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 Hans Hillewaert.
Each day, most of us awake to a cacophony of internal and external commotion. Thoughts race in our heads with a list of activities to be accomplished by day’s end, partnered by an acute awareness of the limits of time. Confronted by breaking news from breathless reporters, the pinging of urgent text messages, and claims of those with whom we...
As I gaze at the multicolored carpet in my office, I think about my last client and a pattern clearly forms. My emotions are strewn about the floor like the torn down Jenga pieces, and my heart is full of appreciation for these moments. Maybe this is a revelation that all budding therapists come to? I am coming to realize that the majority of my...
Photo by David Shankbone.
I think that an undeniable truth about our human condition is that it is essentially characterized by a profound difficulty with waiting. While to some extent, this may certainly be more of an American cultural phenomenon, it does seem to legitimately apply to human nature in general. I’m sure that most of us are quite aware of this...
As a child and a young man, I spent much of my spare time in swimming pools. At the age of nine, a neighbor helped me overcome my fear of the deep end by putting floaty bands on my arms and tossing me into the deep end of the high-school swimming pool. After that, I was fearless in the water, taking the high dive, exploring the floor of every pool...
Editors' Note: This series is dedicated to memory of Dr. Eugene Taylor, a founding member of the New Existentialists, whose inspiration and superior scholarship will serve as a beacon for current and future existential psychologists. Existential psychology is experiencing a resurgence in recent years, as marked by numerous new publications (...
I love books. I learned to read when I was very young and was reading at a post-high school level by third grade. The librarian in my hometown often called my parents to inquire whether they approved of my book choices before she allowed me to check them out as many of them were very advanced for a young child. Books were my sanctuary and in many...
I have decided that the word normal ought to be removed from the dictionary; or perhaps the definition changed or clarified. Being normal, I have concluded, is an existential hazard. It is a soul-killer. So who makes the rules of normality? And why are they held as fundamental truths? The consideration of normality is contextual; what is thought...
Photo by Ray Nata.
The final scene of the film Flight takes place in a prison yard around a picnic table. Will has come to visit his father, Captain “Whip” Whitaker. The Captain is thrilled that his son is visiting and greets him enthusiastically, after some small talk the following exchange takes place: WILL:    My college counselor...
A sometimes inflammatory comment, especially when we get specific with it. If everything is imaginary, then God is imaginary, you and I are imaginary, the truth is imaginary. I sometimes toss out these sorts of comments to be provocative and then act surprised when people are provoked. A recent discussion about whether rights are real induces and...
Photo by New York World-Telegram.
Our calendar has brought us to an unusual place whereby we observe three significant moments of American history at the same time. We celebrate the second inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States, we remember the life the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and we mark the 40th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court...
Photo by Jim Champion.
I’m sitting here, finding myself in a mid-January slump. The afterglow of a sun-filled, balmy-aired vacation a distant memory, the promise of the New Year slipping away into the overbearing grey Seattle cover. Why? Who knows? I’m feeling cynical of any effort to find meaning and purpose right now. Somehow, I thought I would be immune...
Many of our humanistic psychologists in academia are working in departments where they are the only person holding these values. At times, the myriad of other faculty may seem to be hostile toward the humanistic paradigm and surviving seems more important than thriving. This interview—and hopefully others to follow—acknowledges a...