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

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor in Germany during the rise of Adolf Hitler and World War II. Throughout his career as a professor and parish pastor, Bonhoeffer opposed Hitler’s rule, and especially Hitler’s Aryan policies. Bonhoeffer was vocal in his opposition to Hitler, participated in underground efforts to smuggle Jews...
The role that technology has in the world is arguably the most important question we can ask. In what follows, I want to think through with you Martin Heidegger’s conception of technology in order to see if it can apply to the hyper-technologized world of today. I suggest that the work of Donna Haraway might be a useful supplement to the...
For those of you who haven’t read this recent story in The New York Times,  I highly recommend it. It is essentially a woman’s (Linda Logan’s) rich and moving autobiographical account of her struggle with “bipolar disorder.” The main message that I imagine most people will take away from this story is that the...
R. D. Laing and Andrew Feldmár in 1982.
Years ago, R. D. Laing and I were sitting on a beach of Cortes Island, immersed in conversation, when a man approached us. He had just emerged from the sea, huffing and puffing and wet. He greeted us, and after some small talk, he commented on how hot we must be and said, “You should go in for a swim!” Laing’s face immediately...
Photo by Ralph Hirschberger.
Can despair save us? Rollo May’s breakthrough work was a book about anxiety. This work was the first time a psychologist wrote positively about anxiety for an American audience. The Meaning of Anxiety (May, 1950) made a big splash in small circles. Both before and since, though, Americans have largely viewed anxiety as something needing...
Schneider, Rubin, Lichtanski, and Hoffman.
A few Sundays ago, I attended a protest at the American Psychiatric Association Convention in San Francisco with my Saybrook colleagues, Kirk Schneider, Kristopher Lichtanski, and Shawn Rubin. We attended because of our concerns about Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) due to be published next month. Despite numerous...
Eight years ago, I made the fateful leap from doctoral training into community mental health, jumping headfirst into a clinical internship at a hospital in one of Brooklyn’s most impoverished inner city neighborhoods. I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into at first, although I knew it would be tough, and I knew it would be real...
Wisdom comes from the mouth of babes. It’s so true? There are few who do not love a children’s story. Why is it so? The older we get, the more opportunity we have to accumulate knowledge. Yet, wisdom points us back full circle to our young innocent selves. Ah, perhaps too much analysis will lead me further astray. I’ll simply...
Photo by Andrew Dunn.
There are two moderately sized communities at the western edge of one of the most fertile valleys in the world. Both communities are nestled close by the ocean, enjoying the luxury of comfortable days and cool nights. Both are made up of multiple cultures and are world renowned. Less than an hour’s drive separates them by distance, yet by...
Photo by Alex Proimos.
Part I. The Context: Overwhelmingly Negative Reactions to Publication of DSM-5 The American Psychiatric Association just held its annual convention in San Francisco, and this is not your ordinary gathering of psychiatrists. This convention inaugurates the launching of the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,...
It was 2010. After graduation, I took my family to San Diego. We collectively needed the rest, the break, even though we couldn't really afford it. We had a great time, did lots of child-oriented activities, but also had some more grown-up sorts of experiences. One of these was a moment at the wildlife sanctuary. There we saw the last of a...
Richmond GMO Protest. Photo by Lorin Droppa.
In the last two years, I have noticed and become part of a trend that I hope will continue. The trend is that our community of existential-humanistic psychologists has begun to move toward social activism. We have seen the power of publically taking positions for and against psychologically relevant issues. The most well-known of these positions...