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

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...
Every semester, when I teach Introduction to Psychology, I ask my students to apply what they have learned in the chapter on memory by writing about a flashbulb memory. A flashbulb memory is a vivid, detailed personal memory that an individual perceives as highly accurate. The usual examples given are memories of where a person was and what you...
Photo by Edith Schreurs.
Dedicated to the Amazing Healers at Harborview Medical Center, Seattle WA There was a moment in the ER that I’ll never forget. My mother had just been transported from the island she lives on near Seattle to the major trauma hospital downtown. My sister was visiting from Los Angeles and had gone whale watching with my mother that afternoon...
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor in Germany during the rise of Adolf Hitler and World War II. Throughout his career as a professor and parish pastor, Bonhoeffer opposed Hitler’s rule, and especially Hitler’s Aryan policies. Bonhoeffer was vocal in his opposition to Hitler, participated in underground efforts to smuggle Jews...
The role that technology has in the world is arguably the most important question we can ask. In what follows, I want to think through with you Martin Heidegger’s conception of technology in order to see if it can apply to the hyper-technologized world of today. I suggest that the work of Donna Haraway might be a useful supplement to the...
For those of you who haven’t read this recent story in The New York Times,  I highly recommend it. It is essentially a woman’s (Linda Logan’s) rich and moving autobiographical account of her struggle with “bipolar disorder.” The main message that I imagine most people will take away from this story is that the...
R. D. Laing and Andrew Feldmár in 1982.
Years ago, R. D. Laing and I were sitting on a beach of Cortes Island, immersed in conversation, when a man approached us. He had just emerged from the sea, huffing and puffing and wet. He greeted us, and after some small talk, he commented on how hot we must be and said, “You should go in for a swim!” Laing’s face immediately...
Photo by Ralph Hirschberger.
Can despair save us? Rollo May’s breakthrough work was a book about anxiety. This work was the first time a psychologist wrote positively about anxiety for an American audience. The Meaning of Anxiety (May, 1950) made a big splash in small circles. Both before and since, though, Americans have largely viewed anxiety as something needing...
Schneider, Rubin, Lichtanski, and Hoffman.
A few Sundays ago, I attended a protest at the American Psychiatric Association Convention in San Francisco with my Saybrook colleagues, Kirk Schneider, Kristopher Lichtanski, and Shawn Rubin. We attended because of our concerns about Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) due to be published next month. Despite numerous...
Palpable existentialism, also called Experiential-Existential Therapy (Madison & Gendlin, 2011), crosses Eugene Gendlin’s “Philosophy of the Implicit” and its Focusing practice with the spirit and basic tenets of the British School of Existential-phenomenological psychotherapy. Among other emphases, it encourages us to make...
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...