Author: Louis Hoffman

Would the True Existential Therapy Please Stand Up? Eclectic, Antagonistic, or Integrative?


One of the interesting aspects of being an existential therapist is learning the perceptions that others have about what it means to be existential. After having taught about existential psychology at seven universities, I have heard quite a few different perspectives. However, the diversity within existential psychology is maybe as diverse as the perceptions from… Read more »

Innocent Dangers: Simply Asking the Questions


Photo Illustration by Eadweard Muybridge. “Has your child been evaluated for ADHD?” Many variations of this seemingly innocent question often serve as the beginning of a dangerous progression. Quite often, teachers, childcare workers, and even physicians untrained in understanding and diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) ask this question to parents. However, frequently this question… Read more »

Dignity, Personalism, and Humanistic Psychology


Photo by Marion S. Trikosko. As of last week at the APA Convention in Hawaii, I assume the duties that come with the office of President of the Society for Humanistic Psychology—Division 32 of APA. The theme of my Presidency this year is “Human Dignity and Humanistic Values.” Why did I choose this of all… Read more »

Facing Crime, Violence, and Human Rights in the United States: Zhi Mian and Social Justice


Photo by Marc Falardeau. An article in the Huffington Post reported on a study demonstrating that no other country in the world places more of their citizens on arrest than the United States. While 716 per 100,000 people in the United States are incarcerated, the second highest number in any other country is 649 and… Read more »

In Defense of Summer Break for Teachers and Academics: What Critics Need to Know


Photo by George Serdechny. It is very common to hear strong criticisms of the teaching profession for what is perceived of as “lax schedules,” including having summers off. I admit, prior to entering the profession, I would be one to share these criticisms. However, after teaching for more than 10 years, I would happily invite… Read more »

Existential Reflections on Friendship


Photo by Vicki Nunn. My travels across China always spur reflections on relationships and, in particular, friendship. My most recent trip earlier in June was no different. One night, my good friend Mark Yang and I, had dinner with some friends in China. One of our colleagues from China witnessed Mark and I presenting together… Read more »

Marriage Equality, Religion, and Polarization


One of the most divisive and polarizing issues in contemporary United States society is marriage equality. Kirk Schneider’s new book, The Polarized Mind, aptly demonstrates why we should be very concerned about this not only because of the importance of the issue, but also because of the dangers inherent in polarization. Schneider (2013) describes polarization… Read more »

The Emerging Cultural Approach to Existential Psychology: Diversity Language and Symbols


Junkaroo festivities in the Bahamas. Existential and humanistic psychology has struggled in is embrace of diversity (see Hoffman, 2012, for an extended discussion of this topic). Yet, there is hope that change is coming. The first vital step was working to gain widespread acceptance that diversity is an important topic worthy of consideration in existential… Read more »