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The Good Therapy Blog

Category: Existential Psychotherapy

sad black man

Changing the Conversation around Mental Health Starts with You

May 19, 2014

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Why is it so difficult to talk about mental health issues? One of the most common things I hear from people in therapy is, “You are the only person who knows this.” Said differently, “You are the first person I have ever shared this with.” Same message, different words; basically, the individual never felt that there was someone around to hear or listen to what he or she is... Read More

woman driving car

Beyond Existence: Learning to Live Again

October 9, 2013

I often recall learning about the concept of “highway hypnosis” during my high school driver’s education class. For some reason, it fascinated me. Every time I caught myself in a spell of this highway hypnosis, I would think back to that day in class. Highway hypnosis is a state in which one can drive an automobile distances without having any recollection of the journey. During this state, an individual... Read More

Woman with umbrella in the rain

Recognizing Self-Erosion Is Key to Reversing It

April 3, 2013

“The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss—an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc.—is sure to be noticed.” ―Søren Kierkegaard So often, people come to therapy seeking to “find themselves,” typically after a tragedy has occurred or some major shift has taken place in life and they... Read More

Close up of man pointing

Personal Responsibility: The 1% That Is You Is Where We Begin

March 13, 2013

One of the aspects of existential psychotherapy that I most value is the idea of personal responsibility. On one hand, we humans are free to live our lives the way we choose (within reason), while on the other, we are responsible for the choices we make. Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand, whether we like it or not. Often, clients who enter psychotherapy have complaints about their lives, including their marriages,... Read More

Calendar showing first of the year stating fresh start

The Existential Guide to New Year’s Resolutions

January 3, 2013

We are again at that time of the year when people are taking stock of their lives, examining their progress or lack thereof, and contemplating the path they would like to take in the coming year. You undoubtedly have heard many different ways to set goals in previous years, but this year I would like to invite you to set your course from an existential perspective. The existential perspective can be seen as an invitation... Read More

Child with pill on his tongue

The Human Disorder: DSM-V Fraught with Danger

December 7, 2012

This past weekend, something happened that set the psychological world on its ear and caused many organizations and individuals to take up arms against one of the largest and most influential institutions in mental health. The new “enemy”? The fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which was just approved with changes that have been vehemently opposed by many groups... Read More


Creativity, Springtime, and a Multiplicity of Approaches for Getting “Unstuck”

May 2, 2011

I love springtime because of its association with new life, which immediately brings to mind thoughts about creativity. For those with creative blocks, however – whether artists or just ordinary folks like most of us, there are times when the “stuckness” of creative inability colors the world gray; we tell ourselves we’re not special or good enough; that no one is interested in our creative efforts; our creations... Read More


Being and Human Encounter in Good Therapy

April 1, 2011

May (1983) wrote that the most fundamental aspect of therapy is being and that, therefore, the value of the human encounter in therapy far outweighs complex understandings about a person’s psychological makeup or the technical skill of a guru. He did not mean to diminish the value of insight, but wrote, “The data…learned about the patient may have been accurate and well worth learning. But the point, rather, is... Read More


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