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

Beaver Stadium at Penn State University
Living in Philadelphia in recent months, I have been listening to news about two scandals—one involving a Monsignor of the Catholic Church accused of covering up sexual abuse committed by a priest, and the scandal that broke last Fall involving a football coach at Penn State University accused of molesting young boys. Both trials occurred during...
Photo by Sasha Wolff
Clients often come to therapy looking for relief from symptoms, armed with talking points from pharmaceutical advertisements (depression is a serious medical condition, I’m taking anti-depressants but I still feel sad, depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and I need to correct it). Sometimes, however, they arrive with a...
Tim Kreider’s (2012) recent article in The New York Times’s Opinionator section entitled “The Busy Trap” really struck a chord with me. Not so much because I am juggling a lot of different projects at the moment, but rather because I heard the voices of so many people with whom I come into contact these days. I have come to truly despise the...
The word “community,” and the phrases “building community” or “creating community” are constantly bandied about in our 21st century Western life, but this “community” often feels very different from our forebearers’ notion. In the past, and even now, in some places, community existed within the clearly defined boundaries of physical or...
An object seen from a distance reveals only its principle. --Frank Herbert Beauty is truth and truth beauty. --John Keats I've been asking people to try to embody beauty. That is, when you experience something as beautiful how do you feel? What is that like? This is part of my accelerating quest to encounter the world as a human. Too often I feel...
Photo by Russell Bernice
If you live in New York City, pay attention to New York City news, or even watch, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart you may have heard about Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to make the selling of large size (more than 16 ounce) sugary beverages illegal, and subject to a $200 fine. As Jon Stewart has pointed out on the air, this would be twice as...
Many veterans and soldiers of combat (around the world) become lost into traumatic experience, never fully returning to what may have been former selves, ways of being, and ultimately, a lost sense of meaning and relatedness. Finding no sense of meaning after having to see comrades die, killing another human being, or even being continually “on...
Photo from US Army, 1945
Paul Fussell, professor, literary scholar, expert on the First and Second World Wars, social historian, and a critic of popular culture, died on May 23rd at age 88. Words frequently used to describe Paul are curmudgeon and stingingly opinionated—I would agree with these words. Paul was not a person who “suffered fools gladly”—or at least those...
With the exception of baseball, there is perhaps nothing more Americana then the Garage Sale. Only along the tree-lined streets of suburban America will you find garage doors open early on a Saturday morning unveiling a trove of stuff (Thank you, George Carlin!) deemed both worthless and valuable at the same moment. As the urban treasure hunters...
E. O. Wilson
The motto of western science may be: to freedom and back again. In his magisterial examination of Western culture, historian Jacques Barzun suggests that what makes the West “the West” is that for 500 years (from approximately the Renaissance to the present) a group of related cultures came together on a joint project that led to the...
Participants in ICEP 2012. (click photo to enlarge)
The Second International Conference on Existential Psychology (ICEP), at Fudan University in Shanghai, China from May 24-27, 2012, was once again a great success as gauged by the number of people in attendance and the enthusiasm of the conference. The interest in the conference quickly outgrew the venue, which could only hold 300 people in the...
Shenzhen, China. Photo by Rüdiger Meier
I am just returning from the tour that surrounds the International Conference on Existential Psychology in China. We began our visit this year in Shanghai. Most went home from there, with some moving on through other cities. I did some training in Wuhan for pastoral counselors and met up with the rest of the travelers in Shenzhen; we went through...