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

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...
Photo by C. E. Price.
Today, June 25th of 2013, President Obama gave a televised speech about climate change. He used some language that speaks to the issue: it can’t wait, we can’t afford to take the time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society. He spoke in measured tones, as usual, loathe to show anger or communicate a real sense of urgency through tone...
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor in Germany during the rise of Adolf Hitler and World War II. Throughout his career as a professor and parish pastor, Bonhoeffer opposed Hitler’s rule, and especially Hitler’s Aryan policies. Bonhoeffer was vocal in his opposition to Hitler, participated in underground efforts to smuggle Jews...
Photo by Ralph Hirschberger.
Can despair save us? Rollo May’s breakthrough work was a book about anxiety. This work was the first time a psychologist wrote positively about anxiety for an American audience. The Meaning of Anxiety (May, 1950) made a big splash in small circles. Both before and since, though, Americans have largely viewed anxiety as something needing...
Schneider, Rubin, Lichtanski, and Hoffman.
A few Sundays ago, I attended a protest at the American Psychiatric Association Convention in San Francisco with my Saybrook colleagues, Kirk Schneider, Kristopher Lichtanski, and Shawn Rubin. We attended because of our concerns about Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) due to be published next month. Despite numerous...
Photo by Andrew Dunn.
There are two moderately sized communities at the western edge of one of the most fertile valleys in the world. Both communities are nestled close by the ocean, enjoying the luxury of comfortable days and cool nights. Both are made up of multiple cultures and are world renowned. Less than an hour’s drive separates them by distance, yet by...
It was 2010. After graduation, I took my family to San Diego. We collectively needed the rest, the break, even though we couldn't really afford it. We had a great time, did lots of child-oriented activities, but also had some more grown-up sorts of experiences. One of these was a moment at the wildlife sanctuary. There we saw the last of a...