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New Existentialists

Rethinking Treatment Strategies for Suicidal Soldiers

06/18/2012
Rethinking Treatment Strategies for Suicidal Soldiers
Many veterans and soldiers of combat (around the world) become lost into traumatic experience, never fully returning to what may have been former selves, ways of being, and ultimately, a lost sense of meaning and relatedness. Finding no sense of meaning after having to see comrades die, killing another human being, or even being continually “on guard” in perpetual fear of a threat that cannot always be seen (and often projected upon an image of a certain faces of a culture that is then equated to “enemy”), many soldiers and veterans see their once understood foundation of selfness to break—a...

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Mind-Body Medicine

A Tribute to a Dissertation Chair: Honoring Constance T. Fischer

06/17/2012

 

The relationship between graduate students and University faculty is often a complex and rich one. The dissertation chair plays an especially pivotal role in the final stages of the PhD student’s career and in the launching of his or her career.  On June 3, I had the opportunity to attend the retirement party for Constance T. Fischer, my own dissertation chair at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. I will share some observations about Connie Fischer’s  contributions to our understanding of human behavior and just touch on her contributions to my career.

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New Existentialists

Remembering Paul Fussell 1924 – 2012

06/15/2012
Remembering Paul Fussell 1924 – 2012
Paul Fussell, professor, literary scholar, expert on the First and Second World Wars, social historian, and a critic of popular culture, died on May 23rd at age 88. Words frequently used to describe Paul are curmudgeon and stingingly opinionated—I would agree with these words. Paul was not a person who “suffered fools gladly”—or at least those people he considered to be fools. I experienced Paul as a brilliant thinker who was not afraid to make pronouncements—no matter how controversial or politically incorrect they might be. I was acquainted with Paul Fussell through his wife, Harriette...

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New Existentialists

Garage Sale Existentialism

06/14/2012
Garage Sale Existentialism
With the exception of baseball, there is perhaps nothing more Americana then the Garage Sale. Only along the tree-lined streets of suburban America will you find garage doors open early on a Saturday morning unveiling a trove of stuff (Thank you, George Carlin!) deemed both worthless and valuable at the same moment. As the urban treasure hunters stop to peruse the wares, a very poor rendition of bedouin negotiating takes place between two suburbanite stalkers, one striving to sell his or her “valuable” wares and the other seeking to gain a prize at the lowest price possible. In this...

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Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Social Transformation professor Marc Pilisuk encourages action on rising student debt levels

06/14/2012

by Marc Pilisuk

Student loan debt has surpassed one trillion dollars, exceeding the total of credit card debt in our country. Yet unlike other types of debt, student loans cannot be used as a reason for declaring bankruptcy. Many Saybrook students - like students everywhere - are adversely affected by crushing levels of student debt.

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Events

Storying: Open the Door to Your Next Adventure

06/13/2012

Saybrook faculty JoAnn McAllister, along with organizational systems student Dennis Rebelo, will host a discussion at the Center for Phenomenological Leadership in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on Saturday, June 23rd, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Dennis, founder of the Center and JoAnn, Chair of the Human Science Program, will also share information on the training opportunities at the Center and graduate programs in Organizational Systems and Human Science at Saybrook.

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Rethinking Complexity

Shared Ownership

06/13/2012
Shared Ownership
When I started thinking of a topic to write about for this post, the theme that immediately came to my mind was "shared ownership." It has been a theme that keeps coming up as I reflect on some of the challenges and opportunities I see in the organizational contexts where I work. Shared ownership can involve the real material common property of resources such as in a workers-owned cooperative, or it can be more ethereal as in the sense of a community that shares the responsibility for the wellbeing of its members. Between these two extremes, there can be many variations. But the...

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New Existentialists

Politics Isn't Biology—How Neurospsychology Fails in Understanding Our Freedom of Choice

06/13/2012
Politics Isn't Biology—How Neurospsychology Fails in Understanding Our Freedom of Choice
The motto of western science may be: to freedom and back again. In his magisterial examination of Western culture, the historian Jacques Barzun suggests that what makes the West “the West” is that for 500 years (from approximately the Renaissance to the present) a group of related cultures came together on a joint project that led to the development of shared value propositions. They went to war with each other (a lot), they were mortal enemies, they developed new means of killing each other—but they also stumbled together towards the development of ideals like Individualism, Nationalism...

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New Existentialists

Existential Psychology With a Chinese Face

06/12/2012
Existential Psychology With a Chinese Face
Wang Xuefu was the first psychologist I met in China in 2003 with a commitment to an indigenous psychology. It was he who introduced me to the Chinese novelist, Lu Xun, and to the notion of Zhi-mian (the courage to face the future), and I have been reading both Wang and Lu Xun ever since. Over the years, Wang has been in conversation with Western existentialism even as he has continued his work on the indigenous emphasis on Zhi-mian. At the Second International Conference on Existential Psychology in Shanghai, China, I proposed that we would do well to recognize the potential contribution of...

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New Existentialists

Report from the Second International Conference on Existential Psychology

06/11/2012
Report from the Second International Conference on Existential Psychology
The Second International Conference on Existential Psychology (ICEP), at Fudan University in Shanghai, China from May 24-27, 2012, was once again a great success as gauged by the number of people in attendance and the enthusiasm of the conference. The interest in the conference quickly outgrew the venue, which could only hold 300 people in the largest room. Within a short time of the conference registration opening and prior to planned marketing initiative, there were 450 requests to register. Due to this, many individuals who wanted to attend were not able to due to space limitations....

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