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 Jason Dias

British WWI Recruiting Poster, 1915.
I worked a few years at our state mental institution on a unit for people with chronic problems and especially problems of violence, escapism, and sexual predation. Most of these men were relatively low-functioning, and the longer they had been on the unit, typically the lower their level of function: years of isolation and drug treatment made...
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...
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...
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...
From an 18th century Icelandic manuscript.
A few years back, during internship, I had a client who was into Jungian astrology. She insisted that she be able to run my charts before committing too much to therapy with me—wanted to know if we were compatible, if I would fit into the destiny she saw for herself in her own charts. With my supervisor's assent, I gave out the data she...
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...
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,”...
Unconditional love. Is it possible for humans—or even desirable? We sometimes talk about the idea of unconditional romantic love. This seems the least likely of all loves. Romantic love necessarily discriminates. You love him because of who he is. If he were transformed into a whole other person, you'd not love him any more—at...
Photo by Bill Nicholls.
I recently watched a Korean movie entitled 3-Iron. I am reliably informed that the original Korean title is Empty House, somewhat more evocative. The movie follows a young man who breaks into empty houses or apartments and lives in them for a day or two. While there, he repairs small appliances, does laundry, and generally leaves each place...
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...
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...