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 Depth Psychology

Knud Leem's 1767 copper carving of a Shaman.
Charlotte Bühler’s Theory of Development Charlotte Bühler, a pioneer in women’s adolescent psychology, emphasized the distinctions between humanistic psychology and the Freudian science that had dominated the discipline earlier in her career. She pointed out that development is synonymous with health and self-realization...
“Perhaps, as we say in America, I wanted to find myself. This is an interesting phrase, not current as far as I know in the language of any other people, which certainly does not mean what it says but betrays a nagging suspicion that something has been misplaced.” --James Baldwin (Giovanni’s Room, 1956/1984) “I am going to...
“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” My well-intentioned parents repeated this injunction so often to my sister and me throughout our childhood, presumably to discourage us from bullying other children and to encourage us to model pro-social behavior for our peers. Words certainly do deliver deep,...
Very recently, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, poet and Jungian psychoanalyst, said of the late Robin Williams, “He learned for 63 years of his life how to be ‘the fire handler.’ That is where I would praise him, for what he has managed to do for six+ decades; handle fire, while being made of parchment" (Estés, 2014)....
Sketch by Alexandru Darida.
In Images and Symbols: Studies in Religious Symbolism (1991), Mircea Eliade* focuses on the Indian symbols of time and eternity and the function of myth as an account of events that took place in the beginning. In the beginning was a primordial, non-temporal instant, or a moment of sacred or Great Time. Myth takes the person out of their own...
Janmot's Poème de l'âme (13): Rayons de soleil.
In my personal life beyond my work as a professor and a psychologist, I am blessed to be a member of two loving and healing spiritual communities that feel like a family and tribe, in a deeper sense than I could once have ever imagined. At the time of this writing, I reflect in a liminal space between events connected to both groups. I have just...
An image of the goddess Kali.
Existential-transpersonal interpretations of the midlife transition that have emerged in the literature in archetypal psychology (Achterberg, 1996; Andrews, 1993; Borysenko, 1996; Greer, 1991; Houston, 1996; Rogers, 1995) depict a non-medicalized view of a woman’s struggle through menopause; the harnessing of intentionality using personal...
“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone,” wrote Blaise Pascal. If that’s true, then what are we to make of a recent study showing that people—men especially—so hate being alone with their thoughts that they’ll shock themselves on a battery rather than spend 15...
The symbol for awen.
I write this just after the Summer Solstice, and I am on FIRE. The heat of my excitement seems to come directly from the Sun in its annual prime. Varied, multi-hued, beautiful images—recognizably concrete or mercurially abstract—are bubbling up from the deep spring of my psyche, ideas like reflected glints of light from liquid crystal...
Photo by Lululemon Athletica.
I have a quirky knack. For as long as I can remember, I have been able to pinpoint the exact center of a space or midpoint of a line. I can also space objects at equal distances from each other (when I care to do so) by simply “eyeballing” the entirety of what I am trying to accomplish. My accuracy is downright scary. My wife will be...
Photo by NASA.
What is the relationship between the mind (subjectivity), the brain (neurochemistry), and the transcognitive (myth)? In other words, when do unconscious, autopoietic biochemical functions enter the subjective world of intentional meaning and become interpreted at the symbolic or mythic level of conscious experience? Where autopoiesis approaches...
Last month, during the Society for Humanistic Psychology Conference at Sofia University, I had the honor of attending a presentation by Elizabeth Wolfson centering on creativity in midlife. Toward the beginning of her talk, Elizabeth posed the question, “What is nostalgia?” I responded with the first and truest answer that bubbled...