What do a school shooter, a corporate swindler, and a bullheaded ideologue have in common? They all converge on what Dr. Kirk Schneider terms “the polarized mind” – a fixation on one point of view to the exclusion of all others.
Since receiving his PhD from Saybrook University, Dr. Schneider has become one of the leading new voices in existential psychology, and his newest book is a diagnosis and history of “the polarized mind,” observing the damage it has done and showing us the steps we urgently need to take to address the danger it presents to our own society. Combining contemporary insights with centuries of cross-cultural, awe-inspired wisdom, Schneider offers solutions to this worldwide problem.
Now available, “The Polarized Mind: Why It’s Killing Us and What We Can Do About It” is published by University Professors Press and available at Amazon and Barns and Noble.
From February 28th to March 3rd, over 200 psychologists and students attended the 6th Annual Society for Humanistic Psychology Conference at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. The conference theme was Community in Difference: Cultivating a Home for Love and Justice an in Indifferent World. There were over 30 Saybrook students, faculty and alumni in attendance and presenting on many stimulating topics.
Existential psychology, which focuses on the choices people make and the meaning they find in their lives, is enjoying a renaissance in China and parts of Europe, while an increasing number of studies show that its techniques and approaches are often as or more effective than drug treatments.
Now The New Existentialists, a leading movement in existential psychology out of Saybrook University, is introducing a series of articles looking to the future of existential theory and practice. The articles, which examine how therapies that focus on personal insight can make their mark in a culture that values quick fixes, will be written by established existential scholars as well as students and early career professionals. Louis Hoffman, PhD, chair of Saybrook’s Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology specialization and president of the American Psychological Association’s division for humanistic psychology, wrote the inaugural post of the series.
Existential psychology is enjoying a renaissance in China and parts of Europe, while an increasing number of studies show that its techniques and approaches are as or more effective than drug treatments in many cases.
But pharmaceutical companies have billions of dollars to pour into marketing campaigns, and insurance companies don't like to support therapeutic treatment that focuses on individual outcomes. While a recent review in the American Psychological Association's website suggested that existential therapies are at the heart of any effective therapy, academic psychology programs remain stubbornly focused on cognitive behavioral treatment, neuro-psychology, and psychopharmacology.
In this environment, what is the future for Existential psychology? How do its practitioners make their mark in a culture that values quick fixes?
The American Psychiatric Association approved final revisions to the DSM-5 this past weekend, threatening to turn every aspect of human life into a form of “mental illness.”
Now more than ever, Existential Psychology needs to forge its path through the diagnostic morass that mainstream psychology has become to provide a truly human, truly healing alternative to the individual, unique people who come to see us each week.
Starting in January 2013, Saybrook University’s website on existential psychology, The New Existentialists, will commence an original series entitled “The Future of Existential Psychology,” in part as an answer to the state of mainstream psychology today and also to explain what we stand for.
The 2012 International Human Science Research Conference (IHSRC) will take place from June 25th - 29th at of the University of Quebec at Montreal. Representing Saybrook will be faculty members JoAnn McAllister, Bob McAndrews, Amadeo Giorgi, and Mark Applebaum. They will be accompanied by Saybrook students Geoff Thompson, Lourdes Viado, and Dennis Rebelo.
It has become increasingly common to discuss the cultural aspects of conflict and conflict resolution. Where does conflict come from? Some scholars take a social constructionist view of conflict, rooted in social science literature, which also provides the philosophical underpinnings of Human Science as taught at Saybrook. The construction of meaning is a social act, and meaning is a negotiated process.
During the trial of Anders Behring Breivik - the anti-Muslim militant who massacred 77 people in Norway last summer - Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! spoke with Norwegian sociologist and mathematician, Johan Galtung, who is regarded as the principal founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies. His granddaughter was on the island when Breivik attacked.