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 Scott Kiser

So, here we are once again at that time of the year in which we are reminded to “give thanks” and celebrate our thankfulness for good fortune, blessings, and successes; perhaps, if we are courageous enough, even for our daily challenges and struggles. I wonder, however, if before we proceed with this culturally sanctioned thankfulness...
The martyrdom of St. Stephen.
There are ultimately two kinds of people in the world: Those who care about others, and those who care only about themselves. This is, of course, an absurdly oversimplified categorization of human beings, and as a rule I generally oppose such absolute classifications. The actual reality, regardless of appearance, is that there are in fact no...
Reading Myrtle Heery’s (2014) edited anthology Unearthing the Moment: Mindful Applications of Existential-Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychotherapy reminded me why I love and am so passionately committed to these fields of study and practice. Heery and 24 other contributing authors offer penetrating insights into core aspects of existential...
Whereas my previous post regarding our human obsession with certainty and its resulting dogmatism dealt with particular concerns relating to dogmatism in general, I will now focus on the dangers inherent to one of its specific and most insidious manifestations. While I am deeply concerned with any concrete form of dogmatism, the one against which...
Photo by Jeffrey M. Dean.
We all have certain things that bother us, that “get under our skin,” as we often say, things that can powerfully trigger and elicit the strongest of reactions from deep places within us that we perhaps don’t even know are there. Most of us likely have a favorite, irresistible soapbox, a particular axe to grind related to a value...
As the New Year begins to unfold, we likely have a heightened awareness of the healing power of the “new” in contrast to the destructive power of the “old.” We yearn to free ourselves from the shackles of limiting ways of being, from behavior patterns that have enslaved us for years, or that perhaps were created through...
Ebenezer Scrooge in a 19th woodcut by John Leech.
The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. Every year I look forward to it with great excitement, eagerly anticipate it, and can’t wait for it to arrive. Most especially, I love Christmas. While I know it may sound corny and cliché to some, I do believe that it is truly magical and profoundly special, a phenomenon of...
Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt.
There is greater power and vitality in what we believe than in what we know. In a culture that places an alarmingly high value on knowledge, such a statement may sound questionable at best, or at worst merely absurd. However, consider the range of its potential implications. In general, our American ethos does seem to excessively emphasize the...
Every act of creation is also an act of destruction. The creation of something new and different, something that has not yet been, demands the destruction of the old and the typical, what is now and what has come before. The presence of destruction is at the core of the creative process itself. Our most serious difficulties with being creative as...
Photo by Centrale Num.
“If you just believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything.” “If you set your mind to it, there’s nothing that you can’t do.” “Nothing is impossible.” These statements sound wonderful and are deeply inspiring, and along with millions of other Americans, I long to wholeheartedly affirm them, but...
Competition is the source of growth and progress. I believe that deep down many of us know this to be true. However, in recent decades, this perspective has seemingly fallen out of cultural favor and now appears to represent a quite unpopular view. In fact, the term “competition” itself has assumed certain negative connotations,...
Photo by Alex Proimos.
Our human nature and cultural conditioning tend to pull us in opposing directions, constructing illusory dualities and false dichotomies within which we are forced to choose between apparently contradictory ways of being. However, if we look deep enough, we discover that these seemingly negating modes of existence are in fact complementary,...