Author: Sarah Kass

The Spiritual Heresy of Maria Von Trapp: Existential Musings on The Sound of Music, Part One


When lay people think of existentialism, they often make associations to death and atheism. Nietzsche’s phrase “God is Dead” is interpreted to target the existence of God versus our belief. Sartre’s “Hell is Other People” suggests that we are here, in hell, on Earth. Camus’ The Plague illustrates in excruciating detail the uselessness of dogma… Read more »

Human Dignity and Humanistic Values: A Call to Humanistic Psychologyês Mission


Several years ago, when I learned of my election as President of Society for Humanistic Psychology and took on the role of President-Elect, I began to use this preparation time to reflect deeply on what it means to be a humanistic psychologist. Much of this preparation has been an exploration of the early history of… Read more »

The Psychology of Altruism: An Urgent Quest of Humanistic Psychology


Photo by Ed Yourdon. On a globe that daily witnesses countless acts of conflict both large and small, our human capacity for altruism seems more important than ever. Not surprisingly, psychologists today are increasingly interested in understanding this vital care-giving phenomenon, certainly with the hope that such knowledge will lead to a more harmonious humanity…. Read more »

Dreaming and Healing the Fragmented Psyche


Charles Napier Hemy’s Running for Home Row, row, row your boat… For the past three years, I have been very fortunate to be a member of a healing community that regularly comes together for powerful psychospiritual workshops. This community offers ample opportunities for deepening self awareness and healing for ourselves and each other. Earlier this… Read more »

Money Money Money: Part Two: Poverty


Photo by Dorothea Lange, 1936. In Part One, I focused on what too much money seems to do one’s Being-in-the World—how it shifts both one’s ability to interact with others as well as make decisions. But clearly, not having enough money to satisfy one’s basic needs—such as food, housing, and transportation—is also going to have… Read more »

Money Money Money: Part One: Wealth


“Money is the root of all evil.” –The New Testament “Money… that’s what I want.” –The Beatles Money makes our world go round. You might have thought it was gravity, or the strong force, or magnetism, or some other physical principle. Wrong. Money made the government shut down. Money ends some romantic and platonic relationships,… Read more »

What Would Jesus Do?


I am willing to admit that I live in a “bubble”—a liberal bubble. I live in an East Coast city and agree with most progressive political and social positions. Most of the people I associate with share similar views and opinions. It takes concentrated effort, therefore, to understand views diametrically opposed to my own. One… Read more »

Counter-Culture of the Counter-Culture: What the Dead Kennedys Taught Me About Anger


Jello Biafra. Photo by Catherine Andersen. “Last call for alcohol; last call for free speech; drink up; happy hour is now enforced by law.” —“We’ve Got A Bigger Problem Now” On a drive home from a recent family reunion, my daughter and I popped in the Dead Kennedys’ (1980) Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. It’s… Read more »

R. D. Laing and Anti-Psychopathology: The Myth of Mental Illness Redux


The theme of this blog concerns R. D. Laing’s conception of psychopathology. This is not an easy topic to explore, in part because Laing was somewhat ambivalent about the concept and avoided even using this term. In The Politics of Experience (1967) Laing famously questioned whether schizophrenia, the form of psychopathology he is most identified… Read more »