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 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...
Photo by Andrés Nieto Porras.
It is not uncommon for a person in distress to decide that he would like some help with what’s ailing him: a certain malaise, a certain sort of sadness, and a certain inability or unwillingness to go on. In his search for help, he might turn to spiritual and religious practices, to traditional psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, to...
Madonna with Donor and St Mary Magdalene.
Women and sexual behavior is a topic that greatly fascinates many in our society. In the last 50 years, we have been witnessing an ongoing sexual revolution for women. Women have increasingly rejected the roles that have been cast on them by society and have taken a much more liberated stance to their sexuality. In the 80's, Madonna shocked...
As existential practitioners, most of us are probably in favor of more direct, face-to-face relating and interactions than modern technology encourages. I can’t imagine that there are many existential practitioners who would prefer a room full of people all texting other people to a room full of people actually engaging in meaningful...
A view of downtown Singapore.
A brief introduction about myself I am a social worker from Singapore—a young one. My career in this field is barely five years old. Prior to my current work as a school guidance counselor, I have previously worked in community-based family services and mental health services. The mental health services field in Singapore In Singapore,...
Photo by David Hiser.
As a new mother, I have been reflecting upon my current existence and how thoroughly it has shifted from just days before my baby girl was born. In the first instant that I held her, I understood everything my parents had ever done, out of their own combined neuroses to protect me or keep my innocence for a moment longer. It was the most intense...
Rollo May, in explicating the old-world existentialists that inspired him, wrote about the three worlds in which we find ourselves. When we encounter clients in therapy, we can encounter them in any of these three worlds. The first is the Umwelt. This is the world of objects, the physical space full of labels and concrete. This is where we find...
Mile 21 of the New York City Marathon.
In discovering self-consciousness, Descartes proclaimed “I think, therefore I am.” To explain the experience of self-consciousness in such a manner presupposes that the mind and body are separate. This however, remains to be seen and is a constant debate within philosophical circles. Are the mind and body separate and does the...