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 Art and Existentialism

From the 1843 edition of A Christmas Carol.
Holiday time in the United States means lots of things to lots of people, but for movie buffs (aka cinema aficionados, film snobs, and DVR space hogs) like me it means the return of the classic Christmas movies. And also the classic Christmas specials—the cartoons and Claymation rank right up there for me. Many people quickly dismiss these...
George Romero's Night of the Living Dead
The current fascination with zombies and the Zombie Apocalypse seems to clearly reflect of some of the deep-seated concerns with American culture. In his book, Horror and the Holy, Kirk Schneider suggests that monsters often represent two human extremes: constriction and expansion. Dracula embodies Hyper-constriction (deadening qualities) as he...
Photo by Els Diederen.
I recently watched an old favorite movie of mine, The Man in the Iron Mask. This film came out in 1998 and is a fictional account of some well-loved characters, the Three Musketeers. The storyline is that the King of France, Louis XIV, is a bad king, more concerned with bedding mistresses than with the welfare of his people. The Three Musketeers,...
I used to hang around Goth clubs. I would paint my face white, wear a frilly shirt, the whole Goth bit. At this time, even though I was a young man, the people in the clubs were mostly younger than me, and the scene was transitioning from Vampire Goths (people who dressed with imagined old-world elegance) to Indy Goth (people who still liked to...
Photo by David Gómez Fontanills.
In 2006, I self-published a little book on art and creativity. The book was called An Artist’s Thought Book. It contained five chapters with 60 maxims on different topics related to art: painting, poetry, music, etc. I enjoyed the process of creating the book and doing few a bookstore signings. So I’ve decided to compile another little book called...
The value of therapy can be somewhat of a mystery, even with a general consensus agreeing that it is a tool used to improve one's life and solve problems. However, to an educated clinician, the very word "therapy" is a meta-tool beneath which are many smaller concepts and methods to support any person with any given set of problems. These more...
Photo by Kurt Christensen
A long time ago, while I was working as a barista to supplement my GI Bill and thus have the ability to buy food while going to college, I got into many interesting discussions with very many wonderful, fascinating people. I met feminists, weird cultists recruiting on street corners, quantum physics students struggling to accept a reality of...
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...
Last week, I took my nine-year-old nephew to see the movie Paranorman, a film describing the adventures of young kid, often picked on by the school bullies, who is called to save the town from both zombies and a witch—actually a young girl, also an outcast, who was mistakenly burned as a witch hundreds of years earlier. The film was good enough,...
David Gilmour of Pink Floyd in the 1970s.
Some songs get taken for granted. We listen to them over and over again, feeling a vague sense of sentimentality and yet never really understanding their brilliance until we are ripe enough in our experience to finally hear them with a more evolved set of ears. I had an experience this week with my group clients that involved music. It so neatly...
50 Shades of Grey is the recent trilogy that has swept the women of the world off our collective feet and is touted as "mommy porn". Women are discussing the main character, Christian Grey, as though he were a real person, while spending hours "casting" the upcoming 50 Shades movie. According to the Los Angeles Times, 50 Shades of Grey has sold...
I am the human embodiment of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. We even have the same initials—JLS (Jacqueline Lisa Simon—before I was married). When I read about Jonathan’s life in Richard Bach’s bestselling book, I imagine how freeing it would be to have wings that can fly. I could literally pick up and go anywhere I wanted. No gas tank to fill, no...