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’m sure we are all familiar with what I assume is the most frequently asked question in a first encounter or meeting with another person: “So, what do you do?” I cannot be the only one who is intrigued by this very common phenomenon. In terms of cultural commentary, I wonder what this says about our American society. What does this question mean...
Photo by Els Diederen.
I recently watched an old favorite movie of mine, The Man in the Iron Mask. This film came out in 1998 and is a fictional account of some well-loved characters, the Three Musketeers. The storyline is that the King of France, Louis XIV, is a bad king, more concerned with bedding mistresses than with the welfare of his people. The Three Musketeers,...
Albius Tibullus (c. 54-19 BCE)
“Before one’s individual ability-to-be, there goes an unshakable joy in this possibility.” -– Martin Heidegger, Being and Time While I do not feel very celebratory about the colonization of American by the West, and the violent displacement of Native Americans, I think a holiday dedicated to gratitude is not such a bad idea in itself. In today’s...
"Narcissus." Photo by Adi Ness (2000).
I spoke with a fellow psychotherapist this weekend at the Sixth Annual Conference for the Existential Humanistic Institute in San Francisco about a topic that seems to be presenting itself to me in many circles. It is a topic that I have been motivated to explore because of personal experiences I've encountered, as well as academically and...
I was recently conducting a workshop in Singapore, and an earnest student asked, “You talked a lot about the healing power of companionship, but how exactly does that help when it comes to pain and suffering?” I’ve accepted the “truth” that companionship is a powerful antidote for existence pain and suffering, but it’s been a while since I’ve...
Existential philosophy, and by extension, existential psychology, puts a tremendous emphasis on the interrelatedness of human beings. None of us operates in a vacuum. What we do, or do not do, has consequences on the world around us. None of this is news. Earlier this week, I attended a Café Columbia evening, which is where members of the faculty...
Photo by David Gómez Fontanills.
In 2006, I self-published a little book on art and creativity. The book was called An Artist’s Thought Book. It contained five chapters with 60 maxims on different topics related to art: painting, poetry, music, etc. I enjoyed the process of creating the book and doing few a bookstore signings. So I’ve decided to compile another little book called...
Forgiveness has often been a recommended course of action for personal well-being, growth, and improved relationships. Forgiveness is a part of many world religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism (Domino, 2009). Many people who have been wounded have heard the well-intentioned advice to "forgive and forget," to "...
Photo by Mark Wolfe.
I hate standing on lines. There are very few things for which I will actually wait. Years back, I waited on line in book store to meet Jimmy Stewart, that great icon of American cinema. I wait on line to get a good seat for my bus trips. I once waited on line for 60 hours for U2 tickets but that experience spoiled the show. The band could never...
It was about 6am when I embarked on a training ride on a cool Sunday morning. The house was quiet, and the only sounds were mine as I filled water bottles with ice water, pumped my tires, and opened and shut the door on my way out. The air seemed crisp and clear. The crank-set of my racing bike seemed smooth and so mechanistic. I was aware that it...
Helen Keller circa 1907.
A friend and I visited an interactive exhibit this past week entitled “Dialogue in the Dark.” It was an “illuminating” experience for us to enter into the world of the blind. Though the experience was fun for me, I can only imagine what it would be like to lose my sight permanently. I’m trying not to pity the blind, for our blind guide reminded us...
Halloween is a curious cultural phenomenon isn’t it? Whatever else we may say about it, it is probably the most interesting and fascinating holiday from a psychological perspective, in terms of what it reveals concerning our collective psyche. On the surface level alone, we have plenty of reasons to pause, wonder, and speculate. Indeed, let’s...