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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Posts tagged with the category 21st century life

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...
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...
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...
As we head into the thick of the holiday season, we don’t have to look far or hard to pithy sayings invoking positivity and goodness, or stories with lots of happy endings. Tis shortly the season for the half full cup to runneth over. Don’t you dare rain on my parade! We Americans, especially, love a good, happy ending! Where the boy...
Photo by Jacek Nowacki.
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. From the files this week are several articles that may feel old in some ways but are actually new takes on old familiar themes. Sometimes, it is refreshing to see an...
Birdman. Michael Keaton, some other people you might have heard of. The trailers make it look really interesting, the story of a washed-up superhero who was never more than second-rate being dragged out of retirement by popular demand. That could be funny. Only that has nothing whatsoever with the movie. It's really about a washed-up actor...
So, here we are once again at that time of the year in which we are reminded to “give thanks” and celebrate our thankfulness for good fortune, blessings, and successes; perhaps, if we are courageous enough, even for our daily challenges and struggles. I wonder, however, if before we proceed with this culturally sanctioned thankfulness...
Yesterday, I received a voicemail during the day stating that the message was urgent. It was the second such message I had received in two weeks. By way of explanation, during the day (and often, during the evening) I have very little time to make phone calls unless they are scheduled like appointments. Besides not enjoying telephonic...
Photo by Leila Monaghan.
After every election, we get to see the same sort of talk from otherwise reasonable people: our side won, and therefore this is a "mandate from the people," and "our side lost, so I'm looking for another country to which to expatriate myself." This time around, we also get a stream of little ironies—like the...
Photo by Ben Schumin.
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. No matter what your political leanings are, this week has been an emotional one in the world of politics. While the actual political ramifications are yet to be seen,...