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 Sarah Kass

Hieronymus Bosch's The Ship of Fools, ca. 1494-1516
For those of you who didn’t know the month of May has been National Mental Health Month. And even if you did know about Mental Health Month, you may not know that we have been celebrating this since 1949. According to a press release from Kathleen Sibelius, Secretary for Health and Human Services: Mental Health Month was established in 1949 to...
Photo from the Copeland Family
The most basic premise of existentialism is that we are all going to die eventually. No matter how much we may try to escape it or deny it, as Ernest Becker says, death will come for all of us. In a recent post to a Society for Humanistic Psychology list serve, David Elkins discussed some of Becker’s work, saying that in some ways, Becker paints...
Photo by Paul Martin Lester
Last fall, the Society for Existential Analysis in England held a conference on technology in psychology. My first thought when seeing the topic was that some presentations would address in some form the relationship of cell phones and texting to therapy. Curiously, cell phone use did not make the cut in the conference presentation schedule. Given...
We’ve all heard the saying that “Clothes make the man” (or woman). Now, a new study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and then reported in The New York Times is adding credence to that phrase—in an embodied way. The process, which the researchers Adam and Galinsky (2012) term “enclothed cognition,” was described as follows...
Now that the holiday of Passover is over, and I have eaten foods that were forbidden for the eight days of the holidays, thus satisfying my leavening-deprived body (if a body can actually suffer leavening deprivation), I am in a much better position to reflect on why, once again, I chose to endure this torture. The author Jonathan Safran Foer (...
In Times Square is the Ripley’s Believe It or Not “Odditorium,” a two-story attraction filled with exhibitions many of which are just perfect to bring out one’s inner eight-year-old boy. Ancient weapons, the size 25 Reeboks from the largest woman in the world, a paper-mache replica of the average meal consumed by world...
I’ve always maintained that one of the best things (saving graces) about Facebook is that it allows us to get in touch with long-lost friends—friends from elementary school, summer camp, high school—with whom we have lost touch and when you reconnect it often feels as if no time has passed (although in some cases, after we get...
This is the story of two worlds, the one we know and another which exists only in the mind of a young airman whose life and imagination have been violently shaped by war. Any resemblance to any other world known or unknown is purely coincidental.  This introduction to Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1946 film A Matter of Life...
 I never thought I would hear myself say this, but I am now totally grateful for all the hours I have spent watching episodes of “Bob the Builder” on television and DVD with my nephews when they were little. Who is “Bob the Builder,” you ask? Well, you can only ask that question if you haven’t raised or been...
Of all the special effects in the history of movies, from Georges Meliés’ rocketship to the moon to Avatar, the one that always gets me most is Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling to “You’re All the World to Me” in the 1951 film “Royal Wedding.” It is not because the dance number is any more or less...
Woody Allen says that he was basically a happy child until around the age of five when he came to realize that “all this,” meaning life, ended at some point. In the recent documentary about his life that aired as part of PBS’s series “American Masters,” this quotation is juxtaposed with a scene from the film “...
I turned a year older this month. And as a good existentialist, naturally thoughts of my birth lead inexorably to thoughts of my life and my death. What does it mean now to have a birthday? A few years back, instead of wishing a dear friend from high school Happy Birthday, I chose to wish him Happy Being-in-the-World Day, since he is a professor...