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 Self-Actualization

József Ferenczy's "Round Dance"
I have been thinking quite a lot lately about Abraham Maslow. I love to discuss with my students his theory of self-actualization and his hierarchy of needs. I often emphasize in class that like many stage or hierarchy models, the pyramid graphic may lend a false impression of uniform progression through—and prioritization of—each...
Giambologna's Hercules and the Dragon Ladon.
In Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), he posits the existence of a Monomyth, a word he borrows from James Joyce referring to a pattern that is the essence of and universally common to, heroic tales in every culture. He outlines the archetypal episodes that subdivide three stages of the hero’s journey (separation,...
I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed. --George Carlin I’m going into 2014 considering all the events of the last year, and what the New Year will bring. While I feel the urge to self-assess and get on the bandwagon of New Year’s resolution-making, I am trying to think of myself and my life differently this...
Photo by Thamizhpparithi Maari.
What makes life worth living? Is it the depth of one’s capacity to love and trust, the ability to forgive and make amends, the realization that life is momentary and nothing can be grasped, the satisfaction and recognition of accomplishment, self knowledge, the power to accept what we cannot change, or something else? Another set of...
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,...
Photo by Centrale Num.
“If you just believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything.” “If you set your mind to it, there’s nothing that you can’t do.” “Nothing is impossible.” These statements sound wonderful and are deeply inspiring, and along with millions of other Americans, I long to wholeheartedly affirm them, but...
Competition is the source of growth and progress. I believe that deep down many of us know this to be true. However, in recent decades, this perspective has seemingly fallen out of cultural favor and now appears to represent a quite unpopular view. In fact, the term “competition” itself has assumed certain negative connotations,...
I am a single woman who is entering midlife. I am a therapist and a poet. I am also a woman who is struggling with a drive for internal freedom, external connection, a shift in the manifestation of my masculine and feminine energies, and a strong desire to explore what my innermost being needs to be happy versus the prescriptions of happiness that...
Photo by Ray Nata.
The final scene of the film Flight takes place in a prison yard around a picnic table. Will has come to visit his father, Captain “Whip” Whitaker. The Captain is thrilled that his son is visiting and greets him enthusiastically, after some small talk the following exchange takes place: WILL:    My college counselor...
From the 1843 edition of A Christmas Carol.
Holiday time in the United States means lots of things to lots of people, but for movie buffs (aka cinema aficionados, film snobs, and DVR space hogs) like me it means the return of the classic Christmas movies. And also the classic Christmas specials—the cartoons and Claymation rank right up there for me. Many people quickly dismiss these...
The barracks at Auschwitz.
[Editor's Note: The following are the author's reflections during and following a trip to site of the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oświęcim, Poland, as part of Bernie Glassman's and the Zen Peacemaker's 17th annual "Bearing Witness Retreat."] While I do not know what the ultimate impact of this experience will be, I do know that...
I’m sure we are all familiar with what I assume is the most frequently asked question in a first encounter or meeting with another person: “So, what do you do?” I cannot be the only one who is intrigued by this very common phenomenon. In terms of cultural commentary, I wonder what this says about our American society. What does this question mean...