EHNW Blog 2019-06-29T15:55:39-07:00

Existential Humanistic NorthWest Blog

Discovering One’s Meaning: A Core Foundation of Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy” Saturday, June 27, 2020

“Discovering One’s Meaning: A Core Foundation of Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy” Saturday, June 27, 2020

Written by Beth Swain

Facilitated by: Daniel Parker, PhD. and Bob Edelstein, LMFT, MFT

Discovering one’s meaning was the theme of our recent salon. Unlike our usual format of meeting informally in someone’s home for our salon discussion, we met through Zoom due to COVID-19. Our facilitators, Daniel Parker, PhD and Bob Edelstein, LMFT, MFT, began our time together providing some background of the concept of meaning in Existential theory.

Daniel discussed the work of Viktor Frankl and his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning.” He asked what is this “search for meaning” for us? How did Frankl conceptualize meaning? He noted that when something in our life doesn’t fit well, we sense that something is missing, something essential is missing. We experience a void in our lives. We ask ourselves, “What am I living for, what am I doing this […]

By | July 15th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Lunch and Learn, “Responsivity in the Time of Covid”, with Carol Swanson, LCSW on June 12th, 2020

Lunch and Learn, “Responsivity in the Time of Covid”, with Carol Swanson, LCSW on June 12th, 2020

Written by Gemma Baumer

On June 12th, Carol Swanson, LCSW and practicing psychotherapist for over 30 years, led us through a powerful and relevant talk, “Responsivity in the Time of Covid”. Firstly, Carol framed the discussion by identifying the “aesthetics” of the therapeutic relationship. Namely, the qualities of rhythm and resonance, responsivity versus responding, and how these have shifted since Covid.

She opened up the discussion that our field is human emotional life and human suffering, and expressed the awareness that Covid has most harshly affected communities of color. Covid has made even more painfully clear what we’ve already known—the disparities and prejudices within our society, the very different experiences we lead. This may be an invisible virus, but George Floyd’s death was a very visible murder. So many of the issues our society faces […]

By | July 15th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

“Hope and Fear in Uncertain Times”—EHNW’s First Ever Webinar Hosted by Bob Edelstein and joined by Guest Speaker, Kirk Schneider

“Hope and Fear in Uncertain Times”—EHNW’s First Ever Webinar Hosted by Bob Edelstein and joined by Guest Speaker, Kirk Schneider

Written by Gemma Baumer

On April 25th, Existential Humanist Northwest hosted its first ever web-based salon/webinar, with 149 signed up and represented by 3 different countries and many U.S. states. We gathered as a larger group than ever to discuss thoughts and feelings, hopes and fears related to this present world situation.

The salon topic was introduced by our president, Bob Edelstein, who shared some of his thoughts and reflections on this pandemic: Bob spoke to some of the existential themes of this time, and to his profound sense of being alive amidst this very real confrontation with mortality. In outlining his observations of existential themes, Bob identified three:

1. We are all interconnected. This Covid situation has impacted our whole world, sparking fear and with this, a need for collaboration. Bob […]

By | May 21st, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Case Conceptualization Salon

Case Conceptualization Salon

Written by Gemma Baumer

On March 7th, Existential Humanist NW hosted its first ever Case Conceptualization Salon. The event was an informal conversation, hosted by Bob Edelstein, our president and founder. To preface the conceptualization, Bob led us through his own process and views toward conceptualizing a client, and how this looks, for him, from an EH perspective.

Firstly, Bob emphasized the nature of there being no one EH approach. Rather, how each of us conceptualizes varies because we vary as therapists, and as humans. Conceptualization involves being open to how each unique person exists in the world, and honors those differences. As such, this process will look differently for each of us.

Bob also spoke to the importance of conceptualizing lightly. This is because the emphasis is put on openness to another individual’s human experience, rather than on any agenda. One participant spoke of this as viewing […]

By | May 20th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Richness of Humanistic-Existential Methodology and Ericksonian Hypnotherapy in Helping Men with Degenerative Neurological Disease–Lunch and Learn with Elliot Geller

The Richness of Humanistic-Existential Methodology and Ericksonian Hypnotherapy in Helping Men with Degenerative Neurological Disease–Lunch and Learn with Elliot Geller

Written by Gemma Baumer

On February 14th, Elliot Geller (LCSW) led us through a beautiful and life-affirming conversation around his therapeutic work with men suffering from degenerative neurological diseases. Elliot began his work in the field in free clinics working with Vietnam veterans. This led him to attend graduate school for his social work degree as a 29-year old, and on to 7 years of work in community mental health where he started the program that is now Cascadia. After leaving community mental health to go into his own practice, he received a federal grant to work with HIV patients, utilizing hypnosis. Most recently, he has focused mainly on working with individuals and couples experiencing neurodegenerative diseases and terminal illness. After committing his life’s work to this subject area, his wife […]

By | March 5th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

“Down the Rabbit Hole—An Interactive Examination of Less Common Sexual Practices”

“Down the Rabbit Hole—An Interactive Examination of Less Common Sexual Practices”

On December 13th, Ray Nelson, NCC and a member of the board led us through a lively discussion of less common sexual practices. As a member of the kink/BDSM community for 20 years, Ray began his talk by speaking to the importance of this topic, especially as it pertains to therapists. Namely, Ray, like many others, have had a challenging time finding a therapist who felt competent to see someone around topics related to less common practices of sexuality. In addition to a lack of therapists who specialize in such topics, it is not uncommon for people to be let go from their therapists who have felt inadequately prepared to discuss or engage with such things. And even when one is involved with a therapist, it is common to feel judged and misunderstood for engaging in kinky practices. As […]

By | January 26th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments