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

Questions about work are ubiquitous in Western culture because in many ways we equate “work” with “self.”  We don’t ask children “who do you want to be when you grow up?” we ask them “what do you want to do when you grow up?”  Similarly, when we first meet someone we are more likely...
Our big, white Samoyed, Kenai, is as gentle as a lamb.  Children hang on her neck and pull on her tail, and she just smiles and playfully licks them.  But, let an unwelcome animal in her fenced yard and she becomes a fierce protector.  Possums, raccoons and rabbits have learned to stay away from her enclosed space. Nevertheless, one...
Partisan politics reached a new low in the summer of 2011, most notably with the horrendous goings-on surrounding the debt-ceiling crisis. And afterwards, most of pundits seemed to believe that no one really won, although John Boehner, the House Speaker, claimed he got “98 percent” of what he wanted, according to CBS News. Some felt...
Baseball is arguably the ultimate existential sport – and I have been a Mets fan from birth.  I would like to say that for me, being a Mets fan has been genetically encoded—an existential given—even though I know it is impossible having been born to a Yankees fan and a Minnesota Twins fan just a few years after the Mets came...
When pondering the dilemma of being a human being and a member of the human race in these increasingly chaotic and radically shifting times, I sometimes feel overwhelmed trying to make some kind of sense out of it all. We find ourselves filled with so much awareness and energy, alive with the potential for unimaginable creativity and...
At the risk of sounding melodramatic and extremist, I want to suggest that our culture is currently facing a crisis of epidemic proportions regarding the extent to which personal responsibility has been exiled from our identity and character. America is not, on the whole, a nation of responsible individuals; America is predominantly a nation of...
As an existentialist I have a little problem in my life right now. The search for and experience of authentic self-identity and self-actualization are core existential values; those of us who embrace this tradition care deeply about becoming and being the individual human beings who we truly are and are meant to be. “Looking within,”...
At a Town Hall event in late 2010, President Obama was asked: “Like a lot of people in my generation, I was really inspired by you and by your campaign and message that you brought, and that inspiration is dying away….I really want to know, is the American dream dead for me?” The President’s response: “Absolutely not...
One hundred and fifty years ago Soren Kierkegaard emerged as a significant critic of the developing “Great Awakening” sweeping Europe and North America.  A philosopher and theologian, Kierkegaard was deeply disturbed by the growing influence of evidence-based or ‘provable’ science over religion and culture. ...
It’s as vital as a morning cup of coffee….It’s the lifeblood of relationships. And, studies say, it’s quickly becoming extinct where we need it most. Empathy and philanthropy are becoming a thing of the past concludes a new study in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science. The culprit? Class distinctions...
Immortality
America’s obsession with health can easily be seen as a fear of death – but is also a sign that we’re forgetting how to live? The intriguing premise of an essay by English professor Mark Edmundson is that health consciousness can be the flip side of nihilism – what one does when nothing matters.  Because, Edmundson...
Baby kissing mirror
I was with my friend Denise the other day, and she was describing her experience in a yoga class.  “…I had to really focus on my feet on the ground, and aligning my body in the proper position.  I couldn’t possibly think of anything else but what I was doing in that moment…”  Then her face had a...