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New Existentialists

Part of the Solution

01/05/2015
Part of the Solution
“If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” The above phrase has become a rallying cry of activists of all sorts. Of late, I’ve seen it on the newsfeeds of many Facebook friends—real friends—who have been active in the protests in New York City. But I have a real problem with this rallying cry—it is polarizing. Once again, in these times of divisiveness, I turn to Schneider’s (2013) The Polarized Mind. In the introduction, Schneider describes polarization as “a murderous plague,” and as we bear witness right now to...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

01/02/2015
Existential Roundup
Welcome to the Existential Roundup, where we bring you links to some articles currently trending that may be of interest to those in the existential-humanistic psychology community. Happy 2015! Only two days into the new year and some of us are still considering what resolutions to make for the coming year while others have already said goodbye to resolutions already broken (well, I said no coffee or sugar, but…). So of course, it is only appropriate to look at the some of the recent articles on changing our habits, because as we existentialists know, everything we do and think in this...

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New Existentialists

The Paradox of Servant Leadership in the Classroom and Therapy Office

12/30/2014
The Paradox of Servant Leadership in the Classroom and Therapy Office
I loved Mr. Rogers as a kid—that avuncular, kindly, gently humorous man who could instill in me a desire to learn and become involved in civic endeavors better than any of my childhood teachers could. Now, with Fred Rogers shining in my memory, I work as a professor and a therapist. In the classroom, I strive to be spontaneous, creative, and humorous. I hope to inspire, to lead by example with my heart front and center. After all, how does one actually TEACH a student to be an Existential, Humanistic, or Transpersonal therapist? A strong common feature of the theories within these...

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New Existentialists

Never Bring Up Anything You Can't Put Back Down

12/29/2014
Never Bring Up Anything You Can't Put Back Down
Never bring up anything you can't put back down. --H. P. Lovecraft The Sorcerer's Apprentice was, at one time, an animated chapter of the Disney film, Fantasia. Volumes have been written about the possible underground, unconscious meanings of the segment. As a reminder, Mickey Mouse, the titular character, uses magic to accomplish some mundane tasks. He animates some brooms, mops, and so on to clean the laboratory, and quickly the whole enterprise spins out of control. Herbert West would have reminded Mickey not to animate anything more powerful than himself, anything he could not...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

12/26/2014
Existential Roundup
Welcome to the Existential Roundup, where we bring you links to some articles currently trending that may be of interest to those in the existential-humanistic psychology community. As the year draws to a close, these year-end list do as well. To end this year on a high note, we would like to look back on some of our must-read blogs, in case you have missed them. Use the quiet days as 2014 winds down to read instead of shop the pseudo-post-Christmas “bargains.” Again, without further ado, and again, with the hope that readers will start contributing their own so that this list...

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New Existentialists

When "We" Know Better Than "You"

12/22/2014
When "We" Know Better Than "You"
In the long run, debate tactics can be as dangerous as bullets. Reading the arguments in America’s ongoing culture war, I am increasingly reminded of George Orwell, who condemned those who “speak in slogans and think in bullets.” The latest culture war debate tactic among those smart enough to come up with it but not wise enough to know betters, is the claim that you don’t really believe what you believe. You only believe it because you can’t help yourself. We see this all the time in articles in the popular press with headlines like “The Neuroscience of...

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New Existentialists

Existential Roundup

12/19/2014
Existential Roundup
Welcome to the Existential Roundup, where we bring you links to some articles currently trending that may be of interest to those in the existential-humanistic psychology community. It’s the time of year for parties and buffets, and overindulging in nibbly bites. Well, this week we bring to you the kind of smorgasbord that doesn’t put on the pounds, so indulge all you like on this odd collection of stories from the recent media. In Questions for Grandfather’s Psychiatrist, tempting headline if ever there was one, we find another tasty morsel from The New York Times’...

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New Existentialists

Stigma Continued...

12/18/2014
Stigma Continued...
Last week, I wrote about how even in death, social stigmas are alive and well. Since writing that piece, I’ve seen how death and dying—one of the two existential givens of human existence—are ripe for stigmatization when something goes wrong, such as psychological distress, or a plague like this current Ebola crisis. Today I attended a conference at the United Nations entitled “Eradicating the Ebola Epidemic: Psychosocial Contributions to Combat Stigma and Promote Wellbeing, Mental Health and Resilience: Policies and Practices to Protect the Global Community.”...

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New Existentialists

Celebrating Christmas: Incarnation and the Gift of Empathy

12/17/2014
Celebrating Christmas: Incarnation and the Gift of Empathy
In the midst of holiday busyness and stress, getting the Christmas tree, decorating the house, shopping for gifts, trying to survive the end of the year, etc., I would guess that many of us may find ourselves wondering what this is really all about. What is it all for? What exactly is it that we are celebrating? On the one hand, if we’re being honest I think we must acknowledge that among other things, as a society, we are perhaps first and foremost celebrating American capitalism and consumerism, the mere spending and making of money. To be fair, and on a significantly deeper level,...

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Creativity

Adventures in Creativity: A Venture, A Block and A Breakthrough

12/16/2014

by Linda Riebel

Last year, I boldly went where I had never gone before. In the beloved tragic French opera /Carmen,/ there is a gorgeous instrumental melody in the overture to Act III, an air that appears nowhere else in the opera. I wondered, Why has it never been given words and made into a song of its own? As my tenth wedding anniversary approached, I did exactly that as a surprise gift to my opera-loving husband.

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