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 Louis Hoffman

One of the interesting aspects of being an existential therapist is learning the perceptions that others have about what it means to be existential. After having taught about existential psychology at seven universities, I have heard quite a few different perspectives. However, the diversity within existential psychology is maybe as diverse as the...
Photo Illustration by Eadweard Muybridge.
“Has your child been evaluated for ADHD?” Many variations of this seemingly innocent question often serve as the beginning of a dangerous progression. Quite often, teachers, childcare workers, and even physicians untrained in understanding and diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) ask this question to parents....
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...
Carpenter's (1857) The Eldest Son of the King of Delhi.
As I write this, it has been 12-years since I obtained my PhD in clinical psychology. In many ways, I feel quite proud of what I have accomplished; in other ways I struggle with the existential guilt associated with the privilege that allowed for that success. I write this as I near the end of my term as president of the Society for Humanistic...
Photo by Debra Sweet.
I was surprised by the intensity of my emotions when I heard the news of the Zimmerman verdict earlier this evening. George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African American youth. After a highly publicized trial, he was found not guilty. As I read the news alert, I immediately responded in anger. The next several minutes my...
Etching by Adi Holzer (1997).
The interest in theory and research pertaining to racial microaggressions is booming, yet it rarely gets mentioned in the existential literature. This, I believe, is a problem that needs to be rectified. I have written numerous articles arguing for the need for greater attention to diversity issues in existential psychology (see Hoffman, 2008;...
Photo by George Serdechny.
It is very common to hear strong criticisms of the teaching profession for what is perceived of as “lax schedules,” including having summers off. I admit, prior to entering the profession, I would be one to share these criticisms. However, after teaching for more than 10 years, I would happily invite these critics to shadow a teacher...
Photo by Vicki Nunn.
My travels across China always spur reflections on relationships and, in particular, friendship. My most recent trip earlier in June was no different. One night, my good friend Mark Yang and I, had dinner with some friends in China. One of our colleagues from China witnessed Mark and I presenting together several times over several years. She...
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...
One of the most divisive and polarizing issues in contemporary United States society is marriage equality. Kirk Schneider’s new book, The Polarized Mind, aptly demonstrates why we should be very concerned about this not only because of the importance of the issue, but also because of the dangers inherent in polarization. Schneider (2013)...
Junkaroo festivities in the Bahamas.
Existential and humanistic psychology has struggled in is embrace of diversity (see Hoffman, 2012, for an extended discussion of this topic). Yet, there is hope that change is coming. The first vital step was working to gain widespread acceptance that diversity is an important topic worthy of consideration in existential psychology. Increasingly...
Texting while sunbathing. Photo by Ed Yourdon.
I am up at 5:00 AM on Sunday morning once again to squeeze in a few hours of work before my sons wake up. This, unfortunately, has increased in frequency for me lately. However, it likely does not seem out of the norm or unusual for most United States readers. But should it? And what are the consequences trends like this? The Erosion of Leisure...