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

“The way to value life, the way to feel compassion for others, the way to love anything with greatest depth is to be aware that these experiences are destined to be lost” -- Yalom, 2008 It has been three months since I returned from the Bay Area. In some ways, it still feels surreal, to be back to a place that used to be so familiar...
Photo by Dorothea Lange, 1936.
In Part One, I focused on what too much money seems to do one’s Being-in-the World—how it shifts both one’s ability to interact with others as well as make decisions. But clearly, not having enough money to satisfy one’s basic needs—such as food, housing, and transportation—is also going to have an impact. This...
Is it possible to shame the intolerant into tolerance? In diversity class back in the graduate school days, the other students and I at some point concluded the only acceptable intolerance was for the intolerant or for intolerance itself. We abdicated responsibility for listening to bigots of any stripe or for accepting that they might be good...
I was just 9½ years old that fateful day in November 1963. It was a typical November day for south Texas with the sun shining brightly and comfortable breezes blowing off the Gulf taking the edge off the warm temperatures. My class had just finished reading and was about to start science when the school principal walked into the classroom...
Over the course of the past seven months, I have been asked countless times by loved ones, friends, co-workers and strangers, “So what have you learned?” (by moving to the Bay Area). While most may be expecting some concrete answers on theories and concepts of therapy, and useful therapeutic skills or tools, I find that my answer is...
Just from the name, I would have assumed that the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry was a journal dedicated to the undoubtedly severe mental health issues of lawyers. Apparently, I’m wrong. Indeed, a recent study published in that journal showed that countries with better mental-health systems—as measured by the number of...
“Money is the root of all evil.” –The New Testament “Money… that’s what I want.” –The Beatles Money makes our world go round. You might have thought it was gravity, or the strong force, or magnetism, or some other physical principle. Wrong. Money made the government shut down. Money ends some...
A Nevada road. Photo by Frank Kovalchek.
Recently, I returned from a road trip with my four-year old son. We flew back to Iowa and then drove across country to San Francisco. Ever since I learned to drive, I have loved road trips. As I’ve become older, I realize that road trips can be quite existential, which is part of my attraction. This road trip, however, was unique. It...
Edmund Leighton's 1919 "Sweet Solitude."
Isolation vs. Relation As I began to make conscious efforts to be more present with myself and how I live my life, my heightened sense of self-awareness also led to the increased awareness of my sense of aloneness—the life anxiety that Otto Rank (cited in Yalom, 2008) warned us about. In coming to the Bay Area, I experienced first-hand,...
One of the dictates of our day is to “do your best.” We encourage children, students, athletes, and employees to do their best. We console ourselves after a loss that we “did our best.” While “doing your best” can often be honorable and true, there are many times that doing our best is not enough, and as Winston...
I am willing to admit that I live in a “bubble”—a liberal bubble. I live in an East Coast city and agree with most progressive political and social positions. Most of the people I associate with share similar views and opinions. It takes concentrated effort, therefore, to understand views diametrically opposed to my own. One...
As I immerse myself in “the work” and struggle to seek a new way of experiencing and being, I was able to appreciate the meaning of the four important paradoxical concepts of our human existence Irvin Yalom described in his book Existential Psychology (1980) from a whole new perspective. Freedom vs. Responsibility I flew many miles...