling and psychotherapy is an area of growth for our curious society.

Abused lose out over false memory scares

ADULTS who were sexually abused as children are being refused the care they need because therapists are frightened of being sued or accused of planting false memories, according to new research.

As deadly as the male

This week, the charity Kidscape attributed the rise in physically aggressive behaviour among girls to 'Spice Power'. So are we really witnessing the demise of the gentler sex? Claire Seeber reports on the women who beat up their partners and the men who love them too much to hit back

Letter: Jonesboro shootings

IN the wake of the horrific events in Arkansas, it once again seems as if everyone is qualified to psychoanalyse the two adolescents and understand their every motivation. This forms a convenient channel through which they can expound their own theories about the collapse of society.

Help desk: Do I go back to my old firm?

Your work dilemmas solved by experts

Dilemas: Approach friendships in a spirit of giving, rather than taking

Gill finds she can make friends easily but constantly destroys the relationships by finding fault and sulking. She has had to reorganise her life socially and at work to avoid ex-friends she has hurt deeply. She says she was spoilt as an only child, but how can she stop this destructive behaviour?
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'