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.

Categories

Posts tagged with the category Key Concepts

Photo Illustration by Craig Sunter.
A friend recently asked me for some support regarding a personal issue. I was limited with my time to give help immediately, but I wanted to offer something of value to this person. I could identify with her distress. She was faced with what seemed like the need to make an immediate decision, and yet that sense of immediate threat was likely false...
Photo by Debra Sweet.
I was surprised by the intensity of my emotions when I heard the news of the Zimmerman verdict earlier this evening. George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African American youth. After a highly publicized trial, he was found not guilty. As I read the news alert, I immediately responded in anger. The next several minutes my...
Lately, I have been writing a lot about despair. I know that the most immediate experiences make the best writing, and a mentor of mine some years ago said I should give up fiction writing and just write what I know. So, as I struggle with despair, trying to live it bravely rather than cast it out, it seems foolish to write about other topics. So...
Etching by Adi Holzer (1997).
The interest in theory and research pertaining to racial microaggressions is booming, yet it rarely gets mentioned in the existential literature. This, I believe, is a problem that needs to be rectified. I have written numerous articles arguing for the need for greater attention to diversity issues in existential psychology (see Hoffman, 2008;...
Jody Stephens performing with Chris Stamey.
“More important…is that aspect of beauty that transcends death. Beauty calls up in us the qualities that go beyond death, such as eternity, serenity, the use of the imagination to project us beyond time and space….” (May, 1985, p. 70) A few weeks ago, I found myself, as I occasionally do, going through a period of...
“People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.” --Lewis...
The Devil in a 1901 Georges Méliès film.
Flipping through television stations, I caught an old Warner Brothers American history short, detailing in ten minutes the highlights of what makes America special—from the Bill of Rights to the Gettysburg Address to the sacrifices in World War One—the War that was supposed to end all wars—to the unified efforts of all Americans...
Photo by C. E. Price.
Today, June 25th of 2013, President Obama gave a televised speech about climate change. He used some language that speaks to the issue: it can’t wait, we can’t afford to take the time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society. He spoke in measured tones, as usual, loathe to show anger or communicate a real sense of urgency through tone...
Photo by Vicki Nunn.
My travels across China always spur reflections on relationships and, in particular, friendship. My most recent trip earlier in June was no different. One night, my good friend Mark Yang and I, had dinner with some friends in China. One of our colleagues from China witnessed Mark and I presenting together several times over several years. She...
The revelation of the NSA’s PRISM surveillance program reminded me of my earlier presentation at the sixth annual Society for Humanistic Psychology conference. I presented on Lame Deer, a Lakota Sioux medicine man, whose critiques of western culture (circa 1971) and his antidotes that are very similar to those of humanistic psychology. I...
Photo by Centrale Num.
“If you just believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything.” “If you set your mind to it, there’s nothing that you can’t do.” “Nothing is impossible.” These statements sound wonderful and are deeply inspiring, and along with millions of other Americans, I long to wholeheartedly affirm them, but...
As the mother of two young children, I am much more aware of the new children’s movies that come out. Most recently, I took my kids to see The Croods, an animated film about a “cave family” facing the end of the world, as they know it. The movie is really quite good and addresses many existential themes but has one major flaw...