We modern humans don’t live in our “environmental niche” – the environment in which the human brain evolved and for which it is optimized. That many things about the world we have created is non-optimal for our essentially hunter-gatherer minds. Don’t get me wrong, I love my modern conveniences, and the end trajectory of this thesis is in no way suggesting that we should abandon it all and return to the savannah. Far from it – modernity, or at least many aspects of it, is here to stay. But, let’s not be naïve – certain aspects of modern life are clearly hurting us, if not outright killing us, and an “enriched” captive life is still a life lived in captivity.

So, is there a way to understand the pain and suffering of “civilization” through the lens of captivity? How can we live a modern life informed by the subtleties and comforts of our evolutionary niche? How, in other words, can we break free from the bars of captivity?

This blog is an attempt to answer these, and other questions, in addition to posing many, many more.


Rebekka Helford, MA, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Rebekka earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brown University and her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. She is a parent, educator, and therapist, with over a decade of experience in clinical practice. Learn more about her West Los Angeles, California private practice at http://www.rhelfordmft.com.

She has been living in captivity for nearly 4 decades.