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New Existentialists

When Success Is Failure

03/27/2014
When Success Is Failure
Western thinking has done an incredible job of convoluting success. As a society, we have come to accept the idea that success is limited to those who finish first. If you did not win the gold medal, or make the most money, or have the best grades, you are not successful. In fact, as a society, we have accepted the norm that anyone who does not finish first is a loser, a failure, a dud, or maybe even a has-been. This line of thinking has invaded every aspect of our culture—education, sports, business, government, military, healthcare, and even religion. You must finish on top—...

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Rethinking Complexity

A Workplace Without Borders, Part 2

03/27/2014
A Workplace Without Borders, Part 2
Overtime people across the world have self-organized themselves in a variety of ways. There are tribes, villages, towns and cities. Then there are city-states, nation states and even empires. All have cultures, even sub-cultures that make them distinctive and give them an identity. They have borders that create separation and avenues of commerce that promote their economies. Emerging now is a global village, a complex interdependent society comprised of nations and ethnicities that span the world. It draws upon a global intercultural workplace for organizational operations and social well-...

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Rethinking Complexity

Shifting From International to Inter-Cultural Global Manager

03/27/2014
Shifting From International to Inter-Cultural Global Manager
Over the last five decades, while business contexts were evolving from national to international to transnational and now to global, workplace environments were shifting from “control-oriented” hierarchies to interactive teams to social networking ecologies. Such shifts in perspectives, accompanied by innovations in digital-based information and communication systems, have led to dramatic changes in business models, supply chain management, and marketplace dynamics. All of these developments are radically changing management approaches, how organizational operations are conducted...

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New Existentialists

Be a Force of Beauty

03/26/2014
Be a Force of Beauty
“Pretty attracts us. Beauty changes us. Be a force of beauty” --Bare Escentuals I was walking through Macy’s and saw a box with this written on it and the words arrested my attention. I paused, pondered, and snapped a photo so as not to forget the message. I started to think…what would a force of beauty look like in today’s world? Being a force of beauty is authentic. It’s powerful. It’s deep. It’s also risky. Do you think the rose blooms without some danger? Not at all. When the rose opens up, it exposes itself to the elements, and its fragile...

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New Existentialists

Tricksters in Play at the Vernal Equinox: The Art of Existential Embarrassment

03/25/2014
Tricksters in Play at the Vernal Equinox: The Art of Existential Embarrassment
Oh how I love to trick my students! Yes, you read that correctly. I take SUCH sublime delight in performing the role of playful psychopomp for them. In my Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy course, I initiate them into the elusive art of crafting authentic healing relationships in therapy, inviting, and then daring them to eschew their attachments to “empirically supported” techniques and treatments. I cajole them like the Coyote of Native American stories to descend with me into a more shadowy realm, where anxiety and suffering is embraced as transformative, where the DSM-5 and...

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New Existentialists

Does Therapy Work?

03/24/2014
Does Therapy Work?
Two days ago, I was telling my mother that I was feeling really anxious. I have always been an anxious person, since day one. I’m not even sure that one can born like that but I can tell you I certainly was. I have had a lot of “character” from the early days on. Anyway, I have been in therapy for some years now, so my mother, with serious wonder in her eyes, asked me “but shouldn’t therapy have made you less anxious by now? I mean, you have been in therapy for a really long time, does that mean everyone has to be in therapy for a decade to feel better? What...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

03/21/2014
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. March 20 marked the Vernal Equinox—the first day of Spring—when new growth begins. Thus, in honor of the impending burst of new life, this existential roundup will be a veritable potpourri of the new thinking bursting out all around us. As existential psychologists, we can try to be present with and for our clients as much as humanly possible. But we are, of course, bound by our human limitations. Do...

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Rethinking Complexity

Intention: Vital to Effective Action

03/20/2014
Intention: Vital to Effective Action
“He who has a why can bear almost any how.” -- Friedrich Nietzsche We all know intention without action leads to nothing, but what about action without intention? When we focus on accomplishing something before fully considering the purpose behind it, the action can be a wasted effort. Your intention is important because you gain clarity of purpose prior to the action you take. The extra time taken to clarify why you are doing something can be the difference between acting for the sake of being busy versus actually accomplishing something important. Intentions are important for...

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New Existentialists

Re-visioning Existential Psychology Beyond the Consulting Room

03/20/2014
Re-visioning Existential Psychology Beyond the Consulting Room
In Judaism, there is a concept of social action called Tikkun Olam—repairing or healing the world. There are millions of large and small ways to do Tikkun Olam—from working in soup kitchens to volunteering in African refugee zones to recycling your trash. Two of my first tutors in existential psychotherapy in England, Mary Sullivan and Harriett Goldenberg (2003), wrote, “Some of us have chosen this particular mode of involving ourselves with the world of persons; we believe it to be the best for us to implement an intention to repair, and to ‘give something back....

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New Existentialists

Brooks and Life's Existential Dimensions

03/19/2014
Brooks and Life's Existential Dimensions
David Brooks, a columnist for The New York Times, may be the only major conservative media figure today covering the “evolutionary psychology” beat—along with the “neuropsychology” beat, and the occasional writings of biophysicists and theorists of mind. His writing of the past few years has sought to expose the way “human nature” is indeed animal—if not to say “chemical” and “mechanical.” But in a March 14 column, Brooks drew a line in the sand, suggesting that such an approach can only go so far—and no farther. He...

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