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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The Spice Girls' feminism consisted of shouting 'girl power' and doing peace signs in latex catsuits
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Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities