The Placebo Effect: What It Is and Why You Should Know About It

The following interview is part of a cutting-edge series of video interviews called Parenting Today: Raising Strong, Resilient Kids being aired exclusively on Mad in America.

This series has as its aim educating parents about the current mental disorder paradigm as it relates to children. It also offers many useful tips about how to raise more resilient children and how to become a more skillful parent. In this series of more than thirty interviews, we share information about the diverse resources available to parents, including alternative ones.

We hope that you’ll follow this important series. Mental health advocate Heather Juergensen hosts the interviews, each of which introduces you to an interesting guest speaking on a subject of importance to parents. We hope that you enjoy this series, benefit from it, and decide to alert other parents to its existence!

Amir Raz, PhD, is the Canada Research Chair in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University in Canada and is a world leader in unlocking the brain substrates of attention and consciousness. Dr. Raz combines cutting-edge science and trailblazing research with community outreach, science teaching, and interdisciplinary education in the health and psychological sciences.

He has had peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Nature, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Lancet.  He has received multiple accolades, such as the American Psychological Association’s Early Career Award and a Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression. A former magician and musician, he also conducts research into the cognitive neuroscience of deception, ownership, altered consciousness, and atypical cognition. Dr. Raz is currently the director of the Raz Lab, a program of Chapman University’s Brain Institute.  The Lab explores many areas of psychological research including attention, expectation, placebos, and the influence of altered planes of consciousness on brain function.

Links of Interest:

Placebo Talks

The Raz Lab

The Brain Institute

Parenting Today is produced by Heather Juergensen and Eric Maisel.  To learn more about our individual work, please visit Eric Maisel at and Heather Juergensen at If you’re enjoying this series and find it useful, please tell other parents about it. To learn more about the series please visit and join our community!


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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