Author: Louis Hoffman

Using poetry to change diversity dialogues


For years multiculturalism and diversity has been a passion of mine. As a person of privilege, I have experienced the resistance to multiculturalism and diversity in myself and others, and have become deeply interested in the process of helping people acknowledge and overcome their prejudices and racism. Part of the challenge is that there is… Read more »

Existential roundup


Welcome to the Existential Roundup, where we bring you links to some articles currently trending that may be of interest to those in the existential-humanistic psychology community. Continuing the theme of the holiday and end-of-year season, I am providing yet another list—this time one of books that came out in 2014 with existential themes that… Read more »

Finding Oneself and Creating Oneself: Implications of the Psychotherapy Folklore


“Perhaps, as we say in America, I wanted to find myself. This is an interesting phrase, not current as far as I know in the language of any other people, which certainly does not mean what it says but betrays a nagging suspicion that something has been misplaced.” –James Baldwin (Giovanni’s Room, 1956/1984) “I am… Read more »

Love and Other Emotions: Reflections from the Novel The Girlfriend Project


The Girlfriend Project (2014) by Jason Dias is not your typical novel about love. Although it could be considered a romantic novel given that its focus is a love story, the plot is more existential in nature. Embedded in this unlikely love story is an exploration of the nature of love and other emotions. And… Read more »

Report from the Third International Conference on Existential Psychology in Guangzhou, China


Mark Yang delivering his keynote address. The Third International Conference on Existential Psychology was held June 13-15, 2014 in Guangzhou, China, hosted by the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. The first International Conference on Existential Psychology (ICEP) began in 2010, and continues to be offered every other year at different locations in China. As with… Read more »

The Proper Use of Tradition and Scholarly Authority


Lu Xun Quick to kindle, quick to calm down, an even quick to grow decadent, men of letters [i.e., a type of scholar] can always find reasons and precedents from the classics to justify their shifts of allegiance. (Lu Xun, 1931/2003) One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil. (Nietzsche,… Read more »

The Relationship in Academia


Photo by Tulane Public Relations. An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on May 6, 2014 reported on recent research suggesting that a connection with a caring professor may be an important contributing factor to college success (Carlson, 2014). For existential psychologists, this is not surprising. There is a preponderance of evidence suggesting that… Read more »

A Cultural Crisis of Responsibility: Responding to a Denial of Our Humanity


Photo by Allan Donque. When I received my new insurance cards for our family’s vehicles, I was struck that on the back it reads, “Do not admit fault,” in bold print. In a previous employment setting, we were told to never admit a mistake due to the possibility it could create a vulnerability to being… Read more »

Sitting With Death in Poetry


No more compassion for another Just one more salesman’s pitch Greener pastures still are searched. –Zagata, 2014 Death seems ever surrounded by clichés that protect the heart from experiencing the pain and grief that are needed for healing. Long ago, I discovered that most people just didn’t know what to do with hurting people, particularly… Read more »