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Rethinking Complexity

The Need for Organizational Learning is Now

05/11/2012
The Need for Organizational Learning is Now
In Kathia Laszlo’s May 2nd post, she spoke to the critical need to rethink and expand boundaries within a system to support different ways of working and learning together. The need to create organizational cultures where learning together is the norm has never been so important as it is during this time of increasing complexity and change. The major news story this week is JPMorgan Chase admitting big losses on egregious credit trades. The $2 billion loss was unexpected and CEO Jamie Dimon is now challenged to explain the result of the bank’s action in light of his stance on...

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New Existentialists

Defining Mental Disorder, DSM-5 Style

05/11/2012
Defining Mental Disorder, DSM-5 Style
What is a mental disorder? This is a question the American Psychiatric Association (2012) has been contemplating as it prepares the DSM-5, the soon-to-be-published revision of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The DSM-5 development website proposes the following new definition of mental disorder (APA, 2012): A. A behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual B. That reflects an underlying psychobiological dysfunction C. The consequences of which are clinically significant distress (e.g., a painful symptom) or disability (i.e.,...

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New Existentialists

Riding a Harley-Davidson—A “Vehicle” to Existential Joy?

05/10/2012
Riding a Harley-Davidson—A “Vehicle” to Existential Joy?
What relationship does the experience of riding Harley Davidson-Motorcycles have to existentialism? A first response may be “Nothing!” Riding a Harley is a leisure activity—it is not related to existentialist philosophy or psychology at all. Because I have conducted extensive research on the meaning of riding a Harley for those who own them, I wondered if there were any elements of the Harley Phenomenon that related to New Existentialism. Then I read Makenna Berry’s April 25th blog, “Considering Existential Joy”. Now Makenna may not have had the experience of riding a Harley in mind when...

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Rethinking Complexity

The Polarizing Effects of Avoiding Uncertainty

05/10/2012
The Polarizing Effects of Avoiding Uncertainty
The other day, National Public Radio published a story about partisan politics. According to insights offered by Dartmouth College political scientist Brendan Nyhan in the story, partisans tend to be partial to their political loyalties on a range of issues, side-stepping the facts. When remaining loyal requires them to change their views of the facts, "partisans seem willing to throw even consistency overboard," the article stated. Nyham and his colleagues are conducting research into the phenomena of partisans’ apparent willingness to ignore facts. They hypothesize that the...

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New Existentialists

Film as Means for Integrating Opposites: A Review of David Lynch’s "The Elephant Man"

05/09/2012
Film as Means for Integrating Opposites: A Review of David Lynch’s "The Elephant Man"
The gifts of cinema is a holistic experience like no other art form. It engages every sense but smell and taste (unless you count when John Water’s “Polyester” was being screened. Scratch and sniff cards were handed out at the theaters, like 3-D glasses, and not all of the scents were as pleasant as the classroom childhood relics flavored with bubble gum and chocolate mint). Regardless, cinema even moves beyond engagement of multiple senses, suspending our belief and dissolving the barriers between story and self. The critically acclaimed Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky (1987)...

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New Existentialists

Better treatment for trauma victims

05/08/2012
Better treatment for trauma victims
Much of what we commonly think of as psychotherapy has come to be dominated by what we might call the toxicity of everyday life.   People are stressed and upset and depressed not because they have suffered some terrible trauma, but because they are not finding a way to make meaningful choices in a world marked by anomie yet defined by instant gratification.   Much of what we talk about when we talk about humanistic and existential psychology addresses these needs, and takes a stand against the idea that people need to drug themselves just to be happy.   But as New...

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Creativity

CREATIVE INSPIRATION

05/07/2012

“The key question isn’t ‘What fosters creativity?’ But it is why in God’s name isn’t everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might be now why do people create? But why do people not create or innovate? We have got to abandon that sense of amazement in the face of creativity, as if it were a miracle if anybody created anything.” Abraham Maslow

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Rethinking Complexity

Planning for Change

05/07/2012
Planning for Change
In my previous post, I introduced four dimensions of change that should be assessed to determine if there is a strong case for it, including its readiness. In this post, I describe how to plan for change, in particular, how to plan for initiating change. My fascination with change is twofold. First, I believe that life is in continuous evolution and incessantly changing. And, second, I believe evolution leads to higher complexity, which requires a greater ability to handle change. One of the capabilities that can assist us with both of these notions is planning.  My approach for planning...

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Mind-Body Medicine

New MBM Instructor teaches mindfulness in psychotherapy and daily life. Meet Donna Rockwell, PsyD

05/07/2012

 

I take great joy in being a clinical psychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher. There are many links between the capacity to “sit with oneself” as a prerequisite to being able to “sit with another,” something I consider one of the most important elements in psychotherapy, perhaps, even, its essence. "If the therapist can sit with him or herself, and tolerate arising emotion, then," says the client, "maybe I can, too."

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New Existentialists

The Space Around Thoughts

05/07/2012
The Space Around Thoughts
Life. Running here and there. Pre-occupied with this and that. Swept away by one thought or another. We barely have time enough to notice time passing, never mind the preposterous proposition, dare I say, to notice not just our thoughts, but the space around them: a momentary peripheral reverberation, an infinitesimal synaptic break between cognitions, the very slightest of pauses, a hiccup in the assembly line of thought production, when thought-after-thought-after-thought finally cease cascading like dominoes, responsible for the myopic blur that so often stands against our yearning for...

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