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

Photo by Russell Bernice
If you live in New York City, pay attention to New York City news, or even watch, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart you may have heard about Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to make the selling of large size (more than 16 ounce) sugary beverages illegal, and subject to a $200 fine. As Jon Stewart has pointed out on the air, this would be twice as...
A statue of C.S. Lewis in Belfast
The end of this month marks the retirement of a man who has been a significant and influential guide in my life. For almost seven years, we worked together as a ministry team in a moderately sized congregation located in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. As I have reflected over the 35 years I have worked, my time with Randy was a time of growth in...
Nietzsche probably said it best when he declared that "he who has a why to live can bear almost any how". It helps to explain how Viktor Frankl could lose everything, including his family and life's work in a concentration camp to emerge and eventually become a highly influential psychiatrist. It helps us to understand how Nelson Mandela could...
Photograph by Andreas Tille
One major aspect that makes Existential Psychology stand out from other models of psychology is that we use a different Psychological Currency. What we value is Meaning as the great contributor toward an individual’s psychological health. Without meaning in one’s life, there is little to help the individual live with vitality. Other psychologies...
Paul Ricoeur
In addition to teaching Husserlian phenomenology, I work with a number of students whose primary interest is narrative, and in response I’ve recently turned to works by writers including Paul Ricoeur—in particular, Oneself as Another (1995)—and Donald Spence’s (1982) Narrative Truth and Historical Truth: Meaning and...
Many veterans and soldiers of combat (around the world) become lost into traumatic experience, never fully returning to what may have been former selves, ways of being, and ultimately, a lost sense of meaning and relatedness. Finding no sense of meaning after having to see comrades die, killing another human being, or even being continually “on...
With the exception of baseball, there is perhaps nothing more Americana then the Garage Sale. Only along the tree-lined streets of suburban America will you find garage doors open early on a Saturday morning unveiling a trove of stuff (Thank you, George Carlin!) deemed both worthless and valuable at the same moment. As the urban treasure hunters...
Participants in ICEP 2012. (click photo to enlarge)
The Second International Conference on Existential Psychology (ICEP), at Fudan University in Shanghai, China from May 24-27, 2012, was once again a great success as gauged by the number of people in attendance and the enthusiasm of the conference. The interest in the conference quickly outgrew the venue, which could only hold 300 people in the...
It happens so quickly. One minute, your life is going along smooth and easy and the next, you are looking around at the wreckage of what used to be your life. In an instant, your life has radically changed and you're left with a pile of rubble, trying to pick through what's left and salvage the little bit you can. Shattered. The shattering event...
Photo by Jo Fjompenissedalheibakke
If you get depressed when you turn on the radio, it could be the news – or it could be the music.  According to new research, pop music has gotten significantly sadder over the last half-century.  That’s measured in terms of tempo (it’s gotten slower), key (minor keys have come to predominate), and subject matter (...
If we accept an existential perspective, we probably also accept the premise that reality is subjective--that everything we perceive comes through the lenses of our experiences and senses, rather than as some ideal Platonic forms.   In a new essay now available to the New Existentialists' library, Daniel B. Pitchford and Jeannine A....
There are few psychotherapeutic procedures as deeply misunderstood as reflective listening. Contrary to popular opinion in psychology, reflective listening is more than a parroting back of the client’s speech. Writing of reflective listening late in his career, Carl Rogers claimed that his goal in responding to his clients was not to reflect their...