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 Case studies

This contribution is my 13th article for the New Existentialists. I have now contributed one for every lunar cycle over the past year, and I find myself in a celebratory mood as I reflect back over the past year of contributions. It is also fitting that I write this at the end of the old Celtic year, just a couple days before Samhain (Summer...
She came to the coffee store and wanted tea. It was a little odd, but she was a little odd, somewhere between crazy and eccentric. Her name, as you might have guessed from the title, was Sylvia. Jason's fourth law is the older you get, the younger everybody else looks; the corollary is that as I was young, I can't trust any assessments of...
Photo by Andrew McMillan.
Welcome to the Existential Roundup, where we bring you links to some articles currently trending that may be of interest to those in the existential-humanistic psychology community. Unfortunately, the news of the week has returned to the psychology of mass shooters in the wake of the most recent incident last weekend in Santa Barbara, CA....
Welcome to the Existential Roundup, where we bring you links to some articles currently trending that may be of interest to those in the existential-humanistic psychology community. As we note that it has been almost one year since the DSM 5 has hit the bookshelves in spite of its plethora of flaws, we can also note that the whole idea of...
Each person thinks that he has the formula for triumph over life’s limitations and knows with authority what it means to be a man….”-- Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death, p. 255 This is precisely the question right now in not one but two headline cases. One concerns 13-year-old Jahi McMath in Oakland, CA, who developed...
Painting by By Maria Raquel Cochez.
Long ago in my practice, I worked with a woman who was struggling with bulimia. She would binge and purge daily, a struggle that she didn’t want, but couldn’t see how she could stop. She was ashamed and demoralized. One day, I put some clay in front of her and asked her to show me what her bulimia looked like. She began to model the...
Photo by Nickolai Kashirin.
80 times a day, or a hundred, or more. Seemed like a million, by the end of a shift. The man with Korsakoff's syndrome repeats the same question over and over, each time forgetting whatever answer he has obtained usually within a few seconds. Can anybody tell me where I'm at and why I'm here? We try to be patient with him. Those of...
Photo by Attila Malarik.
It was some years ago, while in my late 20s, that I began therapy and an apprenticeship of sorts with an admired existential psychotherapist. I was intrigued to work with him because of his training and life-long friendship with the controversial and pioneering Scottish psychiatrist, R. D. Laing. As a student of consciousness and existential...
“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...
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...
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,...
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...