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

Photo by Debra Sweet.
I was surprised by the intensity of my emotions when I heard the news of the Zimmerman verdict earlier this evening. George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African American youth. After a highly publicized trial, he was found not guilty. As I read the news alert, I immediately responded in anger. The next several minutes my...
Lately, I have been writing a lot about despair. I know that the most immediate experiences make the best writing, and a mentor of mine some years ago said I should give up fiction writing and just write what I know. So, as I struggle with despair, trying to live it bravely rather than cast it out, it seems foolish to write about other topics. So...
Etching by Adi Holzer (1997).
The interest in theory and research pertaining to racial microaggressions is booming, yet it rarely gets mentioned in the existential literature. This, I believe, is a problem that needs to be rectified. I have written numerous articles arguing for the need for greater attention to diversity issues in existential psychology (see Hoffman, 2008;...
Recently, my husband and I enrolled in Senior Citizen’s Art Camp, sponsored by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging. It is a week-long, annual summer event offering instruction in various art forms including water color, acrylics and print making held at the Horticultural Center in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. My first thought when...
Photo by Wikimedia Foundation.
I am almost always angry nowadays. Things in the world and in our country are going so wrong, I can’t see how any caring person can stay calm and sane. Politics in particular troubles me deeply, as a system manipulated to keep the worst people in power daily produces existential threats to our very species and mocks the people who point to...
Photo by George Serdechny.
It is very common to hear strong criticisms of the teaching profession for what is perceived of as “lax schedules,” including having summers off. I admit, prior to entering the profession, I would be one to share these criticisms. However, after teaching for more than 10 years, I would happily invite these critics to shadow a teacher...
The recent publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has brought several new disorders into the public consciousness while eliminating some old ones. As just two examples, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation disorder is in, but Asperger’s is out. The often-overlooked irony is that when it comes to diagnostic...
Jody Stephens performing with Chris Stamey.
“More important…is that aspect of beauty that transcends death. Beauty calls up in us the qualities that go beyond death, such as eternity, serenity, the use of the imagination to project us beyond time and space….” (May, 1985, p. 70) A few weeks ago, I found myself, as I occasionally do, going through a period of...
“People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.” --Lewis...
The Devil in a 1901 Georges Méliès film.
Flipping through television stations, I caught an old Warner Brothers American history short, detailing in ten minutes the highlights of what makes America special—from the Bill of Rights to the Gettysburg Address to the sacrifices in World War One—the War that was supposed to end all wars—to the unified efforts of all Americans...
Photo by C. E. Price.
Today, June 25th of 2013, President Obama gave a televised speech about climate change. He used some language that speaks to the issue: it can’t wait, we can’t afford to take the time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society. He spoke in measured tones, as usual, loathe to show anger or communicate a real sense of urgency through tone...
Photo by Vicki Nunn.
My travels across China always spur reflections on relationships and, in particular, friendship. My most recent trip earlier in June was no different. One night, my good friend Mark Yang and I, had dinner with some friends in China. One of our colleagues from China witnessed Mark and I presenting together several times over several years. She...