Existential Humanistic NorthWest Blog
“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 […]
Student Salon on the Importance of a Theoretical Orientation
The most recent Existential Humanist Salon, “On the Importance of a Theoretical Orientation”, was another lovely chance to connect with a variety of board members, affiliates, and those new to EHNW. We connected over wine and a selection of cheeses that left us all continuing to eat and process for nearly an hour afterward. The salon was facilitated by board members, Dave Fischer and Deborah High, in Deborah’s cozy home.
The conversation was begun by Dave, posing the question, “How do you choose, and why should you choose a theoretical orientation?”. Dave emphasized that research into common factors for successful therapy has indicated that therapy is most effective when the clinician is aligned with a theory and can work from it. And this starts with knowing who you are, because it must resonate. […]
Game of Life–On Reflecting On Our Use of Social Media and Other Platforms
Written by Gemma Baumer (Board Member)
November 21st, 2019
Last week in our monthly board meeting, we sought to discuss whether or not, as an organization, we wanted to utilize a tool such as Facebook. As it has come out in recent years, Facebook and its founders have acted wholly unethically, with no precedence for privacy. This is not an unusual dilemma in this modern world, in which we are born into with so little choice but to persevere—to play the game, if you will. This question launched itself into an existential dilemma, a conversation which had no obvious, if any, solutions, so much as thoughts and speculations about who we are, and where we’re going.
A Lie our Culture Tells us–We are Often Taught that we are Unlovable
Written by Bob Edelstein (President)
November 21, 2019
I have been an existential-humanistic therapist for over 45 years, and there is one major underlying theme for just about every client I see. This theme also applies to me and, I believe, to all of us.
In my practice, each client feels, on some level, that they are unlovable. I believe this toxic message pervades the ethos of our culture in the United States. Thus, if everyone is imbued with this message, it can’t be avoided.
You can learn it verbally or non-verbally from your parents. If your parents don’t communicate this message, you will still eventually experience some form of this message from your friends, your teachers, or from society. Examples of this message are: “You are unlovable because you are not competent,” “You are unlovable because you are not thin,” […]
Lunch and Learn with Dr. Daniel Parker
August 14th, 2019
Written by Gemma Baumer, Board Member
On Friday, August 9th, we had the pleasure of hearing Existential Humanist board member, Dr. Daniel Parker, speak to the notion of anxiety from an existential analytic lens. Daniel is a licensed clinical psychologist, and runs a private practice in Portland, Oregon. Daniel first gave a background on the topic of existential analysis. Rooted in the anthropology of Victor Frankl and logotherapy, this branch of analysis responds to the tendency to look at life beyond the physical/bodily and even psychological realms, into what is called, the noetic dimension.
This third and personal realm of experience is uniquely human, centered in the dimension of living a life that transcends our animal nature—the ability to make and sustain meaning. This, Daniel spoke to, is where the person truly shows up. How each person chooses to make meaning is […]
A Divided Nation — Our Existential Crisis
Written by EHNW Board, following the 2016 election
As an organization our vision is to impact the world through existential-humanistic values. These include authenticity, integrity, responsibility, inclusion, and awe. In this spirit, the EHNW Board would like to share our thoughts on the crisis of identity our country is presently undergoing.
During our post-election time, we as Americans face an existential crisis. As we engage in the current political changes, many of us are fearful, angry, and disheartened and many of us wait with hopeful hearts. There is renewed urgency to secure hard-won values that we hold passionately. We ask ourselves, “who are we as a country?” “What will the future look like for our children?” Collective and individual actions taken today will influence and shape our future. Although we cannot control our country’s destiny, as existentialists, we recognize the potential and power […]