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 Social Activism

Illustration by David Vignoni.
In Prelude to Foundation (Asimov, 1988) Hari Seldon invents the science of psychohistory that forms the basis of the Foundation series. This series presumes that human behavior is predictable by science, and that those predictions can be used to influence future history for the betterment of humankind. The Foundation series itself was started in...
Photo by Joe Ravi.
I spent this morning shampooing the carpets after the dog micturated in the hallway. He's a good dog. He didn't want to pee on the rug. It's just that Americans insist on asserting their freedoms even when the law disagrees and even when others experience negative consequences of those freedoms. The freedom in question is fireworks....
Photo by Bengt Nyman.
My last two entries for the New Existentialists have focused on the nature and influence of fear, and how American culture has shifted from a more adventure-based society to a fear-based society. As a society—whether speaking about politics, religion, militarization, communities, neighborhoods, or individuals—we operate from an...
A memorial to the children killed at Sandy Hook.
All forms of social media are lit up once again with reactions to the latest school shootings. These incidents, like so many before, have left us devoid of beautiful young lives full of promise. They have also left us with questions about gun control, male perceptions of women, and of course, mental illness. Why do these shootings evoke such...
Photo by CBS Television.
Recently, my 10-year-old grandson and I were looking at the various different science fiction films and television offerings from Netflix. As we were looking, we ran across the 60’s television series Lost in Space. I told him how I watched the program every week while it was on. He asked if we could watch a couple of episodes, and so we did...
How often do we hear that phrase—“I didn’t want to get involved”? The reasons are always excellent—“I was way too busy,” “I had problems of my own,” “I had too much on my plate,” “It wasn’t my business,” or the piece de resistance, “Someone else will take...
Erik Werenskiold's The Funeral (1883-85).
Much in the way that some families only see each other at funerals, America only seems to have a conversation about mental health when somebody dies. These are the worst times to have such a conversation, because the needs of the survivors are at odds with the needs of a “national discussion about” anything. The result is a kind of...
My friends didn't believe in giving money to homeless people. But I couldn't escape the notion that I should be doing something. It was Shanghai in maybe 2009 or 10. Wealth was everywhere, crazy wealth. In Hong Kong, we had walked through an indoor mall for three hours. It seemed endless. Commerce was alive and well. People had money, no...
Photo by Nicholas Gemini.
The Amazing Spiderman sequel. Guardians of the Galaxy. Captain America, Winter Soldier. This summer will be replete with superhero movies on the big screen. Sales of books, cartoons and videos, action figures and other toys, continues apace. What is it about the superhero that enthralls us? In some ways, superheroes keep pace with the times....
I was sitting on the couch grading papers with the TV on in the background. So much of my writing starts this way I might one day write about that, but not today. What tends to be on in the background is sci-fi, generally bad sci-fi, because I just want the background noise rather than engagement. Today, I accidentally watched good science fiction...
Photo by Mike Kalasnik.
In a previous issue, I noted that for-profit, corporate motives have infiltrated our public education system, resulting in the same sorts of power structures at community colleges as at Wal-Mart or at for-profit schools. In other words, we depend increasingly on part-time labor whom we can deny benefits or fair pay while compensating the top...
The world is full of partisan arguments these days. I watch them on Facebook, hear them in classrooms and hallways. Maybe people are more involved in politics than before, maybe it's just become a team sport in which only the most hardcore fans actually go out and vote for their team. But I hear this line, and it makes me wonder: I'm a...