Tag: Psychotherapy

Snark, Smarm, and Misanthropy: Sane Strategies for an Insane World?


H. L. Mencken. Florence King once defined “misanthropes” as “people who can’t suffer fools, and like to see fools suffer.” It’s hard for me to think of a healthier motto, and I’d like to suggest by way of this essay that King’s 1993 history of misanthropy, “With Charity Toward None,” should be on psychology licensing… Read more »

More PsychiatristsãMore Problems


Just from the name, I would have assumed that the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry was a journal dedicated to the undoubtedly severe mental health issues of lawyers. Apparently, I’m wrong. Indeed, a recent study published in that journal showed that countries with better mental-health systems—as measured by the number of psychiatrists and mental… 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 »

A Healing Curiosity


Berlinghieri’s St. Francis of Assisi (1235). “What was your experience of taking Ritalin like?” She shot back a look, somewhat surprised, almost shocked at my question. It seemed she found it incredulous that anyone would ask for HER account of her experience. And why not? Having been diagnosed multiple times by different people in different… 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 »

Education and Conformity


British WWI Recruiting Poster, 1915. I worked a few years at our state mental institution on a unit for people with chronic problems and especially problems of violence, escapism, and sexual predation. Most of these men were relatively low-functioning, and the longer they had been on the unit, typically the lower their level of function:… Read more »

Group Psychological Warfare: Existential Land Mines


Dammit women! Get down! Those dirty Naps are coming! A forceful yank and then a gentle shove to the cold concrete ground startled me. The lights in the hospital room dimmed and the shades drawn. The metal-framed door slammed quickly shutting off human contact and other intruders. Shock, fear, and adrenaline racked my body. Three… Read more »

On Being an Existential Psychology Evangelist


Several years ago I was teaching at a university in Colorado and a small group of us were working to fan the fire of interest in existential psychology with some success. Each year, we brought Kirk Schneider to co-teach a seminar on existential psychology. Mark Yang began joining us from China, often with some Chinese… Read more »