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

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,...
Carpe Diem has never been my motto. Trained as a journalist starting in the seventh grade, I somehow got it into my head that what mattered most was the immediate looming deadline. Thus, I became one of those people who worked best under deadline pressure. In college, I wrote 20-page research papers overnight on typewriters (yes, I’m dating...
Photo by Ed Schipul.
Among the varied and unending quests to comprehend the meaning of human experience and the nature of being human, broad consensus can be found as to the inevitability of suffering. Where does our suffering come from? Freud (1930) claimed that it came from three principle sources: our (fallible) bodies, the caprice and constraints of the natural...
Photo by Bert Kaufmann.
In reading the many beautiful and profound words that have graced these pages thus far during the last three months in The New Existentialists Future of Existential Psychology series, I have been struck by how many of the writers and practitioners have spoken of various aspects of existential psychology and psychotherapy, but few have looked at...
Photo by Robert E. Haraldsen.
What I am about to say is not based on Ronald Laing’s published work, but on what I have gleaned from my personal relationship with him over the course of nearly 20 years, from 1973 when I first came to know him when I moved to London to study with him at the Philadelphia Association, then subsequently after returning to California in 1980...
I have recently completed a six-day short trip back to my late grandfather's village in Shantou, China. It was a trip that began in an almost touristy way: landing at the airport, checking in, and marvelling at the comforts of the hotel, having a feast of a dinner for the price of a smaller meal back home. My extended relatives, whom I have...
If you want to run for public office, you have to be tough on crime. The people demand it, sometimes stridently. In an unsafe world, we need to feel safe. We want guns in our homes, armed guards in schools, and criminals in jail. Sometime in the 1980’s during Reagan’s administration, tough on crime seems to have become tough on...
Anne L. Francis-Okongwu
Anne and I met at the gym 18 years ago when I was fortunate enough to choose an exercise bike next to the one she was peddling. We soon became fast friends. We worked out at the gym, did volunteer work, went shopping, visited museums, talked on the phone, and enjoyed one another’s company. Most of all we shared our deep cares, concerns, and...