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New Existentialists

Raising the White Flag

10/09/2014
Raising the White Flag
It’s 2.57am, and I find myself wide awake, yet again, for the third consecutive night. Apart from the constant trips to the bathroom throughout the night (and day, for that matter), I found out that these midnight awakenings are just another one of those uncontrollable “perks” one gets to enjoy during pregnancy. Often, what we hear and see in movies tend to portray pregnancy as such an amazing, beautiful life experience. Even my well-meaning husband tried to remind me of that every time I complain about my aches and pains. But my firsthand experience taught me that while the...

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New Existentialists

Choosing to Die and Choosing to Live

10/08/2014
Choosing to Die and Choosing to Live
Browsing social media yet again when I should have been working, I came upon a story that broke my heart. The headline, written by a Fox News affiliate in Denver was, of course, designed to tear at the soul: “Woman, 29, chooses to die two days after husband’s birthday.” However, this is truly a heart-rending story, with some very personal reverberations. The narrative goes as follows: shortly after getting married in 2013, a young woman started experiencing tremendous head pain. Soon, she received a diagnosis of an astrocytoma, a brain tumor that gave her a prognosis of...

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New Existentialists

Stress Reframed

10/07/2014
Stress Reframed
For the last three or four months, I have been involved in a teacher training program that has basically sucked most if not all of the life out of me. Last night marked the final teachback—the final opportunity for me to teach a lesson in front of my trainers for evaluation. Needless to say, or maybe it needs to be said, I have spent these last few months curled up in a little ball of stress, culminating in last night when two valiums did not mitigate either the chest pains or the numbness in my right arm (not my left—I was not having a heart attack). So, imagine my surprise when...

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Mind-Body Medicine

School of Mind-Body Medicine to Provide November 12 Webinar on Opportunities with Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine

10/07/2014
Dr. Ruthann Russo

 

Dr. Ruthann Russo, instructor in the Saybrook University School of Mind-Body Medicine, will conduct a webinar on November 12 at 5:30 PM Pacific. She will provide information on professional affiliation and certification opportunities available through the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) as a result of the recent merger of The American Holistic Medical Association, the American Board of Holistic and Integrative Medicine, and the Journal for Global Advances in Health and Medicine. 

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New Existentialists

I Am Not an Activist

10/06/2014
I Am Not an Activist
I am not an activist. No, I am not and you can't make me one. I am a pacifist of the worst order, the kind who confuses peacefulness with inaction. I prefer inaction. If humankind is going to ride the rails it is building straight into the maw of hell, I prefer to let it; we have to learn from our mistakes, and I am busy trying (and failing) to learn from the ones of mine that are of significant enough magnitude that they have made people angry with me. My boss in human services used to tell me I was making too much fuss over some trifle or another. He would say, "You have to pick...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

10/03/2014
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. If you have been paying attention to the smaller details of health news—the non-Ebola-related news—you might have come across this most remarkable discovery: that the nose seems to know death. You may be stunned or confused by this statement but here is the evidence. The New York Times reported (in a blog no less) that a “Failing Sense of Smell May Predict Sooner Death.”  In these five...

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New Existentialists

Viewing Addiction through an Existential Lens

10/02/2014
Viewing Addiction through an Existential Lens
Increasingly, we are reminded that addiction is a serious problem that threatens the physical, mental, and emotional lives of all those involved—the person addicted, friends, family and loved ones of those addicted, and society at large. We watch news of famous and talented people, such as Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams. Both acknowledged their life-long battles with addiction and ended up “losing.” We ponder the causes of addiction, wonder what could have been done, and grieve the loss—of the individual and the potential of what that life might have been....

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New Existentialists

Finding Oneself and Creating Oneself: Implications of the Psychotherapy Folklore

10/01/2014
Finding Oneself and Creating Oneself: Implications of the Psychotherapy Folklore
“Perhaps, as we say in America, I wanted to find myself. This is an interesting phrase, not current as far as I know in the language of any other people, which certainly does not mean what it says but betrays a nagging suspicion that something has been misplaced.” --James Baldwin (Giovanni’s Room, 1956/1984) “I am going to therapy [or on a spiritual quest] to find myself.” Phrases of this sort are common in the folklore and history of psychotherapy, particularly humanistic, existential, and other depth psychotherapies. I have even heard many therapists say this...

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New Existentialists

On 41

09/30/2014
On 41
I'll be 41 here in a minute, and around these times we mark out as indications of aging, I like to spend a few minutes reflecting. What does it all mean? This year, I've decided to think about the upsides of aging. Sure, there are downsides, but we can't have everything. The occasional focus on what is good won't kill us. Sex comes quickly to mind, because it doesn't, at least not as quickly as it once did. At 41, I find myself far less distracted than in years past by sexual thoughts and pretty people. Some men chew Viagra or rub their underarms with testosterone when...

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Rethinking Complexity

The Dilemma of Our Time

09/30/2014
The Dilemma of Our Time
Evolution is a constant in the human experience, although we interpret it in different manners. To some, particularly scientists, evolution is an accidental progression that yielded the cosmos, our planet and life. To others, it is a process created by a supreme being as part of a master plan. Regardless of our beliefs, life in the universe evolves with new stars being born, galaxies forming, and life on planet Earth in a continuing state of flux. According to scientific studies, the evolution of the universe started with the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago and will continue for an indefinite...

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