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 Existential Training

Reading Myrtle Heery’s (2014) edited anthology Unearthing the Moment: Mindful Applications of Existential-Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychotherapy reminded me why I love and am so passionately committed to these fields of study and practice. Heery and 24 other contributing authors offer penetrating insights into core aspects of existential...
Jacob Matham's (ca. 1587) engraving "Pride."
One of my least favorite parts of therapist training was a deep investigation in who I am. What motivates me, what are my weaknesses and blind spots and vulnerabilities. There isn’t room enough in a blog like this to begin to list these weaknesses, and I am certain others will tell you if you ask them in private. That said, one of the...
Lu Xun
Quick to kindle, quick to calm down, an even quick to grow decadent, men of letters [i.e., a type of scholar] can always find reasons and precedents from the classics to justify their shifts of allegiance. (Lu Xun, 1931/2003) One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil. (Nietzsche, 1892/1966) The impulse in contemporary...
Photo by Scott Sandars.
Oh how I love to trick my students! Yes, you read that correctly. I take SUCH sublime delight in performing the role of playful psychopomp for them. In my Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy course, I initiate them into the elusive art of crafting authentic healing relationships in therapy, inviting, and then daring them to eschew their...
Photo by Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center.
The most detrimental forms of microaggressions are usually delivered by well-intentioned individuals who are unaware that they have engaged in harmful conduct toward a socially devalued group. (Sue, 2010, p. 3) “Of course, I don’t mean you. You’re just like us,” my friend says. I feel my chest tighten as I hold my breath....
“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...
Illustration by Ernst Lübbert.
During the past year, The New Existentialists featured a series of articles focusing on the future of existential psychology. But key to the growth of this third force in psychology is youth. In a new essay now available to the New Existentialists' library, Shawn Rubin details the events from the HECTOR project—Humanistic Existential...
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...
Photo by David Yu.
[Editor's Note: I am honored and delighted to be able to write this brief introduction to a series of blogs written by a courageous Malaysian student and her journey into her own existence. The person that I'd like to introduce to you is JoAnn Loo who I met during one of my workshops in Malaysia. Prior to our meeting, Joann had already...
Berlinghieri's St. Francis of Assisi (1235).
“What was your experience of taking Ritalin like?” She shot back a look, somewhat surprised, almost shocked at my question. It seemed she found it incredulous that anyone would ask for HER account of her experience. And why not? Having been diagnosed multiple times by different people in different institutions, she was not unfamiliar...