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

I quit one of my jobs today. I’ve been trying to get out of the for-profit college that first employed me out of graduate school but, until recently, could not afford to. Remember that we all make choices from the range of options available rather than from a range of idealized possibilities. Just as people work at Wal-Mart or McDonalds...
Several years ago, when I learned of my election as President of Society for Humanistic Psychology and took on the role of President-Elect, I began to use this preparation time to reflect deeply on what it means to be a humanistic psychologist. Much of this preparation has been an exploration of the early history of the movement, and its emergence...
Photo by South Africa The Good News.
Most of us don't lack compassion so much as we avoid it. We resist compassion in the United States with a peculiar hypocrisy, extolling the virtues of volunteerism, for instance, while making volunteerism more of a necessity by diminishing our budgetary commitments to the poor and powerless. ... Our primary response to human suffering...
A law class at Roanoke College.
For years, I have heard horror stories of professors teaching diversity classes being traumatized by their students. Included were stories of a number of experts in diversity who were passionate about teaching diversity, but no longer wanted to teach diversity courses because their course evaluations were poorer than in other classes, included...
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...
Pathological diagnosis can be used by medical and psychological professionals as a neutralizing technique by transforming social discontent into personal doubt and imaginary demons. For the vulnerable subject involved it can function as a kind of mental pill that if swallowed can leave them impotent and unable to defend themselves or see reality...
The sentencing of Bradley Manning in August 2013 ended for the moment a type of social theater where many interesting and at times disturbing realities were brought to center stage. In relation to the theme of psychological diagnosis, what was fascinating was how the legal debate surrounding Manning's reasoning for leaking the documents...
Within Existential conversations, there is a lot of talk about Being. And why not? Existentialism has been called the “Science of Being” and, as such, how “Being” is defined and understood tends to be the basic premise against which all our movement’s themes and concerns are evaluated. “Being” has been...
Is it possible to shame the intolerant into tolerance? In diversity class back in the graduate school days, the other students and I at some point concluded the only acceptable intolerance was for the intolerant or for intolerance itself. We abdicated responsibility for listening to bigots of any stripe or for accepting that they might be good...
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...
Thomas Jefferson, by Charles Wilson Peale.
Our education system is currently in crisis. It is no secret that American children are at best average when compared to children from other countries (see, e.g., this Huffington Post article), and our adults fare very poorly on tests of math, science, history, and general knowledge. This has serious implications for our democracy. Thomas...
Florida State Seminoles helmet and ball.
For nearly two decades of my professional life, I worked with junior and senior high school age youth. Of all the different duties related to this work, my favorite task was training peer counselors. The individuals chosen to be peer counselors were kids passionate about helping others. They took their training seriously and worked diligently to...