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Psychology

Faculty Spotlight: Richard A. Sherman

04/21/2014

Richard A. Sherman received his doctorate in psychobiology from New York University in 1973. He has more than forty years of experience teaching and performing research and clinical work in behavioral medicine and related fields. Dr. Sherman is an award-winning teacher and has taught courses at virtually all levels of adult education, including numerous undergraduate, medical resident, and graduate school courses as well as continuing education courses for clinical professionals in both on-site and distance-learning formats.

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New Existentialists

Symbols of Transformation and Psychospiritual Growth

04/21/2014
Symbols of Transformation and Psychospiritual Growth
During the religious holidays of Passover, Good Friday, and Easter, we are reminded of the I-Thou relationship of faith and the symbols of transformation and transcendence at the core of Judeo-Christian tradition. According to Jewish folklore in the 15 chapters of Exodus, the Passover Seder commemorates freedom from Egyptian bondage 3,500 years ago when Moses led the Israelites across the Red Sea after a series of 10 plagues followed by a 40-year exile in the wilderness before reaching the Promised Land. Passover signifies this existential wandering, the hope of redemption, and faith in the...

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Rethinking Complexity

Education at the Edge of Possibility (Part I)

04/20/2014
Education at the Edge of Possibility (Part I)
Education has always been close to my heart. It is my joy for learning that has kept me connected to the educational field, even though I had some painful learning experiences in my formal education. As a mother, I see my teen daughter questioning schooling practices that are not relevant, meaningful or enjoyable. When I was a little girl, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I guess I was fortunate to have teachers who really loved me and who encouraged me to be my best. In the culturally accepted but premature push to define my professional career in my late teens, I went into marketing. I...

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Rethinking Complexity

Education at the Edge of Possibility (Part I)

04/20/2014
Education at the Edge of Possibility (Part I)
Education has always been close to my heart. It is my joy for learning that has kept me connected to the educational field, even though I had some painful learning experiences in my formal education. As a mother, I see my teen daughter questioning schooling practices that are not relevant, meaningful or enjoyable. When I was a little girl, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I guess I was fortunate to have teachers who really loved me and who encouraged me to be my best. In the culturally accepted but premature push to define my professional career in my late teens, I went into marketing. I...

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Rethinking Complexity

Creating Conditions for Learning and Change When “Everything You Do is an Intervention”

04/18/2014
Creating Conditions for Learning and Change When  “Everything You Do is an Intervention”
Following some encounters I had early last month leading up to the 104th anniversary of the International Women’s Day I am reminded of lessons learned here at Saybrook University on helping human systems. I participated in an event with a group of about 100 Christian women from one of the parishes in Southwestern Kenya at a church located about 65 kilometers from my home, on a hillside in the outskirts of Kisii town. I had been invited by the lead organizer of this group to speak at their monthly meeting that brings together women from all centers of the parish. The meeting kicked off...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

04/18/2014
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. The sight of a blood moon with the total lunar eclipse earlier this week has cast a bit of a shadow over the week. A reddish tint appears over the moon, referred to as the blood moon, when the moon picks up reflections of sunlight and sunsets through the Earth’s atmosphere as it passes through the Earth’s shadow. Mythological and cultural references to blood moons associate it with gloom and doom so...

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New Existentialists

Confronting the Destructive Nature of Religious Dogmatism: Overcoming the Disease of Dogmatism, Part Two

04/17/2014
Confronting the Destructive Nature of Religious Dogmatism: Overcoming the Disease of Dogmatism, Part Two
Whereas my previous post regarding our human obsession with certainty and its resulting dogmatism dealt with particular concerns relating to dogmatism in general, I will now focus on the dangers inherent to one of its specific and most insidious manifestations. While I am deeply concerned with any concrete form of dogmatism, the one against which I am most strongly opposed, and which I would like to specifically address here, is religious dogmatism. In the interest of transparency and authentic disclosure, this is entirely due to my own religious upbringing, which was based on the tradition...

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New Existentialists

Beyond Existential Martyrdom

04/16/2014
Beyond Existential Martyrdom
In a recent email exchange with a friend, Michael Moats, I was teasing him about having a good attitude after witnessing a scary event. What began as good-natured humor also led to an important serious conversation as Michael wisely noted, “I still think there is something here to write on about the martyrish love affair I sometimes hear with people of existentialism.” I deeply appreciate Michael’s positive attitude and believe that it reflects his deep existential nature. For those who know Michael, they can attest that he does a wonderful job at balancing zhi mian (facing...

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New Existentialists

The Walmartization of Higher Education, Continued

04/15/2014
The Walmartization of Higher Education, Continued
In a previous issue, I noted that for-profit, corporate motives have infiltrated our public education system, resulting in the same sorts of power structures at community colleges as at Wal-Mart or at for-profit schools. In other words, we depend increasingly on part-time labor whom we can deny benefits or fair pay while compensating the top executives at rates never before seen. It is easy to argue that the seven major heirs to Sam Walton's fortune could change the nature of the economy all on their own; it would cost a trivial amount of their comparative fortune to pay a living wage to...

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Rethinking Complexity

Destructive Cycle/Generative Cycle

04/14/2014
Destructive Cycle/Generative Cycle
After going through a long destructive cycle in my life, where everything I counted on fell away, I have emerged into a generative period in which life energy has returned, and I am moving toward the world again. This period of disintegration changed everything for me. Keeping my seat as life’s fabric unraveled was hard, to say the least. And that was all I could do—try to keep centered, meditate more, stay present with my experience, and as best as I could be compassionate toward myself and others. I rode the waves of Lyme disease that became my world. Like water flowing down a...

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