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Rethinking Complexity

Fear: Its Impact on individuals and organizations

12/15/2013
Fear: Its Impact on individuals and organizations
Fear is often a hidden and unconscious emotion, an emotion that is at the root of our inaction and ‘stuckness’ in our careers and personal lives. What we often see on the surface are the symptoms of fear. Those symptoms may manifest in many ways: as anger, grief, physical pain (yes, physical pain), lack of energy and motivation, procrastination, and other negative manifestations. If we look closely at our everyday actions and interactions we can acknowledge areas of discomfort. If we then sit for a while with that discomfort, we often will find at its basis the element of fear....

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New Existentialists

The Psychology of Altruism: An Urgent Quest of Humanistic Psychology

12/13/2013
The Psychology of Altruism: An Urgent Quest of Humanistic Psychology
On a globe that daily witnesses countless acts of conflict both large and small, our human capacity for altruism seems more important than ever. Not surprisingly, psychologists today are increasingly interested in understanding this vital care-giving phenomenon, certainly with the hope that such knowledge will lead to a more harmonious humanity. The rapid rise of positive psychology, led by Seligman and his associates (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000; Seligman, Steen, Park & Peterson, 2005) has amplified interest in prosocial interaction. But such an interest is hardly new. More...

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New Existentialists

Resisting Compassion

12/12/2013
Resisting Compassion
Most of us don't lack compassion so much as we avoid it. We resist compassion in the United States with a peculiar hypocrisy, extolling the virtues of volunteerism, for instance, while making volunteerism more of a necessity by diminishing our budgetary commitments to the poor and powerless. ... Our primary response to human suffering appears to be making sure it occurs on the other side of town or the other side of the world. --Marianne Williamson (Voices and Verses, 12/09/13) And so, we come again to another season of “peace and goodwill to all”—a time of exercising...

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New Existentialists

An Experience in Relational Dharma

12/11/2013
An Experience in Relational Dharma
It was some years ago, while in my late 20s, that I began therapy and an apprenticeship of sorts with an admired existential psychotherapist. I was intrigued to work with him because of his training and life-long friendship with the controversial and pioneering Scottish psychiatrist, R. D. Laing. As a student of consciousness and existential philosophy, and a practitioner of Buddhist psychology, I had been fascinated by Laing’s work in re-conceptualizing the nature of the individual as pathological to one where context and relationships were inseparable in both the formation of human...

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Rethinking Complexity

Great Leadership Requires Asking Questions

12/11/2013
Great Leadership Requires Asking Questions
So often we look to leaders to provide answers to the most challenging problems we face, whether in politics or business. In fact, great leaders are those who instead ask the right questions and engage others to arrive at the best answers together. The media overly promotes a single businessman, politician or sports star as responsible for overall success. As a result, it’s hard to think of Apple without Steve Jobs, J.P. Morgan Chase without Jamie Dimon, and the current Denver Broncos without Payton Manning. We tend to therefore associate the success of any group as overly reliant on...

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Mind-Body Medicine

Matt Watkins, Saybrook University Mind-Body Medicine Student, Pursues Mindfulness and Presence-Based Coaching Model

12/11/2013
Matt Watkins

 

Matt Watkins is completing his final master's project to fulfill the requirements for a Master’s Degree in Saybrook University's Mind-Body Medicine.  For his culminating project he is combining his love of professional coaching with mind-body skills to develop a coaching model.  The direction of his project is currently unfolding; however, the main focus is how mindful and presence-based coaching, informed by the principles of Health Realization, facilitates the development of self-determined values and actions. 

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Mind-Body Medicine

Mallory Rowell, Master's Student in Mind-Body Medicine, Combines New Marriage, Research Job, Fitness Training, and Graduate Study

12/10/2013
Mallory Rowell on the Beach

 

Mallory Rowell completed her BS degree in Psychology from Ohio State in 2010, and although she knew that she wanted to complete an advanced degree, she was unsure of her path.  One day as she was perusing the APA academic listings she came across an advertisement for Saybrook University, School of Mind Body Medicine.  She was immediately attracted to the advertisement and that led her to attend an introductory call hosted by the department chair, Dr. Don Moss.  After the introductory call Mallory recalls her elation at finding this program, “It felt like everything I was looking for and didn’t know what to call it.  Saybrook combined my lifestyle and academic goals all into one.”  In the fall of 2013 Mallory began classes to complete her MS in Mind Body Medicine.

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New Existentialists

Snark, Smarm, and Misanthropy: Sane Strategies for an Insane World?

12/10/2013
Snark, Smarm, and Misanthropy: Sane Strategies for an Insane World?
Florence King once defined “misanthropes” as “people who can’t suffer fools, and like to see fools suffer.” It’s hard for me to think of a healthier motto, and I’d like to suggest by way of this essay that King’s 1993 history of misanthropy, “With Charity Toward None,” should be on psychology licensing exams. She makes a compelling case that misanthropes are mentally healthier than the rest of us. It’s a message that ought to get a fair hearing. Much in the same way that we simultaneously exalt creativity in the abstract but...

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New Existentialists

Teaching Diversity from an Existential Perspective

12/09/2013
Teaching Diversity from an Existential Perspective
For years, I have heard horror stories of professors teaching diversity classes being traumatized by their students. Included were stories of a number of experts in diversity who were passionate about teaching diversity, but no longer wanted to teach diversity courses because their course evaluations were poorer than in other classes, included personal slights, and the classrooms often felt hostile. Similarly, I’ve spoken to many students passionate about diversity that no longer felt safe bringing up the topic of diversity in classroom because of the responses from their professors and...

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Rethinking Complexity

Will Cyborgs Ever Learn to Pray?

12/09/2013
Will Cyborgs Ever Learn to Pray?
One morning last week, I awoke from a strange dream. I don’t recall all the particulars, but it involved a scene where I was living and working with a group of “not-quite-human” creatures made of silicone, integrated circuits and bio-engineered, synthetic flesh. These engineered creatures seemed to have acquired human-like appearances, capabilities, and behaviors; to such an extent that at times it was almost impossible to distinguish them from real “biological” humans.  In this dream, I had developed a close relationship with a particularly friendly and...

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