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.

Tales from the Therapist's Couch

Dear Diary: You are the only one who understands me

Columns: A good idea from ... Winnicott

I'VE ALWAYS wanted to try my hand at those quizzes in women's magazines designed to identify character types (Are you a jealous sort? Does green suit you?), and a little moment of paranoia in my private life led me to think one up the other day. If your lover hasn't called when she promised she would, what goes through your mind? Do you imagine a) that she must have been held up by an innocuous event, b) that she has been run over, or c) that she has abruptly realised you're horrible and has gone off with someone else?

Dear Santa, please help

Ready for a `Waltons' family Christmas? Thought not. LIZ BESTIC asked three experts to do some festive trouble-shooting

Tuesday Book: Darwin and Freud confront the secular world

Darwin's Worms by Adam Phillips (Faber & Faber, pounds 7.99)

`Ghosts in nursery' haunt new parents

"GHOSTS" in the nursery are wrecking relationships between parents and their children, according to new research. They are born along with the baby when parents vow not to make the same mistakes their own parents did. But they often still do.

Books: The self at a safe distance

Adam Phillips tells Anna Picard about loss, the literati, and why he wants to `do a Salinger'

Shock forecast of rise in teenage suicide bids

IN A SIGN of the growing pressures on the young, one of the most prosperous areas of the country is predicting 1,700 suicide attempts by teenagers over the next year.

Monday Book: Pre-shrunk history of the couch

CASSANDRA'S DAUGHTER: A HISTORY OF PSYCHOANALYSIS IN EUROPE AND AMERICA BY JOSEPH SCHWARTZ, ALLEN LANE/ PENGUIN PRESS, pounds 20

The importance of family dining

At the dining-table children learn about the connections between food, feelings and family life

Books: 'We left the camp singing'

An Interrupted Life: The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum 1941-1943 Persephone Books pounds 10

Letters: Unfair to Newton

Sir: Joseph Schwartz likening Freud's being "wrong in every essential" with the case of Newton is inept ("Did Freud come up with the greatest idea of the century?", 16 August). Does he really believe that Freud's supposed "discoveries" are comparable with Newton's work on the inverse square law of gravitation?

Did Freud come up with the greatest idea of the century?

Psychoanalysis permits each one of us to become the poet of our own experience

Letter: Bad analysis

IN THE interests of writing a newspaper profile of Tony Blair, Brett Kahr neglects the first rule of psychoanalysis: to attempt a true analysis of a person, one has to have met them first ("The strain behind that smile", 25 July). As a "senior lecturer in psychotherapy", he should know better. How can he make serious criticisms about another's personality on the slim evidence of a few anecdotes gleaned from a book, or the type of Christmas cards he sends? To then connect this in some way with the mentally handicapped and the use of manic defence in those who may have experienced quite awful neglect or discrimination is misguided.
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015