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.

Why we all need some peace and quiet

Modern life is becoming increasingly noisy. But if we learn to to spend time in silence, the effects on our mental wellbeing – and our physical health – can be profound. Gerard Gilbert turns the sound down

Mothers 'more critical of daughters than sons'

It is said all children should be treated equally, but a new survey reveals mothers are more critical of their daughters than their sons.

Hungry Britons eye 'Super Size' meals

Britons find it hard to resist "super sizing" meals to extra large portions, according to a survey published today.

Nature, nurture and pizza: How an innovative farmhouse project is teaching families everyday practical skills

Two dozen people are sitting around a Kent farmhouse table eating lunch – a homely and unremarkable scene. But the anxiety of some of the adults, and the feral eating habits of some of the children, show this is not what it seems. For many of those passing around the plates of fresh pasta and salad this is a rare moment of normality in traumatised lives.

Ecstasy can treat trauma patients

Ecstasy can help the victims of post-traumatic stress overcome their demons, research has shown. In tests, the illegal dance drug had a dramatic effect on previously untreatable patients who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Shrunk, Cock Tavern Theatre, London

Some marriages end as a result of psychotherapy, but do certain psychotherapists wreck certain marriages?

John Cleese plans 'alimony tour' to pay his ex-wife

John Cleese is to embark on his first-ever UK tour next year at the age of 71. The comedian, who recently agreed a divorce settlement believed to be in the region of £12m, has dubbed it the "Alimony Tour".

If you want to be an analyst you must undergo psychoanalysis yourself

Psychoanalysis is the study of the unconscious mind, and if you want to study it, you have to have the courage to investigate your own. All trainee psychoanalysts are required to lie on the stereotypical sofa and undergo an intensive personal analysis for a minimum of three years.

Letters: Gay 'therapy'

Treatment designed to turn gay men straight

'I wanted to burn this disgust out of me'

Evidence of links between fatal fires and mental illness is prompting a new strategy

Pains of Youth, NT Cottesloe, London<br/>If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, Bush, London<br/>Mrs Klein, Almeida, London

It's been a bumper week for teenage misery,as young doctors in Vienna finding liberation comes at a price and a brilliant new play charts one girl's descent from surliness to despair

Clare Higgins: 'I was a bit of an odd child'

An epiphany at the Royal Shakespeare Company led the award-winning actress first to misbehaviour, and then stardom

Dr Arthur Williams: Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst noted for his work with offenders

Arthur Williams was a noted psychiatrist and psychoanalyst whose pioneering work with offenders, including murderers, influenced generations of forensic clinicians.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent