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

Fame is a dangerous drug. I should know. I wrote the book on it — or, rather, the book chapter. That chapter, “Ready for the Close-up: Celebrity experience and the phenomenology of fame,” describes the dead-end cycle of fame’s merry-go-round through first-hand reports of celebrity experience in the book Film and Television...
This is the story of two worlds, the one we know and another which exists only in the mind of a young airman whose life and imagination have been violently shaped by war. Any resemblance to any other world known or unknown is purely coincidental.  This introduction to Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1946 film A Matter of Life...
There is no escaping the national and global significance of the Occupy movements in New York, Oakland, and elsewhere. This is especially true for those of us who encounter Occupy events daily as witnesses or participants. Politico recently reported that since the advent of Occupy Wall Street there has been a dramatic spike in the use of the...
The other day I was having a conversation with a friend about the recent film, “The Ides Of March”. We talked about the cutthroat business of politics and the all too realistic portrayal in the story line. Loss of innocence, ego jousting and primal survival tactics were all at play. Later on in the day however, I began to see something...
A new book is promoting a new, mechanistic, theory of why we laugh.  According to the authors of  Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind Human being have a sense of humor because the mind is a computer (“our brains are Chevy engines running Maserati software”) dedicated to constantly making sense of the...
To know hope, one must know hopelessness.  The deeper the experience of hopelessness, the greater the possibility of a stronger, more significant hope.  The fullness and power of joy and optimism are rooted in one’s willingness to embrace his or her shadow.  Until we confront the nature and reality of our existence, the less...
This will be the last poem I write (please restrain your cheering) until I‘m presented with neurophysiological outcome research evidence that they make a positive difference. So far, writing them has wasted my time and reading them has kept better men from dong the world’s work. This is unethical, unscientific, and grounds for...
The “willing suspension of disbelief,” is a phrase I have always associated with movie going.  And I have been a moviegoer and a movie watcher, since I can barely remember. Like Binx Bolling, the protagonist in Walker Percy’s novel The Moviegoer, I found re-enforcement by identifying with movie characters. In fact, they...
“The blues tells a story. Every line of the blues has a meaning.” -- John Lee Hooker Very true Mr. Hooker, very true. The blues are songs of the soul in pain, but its' own singing the pain flows out easing up the spirit that is within. A recent article, “Blues and Emotional Trauma” by Dr. Robert Stolorow, author and...
A SINGLE CASE STUDY I am an anomalous surge, a bioelectromagnetic burst. Study me with EEG topographic mapping (a great advance over phrenology), ferret out my subtle energies, record the markers of my emotion, sift my positive and negative ions for signs of virtue, and measure the build-up and collapse of my electric dipoles while I indulge my...
I have been interested in Existentialism for as long as I can remember.  As a college freshman I took a course on Walt Whitman and wrote a paper on the existential ideas presented in Whitman’s poem, Song of Myself.  Before I knew it, I was knee deep in existential concepts such as authenticity, existence precedes essence, freedom,...
Amy Winehouse
She had a brilliant, lovely and desperately sad life – but that could be said about so many others who don’t live the life of a star. There is really no real way of knowing what was going on in Amy Winehouse’s heart. There is no real way of knowing what is going on in the hearts and minds of those caught in the cycle of addiction...