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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She came to the coffee store and wanted tea. It was a little odd, but she was a little odd, somewhere between crazy and eccentric. Her name, as you might have guessed from the title, was Sylvia. Jason's fourth law is the older you get, the younger everybody else looks; the corollary is that as I was young, I can't trust any assessments of...
Photo by Enver Rahmanov.
Why practice cultivating compassion? Is it just another fad? I had the privilege of spending three days with the Dalai Lama earlier this year. Whenever, I have met him over the past five years, I am moved by his presence, his humility, his humor and his compassion. His message is simple and direct. It is a message of cultivating loving-kindness,...
Illustration by Carlo Benini.
I am five years old, staring outside at the puddles of 47th Avenue after a summer thunderstorm. The rain penetrates our pine front door, moistening the wood around the small rectangular windows. The musty smell of the wood attracts me. I stand uncomfortably on the tips of my toes so my mouth reaches the wet wood. I bare my little teeth and chew....
Human cognition is increasingly recognized as not that special among our animal cousins. Numerous demonstrations of other mammals and even birds capable of tool use, of language use, of empathy, and of a sense of fairness permeate the literature. Anyone who spends any time at all with their household pets must wonder at times what is going through...
EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to the APA Annual Conference in Washington, DC, there will be no post on Friday, August 8, 2014. The New Existentialists will resume its regular posting schedule on Monday, August 11, 2014. Thank you for your understanding. This week in hubristic neuroscience: *  Researchers at the University College, London, say that...

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