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New Existentialists

The Case Against Client-Therapist Cultural Matching

09/04/2014
The Case Against Client-Therapist Cultural Matching
The human solidarity that I envisage is not a global uniformity but unity in diversity. We must learn to appreciate and tolerate pluralities, multiplicities, cultural differences. (Gadamer in Pantham, 1992, p. 132) The realities of globalization and multicultural omnipresence initiated a socio-economic and political demand for the inclusion of the cultural other across all professional practices, including mental health. The American psychiatric and psychological paradigm was myopically focused on white, middle-class, male values, which required change through challenging the “racist,...

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New Existentialists

Transience, Impermanence, and Letting Go (Part One of a Four-Part Series)

09/03/2014
Transience, Impermanence, and Letting Go (Part One of a Four-Part Series)
Time flies, which is another way of expressing the existential givens of transience and impermanence, the basic tenets of Buddhism. I mouth this to myself whenever I encounter the changes that are ubiquitous and unavoidable in China and parts of Southeast Asia. Many of the coastal big cities in China are founded on the backs of migrant workers. And migration equals transition. Living here in China, I have come to expect this migratory change. During this past trip to Shenzhen, the large Chinese city bordering Hong Kong, I went expecting my usual haircut followed by lunch at my familiar noodle...

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New Existentialists

Leaning Into Grief

09/02/2014
Leaning Into Grief
I get attached easily: to places, people, and animals. When I feel a connection, I work hard at maintaining it and I hold on tight to what feels precious to me. That’s not to say that I’m not able to adapt to new situations—just that it takes me a little while to accept and grieve what I have lost. These past 18 months have been difficult while I’ve been adjusting to yet another new place of abode. After a wonderful two years in Northern Virginia where I was able to create my dream job for myself of working as an equine assisted therapist specializing in eating...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

08/29/2014
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 end of the summer is almost upon us and that back-to-school feeling is in the air, much to the chagrin of students (and teachers?) everywhere. Thus, in honor of heading back to school, this week’s roundup gathers together some of the recent studies on children and education. Starting from the top down, Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences has done a study, which...

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New Existentialists

Holding Fire With Parchment: Personal Power and Greatness Through Soul Loss

08/28/2014
Holding Fire With Parchment: Personal Power and Greatness Through Soul Loss
Very recently, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, poet and Jungian psychoanalyst, said of the late Robin Williams, “He learned for 63 years of his life how to be ‘the fire handler.’ That is where I would praise him, for what he has managed to do for six+ decades; handle fire, while being made of parchment" (Estés, 2014). I gasped after reading her words, letting them kindle again for a moment the brittle parchment of my own soul, which has itself apparently survived many conflagrations ignited by failures, losses, and challenges—as well as many other unexpected...

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New Existentialists

Statistics and Personal Responsibility

08/27/2014
Statistics and Personal Responsibility
In Prelude to Foundation (Asimov, 1988) Hari Seldon invents the science of psychohistory that forms the basis of the Foundation series. This series presumes that human behavior is predictable by science, and that those predictions can be used to influence future history for the betterment of humankind. The Foundation series itself was started in the 1950's and is probably Asimov's signature work, his masterpiece. Science-fiction readers probably remember Bicentennial Man and I, Robot and other short stories, but the ideas first showcased in these stories come to their ultimate...

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New Existentialists

Mo'ne Davis Doesn't Throw Like a Girl

08/26/2014
Mo'ne Davis Doesn't Throw Like a Girl
Unless you are a big fan of Little League baseball, you may have missed the biggest story in sports in recent days—to my mind, bigger than the World Cup, or the opening of the football season, or the baseball All-Star Game. It is the story of Mo’ne Davis, the 13-year-old star pitcher for the Taney Dragons of Philadelphia. While the Dragons may have only finished third among the 7,000 teams competing around the country, coming so very close to winning the Little League World Series, Mo’ne’s story overshadowed the championship game. Why? Because Mo’ne Davis is a...

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Mind-Body Medicine

Charlene Conlin and Carleen Phelps Complete a Collaborative Doctoral Dissertation on Males and Females Successfully Managing Type 2 Diabetes through Lifestyle Change

08/25/2014
Carrie Phelps and Char Conlin at Saybrook University Graduation

 

Charlene Conlin and Carleen Phelps have just completed a collaborative dissertation as part of their doctoral studies in the Saybrook University School of Mind-Body Medicine.  This was the first collaborative dissertation in the School of Mind-Body Medicine.

Collaborative work is abundant in the publication of academic research papers, especially in the healthcare sector, where meaningful research studies frequently require coordination among several disciplines and settings. Nevertheless, collaboration is rare in the doctoral dissertation process. One Saybrook collaborative dissertation was completed by two psychology students, Leila Kozak and Dorothy Mandel, within Integrative Health Studies in 2006, but until now none had taken place within the School of Mind-Body Medicine. 

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New Existentialists

Authentic Status Updates?

08/25/2014
Authentic Status Updates?
During a recent stretch of 21 consecutive days of work, I chose to post almost daily updates on Facebook noting what day of the “workathon” I was on and what was new. My reasoning, I justified, was to get a little moral support during what I correctly figured was going to be a grueling stretch and to feel a little less alone in the process. In return for the support, I tried to make each post somewhat entertaining to varying degrees, either with jokes, or even links to funny videos, including a personal favorite—Madeline Kahn singing the classic “I’m Tired...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

08/22/2014
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 events in Ferguson, Mo.—the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager—have once again reignited race and diversity wars in this country. What does it mean for us to be of our own racial or ethnic group and then encounter the “other?” This has been a hot topic in the news this week. Charles Blow, a columnist for The New York Times, wrote yet another profound column on the issue of...

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