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 Mark Yang

Ving, right, poses with the author.
As I begin probing Ving for why it was that she is willing to make the sacrifice to become a better barista even after seven years of brewing endless cups of coffee for customers, I returned to the Chinese Taoist concept of wu-wei. Ving told me that she travelled to Taiwan to learn the techniques and know-how of what it took to become a good...
Rumba steps illustration by Aaron O'Reilly.
After learning about Ving’s decision, my friend Evone pointed out to me the beautiful paradox in Ving’s decision to “move forward by returning to the past/origin.” Exactly right, I thought to myself! This immediately reminded me of the vital importance of the basics and fundamentals when it comes to the practice of...
Time flies, which is another way of expressing the existential givens of transience and impermanence, the basic tenets of Buddhism. I mouth this to myself whenever I encounter the changes that are ubiquitous and unavoidable in China and parts of Southeast Asia. Many of the coastal big cities in China are founded on the backs of migrant workers....
I just returned from the Third International Conference on Existential Psychology held in Guangzhou China from June 13–15th. As always, it was very rewarding and inspirational. At the same time, it is also during these conferences that I run myself ragged and reach the limits of my endurance and patience. Living near such limits reveals my...
Photo by Hector Garcia.
Recently, I was at yet another Chinese Banquet and faced the pressure once again to drink and be merry. Except, I was not very merry. People kept asking me why I don’t drink, and I gave my usual response, which was that I haven’t developed a taste for alcohol. If I insist upon this answer, my hosts will thankfully usually relent, and I...
Photo by Ian Capper.
I chose this quote by Nietzsche as the title of my blog because I was reminded of it during a recent trip I took through southern Xing Jiang in Northwest China earlier this month. My friends in Xing Jiang introduced me to the multi-leaved poplar tree (poplar diversifolia). My friends brought me to admire the transient beauty of the poplar when it...
Le nozze di Figaro. Photo by Gunnar Wrobel.
In my last blog, I wrote about a beautiful moment of cinematic creation in the movie The Shawshank Redemption. Since presenting this western movie to workshop participants across Asia, I since found out that this is one of the top ten movies for male audiences in China. The movie is a cinematic classic that inspires us to move beyond...
Cantigas de Santa Maria manuscript illustration.
In my previous role as a supervisor and training director, I often found my students repeating back to me the phrase that James Bugental taught about “listening to the music rather than the lyrics” when conducting therapy. Bugental had a nice way of putting it by teaching us to facilitate the clients “talking out of themselves...
Wisdom comes from the mouth of babes. It’s so true? There are few who do not love a children’s story. Why is it so? The older we get, the more opportunity we have to accumulate knowledge. Yet, wisdom points us back full circle to our young innocent selves. Ah, perhaps too much analysis will lead me further astray. I’ll simply...
Existential psychology embraces creativity and the arts, especially as a counterbalance against the field’s current emphasis upon empiricism and science. Indeed “we express our being by creating. Creativity is a necessary sequel to being” (May, 1975, p. 8). W. H. Auden once remarked to Rollo May (1975) in private conversation:...
2013 Lunar New Year celebrations in Hong Kong.
It is the Lunar New Year Holidays here and as with many holiday celebrations, alcohol plays a prominent role in its celebration. I’ve observed several families saving their best hard liquor, packaged in beautiful bottles, for this special occasion. This gave rise to numerous reflections and memories of Chinese New Year celebrations past....
Photo by Georgi Kunev.
I want to share with you a most beautiful supervision session that I was privileged to be a part of courtesy of an extraordinary individual named Bruce Lee. Bruce shared with me a beautiful encounter he had with a patient he was asked to help at the oncology ward of a hospital in China. The patient was an elderly gentleman who was suffering from...