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

While a human being’s life certainly involves an extensive range of essential, defining characteristics, it seems to me that, without oversimplifying such a complex question, it is most significantly characterized by two processes that are distinct yet inseparable—the search for personal identity and the development of meaningful relationships...
Lava on the Big Island. Photo by Atelier Joly.
“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” -- William Shakespeare As the pilot gently lifted the plane into the dirty white sky settling over the island’s western coast, I put my head back, closed my eyes, and reflected on the past six days. They were days of triumph and tragedy, of beauty and banality, of chaos and calm, of dreams and...
Crowds cheering Osama bin Laden's death.
We are a Christian nation. We say it; we believe it; we don’t think that much more about it. And all our un-Christ-like thoughts and impulses are denied, becoming daimonic. Stephen Diamond (1996) posited that thoughts and feelings left untended can grow to dominate the personality. The angry person who denies their anger stops noticing they are...
Edmund Husserl
My most recent post was a short discussion of what “the natural attitude” means in Husserl’s phenomenology. As I mentioned, the natural attitude is the perspective of everyday life. For Husserl, the process he calls the phenomenological reduction is the means by which the phenomenologist frees himself from the reifications of the natural attitude...
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. Photo by Steve Jurvetson.
Where does inspiration come from? Sometimes I find myself trolling through books and articles, looking for a line or a thought that inspires me to action, whether that action is writing or performing a difficult task or simply getting up in the morning. But it is rare that in the act of actively “looking” for inspiration through words that I...
Unless you have been living under a rock during the last two weeks or live in a country that does not find U.S. news an addictively bad soap opera, you are well-aware of the political battle regarding “facts” and “truth.” In a New York Times op-ed piece last week, Charles Blow said, “Honesty is a lost art. Facts are for losers. The truth is dead....
It was a Tuesday afternoon, the kind of perfect, rare Michigan weather that makes you happy to be alive and experiencing the world. An avid horsewoman, I could think of no better way to spend the day then with my family and my horses. I set out with three family members on a ride through the trails adjacent to our barn. I remember looking down at...
I don’t vote. I don’t vote, because I think the system is evolving, and the only way for it to evolve into something good and worthwhile is for people to keep making mistakes. We have to repeat painful errors enough times until we decide to change the system. Meanwhile, we have to continue to live with the consequences of not changing the system...
Your old road is rapidly agin' Please get out of the new one If you can't lend your hand ─Bob Dylan I’m interested in the thematic connection between two exciting and important movements in existential-humanistic psychology today: the youth movement (Bargdill, 2011) and the move toward diversity (Hoffman, Yang, Kaklauskas, & Chan, 2009).*...
I have always defined myself as an existentialist. As a parent, this meant I was responsible for providing opportunities for my children so they could develop into unique individuals. I watched as they created their respective identities through the authentic (fortunately, more authentic than inauthentic) choices they made. It was easy to see my...
走前面的人走过的路! I took the road less traveled, and it made all the difference. - Robert Frost At the 2nd International Conference on Existential Psychology held in Shanghai in May, Xuefu Wang presented a keynote address on Lu Xun and the Iron House, providing a quick glimpse into an indigenous Chinese model of existential psychology and psychotherapy...
Edmund Husserl
From a phenomenological perspective, in everyday life, we see the objects of our experience such as physical objects, other people, and even ideas, as simply real and straightforwardly existent. In other words, they are “just there.” We don’t question their existence: we view them as facts. When we leave our house in the morning, we take the...