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.

Categories

Posts tagged with the category Key Concepts

Photo by Giovanni Dall'Orto.
Integrity is a suggestive, inarticulate word: its definition is hard to pin down. For most of my life, I’ve associated the word integrity with “character,” yet another evasive word with multiple meanings. I’ve thought of integrity as suggestive of morality, of the ability to stand up for what’s “right,” to...
Nostalgia seems to be a universal phenomenon. It is the feeling and sensation that lets you know that a deep cord in your heart is being struck by some cherished memories. While the question of cultural difference in approaches to nostalgia has not been explored in psychology, we can deepen our appreciation of this phenomenon by consulting poets...
A detail of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel.
Paul Tillich once said that doubt is not the opposite of faith, but, rather, certainty is the opposite of faith. This paradox of certainty and faith has created a multitude of chasms and splits among Christians over the centuries, but more so over the last 150 plus years. Since the period of enlightenment, and especially in the 19th century, the...
Junkaroo festivities in the Bahamas.
Existential and humanistic psychology has struggled in is embrace of diversity (see Hoffman, 2012, for an extended discussion of this topic). Yet, there is hope that change is coming. The first vital step was working to gain widespread acceptance that diversity is an important topic worthy of consideration in existential psychology. Increasingly...
Photo by Toby Hudson.
To marginalize is the process of relegating or confining to a lower or outer limit or edge, as of social standing. Hence, marginalization is the social process of becoming or being made marginal (especially as a group within the larger society): "the marginalization of the underclass,” "the marginalization of literature."...
When I think back to my college education, I consider it a small wonder that I ever found my way to existential psychology. My undergraduate psychology department as a whole was hostile to the threat of philosophy encroaching upon their discipline. One professor even announced to my cohort that psychologists do what philosophers merely think about...
Our government is designed to be dysfunctional. The various “checks and balances” keep any one group from having too much power, making it difficult to get anything done in Washington unless there is almost unanimous agreement from it. This is by design, to prevent tyranny. Our government is also designed to be for the people and by...
College football in Florida. Photo by Will Bostwick.
In the wake of a crisis situation, we often do not know how we are going to react—we are trained as therapists to learn to stay calm, to assess the situation, and to determine which steps to take next. However, situations arise that even cause us to question what the “correct” way to react is, or even if there is a “correct...
Edmund Husserl
I love Teo and Febbraro’s (2002) pointed observation that “Psychology’s history can be studied as a history of fads” (p. 458). Teo (1996) has written that psychologists “have tended to value meta-theoretical constructions from outside their discipline more than those from inside their disciplines,” with the...
I “discovered” existential psychology back in 2008 while a PhD student at Saybrook University. At the time, I was undergoing a crisis of meaning, or perhaps it’s more appropriate to say a “crisis of control.” I had slipped into a deep depression due to the fact that life was just not doing what I wanted it to do....
Melson Hall at the University of West Georgia.
Why can’t we all just be friends? Too simple, some might say even naïvely simple, but for me, the question contains a powerful message regarding the hope of partnership and a call for acceptance. This, in essence, is the resounding call of this piece and what is to follow. I have always felt like I have straddled two worlds. As a...
Existential psychology embraces creativity and the arts, especially as a counterbalance against the field’s current emphasis upon empiricism and science. Indeed “we express our being by creating. Creativity is a necessary sequel to being” (May, 1975, p. 8). W. H. Auden once remarked to Rollo May (1975) in private conversation:...