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

Over the course of the past seven months, I have been asked countless times by loved ones, friends, co-workers and strangers, “So what have you learned?” (by moving to the Bay Area). While most may be expecting some concrete answers on theories and concepts of therapy, and useful therapeutic skills or tools, I find that my answer is...
Just from the name, I would have assumed that the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry was a journal dedicated to the undoubtedly severe mental health issues of lawyers. Apparently, I’m wrong. Indeed, a recent study published in that journal showed that countries with better mental-health systems—as measured by the number of...
“Money is the root of all evil.” –The New Testament “Money… that’s what I want.” –The Beatles Money makes our world go round. You might have thought it was gravity, or the strong force, or magnetism, or some other physical principle. Wrong. Money made the government shut down. Money ends some...
A Nevada road. Photo by Frank Kovalchek.
Recently, I returned from a road trip with my four-year old son. We flew back to Iowa and then drove across country to San Francisco. Ever since I learned to drive, I have loved road trips. As I’ve become older, I realize that road trips can be quite existential, which is part of my attraction. This road trip, however, was unique. It...
Edmund Leighton's 1919 "Sweet Solitude."
Isolation vs. Relation As I began to make conscious efforts to be more present with myself and how I live my life, my heightened sense of self-awareness also led to the increased awareness of my sense of aloneness—the life anxiety that Otto Rank (cited in Yalom, 2008) warned us about. In coming to the Bay Area, I experienced first-hand,...
One of the dictates of our day is to “do your best.” We encourage children, students, athletes, and employees to do their best. We console ourselves after a loss that we “did our best.” While “doing your best” can often be honorable and true, there are many times that doing our best is not enough, and as Winston...
I am willing to admit that I live in a “bubble”—a liberal bubble. I live in an East Coast city and agree with most progressive political and social positions. Most of the people I associate with share similar views and opinions. It takes concentrated effort, therefore, to understand views diametrically opposed to my own. One...
As I immerse myself in “the work” and struggle to seek a new way of experiencing and being, I was able to appreciate the meaning of the four important paradoxical concepts of our human existence Irvin Yalom described in his book Existential Psychology (1980) from a whole new perspective. Freedom vs. Responsibility I flew many miles...
All Saints' Day, Belgium. Photo by Wouter Hagens.
Part of my faith practice involves the celebration of All Saints Day on November 1. It is a day set aside to remember those people of faith who have died in the past year. This remembrance is a reminder of what the writer to the Hebrews called, “this great cloud of witnesses.” This great cloud of witnesses is all those people of faith...
Thomas Jefferson, by Charles Wilson Peale.
Our education system is currently in crisis. It is no secret that American children are at best average when compared to children from other countries (see, e.g., this Huffington Post article), and our adults fare very poorly on tests of math, science, history, and general knowledge. This has serious implications for our democracy. Thomas...
Jello Biafra. Photo by Catherine Andersen.
“Last call for alcohol; last call for free speech; drink up; happy hour is now enforced by law.” --"We’ve Got A Bigger Problem Now" On a drive home from a recent family reunion, my daughter and I popped in the Dead Kennedys' (1980) Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. It’s an album that for me marks an...
Photo by David Yu.
[Editor's Note: I am honored and delighted to be able to write this brief introduction to a series of blogs written by a courageous Malaysian student and her journey into her own existence. The person that I'd like to introduce to you is JoAnn Loo who I met during one of my workshops in Malaysia. Prior to our meeting, Joann had already...