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

Wisdom comes from the mouth of babes. It’s so true? There are few who do not love a children’s story. Why is it so? The older we get, the more opportunity we have to accumulate knowledge. Yet, wisdom points us back full circle to our young innocent selves. Ah, perhaps too much analysis will lead me further astray. I’ll simply...
Photo by Andrew Dunn.
There are two moderately sized communities at the western edge of one of the most fertile valleys in the world. Both communities are nestled close by the ocean, enjoying the luxury of comfortable days and cool nights. Both are made up of multiple cultures and are world renowned. Less than an hour’s drive separates them by distance, yet by...
It was 2010. After graduation, I took my family to San Diego. We collectively needed the rest, the break, even though we couldn't really afford it. We had a great time, did lots of child-oriented activities, but also had some more grown-up sorts of experiences. One of these was a moment at the wildlife sanctuary. There we saw the last of a...
Richmond GMO Protest. Photo by Lorin Droppa.
In the last two years, I have noticed and become part of a trend that I hope will continue. The trend is that our community of existential-humanistic psychologists has begun to move toward social activism. We have seen the power of publically taking positions for and against psychologically relevant issues. The most well-known of these positions...
Competition is the source of growth and progress. I believe that deep down many of us know this to be true. However, in recent decades, this perspective has seemingly fallen out of cultural favor and now appears to represent a quite unpopular view. In fact, the term “competition” itself has assumed certain negative connotations,...
Guan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion.
Ronnie Laing was a Freudian to the extent that, like Freud, he was a deeply insightful and compassionate reader of people. He had the gift of unlocking the combination to the heart vault of virtually anyone and everyone with whom he came into contact. The experience of being “seen” by Ronnie was uncanny. You felt as if you were...
Photob by Evan-Amos.
According to the Binge Eating Disorder Association, “Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder in the United States. An estimated 3.5% of women, 2% of men, and 30% to 40% of those seeking weight loss treatments can be clinically diagnosed with binge eating disorder. The disorder impacts people of all ages, including...
I am a single woman who is entering midlife. I am a therapist and a poet. I am also a woman who is struggling with a drive for internal freedom, external connection, a shift in the manifestation of my masculine and feminine energies, and a strong desire to explore what my innermost being needs to be happy versus the prescriptions of happiness that...
Friedrich Nietzsche
If the future of Existential Psychology could be reduced to a bumper sticker, it might be this one: “Nietzsche Was Right.” In 1882, Nietzsche put some stunning words in the mouth of a character: God is dead, we have killed him, and the implications are staggering. Let me quote from the passage: “Is not the magnitude of this...
Photo by Jorge Barrios.
In Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, Sarah Kass writes about procrastination as a sometimes dysfunctional adaptation to deadlines. Some people work best under pressure, but procrastinators tend to live stressed-out and guilt-ridden lives. It is easier to engage with the distractions than with the things that really need doing, making it hard to...
One of the most divisive and polarizing issues in contemporary United States society is marriage equality. Kirk Schneider’s new book, The Polarized Mind, aptly demonstrates why we should be very concerned about this not only because of the importance of the issue, but also because of the dangers inherent in polarization. Schneider (2013)...
In my continuing quest to understand work habits and productivity from an existential perspective, an article from The New York Times really caught my eye—it detailed a study on what impact distractions have on our cognitive abilities. First, let me define distraction—21st century life. Phone calls, text messages, email, Twitter,...