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 Psychology and Spirituality

Whereas my previous post regarding our human obsession with certainty and its resulting dogmatism dealt with particular concerns relating to dogmatism in general, I will now focus on the dangers inherent to one of its specific and most insidious manifestations. While I am deeply concerned with any concrete form of dogmatism, the one against which...
Mystery is typically something that eludes our human understanding, something that cannot be fully explained. Maybe it is a bit of an enigma, getting a whiff of the forbidden fruit without getting the full taste. Mysteries fascinate and attract us: this attraction is part of the reason we have movements like science, which strive, above all, to...
As we pick up the story of Maria in The Sound of Music from where we left off in Part One, The Reverend Mother sends Maria against her wishes to the estate of the widower Captain Von Trapp. She is to be Governess of his seven children. Maria is hesitant. Here, she must come up against her own idea of what she thought her life was supposed to be...
When lay people think of existentialism, they often make associations to death and atheism. Nietzsche’s phrase “God is Dead” is interpreted to target the existence of God versus our belief. Sartre’s “Hell is Other People” suggests that we are here, in hell, on Earth. Camus’ The Plague illustrates in...
Guido Reni's The Adoration of the Shepherds.
Martin Luther once stated that the image of a baby lying in a manger demonstrates the profound wisdom and compassion of the Almighty. He believed it was human nature to be drawn to a baby because of the innocence and vulnerability a baby represents. C. S. Lewis once described the birth of Jesus as the equivalent of a human being becoming an ant....
Winter Solstice. Photo by Peter Trimming.
I reside in the Chicagoland area of Illinois, where a deficiency of Vitamin D in the blood is a widespread medical condition. I am acutely aware of the encroaching brevity of daylight and the darkening of the year as I stand upon the threshold of the Winter Solstice. The lengthening shadows of the afternoon loom like grim, sarcastic teachers,...
I don’t go in for a lot of religion (none, if you want the truth). And yet, this morning I awoke with a phrase from the Old Testament in my head: “Take off your sandals. This is holy ground.” This is the first time Moses meets El at the burning bush in Exodus (3:5). Strange for this old piece of lore to be loitering in my head....
Photo by Attila Malarik.
It was some years ago, while in my late 20s, that I began therapy and an apprenticeship of sorts with an admired existential psychotherapist. I was intrigued to work with him because of his training and life-long friendship with the controversial and pioneering Scottish psychiatrist, R. D. Laing. As a student of consciousness and existential...
Photo by Alex Proimos.
Jesus of Nazareth told the story of two men praying in the Temple. One man, a religious leader in the community, stood in a place where his presence and prayers were obvious to others. He was dressed in the finest robes, and he spoke loudly, “Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven...
Charles Napier Hemy's Running for Home
Row, row, row your boat… For the past three years, I have been very fortunate to be a member of a healing community that regularly comes together for powerful psychospiritual workshops. This community offers ample opportunities for deepening self awareness and healing for ourselves and each other. Earlier this month, at one of these...
A Nevada road. Photo by Frank Kovalchek.
Recently, I returned from a road trip with my four-year old son. We flew back to Iowa and then drove across country to San Francisco. Ever since I learned to drive, I have loved road trips. As I’ve become older, I realize that road trips can be quite existential, which is part of my attraction. This road trip, however, was unique. It...
I am willing to admit that I live in a “bubble”—a liberal bubble. I live in an East Coast city and agree with most progressive political and social positions. Most of the people I associate with share similar views and opinions. It takes concentrated effort, therefore, to understand views diametrically opposed to my own. One...