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

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...
I sat with two girlfriends chatting in a hotel lobby bar and as the conversation tends to, we soon began talking about life and the trials we each have faced. My friend, who is a cancer survivor and whose mother is also a cancer survivor, mentioned that she sees being a survivor as an event, similar to a wedding date or a graduation. We each...
Photo by Sean O'Flaherty.
I was sitting in an Alanon Step meeting last week, working on step #3: “We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” I was listening to the stories of people in crisis, or people who were impacted by the crisis of those they loved dearly. I was observing the intimacy involved in...
Photo by Cory Doctorow.
There has been a lot of talk about gun violence and gun control. Conversations we need to have as a nation, desperately need to have. America’s Shadow—one of its shadows, at least—is a dangerous one: an armed one, a xenophobic and paranoid Shadow that threatens us all. In this conversation as in any, people readily choose up...
In Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Madeleine Elster (played by Kim Novak), possessed by the ghost of her ancestor Carlotta, notices a cutting of a redwood tree in the Muir Woods National Monuments in northern California, noting centuries of history marked by the rings of a great redwood. “Here I was born, and there I died,” pointing...
The lived experience of having someone die in your presence can have personally impact. I had the occasion to listen to the account of a paramedic’s experience with having a patient literally die in his arms. I was able to offer an existential perspective to him, drawing the on the works of Rollo May’s The Meaning of Anxiety and Ernest...