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New Existentialists

Exercising the Freedom to Choose—For Better or Worse

06/26/2012
Exercising the Freedom to Choose—For Better or Worse
If you live in New York City, pay attention to New York City news, or even watch, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart you may have heard about Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to make the selling of large size (more than 16 ounce) sugary beverages illegal, and subject to a $200 fine. As Jon Stewart has pointed out on the air, this would be twice as much as the fine for possession of one ounce of marijuana, which would only fill half of a big gulp drink cup. This past Sunday, The New York Times ran an article quizzing readers about their knowledge of exactly how many cans of sugary soda fit into...

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New Existentialists

Honoring a Mentor

06/25/2012
Honoring a Mentor
The end of this month marks the retirement of a man who has been a significant and influential guide in my life. For almost seven years, we worked together as a ministry team in a moderately sized congregation located in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. As I have reflected over the 35 years I have worked, my time with Randy was a time of growth in understanding, insight, and perspective. Randy is closing this chapter of his life of full-time ministry as a pastor, and I want to honor his transition by sharing his influence in my life. Randy is an individual with a clear sense of identity,...

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Events

Mind-Body Medicine July Conference Calls for Prospective Students

06/22/2012

Join Saybrook faculty to discuss Mind-Body Medicine (MBM) program opportunities. Developed in conjunction with Dr.

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Events

Clinical Psychology Conference Call for Prospective Students

06/22/2012

On Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 at 12:00 pm PDT, join Dr. Zonya Johnson, Chair of Psychology, to discuss Saybrook's unique clinical psychology program.  Saybrook psychology MA and PhD programs focus on humanistic, existential, transpersonal, and phenomenological psychology.

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New Existentialists

What's Your Why?

06/22/2012
What's Your Why?
Nietzsche probably said it best when he declared that "he who has a why to live can bear almost any how". It helps to explain how Viktor Frankl could lose everything, including his family and life's work in a concentration camp to emerge and eventually become a highly influential psychiatrist. It helps us to understand how Nelson Mandela could spend 27 years in prison and still come out to be a leader and world changer. Both of these men had a dream, a purpose and a vision that even the most dire of circumstances couldn't erase. In fact, it could be argued that these dire circumstances...

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New Existentialists

Reflections on What Meaning Means

06/21/2012
Reflections on What Meaning Means
One major aspect that makes Existential Psychology stand out from other models of psychology is that we use a different Psychological Currency. What we value is Meaning as the great contributor toward an individual’s psychological health. Without meaning in one’s life, there is little to help the individual live with vitality. Other psychologies emphasize instincts, thought patterns, stimulus and response patterns, but meaning is our ingredient. Recently, I have begun to ask myself what meaning is. Like most good questions, I have found that this is not an easy question to answer. But I will...

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Rethinking Complexity

Why Do You Ask?

06/21/2012
Why Do You Ask?
So much of how we make sense of the world starts with the questions we choose to ask. At the same time, the questions we choose to ask are shaped by the way we make sense of the world. Which came first, the question or the answer? A great example of how one can trace the source of our questions to our frames of reference can be found in Edwin A. Abbot’s 1884 novella, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. Abbot invented a two-dimensional world populated by various polygons as a satirical commentary on the social hierarchies of Victorian culture. In world of Flatland, the more sides you...

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New Existentialists

Narrative, Personal Identity, and Method

06/20/2012
Narrative, Personal Identity, and Method
In addition to teaching Husserlian phenomenology, I work with a number of students whose primary interest is narrative, and in response I’ve recently turned to works by writers including Paul Ricoeur—in particular, Oneself as Another (1995)—and Donald Spence’s (1982) Narrative Truth and Historical Truth: Meaning and Interpretation in Psychoanalysis. What follows are some initial reflections prompted by these writers’ complex meditations upon the meaning of “narrative,” in response to the needs of my students. Why should we reflect on narrative? Aren’t we interested in “narratives,” plural? In...

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Rethinking Complexity

Creating Space: A Critical Aspect of Sustainability

06/20/2012
Creating Space: A Critical Aspect of Sustainability
I was recently asked what I was currently working on to support sustainable life on the planet. Over the years, I have been doing my part by recycling, reducing my consumption, reducing carbon usage, and bringing sustainability conversations into my university and other groups in which I participate; however, when I reflected on this question, what I realized I am doing now is creating space in my life and work as a way to sustain my own energy and relationships. My purpose is to both become more creative and effective in all that I do, but to provide others with an experience of space....

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Rethinking Complexity

Leadership Development and Transformational Change

06/19/2012
Leadership Development and Transformational Change
Even though the study of transformational change in organizations has become a popular research topic in the fields of management and leadership studies, it appears that only one in three change initiatives has been deemed successful, according to studies and publications by McKinsey & Company. Social scientists, psychologists and organizational developers have amassed thousands of volumes about change management and the role of leadership in change initiatives; however, these resources have not altered the success ratio in transformational change since statistics started to appear in the...

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