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

A 19th century French engraving.
Modesty creates pornography. Follow me on this thought experiment. Imagine people tomorrow became completely immodest, giving up clothing and walls. Imagine sex became a no-big-deal public activity like having a meeting or eating lunch. Could you do sex tomorrow at 9am? Oh, that’s a little early for me. Could we try a little later in the day? If...
Photo by Adrian Ilie
My mother-in-law is a smart lady with whom I love to converse. The conversations are always a little bit manic, ranging over a lot of ground in a short time, and usually provoke some deep thought. She inspired this piece with some concerns about the iPhone, specifically its voice application, “Siri.” She cited a time a friend asked Siri if she...
Photo by Sasha Wolff
Clients often come to therapy looking for relief from symptoms, armed with talking points from pharmaceutical advertisements (depression is a serious medical condition, I’m taking anti-depressants but I still feel sad, depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and I need to correct it). Sometimes, however, they arrive with a...
An object seen from a distance reveals only its principle. --Frank Herbert Beauty is truth and truth beauty. --John Keats I've been asking people to try to embody beauty. That is, when you experience something as beautiful how do you feel? What is that like? This is part of my accelerating quest to encounter the world as a human. Too often I feel...
Shenzhen, China. Photo by Rüdiger Meier
I am just returning from the tour that surrounds the International Conference on Existential Psychology in China. We began our visit this year in Shanghai. Most went home from there, with some moving on through other cities. I did some training in Wuhan for pastoral counselors and met up with the rest of the travelers in Shenzhen; we went through...
I am in a Shanghai art museum, looking at paintings that are hundreds of years old. So old, in fact, that even light damages them. But what good is art kept in the dark, out of view? Why preserve it if it will never be seen? So these paintings hang behind leaded glass, under dim lights controlled by motion sensors. I see a darkened room that...
As a student, the clinics where I earned my hours had particular attitudes towards suicide ideation: it is bad and needs to be treated. Lately, I hear about an even more extreme posture from psychiatric institutions: namely, a person who reports suicide ideation cannot be discharged until they no longer report these thoughts. I have never used a...
US Army
I had this experience a couple years ago that has been haunting me off and on ever since. When guys go “over there,” they know what they are signing up for. They don’t think they are coming back. Their delusion, if they have one, is that their death will have some kind of meaning: they will die honorably, in the line, pulling their brother out of...
Years of working with adults with developmental disabilities have left me with questions regarding the meaning and meaningfulness of the lives of people who experience high levels of mental retardation. I mean something different here from purpose.  What a divine entity might mean for these people must remain a question beyond my ability to...
I think I “have” Asperger’s disorder. The “have” is in quotes because I’m not certain what it means to “have” it. If you have pneumonia, you just have it. There are bacteria in your lungs which are detectable and eradicable. You can go from having it to not having it to having it again, and each...
In the titular movie, Beatrix Kiddo awakens after several years in a coma brought on by the treacherous actions of Bill, her former boss and lover and father to her child.  Both she and her child are presumed comfortably dead by Bill and his employees, the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. But Kiddo is no longer dead.  She rises from her...
Diversity is an issue among existential psychologists.  We tend to believe we are above the fray because we try to accept each person in an holistic manner.  We don’t always care about the labels or make the first move in talking about diversity.  Becoming more sensitive about the treatment of “minorities” in our...