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 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...
Earlier this week, Jon Stewart interviewed Malala Yousafzai on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. For those who don’t know, Malala is a 16-year-old Pakistani girl who the Taliban shot in the head at point blank range two years ago for advocating education for girls. She has since made a full recovery, written a book entitled I Am Malala, and...
Photo by José Goulão.
The news last week was obsessed with the inability of Congress to govern the country, as demonstrated by the shutdown. Cable sources were distracted for a moment by a woman who ran some barricades and was shot to death as she exited her car on Pennsylvania Avenue. It is our fault. We are a nation increasingly obsessed with violence. Our Congress...
Being compassionate has not come easily for me. I was raised in a very black and white, good versus bad, right over wrong culture. In my family system, who was to blame was the major concern in disciplinary matters. Learning what God determined as right and wrong or good and bad served as the focal point of my religious training. If you did not...
Women's march for suffrage in 1912.
The choice to be peaceful can be seen as one of arrogance. In my case, it is born of arrogance, but perhaps well-earned—sometime following my hundredth assault, it occurred to me that none of the many, many people who have ever tried to hurt me really succeeded. Bruises and a wary attitude are the only relics. I don't even have any good...
James Audubon's Eagle and Lamb.
This past Saturday on Facebook (the social life of parents with toddlers), Jason McCarty posted a quote from James Hillman that launched into an extended discussion between Jason, Amanda Lowe, Brent Potter, and me. I won’t recap the whole discussion, but it’s worth reflecting on one aspect of the conversation where we latched onto what...
Photo by Ildar Sagdejev.
What does it mean to be free? Better people than me have taken on this question, and yet consensus is hard to come by. Freedom is far too big a word to take on in a short forum like this. Rollo May barely had space in Freedom and Destiny to make cogent his ideas on the subject, which were derived from and expanded into many other works. In the...
March on Washington, 1963.
In the 1993 action film Demolition Man, there is a scene in which the character Lenina Huxley asks the film’s hero, John Spartan, if he would like to have sex. Spartan, who has been in cold storage for decades, responds enthusiastically, but much to his surprise, discovers Lenina means virtual sex. After a few minutes of this virtual...
Photo by Associated Press, 1946.
I see messages like this everywhere. Some very wise people have said it in one way or another. Leo Tolstoy, for example, said, "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no-one thinks of changing himself." Marianne Williamson said, “Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of...
[Editor's Note: Listen to Louis Hoffman speak about the DSM-5 controversy on City Visions radio on KALW.] The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is receiving a dramatic increase of attention since the new version (i.e., the DSM-5) became available. This discussion is important given the DSM-5 is not just another book;...