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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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...
When was the last time you cried? How long did you allow yourself to cry before putting the lid back on? Did it take you by surprise? Did you feel it building up and flowing over? Did you quickly wipe away your tears, or did you allow them to linger on your cheeks? I am intrigued by how people cry. Often, I watch them holding their breath in the...
Photo courtesy JCT.
My dear friend Joseph died today. Joseph was a professor of continental philosophy at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. He and I also went to high school together. He was one of the few people in my life who knew me way back in my caterpillar days but also knew me as we both emerged out of our cocoons into existential butterflies, if such a...
This time of year, I often remember the summers I spent on Cape Cod, at sleepaway camp. I was an anxious kid in many ways, quiet and introverted. My self-confidence was unformed, my shame immense. I never loved sleepovers, unless they were at my house, so the thought of going to sleepaway camp for eight weeks was literally nauseating to me. I was...

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