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

Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt.
There is greater power and vitality in what we believe than in what we know. In a culture that places an alarmingly high value on knowledge, such a statement may sound questionable at best, or at worst merely absurd. However, consider the range of its potential implications. In general, our American ethos does seem to excessively emphasize the...
Being compassionate has not come easily for me. I was raised in a very black and white, good versus bad, right over wrong culture. In my family system, who was to blame was the major concern in disciplinary matters. Learning what God determined as right and wrong or good and bad served as the focal point of my religious training. If you did not...
Photo by Keith Allison.
Now that baseball’s regular season has ended, and the playoffs are in full swing, it is a good time to look back at the season past. In New York baseball alone, special moments abound: the utter grace and dignity of Mariano Rivera’s season, feted from ballpark to ballpark, and culminating in the momentous final pitches at Yankee...
Photo by Jennifer Rensel.
I was an art major in college. I studied painting. I was immersed in the New York art scene, as my school was just two hours north of the city. The small, liberal arts school I attended encouraged this involvement. We were to go down and see the shows, go to openings, see what was out there. It was the New York art world of the 80’s, before...
Women's march for suffrage in 1912.
The choice to be peaceful can be seen as one of arrogance. In my case, it is born of arrogance, but perhaps well-earned—sometime following my hundredth assault, it occurred to me that none of the many, many people who have ever tried to hurt me really succeeded. Bruises and a wary attitude are the only relics. I don't even have any good...
James Audubon's Eagle and Lamb.
This past Saturday on Facebook (the social life of parents with toddlers), Jason McCarty posted a quote from James Hillman that launched into an extended discussion between Jason, Amanda Lowe, Brent Potter, and me. I won’t recap the whole discussion, but it’s worth reflecting on one aspect of the conversation where we latched onto what...
Mick Cooper’s (2003) Existential Therapies sat on my shelf for a number of years waiting for some well-deserved attention. I put off reading it knowing that it was a review of the different approaches to existential therapy, which I was already quite familiar with. Thus, I did not think I would get much from this book. In quickly searching...
Photo by Ildar Sagdejev.
What does it mean to be free? Better people than me have taken on this question, and yet consensus is hard to come by. Freedom is far too big a word to take on in a short forum like this. Rollo May barely had space in Freedom and Destiny to make cogent his ideas on the subject, which were derived from and expanded into many other works. In the...
March on Washington, 1963.
In the 1993 action film Demolition Man, there is a scene in which the character Lenina Huxley asks the film’s hero, John Spartan, if he would like to have sex. Spartan, who has been in cold storage for decades, responds enthusiastically, but much to his surprise, discovers Lenina means virtual sex. After a few minutes of this virtual...
Dammit women! Get down! Those dirty Naps are coming! A forceful yank and then a gentle shove to the cold concrete ground startled me. The lights in the hospital room dimmed and the shades drawn. The metal-framed door slammed quickly shutting off human contact and other intruders. Shock, fear, and adrenaline racked my body. Three psych techs...
Steal a Pencil for Me (The Movie), 2007
Last spring, I heard a reading of the opera Steal a Pencil for Me at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. The opera, composed by Dr. Gerald Cohen, with a libretto by Deborah Brevoort, is based on the book and memoirs, Steal a Pencil for Me, by Jack (Jaap) Polak and Ina Soep Polak. I had originally met Jack and Ina in 2004 at another...
Through the work of existential-humanistic and transpersonal psychologists Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, and Rollo May in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, the psychotherapeutic hour became a living laboratory in which the individual’s discovery of the growth-oriented, self-actualizing dimension of his or her personality was educed. Rogers, Maslow,...