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

“The eyes are the window to your soul.” Variations of this quote have been attributed to Shakespeare, Cicero, and Matthew in the New Testament. But no matter who said it first, this quote has found its way into common parlance, and has almost become a cliché, at least as far as barroom pick-up lines are concerned. But we...
1886 Eli Lilly newspaper advertisement.
In part one of this blog, I discussed the beginning of my loss of faith in research, particularly psychological research. As I noted, I began my career interested in being a researcher. I conducted a number of studies, some of which I never sought publication for because of my own loss of faith in research. In part one, I focused a good deal on...
The second statistics book I ever read was How to Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff (1954/1982). If any statistic book could be considered a classic, it should be this book. At the time, I found it amusing, but did not really take it to heart. I learned that in order to get two out of three dentists to recommend almost anything, all you had to...
British WWI Recruiting Poster, 1915.
I worked a few years at our state mental institution on a unit for people with chronic problems and especially problems of violence, escapism, and sexual predation. Most of these men were relatively low-functioning, and the longer they had been on the unit, typically the lower their level of function: years of isolation and drug treatment made...
Earlier this week, Jon Stewart interviewed Malala Yousafzai on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. For those who don’t know, Malala is a 16-year-old Pakistani girl who the Taliban shot in the head at point blank range two years ago for advocating education for girls. She has since made a full recovery, written a book entitled I Am Malala, and...
Photo by José Goulão.
The news last week was obsessed with the inability of Congress to govern the country, as demonstrated by the shutdown. Cable sources were distracted for a moment by a woman who ran some barricades and was shot to death as she exited her car on Pennsylvania Avenue. It is our fault. We are a nation increasingly obsessed with violence. Our Congress...
Two thousand years ago, Epictetus (135 C.E.), the Greek sage and philosopher, articulated very well what I gather to be one of life’s most profound—and somewhat obvious—truths. “Some things we can control, some we cannot.” To learn the difference between the two, is of great value, he says, because preoccupying...
Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt.
There is greater power and vitality in what we believe than in what we know. In a culture that places an alarmingly high value on knowledge, such a statement may sound questionable at best, or at worst merely absurd. However, consider the range of its potential implications. In general, our American ethos does seem to excessively emphasize the...
Being compassionate has not come easily for me. I was raised in a very black and white, good versus bad, right over wrong culture. In my family system, who was to blame was the major concern in disciplinary matters. Learning what God determined as right and wrong or good and bad served as the focal point of my religious training. If you did not...
Photo by Keith Allison.
Now that baseball’s regular season has ended, and the playoffs are in full swing, it is a good time to look back at the season past. In New York baseball alone, special moments abound: the utter grace and dignity of Mariano Rivera’s season, feted from ballpark to ballpark, and culminating in the momentous final pitches at Yankee...
I’ve been having an ongoing conversation with fellow healers and good friends regarding something that I find troubling about Western Culture. This conversation is about the pervasive cult of narcissism that seems to not only be a symptom of an egocentric culture, but also reinforced by education, government, corporatism, and even some...
Painting by Richard Bargdill.
One of the things I have marveled at is how many humanistic existential folks have found art to be an important part of their self-care. I understand that we are “amateur” artists, poets, painters and musicians, but I think that in itself is beautiful because we are, in a sense, truly making art for art’s sake. Or maybe even...