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

From an 18th century Icelandic manuscript.
A few years back, during internship, I had a client who was into Jungian astrology. She insisted that she be able to run my charts before committing too much to therapy with me—wanted to know if we were compatible, if I would fit into the destiny she saw for herself in her own charts. With my supervisor's assent, I gave out the data she...
My skin is a differential field day for mental health practitioners, even those who are colleagues. My history and its rocky journey are mapped erratically on my body in white keloid streams raised from the way my tears burned through my own flesh. I have a memory for each one. I embark on an emotional journey every time my fingers accidentally...
Eight years ago, I made the fateful leap from doctoral training into community mental health, jumping headfirst into a clinical internship at a hospital in one of Brooklyn’s most impoverished inner city neighborhoods. I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into at first, although I knew it would be tough, and I knew it would be real...
This is an appeal to all those psychometricians who ramble through the forest of A, B, C, D, E, All of the Above, None of the Above—all those who worship at the hem of Bloom’s Taxonomy, how can you best score the following test? It may seem strange that a Humanist/Existentialist would find an assessment from the behaviorist B. F....
Guan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion.
Ronnie Laing was a Freudian to the extent that, like Freud, he was a deeply insightful and compassionate reader of people. He had the gift of unlocking the combination to the heart vault of virtually anyone and everyone with whom he came into contact. The experience of being “seen” by Ronnie was uncanny. You felt as if you were...
Photob by Evan-Amos.
According to the Binge Eating Disorder Association, “Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder in the United States. An estimated 3.5% of women, 2% of men, and 30% to 40% of those seeking weight loss treatments can be clinically diagnosed with binge eating disorder. The disorder impacts people of all ages, including...
Have you ever paid attention to what it is that you notice in the world? I emphasize the word “notice.” In Dialectic Behavior Therapy and Mindfulness, “notice” is a word that can substitute for “judging.” Judging is a cognitive process that often locks a person into a moral paradigm that can be limiting. Judging...
As I gaze at the multicolored carpet in my office, I think about my last client and a pattern clearly forms. My emotions are strewn about the floor like the torn down Jenga pieces, and my heart is full of appreciation for these moments. Maybe this is a revelation that all budding therapists come to? I am coming to realize that the majority of my...
The lived experience of having someone die in your presence can have personally impact. I had the occasion to listen to the account of a paramedic’s experience with having a patient literally die in his arms. I was able to offer an existential perspective to him, drawing the on the works of Rollo May’s The Meaning of Anxiety and Ernest...
Photo by Georgi Kunev.
I want to share with you a most beautiful supervision session that I was privileged to be a part of courtesy of an extraordinary individual named Bruce Lee. Bruce shared with me a beautiful encounter he had with a patient he was asked to help at the oncology ward of a hospital in China. The patient was an elderly gentleman who was suffering from...
I want to share with you a beautiful story of sacrifice that is representative of the sacrifice that many endure here in Asia in order to enter into our profession. The lady shared this story in a short introduction she gave of herself during one of my workshops. Her name is Daisy. Daisy had been thinking for a while about leaving her job as a...
Photo from the Copeland Family
The most basic premise of existentialism is that we are all going to die eventually. No matter how much we may try to escape it or deny it, as Ernest Becker says, death will come for all of us. In a recent post to a Society for Humanistic Psychology list serve, David Elkins discussed some of Becker’s work, saying that in some ways, Becker paints...