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

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...
Women's march for suffrage in 1912.
The choice to be peaceful can be seen as one of arrogance. In my case, it is born of arrogance, but perhaps well-earned—sometime following my hundredth assault, it occurred to me that none of the many, many people who have ever tried to hurt me really succeeded. Bruises and a wary attitude are the only relics. I don't even have any good...
Photo by Ildar Sagdejev.
What does it mean to be free? Better people than me have taken on this question, and yet consensus is hard to come by. Freedom is far too big a word to take on in a short forum like this. Rollo May barely had space in Freedom and Destiny to make cogent his ideas on the subject, which were derived from and expanded into many other works. In the...
March on Washington, 1963.
In the 1993 action film Demolition Man, there is a scene in which the character Lenina Huxley asks the film’s hero, John Spartan, if he would like to have sex. Spartan, who has been in cold storage for decades, responds enthusiastically, but much to his surprise, discovers Lenina means virtual sex. After a few minutes of this virtual...
Dammit women! Get down! Those dirty Naps are coming! A forceful yank and then a gentle shove to the cold concrete ground startled me. The lights in the hospital room dimmed and the shades drawn. The metal-framed door slammed quickly shutting off human contact and other intruders. Shock, fear, and adrenaline racked my body. Three psych techs...
Several years ago I was teaching at a university in Colorado and a small group of us were working to fan the fire of interest in existential psychology with some success. Each year, we brought Kirk Schneider to co-teach a seminar on existential psychology. Mark Yang began joining us from China, often with some Chinese colleagues. I fondly remember...
From an 18th century Icelandic manuscript.
A few years back, during internship, I had a client who was into Jungian astrology. She insisted that she be able to run my charts before committing too much to therapy with me—wanted to know if we were compatible, if I would fit into the destiny she saw for herself in her own charts. With my supervisor's assent, I gave out the data she...
Le nozze di Figaro. Photo by Gunnar Wrobel.
In my last blog, I wrote about a beautiful moment of cinematic creation in the movie The Shawshank Redemption. Since presenting this western movie to workshop participants across Asia, I since found out that this is one of the top ten movies for male audiences in China. The movie is a cinematic classic that inspires us to move beyond...