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 Gamesingear.
"There is nothing which requires such gentle handling as an illusion." --Søren Kierkegaard I have been raised to believe in honesty, that we don’t cheat—ever—and that our word, when given, is binding. These values are very strong family values that I wish to instill in my own children. However, lately, I have been wondering if those values are a...
Occupy Wall Street. Photo by David Shankbone.
At the 2012 Existential-Humanistic Institute Conference, John Galvin presented on the topic of “Existential Activism.” It was a wonderful presentation that led to many interesting thoughts and discussions. Although I have long aspired to being socially responsible, I never considered myself an activist prior to a colleague referring to me as one....
Winter Solstice. Photo by David Wright.
The encroaching darkness this time of year is a stark reminder of my existential predicament. When I finally realized that the light was severely lacking, I was forced to accept that I was again in a shallow relationship with the sun. I prefer deep relationships, so this always disappoints me. No, it depresses me. Because I am no stranger to...
I’m sure we are all familiar with what I assume is the most frequently asked question in a first encounter or meeting with another person: “So, what do you do?” I cannot be the only one who is intrigued by this very common phenomenon. In terms of cultural commentary, I wonder what this says about our American society. What does this question mean...
Albius Tibullus (c. 54-19 BCE)
“Before one’s individual ability-to-be, there goes an unshakable joy in this possibility.” -– Martin Heidegger, Being and Time While I do not feel very celebratory about the colonization of American by the West, and the violent displacement of Native Americans, I think a holiday dedicated to gratitude is not such a bad idea in itself. In today’s...
"Narcissus." Photo by Adi Ness (2000).
I spoke with a fellow psychotherapist this weekend at the Sixth Annual Conference for the Existential Humanistic Institute in San Francisco about a topic that seems to be presenting itself to me in many circles. It is a topic that I have been motivated to explore because of personal experiences I've encountered, as well as academically and...
I was recently conducting a workshop in Singapore, and an earnest student asked, “You talked a lot about the healing power of companionship, but how exactly does that help when it comes to pain and suffering?” I’ve accepted the “truth” that companionship is a powerful antidote for existence pain and suffering, but it’s been a while since I’ve...
I used to hang around Goth clubs. I would paint my face white, wear a frilly shirt, the whole Goth bit. At this time, even though I was a young man, the people in the clubs were mostly younger than me, and the scene was transitioning from Vampire Goths (people who dressed with imagined old-world elegance) to Indy Goth (people who still liked to...
Existential philosophy, and by extension, existential psychology, puts a tremendous emphasis on the interrelatedness of human beings. None of us operates in a vacuum. What we do, or do not do, has consequences on the world around us. None of this is news. Earlier this week, I attended a Café Columbia evening, which is where members of the faculty...
It is that time of year again when I am reminded of my brief service in the U.S. military. For four years, I worked in satellite operations for the Air Force. It doesn't happen often, but people sometimes people insist on including me in their statements of Veterans Day gratitude. I don't feel terribly deserving of any gratitude. Like most people...
The 1763 John Baskerville Bible.
A friend commented last night that the whole country is going to Hell because Mr. Obama won the general election, and we voted for a lesbian senator. "Hell" here is capitalized because this friend meant it literally. We are not living Biblically and are therefore Hell-bound. I wanted to retort angrily. Oh, so many angry retorts on the tip of my...
Photo by Mark Wolfe.
I hate standing on lines. There are very few things for which I will actually wait. Years back, I waited on line in book store to meet Jimmy Stewart, that great icon of American cinema. I wait on line to get a good seat for my bus trips. I once waited on line for 60 hours for U2 tickets but that experience spoiled the show. The band could never...