existential

A Psychological Perspective on Human Destructiveness

My inspiration for writing this blog springs from a deep feeling for people and a grave concern that without a proper understanding of the reasons for their inhumanity in relation to one another and the development of a compassionate world view, it is likely that human beings will eventually destroy themselves and life on the planet. Despite… Read more »

Learn More

Separation Theory

[Separation Theory] is integrative even beyond the blending of the psychoanalytic and existential views… It views people as being innately innocent rather than destructive or corrupt, and thereby it rejects Id Psychology in favor of an existential view of humankind. Its ties to existentialism and humanism are in its acceptance of the viability of the emerging “self,”… Read more »

Learn More

The Sweet Spot: Relief from the Fear of Death through Mindfulness

If you have ever lain awake in the middle of the night pondering death, heart racing, icy hot fear coursing through your body as your mind tries desperately to find solid ground, you are not alone. Let me say that again: You are not alone. On the most basic level, you are not alone, because… Read more »

Learn More

The Impact of Death on our Everyday Lives

The conscious or unconscious fear of death can alter many aspects of behavior. Most people, including mental health specialists, have failed to recognize the full significance of the impact of death on life.  The fear of death arises as each child becomes aware of death’s inevitability.  It is too painful to face our personal mortality… Read more »

Learn More

Why Are So Many Parents Limited in Loving Their Children?

In order to place the title of this blog in context, I would define parental love as behavior that enhances the well-being and development of children. As such, “love” would be all that is nurturing and supportive of the evolution of the child’s unique personality. Conversely, it would be a distortion to define as “loving”… Read more »

Learn More

VIDEO: Dr. Kirk Schneider on Developing Awe in Existential Psychotherapy

Watch an excerpt from PsychAlive’s interview with Dr. Kirk Schneider. Dr. Kirk Schneider talks about developing awe in existential psychotherapy. Lisa Firestone:      How do you help patients start to develop this or how does it come up in the psychotherapy setting? Kirk Schneider:      Again, I see that as an organic evolution in the kind of work… Read more »

Learn More

The Polarized Mind: Humanity’s “Great Mistake”

What is a polarized mind?  It is a mind stricken with one absolutist point of view, to the utter exclusion, even demonization, of all others.  The polarized mind is, in its way, the great “mistake” of history and yet we repeatedly fall into its clutches. We see this lapse every day–in the streets, the suites,… Read more »

Learn More

The Human Experience

Human beings are cursed with a conscious awareness of their own mortality. Human beings, unlike other species, are cursed with a conscious awareness of their own mortality. I believe that the tragedy of the human condition is that people’s awareness and true self consciousness concerning this existential issue contributes to an ultimate irony: Human beings… Read more »

Learn More

Life-Affirming Death Awareness

When I was a teenager, I realized that most people were living as though death did not exist. I saw men and women trivializing their relationships and lives with petty arguments and melodramatic reactions to insignificant events, while failing to notice basic issues of personal identity and ignoring existential realities. Their passivity, conformity, and inward… Read more »

Learn More

Creating Meaning by Facing Our Mortality

“The irony of man’s condition is that the deepest need is to be free of the anxiety of death and annihilation; but it is life itself which awakens it, and so we must shrink from being fully alive.” ― Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death As humans, our awareness of death is inherent. When confronted… Read more »

Learn More