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

Dr. Louis Hoffman recently published a book, Existential Psychology: East-West, is a collection of articles written by leading scholars of Existential psychology. I was drawn to one particular chapter titled “An Existential Analysis of American Beauty” by Cathy Calvert, Kate Calhoon, Steve Fehl, and Christen Gregory. Briefly, the film...
Isms are dangerous things when used thoughtlessly.  The most obviously dangerous is racism: advocating for the rights of one group over another, with corresponding denigration of those not belonging to the racist group. It is easy to point to American racism, typically white-on-black hate so endemic to parts of our culture.  It is...
At this time of year I wonder how many Americans reflect very deeply, if at all, about the meaning of Thanksgiving. Of course, as a national holiday most of us likely have at least a vague understanding of it as a commemoration of the meal shared between the pilgrims and Native Americans. Beyond this, I’m sure that for many it provides a...
Over the past few years most of us have heard the study results indicating that children laugh much more than adults; some of the discussions place the disparity as high as 300 times per day for children as compared with 15-20 times per day for adults. Whether or not there is significant research to support these outcomes, one thing is certainly...
“Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday.” – Author Unknown I came across this diagram some time ago. When I saw it I laughed of course but deep down knew that this was an image portraying a hard truth. Worry and anxiety can consume so much of our energy. I can’t even imagine the amount of time and energy that I...
This past Friday I did something I have never done before, I attended a protest meeting.  Now, it was an organizational meeting and we didn’t actually get out on the street, but I stepped outside my comfort zone, and connected with a group of people I didn’t know for a cause from which I have nothing to gain.  You see this is...
“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a**holes” ~William Gibson I came across this quote the other day. It made me think of the times I would have sessions with a few of my clients during my internship. A few were in what I would...
“Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” Every American school boy or girl learns the famous words of Patrick Henry at some point in their young lives. America is...
“The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is a mainspring of human activity - designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny of man.” – Ernest Becker. Here is the cold, hard reality – we all die.  Each of us are...
Dr. James Bugental presented a paper at the 1965 meeting of the Psychologists Interested in the Advancement of Psychotherapy in Washington, D.C. The paper “The Humanistic Ethic – The Individual in Psychotherapy as a Societal Change Agent” presented a perspective on the potential of psychotherapy. Bugental felt that potential...
“I have… a terrible need… shall I say the word?… of religion.  Then I go out at night and paint the stars.”  Vincent van Gogh It was a moonless night and I laid in the balmy August air on a sandy beach, watching and waiting passively for the stars to show themselves to me. Not unlike waiting for the...
We all want to be happy. There is a growing body of research on happiness and the positive effects it can have on personal well-being. The self-help industry is fueled by the personal goal of being happy and the practice of positive psychology encourages the growth of personal happiness.   But beware the happiness hype.  Happiness might...