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

Did you have an imaginary friend when you were a kid?   Do you have one now? A recent article in Aeon magazine reviews some fascinating research on imaginary friends.  It’s qualitative, of course – imaginary friends being notoriously difficult to quantify – but all the more interesting for it.   Some results...
Photo by Richard Bargdill.
In one of psychology classes I teach, we were talking about experiences of the sacred. Only about half the students, through a show of hands, would admit publicly to having had such an experience. We decided, as class, to write a reflection on what people had experienced, and at least, called the sacred. Then we would see if we could find some...
Photo by Vicki Nunn.
My travels across China always spur reflections on relationships and, in particular, friendship. My most recent trip earlier in June was no different. One night, my good friend Mark Yang and I, had dinner with some friends in China. One of our colleagues from China witnessed Mark and I presenting together several times over several years. She...
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...
Friedrich Nietzsche
If the future of Existential Psychology could be reduced to a bumper sticker, it might be this one: “Nietzsche Was Right.” In 1882, Nietzsche put some stunning words in the mouth of a character: God is dead, we have killed him, and the implications are staggering. Let me quote from the passage: “Is not the magnitude of this...
One of the most divisive and polarizing issues in contemporary United States society is marriage equality. Kirk Schneider’s new book, The Polarized Mind, aptly demonstrates why we should be very concerned about this not only because of the importance of the issue, but also because of the dangers inherent in polarization. Schneider (2013)...
What is a polarized mind? It is a mind stricken with one absolutist point of view, to the utter exclusion, even demonization, of all others. The polarized mind is, in its way, the great "mistake" of history, and yet we repeatedly fall into its clutches. We see this lapse every day—in the streets, the suites, and the battlefields;...
A detail of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel.
Paul Tillich once said that doubt is not the opposite of faith, but, rather, certainty is the opposite of faith. This paradox of certainty and faith has created a multitude of chasms and splits among Christians over the centuries, but more so over the last 150 plus years. Since the period of enlightenment, and especially in the 19th century, the...
A sometimes inflammatory comment, especially when we get specific with it. If everything is imaginary, then God is imaginary, you and I are imaginary, the truth is imaginary. I sometimes toss out these sorts of comments to be provocative and then act surprised when people are provoked. A recent discussion about whether rights are real induces and...
Original photo by Krzysztof Mizera.
Your image of God creates you. Not to Prove Anything, but to Experience Someone, Richard Rohr The holiday season has always been a reflective time for me, but this year has been particularly so. Whatever the reason, much of my reflection has centered on my experience of God. As I have mentioned in other blog entries, I was raised in a very...
George Romero's Night of the Living Dead
The current fascination with zombies and the Zombie Apocalypse seems to clearly reflect of some of the deep-seated concerns with American culture. In his book, Horror and the Holy, Kirk Schneider suggests that monsters often represent two human extremes: constriction and expansion. Dracula embodies Hyper-constriction (deadening qualities) as he...
In the midst of the holiday cheer, carols, and season’s greetings cards, there is something else that demands our attention, something that cannot be silenced and will not go away. I speak of it not because I’m a pessimist, or even a grave realist, or because I want to dispel any of the seasonal magic to which we are desperately...