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Rethinking Complexity

The T-Summit

03/31/2014
The T-Summit
I recently attended a meeting at the Almaden Research Lab near San Jose, CA.  The T-Summit was jointly sponsored by Michigan State University's Collegiate Employment Research Institute and IBM's Global University Programs.  As described in the announcement about the meeting: Employers are placing increasing importance on competencies that allow young professionals to handle information from multiple sources, advance professional relationships across organizations, contribute innovatively to organizational practices, and communicate with...

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New Existentialists

Basis for Belief

03/31/2014
Basis for Belief
The world is full of partisan arguments these days. I watch them on Facebook, hear them in classrooms and hallways. Maybe people are more involved in politics than before, maybe it's just become a team sport in which only the most hardcore fans actually go out and vote for their team. But I hear this line, and it makes me wonder: I'm a _______________, so I believe ________________. I can't help thinking that the cart might be before the horse here. This statement is generally followed by something dogmatic and is sometimes hurtful or hateful. It is dogma by definition: you...

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Mind-Body Medicine

Firsts and Forgiveness in the Life of Mind-Body Medicine Doctoral Student, Deborah Gray

03/30/2014
Deborah Gray conducts workshop with Dr. Luskin on Forgiveness

 

A few weeks ago, in discussion with a friend, Saybrook School of Mind-Body Medicine doctoral student Deborah Gray found herself bemoaning the idea of aging.  She explained that she is not afraid or saddened by death but instead is grieving the loss of youth.  In the process of explaining her sadness, Deb realized what grieves her most is the loss of firsts.  “The first day of school, the first date, the first marriage, the first baby, etc.”   Deb further explained that, “As always, life has a way of challenging my beliefs.”          

Last week Deb had a wonderful opportunity to realize that her worries were for naught.  She was blessed with the opportunity for a number of new firsts; visiting Inuvik, Canada in the Arctic Circle, being a co-presenter with Dr. Fred Luskin, Director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project, tasting caribou stew, flying Canadian North Airlines (tagline, “Seriously North”).  Lastly, she got her first marriage proposal from a homeless man while visiting the local homeless shelter in Inuvik.

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

03/28/2014
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. Last week, this column discussed the start of Spring and rebirth of life in the yearly cycle. Appropriate to the season, Pamela Gwyn Kripke provides a lovely reflection on the value of a single life—that of a poisonous toad—in a column she wrote for The New York Times entitled “The Value of Life—Though Tiny and Toxic.” We can learn much from her experiences with Skip. Those of us who...

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New Existentialists

When Success Is Failure

03/27/2014
When Success Is Failure
Western thinking has done an incredible job of convoluting success. As a society, we have come to accept the idea that success is limited to those who finish first. If you did not win the gold medal, or make the most money, or have the best grades, you are not successful. In fact, as a society, we have accepted the norm that anyone who does not finish first is a loser, a failure, a dud, or maybe even a has-been. This line of thinking has invaded every aspect of our culture—education, sports, business, government, military, healthcare, and even religion. You must finish on top—...

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Rethinking Complexity

A Workplace Without Borders, Part 2

03/27/2014
A Workplace Without Borders, Part 2
Overtime people across the world have self-organized themselves in a variety of ways. There are tribes, villages, towns and cities. Then there are city-states, nation states and even empires. All have cultures, even sub-cultures that make them distinctive and give them an identity. They have borders that create separation and avenues of commerce that promote their economies. Emerging now is a global village, a complex interdependent society comprised of nations and ethnicities that span the world. It draws upon a global intercultural workplace for organizational operations and social well-...

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Rethinking Complexity

Shifting From International to Inter-Cultural Global Manager

03/27/2014
Shifting From International to Inter-Cultural Global Manager
Over the last five decades, while business contexts were evolving from national to international to transnational and now to global, workplace environments were shifting from “control-oriented” hierarchies to interactive teams to social networking ecologies. Such shifts in perspectives, accompanied by innovations in digital-based information and communication systems, have led to dramatic changes in business models, supply chain management, and marketplace dynamics. All of these developments are radically changing management approaches, how organizational operations are conducted...

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New Existentialists

Be a Force of Beauty

03/26/2014
Be a Force of Beauty
“Pretty attracts us. Beauty changes us. Be a force of beauty” --Bare Escentuals I was walking through Macy’s and saw a box with this written on it and the words arrested my attention. I paused, pondered, and snapped a photo so as not to forget the message. I started to think…what would a force of beauty look like in today’s world? Being a force of beauty is authentic. It’s powerful. It’s deep. It’s also risky. Do you think the rose blooms without some danger? Not at all. When the rose opens up, it exposes itself to the elements, and its fragile...

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New Existentialists

Tricksters in Play at the Vernal Equinox: The Art of Existential Embarrassment

03/25/2014
Tricksters in Play at the Vernal Equinox: The Art of Existential Embarrassment
Oh how I love to trick my students! Yes, you read that correctly. I take SUCH sublime delight in performing the role of playful psychopomp for them. In my Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy course, I initiate them into the elusive art of crafting authentic healing relationships in therapy, inviting, and then daring them to eschew their attachments to “empirically supported” techniques and treatments. I cajole them like the Coyote of Native American stories to descend with me into a more shadowy realm, where anxiety and suffering is embraced as transformative, where the DSM-5 and...

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New Existentialists

Does Therapy Work?

03/24/2014
Does Therapy Work?
Two days ago, I was telling my mother that I was feeling really anxious. I have always been an anxious person, since day one. I’m not even sure that one can born like that but I can tell you I certainly was. I have had a lot of “character” from the early days on. Anyway, I have been in therapy for some years now, so my mother, with serious wonder in her eyes, asked me “but shouldn’t therapy have made you less anxious by now? I mean, you have been in therapy for a really long time, does that mean everyone has to be in therapy for a decade to feel better? What...

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