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New Existentialists

Stigma Continued...

12/18/2014
Stigma Continued...
Last week, I wrote about how even in death, social stigmas are alive and well. Since writing that piece, I’ve seen how death and dying—one of the two existential givens of human existence—are ripe for stigmatization when something goes wrong, such as psychological distress, or a plague like this current Ebola crisis. Today I attended a conference at the United Nations entitled “Eradicating the Ebola Epidemic: Psychosocial Contributions to Combat Stigma and Promote Wellbeing, Mental Health and Resilience: Policies and Practices to Protect the Global Community.”...

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New Existentialists

Celebrating Christmas: Incarnation and the Gift of Empathy

12/17/2014
Celebrating Christmas: Incarnation and the Gift of Empathy
In the midst of holiday busyness and stress, getting the Christmas tree, decorating the house, shopping for gifts, trying to survive the end of the year, etc., I would guess that many of us may find ourselves wondering what this is really all about. What is it all for? What exactly is it that we are celebrating? On the one hand, if we’re being honest I think we must acknowledge that among other things, as a society, we are perhaps first and foremost celebrating American capitalism and consumerism, the mere spending and making of money. To be fair, and on a significantly deeper level,...

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Creativity

Adventures in Creativity: A Venture, A Block and A Breakthrough

12/16/2014

by Linda Riebel

Last year, I boldly went where I had never gone before. In the beloved tragic French opera /Carmen,/ there is a gorgeous instrumental melody in the overture to Act III, an air that appears nowhere else in the opera. I wondered, Why has it never been given words and made into a song of its own? As my tenth wedding anniversary approached, I did exactly that as a surprise gift to my opera-loving husband.

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New Existentialists

The Cost of Poverty

12/16/2014
The Cost of Poverty
It's quite expensive to be poor in the United States. I was driving along a minor arterial in a poor part of town. I could tell it was poor because it was grimy and the buildings were old and poorly used. People used the sidewalks there, the sort of people who can't afford different outfits for work and home and are therefore dressed in oil-stained denim, the sort of people whose fast-food jobs give them uniforms to wear. There was a motel, named Motor Court or something else with a fancy 50's flare. It was old, run-down. The sign outside had a daily rate and a weekly rate. I...

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New Existentialists

Henry Murray’s Personology

12/15/2014
Henry Murray’s Personology
Explorations in Personality In Henry A. Murray’s Explorations in Personality (1938), dedicated to Morton Prince, Sigmund Freud, Lawrence Henderson, Alfred N. Whitehead, and Carl G. Jung, he asked: What propels man? With what environmental objects and institutions does he interact and how? What occurrences in his body are most influentially involved? What mutually dependent processes participate in his differentiation and development? What courses of events determine his pleasures and displeasures? And, finally, by what means can he be intentionally transformed? (p. 3) Murray’s...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

12/12/2014
Existential Roundup
Welcome to the Existential Roundup, where we bring you links to some articles currently trending that may be of interest to those in the existential-humanistic psychology community. Continuing the theme of the holiday and end-of-year season, I am providing yet another list—this time one of books that came out in 2014 with existential themes that I’m dying to read in 2015 (since of course there was no time to read them this year). Again, without further ado, and again, with the hope that readers will start contributing their own so that this list will grow: Existential Books from...

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New Existentialists

Stigma and Dignity

12/11/2014
Stigma and Dignity
When I teach my Psych 101 and MCAT Psych/Soc students about the concept of social stigmas, often they are surprised to hear that it still exists in this country around the idea of seeking help for mental distress. Maybe it’s because I teach in urban settings or maybe because students applying to medical schools come in with a certain sense of elitism. Whatever the reason, it’s easy to forget how much social stigma still exists even in the United States around mental illness. And I use that phrase—one that I often prefer not to use—purposely, as it applies directly to a...

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New Existentialists

The Cost of Activism/Self-Centered Activism

12/10/2014
The Cost of Activism/Self-Centered Activism
China, 2010. I’m in a hotel room with Mark Yang in Shanghai. I’m sleeping, he’s on the phone. It the international existential humanistic conference, and I’m there as a speaker and listener prior to a few days detached to speak in Wuhan. Mark is my bunkmate to save costs. But he’s not just a speaker, but a combination of conference organizer and local guide. When the Americans need something, they go to Mark. Being Mark, he’s all too happy to help people out and he’s one of a few key people competent to do so. His Chinese goes from reasonable to...

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Mind-Body Medicine

Researcher Elena Gillespie Joins Faculty for School of Mind-Body Medicine

12/09/2014
Elana Gillespie, PhD

 

Elena Gillespie, PhD, is a new addition to the research faculty in Saybrook University’s School of Mind-Body Medicine.  She will be teaching a course on Quantitative Research Resign for Healthcare.  Dr. Gillespie has been involved in research for nearly twenty years with a focus in Mind-Body techniques.  She was co-founder of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Center at the University of Michigan funded by the National Institute of Health, now known as the University of Michigan Integrative Medicine Research Center.  Her study assessing the use of Reiki in the amelioration of pain in diabetic neuropathy was the second study utilizing Reiki as a healing modality funded by the NIH.  The results of that quantitative study were published in 2007. 

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New Existentialists

Words That Count

12/09/2014
Words That Count
Last week I wrote about my sense that these days there is a finite number of words, at least for me. What I’ve now noticed, in my growing awareness of words themselves and how they are being used and often, how many are being used, is the inefficiency with which they are being used. Case in point. Kate Pierson of the B-52s has written and put out a new song entitled “Mister Sister.” The song is from her forthcoming album, Guitars and Microphones, due on February 2015. I have not heard the single nor seen the video. But I awoke this morning to yet another Facebook kerfuffle...

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