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 Ethics

An illustration of the Milgram experiment.
The infamous Milgram experiments in 1960 were loosely based on the experiments in conformity of Stanley Milgram’s mentor, Professor Solomon Asch. Since that time, similar experiments have been performed, and largely validated again and again: most recently in 2005 at Eindhoven University of Technology (this time using a robot instead of a...
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...
Several years ago, when I learned of my election as President of Society for Humanistic Psychology and took on the role of President-Elect, I began to use this preparation time to reflect deeply on what it means to be a humanistic psychologist. Much of this preparation has been an exploration of the early history of the movement, and its emergence...
Photo by Dorothea Lange, 1936.
In Part One, I focused on what too much money seems to do one’s Being-in-the World—how it shifts both one’s ability to interact with others as well as make decisions. But clearly, not having enough money to satisfy one’s basic needs—such as food, housing, and transportation—is also going to have an impact. This...
“Money is the root of all evil.” –The New Testament “Money… that’s what I want.” –The Beatles Money makes our world go round. You might have thought it was gravity, or the strong force, or magnetism, or some other physical principle. Wrong. Money made the government shut down. Money ends some...
Photo by Alexander Buschorn.
As the National Institute of Mental Health jettisons the DSM-5, I find myself pondering the “science” of psychology and its relationship to existentially oriented clinical practice. One must concede psychology’s woefully dubious track record: from phrenology and Mesmerism to prejudiced intelligence testing and pathologization of...
Photo by Giovanni Dall'Orto.
Integrity is a suggestive, inarticulate word: its definition is hard to pin down. For most of my life, I’ve associated the word integrity with “character,” yet another evasive word with multiple meanings. I’ve thought of integrity as suggestive of morality, of the ability to stand up for what’s “right,” to...
Trauma represents a life altering experience. It engenders a sense of helplessness, confusion, and disorganization for those directly involved in it and for those who bear witness to it. Part of this confusion is attempting to decipher what is real and what is fantasy, what is inside and what is outside, what happened in the past and what is...
There continues to be controversy regarding the perception of unethical conduct surrounding the DSM for more than 30 years. The DSM-5, approved this past weekend for publication in May 2013, has even been highly criticized by Allan Frances, the chair of the DSM-4 committee. There has also been evidence alleging ongoing financial conflict of...
Photo by Cha già José.
It is time to go to war again against the DSM-5 panel and the new volume they have agreed to publish as is. This book will radically reshape the way clinicians have to bill insurance, codes diagnoses, and receive reimbursement. Some of the worst things did not make it into the volume—parental alienation disorder, for example, a product of divorce...
Photo by Gamesingear.
"There is nothing which requires such gentle handling as an illusion." --Søren Kierkegaard I have been raised to believe in honesty, that we don’t cheat—ever—and that our word, when given, is binding. These values are very strong family values that I wish to instill in my own children. However, lately, I have been wondering if those values are a...
Pinocchio by Enrico Mazzanti (1883)
I was talking about behavior interventions with a group of host-home providers for adults with disabilities. I was explaining how we can change behavior by ignoring the undesired behavior, and rewarding or reinforcing the desired behavior, and especially about the ethics of doing so. Even disabled people are free to choose how they will be,...