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 Figures

Sudden losses of ones we love can initiate the gut-wrenching reality we sometimes experience when confronting our finitude in mortality. Our existence is so fragile and susceptible to sudden termination and we know it. I have come to believe that everyone with whom I have a relationship, actually becomes part of me, and when they die, a piece of...
Michigan School of Professional Psychology
Of being with Clark Moustakas,  Diane Blau recalls: I enter his office filled with a keen sense of anticipation. I have been invited here, all of me. I know there is a dedicated space prepared for me, ready for whatever I bring. I sit and feel his gentle and vital presence, his soft gaze, and a leaning in, a patient waiting. There is a...
Photo by Susan Gordon.
Dedicated to Eugene Taylor, Ph.D., who would have celebrated his 67th birthday today, October 28, 2013. Within the framework of personality and consciousness understood by existential-humanistic and transpersonal psychologists, and non-Western epistemology (Berdyaev, 1944, 1951; James, 1902; Jung, 1933; Maslow, 1966, 1970, 1971; May, Engel,...
The theme of this blog concerns R. D. Laing’s conception of psychopathology. This is not an easy topic to explore, in part because Laing was somewhat ambivalent about the concept and avoided even using this term. In The Politics of Experience (1967) Laing famously questioned whether schizophrenia, the form of psychopathology he is most...
James Audubon's Eagle and Lamb.
This past Saturday on Facebook (the social life of parents with toddlers), Jason McCarty posted a quote from James Hillman that launched into an extended discussion between Jason, Amanda Lowe, Brent Potter, and me. I won’t recap the whole discussion, but it’s worth reflecting on one aspect of the conversation where we latched onto what...
Mick Cooper’s (2003) Existential Therapies sat on my shelf for a number of years waiting for some well-deserved attention. I put off reading it knowing that it was a review of the different approaches to existential therapy, which I was already quite familiar with. Thus, I did not think I would get much from this book. In quickly searching...
Steal a Pencil for Me (The Movie), 2007
Last spring, I heard a reading of the opera Steal a Pencil for Me at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. The opera, composed by Dr. Gerald Cohen, with a libretto by Deborah Brevoort, is based on the book and memoirs, Steal a Pencil for Me, by Jack (Jaap) Polak and Ina Soep Polak. I had originally met Jack and Ina in 2004 at another...
Through the work of existential-humanistic and transpersonal psychologists Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, and Rollo May in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, the psychotherapeutic hour became a living laboratory in which the individual’s discovery of the growth-oriented, self-actualizing dimension of his or her personality was educed. Rogers, Maslow,...
Do you enjoy challenges in everyday life? Does your work give you a sense of personal meaning? Is helping to make the world a better place important to you? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you’re likely to be intrinsically motivated—standing near the top of Abraham Maslow’s famous pyramid of inborn needs. But...
Photo by Marion S. Trikosko.
As of last week at the APA Convention in Hawaii, I assume the duties that come with the office of President of the Society for Humanistic Psychology—Division 32 of APA. The theme of my Presidency this year is “Human Dignity and Humanistic Values.” Why did I choose this of all themes? I came upon the theme of human dignity...
The revelation of the NSA’s PRISM surveillance program reminded me of my earlier presentation at the sixth annual Society for Humanistic Psychology conference. I presented on Lame Deer, a Lakota Sioux medicine man, whose critiques of western culture (circa 1971) and his antidotes that are very similar to those of humanistic psychology. I...
R. D. Laing and Andrew Feldmár in 1982.
Years ago, R. D. Laing and I were sitting on a beach of Cortes Island, immersed in conversation, when a man approached us. He had just emerged from the sea, huffing and puffing and wet. He greeted us, and after some small talk, he commented on how hot we must be and said, “You should go in for a swim!” Laing’s face immediately...