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

Several years ago I was teaching at a university in Colorado and a small group of us were working to fan the fire of interest in existential psychology with some success. Each year, we brought Kirk Schneider to co-teach a seminar on existential psychology. Mark Yang began joining us from China, often with some Chinese colleagues. I fondly remember...
Photo by Richard Bargdill.
In one of psychology classes I teach, we were talking about experiences of the sacred. Only about half the students, through a show of hands, would admit publicly to having had such an experience. We decided, as class, to write a reflection on what people had experienced, and at least, called the sacred. Then we would see if we could find some...
Photo by George Serdechny.
It is very common to hear strong criticisms of the teaching profession for what is perceived of as “lax schedules,” including having summers off. I admit, prior to entering the profession, I would be one to share these criticisms. However, after teaching for more than 10 years, I would happily invite these critics to shadow a teacher...
Every semester, when I teach Introduction to Psychology, I ask my students to apply what they have learned in the chapter on memory by writing about a flashbulb memory. A flashbulb memory is a vivid, detailed personal memory that an individual perceives as highly accurate. The usual examples given are memories of where a person was and what you...
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....
Photo by Graham Horn.
When confronted with the invitation to share some thoughts about the future of existential psychology, the first question that came into mind was whether existential-phenomenological psychology (as I prefer to call it) is in fact constituted and well-established as a science, with an outlined object of study, research methodologies and with...
When I think back to my college education, I consider it a small wonder that I ever found my way to existential psychology. My undergraduate psychology department as a whole was hostile to the threat of philosophy encroaching upon their discipline. One professor even announced to my cohort that psychologists do what philosophers merely think about...
Conference attendees at the poster session.
The Division 32/Society for Humanistic Psychology Conference at Pacifica Graduate Institute at the end of February reminded me of a conference catch phrase from the previous conference in Pittsburgh in 2012. A talk on community concluded with the idea that humanistic psychology seems to have all the right ingredients that can lead individuals to a...
Interviewing the Students of Dr. Wertz Richard Bargdill was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview three graduate students working with Dr. Wertz at Fordham University in New York. Sarah Kamens, Rachel Levine, and Miraj Desai were all interviewed at the very raucous Division 32 Hospitality Suite at the APA conference. Realizing...
Last Wednesday, I received a text from a dear friend, Sarah Kass, informing me of the passing of Dr. Eugene Taylor. I'd called her after my last session and she was in the bar toasting Eugene with a Dos Equis. The meaning immediately hit me. "Ah yes! Eugene really was the most interesting man alive." We both chuckled in an odd,...
Many of our humanistic psychologists in academia are working in departments where they are the only person holding these values. At times, the myriad of other faculty may seem to be hostile toward the humanistic paradigm and surviving seems more important than thriving. This interview—and hopefully others to follow—acknowledges a...
My father, Clarence Hoffman, grew up the fifth child in family of eight in rural South Dakota. He went to college to become an agriculture teacher who sold insurance on the side. One of his friends once told me that at one point he debated between going back to school to become a minister or going into insurance. He decided he could more...