It matters that people have a way to use the latest findings in psychology beyond buying a pill for depression. It matters that people have a way of looking at their lives that lets them ask the big questions and determine how they want to live – and that this is supported by therapists and mental health professionals.

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Last year, I was teaching a section of Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy and discussing with my students the topic of mysticism and personal experiences of the “sacred,” which I loosely define as that which is associated with authentic perception of beauty, feelings of awe, and the dawning of wordless profound wisdom that enriches our lives. Trusting that they had at least glanced at the assigned readings on Maslowian peak experiences, trance, William James, shamanism, and indigenous spiritual traditions, I asked them in class...
Illustration by Bertall.
I was trying to find a story for a friend, a Zen koan about a master slapping his student. They were walking through a field and a flock of geese rose up, and the student commented how beautiful they were. Then the master slapped him, and he experienced a moment of satori. In that moment, he said, "They were always here!" I don't...
Illustration by Ju gatsu mikka.
I did something unusual as a graduate student of psychology. While all my colleagues were studying ways that people can become miserable, I was interested in what makes people joyful and happy. When I would tell my professors or colleagues that I wanted to study joy for my dissertation, a typical response was a belittling chuckle. But within the...
Unemployed Philosophers Guild.
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. In honor of Thanksgiving, I would like to present a list of existential (and related) websites to be grateful for (and to browse instead of shopping, either in the...
Photo by Charlotte S. H. Jensen.
Those lucky enough to have jobs are spending more and more time at them—so it matters more than ever to our mental health and psychological well-being what makes people happy on the job. A recent poll asked Americans what it is that makes them happy at work, and the answers aren’t really surprising to anyone with an existential bent. A...
Photo by Abbie Rowe.
Jack Benny, one of the 20th century’s greatest comedians to come out of the radio and Vaudeville circuit, was forever telling people who asked that he was 39. Even when it was painfully clear he wasn’t. And everyone laughed at the joke every time. And having just experienced/endured/gone through for the first of many times a birthday...

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