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

College football in Florida. Photo by Will Bostwick.
In the wake of a crisis situation, we often do not know how we are going to react—we are trained as therapists to learn to stay calm, to assess the situation, and to determine which steps to take next. However, situations arise that even cause us to question what the “correct” way to react is, or even if there is a “correct...
Edmund Husserl
I love Teo and Febbraro’s (2002) pointed observation that “Psychology’s history can be studied as a history of fads” (p. 458). Teo (1996) has written that psychologists “have tended to value meta-theoretical constructions from outside their discipline more than those from inside their disciplines,” with the...
I “discovered” existential psychology back in 2008 while a PhD student at Saybrook University. At the time, I was undergoing a crisis of meaning, or perhaps it’s more appropriate to say a “crisis of control.” I had slipped into a deep depression due to the fact that life was just not doing what I wanted it to do....
Melson Hall at the University of West Georgia.
Why can’t we all just be friends? Too simple, some might say even naïvely simple, but for me, the question contains a powerful message regarding the hope of partnership and a call for acceptance. This, in essence, is the resounding call of this piece and what is to follow. I have always felt like I have straddled two worlds. As a...
Photo by Steve Ryan.
This past weekend, the area I live in was hit pummeled with a snowstorm. The flakes were big, wet, and heavy, and quickly covered the ground and streets around my home. I was inside, warm and comfortable, and watching the snow piling up when I heard something that startled me out of my relaxed state. Outside, in the midst of this freezing, snowy...
Zuangzi’s problem of the koi Zuangzi famously argued with a friend (Hueitse) over whether we could know the mind of another being. He noticed some fish swimming in the river under the bridge they were crossing, and said the fish must be happy. His friend argued it was impossible to know how the fish felt, as he was not a fish. Zuangzi...
Jacob de Backer's Last Judgment, circa 1580.
I recently watched the film Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, with Steve Carell and Keira Knightley. Without giving it all away, Carell’s character, Dodge, is faced, as is all of humanity, with the imminent end of the world. An asteroid is on course to destroy the planet, and there are but a few weeks of life left on earth. The...
Photo by Matt Rosser.
The issue of choice and “the freedom to choose” lies at the heart of existential thought and practice. But what is usually expressed about this key theme tends to be overly optimistic and solipsistic. In addition, choice is almost always perceived as being “multi-optional.” Below, I have attempted to present an overview of...
Mass graves in Rwanda. Photo by Adam Jones.
While it is undeniable that science and technology has improved the living conditions of many, it is patently misleading to imply that, due to these developments, modernity has somehow “triumphed” over the spiritual and religious legacies of our past. And yet this is precisely the suggestion of some of the leading voices in social...
One of Alexis de Tocqueville’s primary observations of America in the mid-19th century was the primacy of rugged individualism within our culture. He believed this individualism was both our nation’s greatest strength, as well as our greatest weakness. It was his assertion this emphasis on rugged individualism would ultimately be the...
Conference attendees at the poster session.
The Division 32/Society for Humanistic Psychology Conference at Pacifica Graduate Institute at the end of February reminded me of a conference catch phrase from the previous conference in Pittsburgh in 2012. A talk on community concluded with the idea that humanistic psychology seems to have all the right ingredients that can lead individuals to a...
When you think about sensuality, what comes to mind? Sexuality? Touching other people? Attraction? Women slurping noodles with abandon, or men smelling like old spice? Sensuality is a way of being in contact. When we are in touch with our senses, it usually involves the impact of something external. If we smell a hyacinth, we are moved by...