Author: Kirk Schneider

The Age of Reason Must Give Way to the Age of Depth


Gustave Dore’s illustration for Don Quixote. We’ve got a glaring problem in this country and world. It’s not our only problem and it isn’t the cause of all sorrows, but today, it’s one of the chief problems we face—and it is scarcely scrutinized by psychologists. The problem to which I refer is our socio-economic model… Read more »

Is Our Belief In Being –Special” Harming Our Mental Health?


Photo by Sander van der Wel. Kirk Schneider (2008) writes that people in the current Western, postmodem culture have fallen into a dangerous game of “either-or:” either they see themselves in a reductionist, mechanistic way, a cog in the interconnected global machine, or they see themselves as omnipotent heroes of the postmodern age, so special… Read more »

The Peril is Not Mental Illness but the Polarized Mind: The Social Catastrophe That Gets Repeatedly Overlooked


There is a reason that many of the most twisted and destructive people on this planet are not seen as “mental patients.” They tend to be ordinary or even celebrated individuals—and their brains are as “normal” as the rest of us. Does this not tell us something glaring about the inadequacy of our current diagnostic… Read more »

Finally addressing the Polarized Mind


US Navy photo circa 1962. As long as we focus on symptoms, we’ll lose the battle to fight extremism and polarization—and not just with deranged gunmen, radicalized bombers, or overzealous vigilantes. We’ll lose the battle with rabid ideologues, shameless executives, and bullheaded politicians; with merciless drug lobbyists and myopic corporate polluters. We’ll lose the battle… Read more »

Reflections from the Protest at the American Psychiatric Association Convention: Existential Psychology in Action


Schneider, Rubin, Lichtanski, and Hoffman. A few Sundays ago, I attended a protest at the American Psychiatric Association Convention in San Francisco with my Saybrook colleagues, Kirk Schneider, Kristopher Lichtanski, and Shawn Rubin. We attended because of our concerns about Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) due to be published next month. Despite… Read more »

The Polarized Mind: Challenging Humanityês –Great Mistake”


What is a polarized mind? It is a mind stricken with one absolutist point of view, to the utter exclusion, even demonization, of all others. The polarized mind is, in its way, the great “mistake” of history, and yet we repeatedly fall into its clutches. We see this lapse every day—in the streets, the suites,… Read more »

The New Apologists for Modernity


Mass graves in Rwanda. Photo by Adam Jones. While it is undeniable that science and technology has improved the living conditions of many, it is patently misleading to imply that, due to these developments, modernity has somehow “triumphed” over the spiritual and religious legacies of our past. And yet this is precisely the suggestion of… Read more »

The Future of Existential Psychology: Humanistic Psychologyês Chief Task: To Reset Psychology on its Rightful Existential Base


Photo by NASA. While some in the field continue to believe that psychology proceeds purely on the basis of positivistic science (e.g., Baker, McFall, & Shoham, 2008), I contend that this is patently naïve. Psychology was and probably always will be a philosophically based discipline. In this light, the field of psychology has actually been… Read more »

Milestone Special Section in the APA Journal “Psychotherapy” on “The Renewal of Humanism in Psychotherapy”


I’m delighted to announce that a long-awaited special section on “The Renewal of Humanism in Psychotherapy:  A Roundtable Discussion” is now available both online and in hardcopy in the APA journal Psychotherapy. More info on it can be obtained at the Division 29 Psychotherapy website. This section is highlighted by the contributions of leading theorists… Read more »