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

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;...
I laughed my way through basic training. It was a hoot. Watching small people try to intimidate us with their small presences, with canned insults and one-liners, and stories so old they could only be apocryphal…a time of hilarity despite all the stress. Particularly amusing was a talk one training instructor gave about “acme,”...
Photo from images.virtualology.com.
I have been resonating in the last few months with what it means to be an American. I’m wondering if we have lost some fundamental truth or insight into what freedom is. We have begun to believe that we should never have to stand up for anything difficult because our forebearers took care of something centuries ago. Since our conflicts have...
Photo by Marc Falardeau.
An article in the Huffington Post reported on a study demonstrating that no other country in the world places more of their citizens on arrest than the United States. While 716 per 100,000 people in the United States are incarcerated, the second highest number in any other country is 649 and only five other countries have more than 500 individuals...
Photo by Esther Bubley, 1943.
Lately, whenever the topic of race and racism comes up, someone from the Ayn Rand, personal responsibility set pipes up, “Yes, but things are better now for the Black man than they have ever been. Everyone has the same opportunity, and we can all make of our lives what we want, if only we stop blaming each other and work hard.” I have...
US Navy photo circa 1962.
As long as we focus on symptoms, we’ll lose the battle to fight extremism and polarization—and not just with deranged gunmen, radicalized bombers, or overzealous vigilantes. We’ll lose the battle with rabid ideologues, shameless executives, and bullheaded politicians; with merciless drug lobbyists and myopic corporate polluters....
The country is abuzz with opinions about the Zimmerman/Martin case at this moment. At the risk of igniting a flame war, I can't help thinking it is a bit of a distraction from larger issues—the racism endemic to our system of government is far bigger than one case in Florida, and our increasingly imminent suffering and death caused by...
Lately, I have been writing a lot about despair. I know that the most immediate experiences make the best writing, and a mentor of mine some years ago said I should give up fiction writing and just write what I know. So, as I struggle with despair, trying to live it bravely rather than cast it out, it seems foolish to write about other topics. So...
Photo by Wikimedia Foundation.
I am almost always angry nowadays. Things in the world and in our country are going so wrong, I can’t see how any caring person can stay calm and sane. Politics in particular troubles me deeply, as a system manipulated to keep the worst people in power daily produces existential threats to our very species and mocks the people who point to...
The Devil in a 1901 Georges Méliès film.
Flipping through television stations, I caught an old Warner Brothers American history short, detailing in ten minutes the highlights of what makes America special—from the Bill of Rights to the Gettysburg Address to the sacrifices in World War One—the War that was supposed to end all wars—to the unified efforts of all Americans...