Existential Humanistic NorthWest Blog
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 […]
Lunch and Learn with Music Therapist, Joshua Pearl
June 14th, 2019
Written by Gemma Baumer, Board Member of EHNW
On Friday June 14th, we had the pleasure of participating in certified music therapist, Joshua Pearl’s presentation. A professional musician by training, Joshua Pearl decided to become a certified music therapist after a health diagnosis compelled him to support others through a medium that has had great impact on him.
At the beginning of the presentation, Joshua had us go around to speak briefly about what music meant for us. Strikingly, the answers were both extremely different and oftentimes overlapping. We spoke of the power of music in our lives to access and process emotions, to get into and out of our bodies. Answers ranged from music representing various times in our lives, to representing relationships we’ve had. Music has been the precipice for transcendence, for spiritual experiences, a means of personal expression […]
Lunch and Learn with Sasha Strong
Written by Gemma Baumer, Board Member of EHNW
On April 12th, Sasha Strong presented their presentation on “Contemplative Psychotherapy”: Clinician Mindfulness and the Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Therapeutic Change”. Sasha is an LPC intern and PHD candidate, and currently practicing in Portland, Oregon.
The presentation consisted of a captivating combination of didactic and experiential learning. Sasha led the group, firstly, through an exploration of the connections between Contemplative Psychotherapy (CP) and Carl Rogers’ famous view of necessary and sufficient conditions for therapeutic change. Contemplative Therapy is a modality that incorporates Buddhist Psychology and secular contemplative practice into a training modality. Specifically, CP focuses on clinician mindfulness and incorporates meditation into clinical practice. Sasha also connected Carl Rogers’ necessary and sufficient conditions—which consist of the belief that therapeutic change, as opposed to any treatment plan, must necessarily embody congruency, empathy, and unconditional positive regard on […]
Who Am I and Why Am I Here?
Understanding the Existential-Humanistic Perspective
by Bob Edelstein, EHNW President
Originally published in Psychology Today, Jul 28, 2017
I’m often asked what is the Existential-Humanistic perspective. Simply put, it comes from the root words of ‘exist’ and ‘human’. ‘Existential’ is an exploration of our existence and ‘Humanistic’ is an exploration of what it means for each of us to be human.
The bottom line is that we exist – we are alive. The challenge of our lives is how do we choose to live our existence and how do we make meaning of our unique, individual journeys.
Here are some essential concepts that describe the perspective:
We stay open to the flow of life, its process and its content. Yet, within this openness, we take stands. We are an active participant in our life’s events. We live in the paradox that nothing is for certain. […]