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

Lately, I’ve been tossing around the idea of Existential Parenting—that is, parenting from an existential philosophical base that, ideally, will instill a sense of existentialism in children as they grow. It is my belief that children who are raised in such a way will be better prepared for the challenges and joys of living as they are...
Photo by Adam Jones adamjones.freeservers.com.
The way we creatively embody and express the traditions we inherit, whether philosophical or psychological, is inevitably shaped by our own history, background, and values. In my case, before I began my study of phenomenology, I had already worked as a teacher and counselor. I’ve been a teacher of one kind or another since I was a teenager...
Every act of creation is also an act of destruction. The creation of something new and different, something that has not yet been, demands the destruction of the old and the typical, what is now and what has come before. The presence of destruction is at the core of the creative process itself. Our most serious difficulties with being creative as...
Line drawing by Pearson Scott Foresman.
Six years ago I was in a taxi with my father in Istanbul, Turkey driving to a cemetery. During the two previous trips I had taken to Turkey with him, I did not accompany him on this part of the journey. He would go, and my sister and I would continue our sightseeing or family visits for a few hours without him. We never knew about this pilgrimage...
We find ourselves in very interesting times with regard to our understanding of mental health. We find ever more heated, passionate, and polarized discussions taking place with regard to the so called mental disorders—how or even whether to try to classify them, which factors are generally helpful in recovery vs. which factors are generally...
US Navy photo circa 1962.
As long as we focus on symptoms, we’ll lose the battle to fight extremism and polarization—and not just with deranged gunmen, radicalized bombers, or overzealous vigilantes. We’ll lose the battle with rabid ideologues, shameless executives, and bullheaded politicians; with merciless drug lobbyists and myopic corporate polluters....
My last entry for this site asked the question, “What is liberty?” Previously, I had posited this question to my Facebook friends, as well as my professional peers, and received only one response. The lack of response to my question as well as recent local and national events caused me to wonder whether we, as a society, as communities...
Several writers have presented exciting new ideas for classifying and diagnosing human problems. Peter Kinderman, for instance, has proposed a “problem list and formulation” approach in which clinicians list however many presenting problems a client brings to session. Jeffrey Rubin has put forward ideas for a “Classification and...
Carpenter's (1857) The Eldest Son of the King of Delhi.
As I write this, it has been 12-years since I obtained my PhD in clinical psychology. In many ways, I feel quite proud of what I have accomplished; in other ways I struggle with the existential guilt associated with the privilege that allowed for that success. I write this as I near the end of my term as president of the Society for Humanistic...
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...
The country is abuzz with opinions about the Zimmerman/Martin case at this moment. At the risk of igniting a flame war, I can't help thinking it is a bit of a distraction from larger issues—the racism endemic to our system of government is far bigger than one case in Florida, and our increasingly imminent suffering and death caused by...
What is liberty? Stop for a moment and reflect on what words, images, pictures, and feelings come to mind in response to this question. Maybe you see a flag or words from a document. Maybe you see a picture of soldiers in battle or images of leaders. Maybe you hear a melody or the lines of a poem racing across your mind. What is liberty? Liberty...