The Saybrook Forum

Posts

New Existentialists

Doctoring Lessons

11/05/2014
Doctoring Lessons
Last night, I taught my first ever psychology/sociology class to MCAT students. As many of you probably do not know, the MCAT—the Medical College Admissions Test—is adding for 2015 a brand new content section on psychology and sociology in which they expect incoming medical students to have taken at least one semester of introductory psychology and one semester of introductory sociology. Why? You ask. Medicine, unlike psychology, which still seems to prefer the strict medical model, is moving towards a “biopsychosocial” conception of illness—that illness...

Continue Reading

New Existentialists

Why Do You Care What The Pope Thinks?

11/04/2014
Why Do You Care What The Pope Thinks?
I mean, you aren't Catholic, so why do you share the little articles about what the Pope says? Benedict seems to have been more conservative. He didn't do a great deal about systematic abuse in the church, didn't have anything to say about same-sex romances, had a hard, traditional line on contraception and abortion. Francis decided to be a different kind of Pope, a modern leader for modern times who paradoxically embraces the heart of the faith underneath all the politics appended to, let's face it, any religion more than a few years old. He is about love, forgiveness,...

Continue Reading

New Existentialists

A Spark of Existential Therapy in Greece

11/03/2014
A Spark of Existential Therapy in Greece
In the beginning of October, I was lucky enough to participate in a two-day workshop with Dr. Kirk Schneider, here in Athens, Greece! It was organized by “gignesthai,” the Hellenic association for Existential Psychology. I’ll write to you about this experience, with my own little words and from where I stand today. Maybe if I wrote this post some days later, I would focus on totally different things. I couldn’t possibly bring to you all of what happened there, or all of the wonderful things Dr. Schneider said to us, but I’ll share with you my personal experience...

Continue Reading

New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

10/31/2014
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. As today is Hallowe’en, a day that once marked the end of the harvest season one during which the veils between the living and the dead were quite thin and now seems inextricably tied to “spooky” tricks and candy corn, this week’s column will be looking at some of the oddities in the news of late. Just in case we haven’t heard enough frightening brain research that presents us with...

Continue Reading

New Existentialists

Magical Thinking as Self Empowerment: A Pagan Contribution to Psychotherapy and Counseling

10/30/2014
Magical Thinking as Self Empowerment: A Pagan Contribution to Psychotherapy and Counseling
This contribution is my 13th article for the New Existentialists. I have now contributed one for every lunar cycle over the past year, and I find myself in a celebratory mood as I reflect back over the past year of contributions. It is also fitting that I write this at the end of the old Celtic year, just a couple days before Samhain (Summer’s End), when the old planting year ends with the final blood harvest and the new one begins. Thirteen certainly does not feel unlucky or inauspicious for me; and at any rate I am far from being triskaidekaphobic. With that invocation of the fear and...

Continue Reading

New Existentialists

Post-Hysterectomy Epiphany

10/29/2014
Post-Hysterectomy Epiphany
Once upon a time, I remember hearing a teacher of developmental psychology say “the body is our first environment.” Indeed, it is the first place we live in and the place in which we will die. We are out body. Everything around us can change, and our bodies can also change. Still, it takes more work, and there are certainly things about our bodies that we cannot change. Unless some miraculous invention of modern medicine comes about, the lungs need air and the heart needs to keep beating. I recently had a partial hysterectomy. I took my time researching what this would mean for me...

Continue Reading

New Existentialists

Halloween: Sublimating Death Salience

10/28/2014
Halloween: Sublimating Death Salience
Sometimes, I want to shout at my son. I mean, I don't want to, but I experience a powerful urge to. But he's nine, and shouting at him wouldn't be helpful. It would damage the relationship and teach bullying. When this urge arises, sometimes, I take a page out of Carl Whitaker's book: I pretend to shout, mocking the angry man, aping myself and my own anger. It's hilarious, diffuses the tension, and makes the point: I'm angry but I don't want to be. This is sublimation as the mature form of denial. Rather than pretend not to be angry, for example, we acknowledge...

Continue Reading

New Existentialists

Waxing Existential: Why Holly Golightly Needs Her Story

10/27/2014
Waxing Existential: Why Holly Golightly Needs Her Story
In a recent article in The New York Times, entitled “Why Doctors Need Stories,” Peter Kramer makes the case for the use of the anecdote or vignette to fully understand a patient’s experience. Rather than relying on empirical data alone, doctors are factoring in patients’ narratives, viewing them as an important part of treatment. Kramer speaks of this in relation to his own work as a psychiatrist: In the past 20 years, clinical vignettes have lost their standing. For a variety of reasons, including a heightened awareness of medical error and a focus on cost cutting, we...

Continue Reading

Rethinking Complexity

Effective Teams Begin with Trust

10/24/2014
Effective Teams Begin with Trust
Dysfunctional teams can produce results, but not consistently and not over the long term. An effective team that produces results consistently requires many attributes, but they all must begin with trust.  More than anything else, trust enables people to work together effectively. Stephen M. R. Covey, author of The Speed of Trust, says this workplace trust is a function of both character and competence. Character includes integrity, motives, and your intent with other people. Competence is your capabilities, skills, results and track record. Both are essential for trust. Trust lays the...

Continue Reading

New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

10/24/2014
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. With Hallowe’en approaching, it seems appropriate to start getting in the mood with a variety of treats, or maybe tricks, from the recent news. Recently, this column discussed the growing fears around the Ebola outbreaks. Even as write this, I am receiving breaking news emails that the latest confirmed case is now located just a few miles away from me, in Bellevue Hospital Center in New York. In his regular...

Continue Reading

Share this

share

Don't miss a thing - follow Saybrook on social media

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube Google Plus