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

The recent passing of one of the finest professors and greatest minds psychology has had the privilege of learning from has struck a chord in me beyond the sadness of his death. I first met Dr. Eugene Taylor in January 2011, my first semester at Saybrook University. I had recently had a less than desirable experience at another university, and...
Have you ever paid attention to what it is that you notice in the world? I emphasize the word “notice.” In Dialectic Behavior Therapy and Mindfulness, “notice” is a word that can substitute for “judging.” Judging is a cognitive process that often locks a person into a moral paradigm that can be limiting. Judging...
Photo by Charlotte S. H. Jensen.
The concept of agency is a thorny issue in the practice and research of psychotherapy. The issue is usually debated along the lines with determinism on one end of the continuum and unconstrained free choice on the other end. Both extremes have their limitations. As clinicians, we are often caught somewhere in the middle where an uneasy tension...
Texting while sunbathing. Photo by Ed Yourdon.
I am up at 5:00 AM on Sunday morning once again to squeeze in a few hours of work before my sons wake up. This, unfortunately, has increased in frequency for me lately. However, it likely does not seem out of the norm or unusual for most United States readers. But should it? And what are the consequences trends like this? The Erosion of Leisure...
Elizabeth LeBan. Photo by John Creveling.
As parents, grandparents, teachers, and therapists, we may find ourselves asking what the best way is to approach “existential questions” with young people? What is the best way for us to get a glimpse of the “existential dilemmas” they face in their young lives? How can we learn the thought processes they may go through in...
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...