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

When you think about sensuality, what comes to mind? Sexuality? Touching other people? Attraction? Women slurping noodles with abandon, or men smelling like old spice? Sensuality is a way of being in contact. When we are in touch with our senses, it usually involves the impact of something external. If we smell a hyacinth, we are moved by...
Photo by Andrés Nieto Porras.
It is not uncommon for a person in distress to decide that he would like some help with what’s ailing him: a certain malaise, a certain sort of sadness, and a certain inability or unwillingness to go on. In his search for help, he might turn to spiritual and religious practices, to traditional psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, to...
Madonna with Donor and St Mary Magdalene.
Women and sexual behavior is a topic that greatly fascinates many in our society. In the last 50 years, we have been witnessing an ongoing sexual revolution for women. Women have increasingly rejected the roles that have been cast on them by society and have taken a much more liberated stance to their sexuality. In the 80's, Madonna shocked...
Photo by New York World-Telegram and the Sun.
Paul Ricoeur famously identified Nietzsche, Marx, and Freud as the “masters of suspicion.” They saw what most held sacred, and looked for the man behind the curtain. But there are other ways to disclose the man behind the curtain, and perhaps better ways—such as through a hermeneutics of love. Love is a way to be with a person...
As existential practitioners, most of us are probably in favor of more direct, face-to-face relating and interactions than modern technology encourages. I can’t imagine that there are many existential practitioners who would prefer a room full of people all texting other people to a room full of people actually engaging in meaningful...
A view of downtown Singapore.
A brief introduction about myself I am a social worker from Singapore—a young one. My career in this field is barely five years old. Prior to my current work as a school guidance counselor, I have previously worked in community-based family services and mental health services. The mental health services field in Singapore In Singapore,...
Photo by David Hiser.
As a new mother, I have been reflecting upon my current existence and how thoroughly it has shifted from just days before my baby girl was born. In the first instant that I held her, I understood everything my parents had ever done, out of their own combined neuroses to protect me or keep my innocence for a moment longer. It was the most intense...
Rollo May, in explicating the old-world existentialists that inspired him, wrote about the three worlds in which we find ourselves. When we encounter clients in therapy, we can encounter them in any of these three worlds. The first is the Umwelt. This is the world of objects, the physical space full of labels and concrete. This is where we find...
Mile 21 of the New York City Marathon.
In discovering self-consciousness, Descartes proclaimed “I think, therefore I am.” To explain the experience of self-consciousness in such a manner presupposes that the mind and body are separate. This however, remains to be seen and is a constant debate within philosophical circles. Are the mind and body separate and does the...
Conference participants at Pacifica.
The Society for Humanistic Psychology is convening this weekend at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. Hundreds of people are gathering to learn about the latest research, share their findings, reconnect with old friends, and make new connections. As with many conferences, there will be a buzz generated, excitement will flow, and for...
Even though the explanations about anxiety in the DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000) detail concrete variables related to symptomatic characteristics, such as psychophysiological symptoms, aversive environmental determinants, problematic or dysfunctional behaviors, irrational reactions, all of those explanations omit the intentions/purposes, meaning, and...
Photo by Bundesarchiv.
A friend tells the story of a young man and woman who have fallen deeply in love. Several times a day they send each other emails and text messages, and in the evenings they spend hours on the phone sharing with one another their deep, abiding, and undying love for one another. Over and over again, they reassure each another they will always be...