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 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...
Photo by Jo Fjompenissedalheibakke
If you get depressed when you turn on the radio, it could be the news – or it could be the music.  According to new research, pop music has gotten significantly sadder over the last half-century.  That’s measured in terms of tempo (it’s gotten slower), key (minor keys have come to predominate), and subject matter (...
If we accept an existential perspective, we probably also accept the premise that reality is subjective--that everything we perceive comes through the lenses of our experiences and senses, rather than as some ideal Platonic forms.   In a new essay now available to the New Existentialists' library, Daniel B. Pitchford and Jeannine A....
Hieronymus Bosch's The Ship of Fools, ca. 1494-1516
For those of you who didn’t know the month of May has been National Mental Health Month. And even if you did know about Mental Health Month, you may not know that we have been celebrating this since 1949. According to a press release from Kathleen Sibelius, Secretary for Health and Human Services: Mental Health Month was established in 1949 to...
Francesco Hayez's The Kiss (1859)
When I first read Greg Behrendt’s book “He’s Just Not That Into You,” one of the statements he made that stuck out for me (and with me) was his claim that “you are not the exception.” The logic is that men generally behave in a predictable way, and as much as we women like to make excuses, we should save ourselves the heartache and assume that if...
Photo from the Copeland Family
The most basic premise of existentialism is that we are all going to die eventually. No matter how much we may try to escape it or deny it, as Ernest Becker says, death will come for all of us. In a recent post to a Society for Humanistic Psychology list serve, David Elkins discussed some of Becker’s work, saying that in some ways, Becker paints...