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

Beaver Stadium at Penn State University
Living in Philadelphia in recent months, I have been listening to news about two scandals—one involving a Monsignor of the Catholic Church accused of covering up sexual abuse committed by a priest, and the scandal that broke last Fall involving a football coach at Penn State University accused of molesting young boys. Both trials occurred during...
Photo by Sasha Wolff
Clients often come to therapy looking for relief from symptoms, armed with talking points from pharmaceutical advertisements (depression is a serious medical condition, I’m taking anti-depressants but I still feel sad, depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and I need to correct it). Sometimes, however, they arrive with a...
Tim Kreider’s (2012) recent article in The New York Times’s Opinionator section entitled “The Busy Trap” really struck a chord with me. Not so much because I am juggling a lot of different projects at the moment, but rather because I heard the voices of so many people with whom I come into contact these days. I have come to truly despise the...
Photo by Serguey
As Americans, we pride ourselves on being fierce advocates for freedom, as well as national and individual independence. Historically, these have formed the foundation of our collective value system; generally speaking, they continue to function in this essential role, and our annual celebration of this fact is both necessary and inspiring. It...
The word “community,” and the phrases “building community” or “creating community” are constantly bandied about in our 21st century Western life, but this “community” often feels very different from our forebearers’ notion. In the past, and even now, in some places, community existed within the clearly defined boundaries of physical or...
An object seen from a distance reveals only its principle. --Frank Herbert Beauty is truth and truth beauty. --John Keats I've been asking people to try to embody beauty. That is, when you experience something as beautiful how do you feel? What is that like? This is part of my accelerating quest to encounter the world as a human. Too often I feel...
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...