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 am afraid of death. It is the nothingness that makes me tremble. Despite my intense efforts to work, love, and play; to create fulfillment in my life, it will most certainly end. As you might imagine, I'm not a fan of "goodbyes" either. When I began contemplating dissertation topics, I was compelled to wrestle with similar sources of fear....
I am tired, and I am sad. I am weary, and I am angry. I am confused, and I want clarity. Weeks of drama, tragedy, and loss have created an overwhelming sense of anxiety, fear, and bewilderment. Weeks of dealing with aging parents with serious medical issues, a flailing therapy practice, a destructive wildfire, a senseless shooting rampage, and now...
Photo by Mariordo Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz
With the most recent schizophrenia/psychosis recovery research, we discover increasing evidence that psychosis is not caused by a disease of the brain, but is perhaps best described as being a last ditch strategy of a desperate psyche to transcend an intolerable situation or dilemma. To better understand how this conclusion, which is so contrary...
President Obama with survivors of the Aurora shooting.
As a resident of Colorado for most of my life, I have been a witness to some of the greatest tragedies our state and country has seen. After the Columbine shootings, I sat powerlessly as a colleague of mine desperately tried to reach his daughter who was a sophomore there. After hours of sitting in panicked suspense, he received the call he'd been...
Goldman Sachs Headquarters in New York
Penn State, Goldman Sachs, Enron, University of Virginia, SuperPACS, the Catholic Church–we live in an era of institutional scandal. If you want to know why we are careening from one major institutional scandal to the next, there’s a simple answer: the psychology of power has changed. To be sure, there’s nothing new about a...
In the light of massive tragedies, such as last Friday morning’s terrible shooting spree in Aurora, CO, leaving 12 dead and another 58 wounded, we are always asking, “Why?” Why did this happen? Why did he do it? Why in this way at this time? The accused shooter, James Holmes, appeared in court today, with bright orange hair and said nothing. The...
A 19th century French engraving.
Modesty creates pornography. Follow me on this thought experiment. Imagine people tomorrow became completely immodest, giving up clothing and walls. Imagine sex became a no-big-deal public activity like having a meeting or eating lunch. Could you do sex tomorrow at 9am? Oh, that’s a little early for me. Could we try a little later in the day? If...
Photo by Petar Milošević
Among the top stories in the New York City area during the past two weeks has been the tragic death of a 12-year-old boy who was sent home from the emergency room with a fever and and rapid heart rate before his blood tests came back revealing a bacterial infection—sepsis—that killed him three days later. This was all following a cut the boy,...
Photo taken June 18, 2012 near Fort Collins, Co.
It is a sight forever etched in my memory … a hillside ablaze. Trees, houses, anything that could or would burn was burning. If there is a hell, the image of that burning hillside comes very close to my mental picture of hell. I live in Colorado Springs, and unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last several weeks, you know that part of...
Balashova by George Dawe (1820)
Existential therapists prefer to talk about the here-and-now and the future, and often avoid the past. This can be a mistake. In part, this is rooted in a corrective to approaches to psychology excessively focused on the past. A holistic psychology must equally value the past, the present, and the future as these are all part of who we are. I...
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...