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 Key Concepts

Photo by Fanny Schertzer.
Once upon a time, I remember hearing a teacher of developmental psychology say “the body is our first environment.” Indeed, it is the first place we live in and the place in which we will die. We are out body. Everything around us can change, and our bodies can also change. Still, it takes more work, and there are certainly things...
Photo by Don Scarborough.
Sometimes, I want to shout at my son. I mean, I don't want to, but I experience a powerful urge to. But he's nine, and shouting at him wouldn't be helpful. It would damage the relationship and teach bullying. When this urge arises, sometimes, I take a page out of Carl Whitaker's book: I pretend to shout, mocking the angry man,...
Courtesy Paramount Pictures.
In a recent article in The New York Times, entitled “Why Doctors Need Stories,” Peter Kramer makes the case for the use of the anecdote or vignette to fully understand a patient’s experience. Rather than relying on empirical data alone, doctors are factoring in patients’ narratives, viewing them as an important part of...
Maria Yakunchikova's "Fear" 1893-95.
Welcome to the Existential Roundup, where we bring you links to some articles currently trending that may be of interest to those in the existential-humanistic psychology community. With Hallowe’en approaching, it seems appropriate to start getting in the mood with a variety of treats, or maybe tricks, from the recent news. Recently, this...
Less than a week ago, I walked beside the hospital bed as my seven-year-old son was wheeled down the hallway to the procedure room where he would spend the next few hours. There, a catheter tube inserted through an artery in his leg would enter his heart and small pieces of tissue would be taken to test—this procedure is called a cardiac...
In the modern age, it is hard to move paper without ample doses of sex and violence. This is a world in which 50 Shades of Grey is a best-selling series—bad writing by most accounts but sufficiently titillating without being too frightening. In A Dance of Dragons, George R. R. Martin has one of his characters say it might not be possible for...
Photo by Christopher Schwarzkopf.
It was said we were in a “post-racial era” after President Obama was elected … just like it was said we were reaching a “post-racial era” when Bill Clinton was “Americas first black president.” Remember that? Seems awfully embarrassing in hindsight. It is one of the most confounding aspects of Americans...
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...
Welcome to the Existential Roundup, where we bring you links to some articles currently trending that may be of interest to those in the existential-humanistic psychology community. Lately, while dealing with a period of high stress, I have found cookies—specifically those with Dulce de Leche chips—a huge source of comfort. Thus,...
Maurice Merleau-Ponty tells us that we are Beings-in-the-World through our bodies—that it is through our sensations, perceptions, and kinesthetic senses that we can know and relate to our Self and to others. This concept is intrinsic to understanding existential psychotherapy as a mind-body practice and appreciating that relationship has to...
Rollo May asks this question: what is freedom? Freedom and Destiny is the answer at length, more like a dozen answers. It boils down to two things: what do you mean by freedom? And that which both opposes and enables destiny, its synonym and opposite. Lately, I have given up atheism as an identifier. It is not that I have turned towards belief,...
Math is not my subject. In high school, my average in math was lowest, although surprisingly, my highest average was in the sciences. I “got” physics, in spite of the math, because there, the math made sense. In the abstract, it sent my brain reeling. More than once, my mother had to call my math teachers to say that I was too sick...