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

Computers have never passed the Turing Test, but plucky start-ups say software is ready to replace therapists anyway. That’s according to a recent article in The Atlantic highlighting “The Digital Future of Mental Health” -  which doesn’t sound like an overhyped tech-trends piece by a documentarian pushing a movie at...
The 21st Century has seen some of the most amazing technological developments.  The birth of these many new technologies has allowed us to be connected with groups and individuals worldwide, even those we might have never met.  The light side of the new technology is that it allows for continued contact with others; friends & family...
What was your first thought when you saw this photograph?  Did you wonder, “What happened?”  Did you make certain assumptions or guesses?  This is a photograph of my face after I tripped and fell on the sidewalk in Philadelphia where I live.  I can assure you it gave me new meaning to the expression, “Falling...
Pinocchio by Enrico Mazzanti (1883)
I was talking about behavior interventions with a group of host-home providers for adults with disabilities. I was explaining how we can change behavior by ignoring the undesired behavior, and rewarding or reinforcing the desired behavior, and especially about the ethics of doing so. Even disabled people are free to choose how they will be,...
Photo from German Federal Archives.
This is the first in a series of four articles that will explore Tom Greening’s (1992) Existential Challenges and Responses. I will explore one existential challenge in each article with the intent of contextualizing that challenge to contemporary issues through a personal lens. My aim is to demonstrate that existential concerns are cross-cultural...
Léon Bazille Perrault"s "An Interesting Story"
I received the following quote from my friend, colleague, and New Existentialists contributor Tay Liren and really liked it so I thought I would share it here in my blog this month: Maybe the most important thing I can offer is the willingness to sit beside them without flinching as thoughts and feelings, however intense, tumble out. I can bear...
Some of my greatest teachers and greatest inspirations as an existential psychologist and professor have been my students. Although it has become cliché to say that teachers learn from their students, I hope to speak to this as a personal experience that comes alive beyond the cliché. When I speak of students, particular students come to mind,...
While a human being’s life certainly involves an extensive range of essential, defining characteristics, it seems to me that, without oversimplifying such a complex question, it is most significantly characterized by two processes that are distinct yet inseparable—the search for personal identity and the development of meaningful relationships...
Lava on the Big Island. Photo by Atelier Joly.
“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” -- William Shakespeare As the pilot gently lifted the plane into the dirty white sky settling over the island’s western coast, I put my head back, closed my eyes, and reflected on the past six days. They were days of triumph and tragedy, of beauty and banality, of chaos and calm, of dreams and...
Photo by Miyuki Kobayashi
After surveying the room, my father leaned over the dining table and whispered to my sister and me, “I’m the youngest one here”. Then, he started crooning that lovely song from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, “Younger Than Springtime.” We had just moved our 88-year-old father into an assisted living facility. I stayed there with him for...
Crowds cheering Osama bin Laden's death.
We are a Christian nation. We say it; we believe it; we don’t think that much more about it. And all our un-Christ-like thoughts and impulses are denied, becoming daimonic. Stephen Diamond (1996) posited that thoughts and feelings left untended can grow to dominate the personality. The angry person who denies their anger stops noticing they are...
Paulo Coelho
Existential themes permeate our society, supporting the notion that no matter how many ways we try to hide, there is no running from what it means to be human. Although our society is quick to assuage the anxiety brought on by existential awareness, the themes are there, and it is up to us as the new existentialists to tease the awareness out and...