Author: Scott Kiser

Empathy will save the world


Dostoevsky said that “beauty will save the world,” and I agree with him, although personally my declaration is “empathy will save the world,” for there is nothing more beautiful than true empathy. Empathy is the most powerful force for interpersonal healing and growth within our human existence. It is stronger than the many forces (fear,… Read more »

Recovering the value of valuing people: Validating affirmation as the source of a meaningful existence


When I think about the most important and influential moments or experiences in my life I realize that most if not all share a core, underlying feature in terms of either an absence or presence of perceived value. The moments in which I have felt most fully alive are those in which I have directly… Read more »

Giving Thanks Within a Culture of Entitlement


So, here we are once again at that time of the year in which we are reminded to “give thanks” and celebrate our thankfulness for good fortune, blessings, and successes; perhaps, if we are courageous enough, even for our daily challenges and struggles. I wonder, however, if before we proceed with this culturally sanctioned thankfulness,… Read more »

Martyrs and Parasites: Walking the Line between Excessive and Insufficient Responsibility


The martyrdom of St. Stephen. There are ultimately two kinds of people in the world: Those who care about others, and those who care only about themselves. This is, of course, an absurdly oversimplified categorization of human beings, and as a rule I generally oppose such absolute classifications. The actual reality, regardless of appearance, is… Read more »

Answering the Soul’s Calling


Reading Myrtle Heery’s (2014) edited anthology Unearthing the Moment: Mindful Applications of Existential-Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychotherapy reminded me why I love and am so passionately committed to these fields of study and practice. Heery and 24 other contributing authors offer penetrating insights into core aspects of existential-humanistic and transpersonal psychotherapy, within an impressively diverse range… Read more »

Confronting the Destructive Nature of Religious Dogmatism: Overcoming the Disease of Dogmatism, Part Two


Whereas my previous post regarding our human obsession with certainty and its resulting dogmatism dealt with particular concerns relating to dogmatism in general, I will now focus on the dangers inherent to one of its specific and most insidious manifestations. While I am deeply concerned with any concrete form of dogmatism, the one against which… Read more »

Surrendering Our Obsession With Certainty: Overcoming the Disease of Dogmatism, Part One


Photo by Jeffrey M. Dean. We all have certain things that bother us, that “get under our skin,” as we often say, things that can powerfully trigger and elicit the strongest of reactions from deep places within us that we perhaps don’t even know are there. Most of us likely have a favorite, irresistible soapbox,… Read more »

Uncertainty and Doubt within the Change Process: The Risk of Becoming New


As the New Year begins to unfold, we likely have a heightened awareness of the healing power of the “new” in contrast to the destructive power of the “old.” We yearn to free ourselves from the shackles of limiting ways of being, from behavior patterns that have enslaved us for years, or that perhaps were… Read more »

The Call to Authentic Existence: Scrooge and the Hope of Redemptive Transformation


Ebenezer Scrooge in a 19th woodcut by John Leech. The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. Every year I look forward to it with great excitement, eagerly anticipate it, and can’t wait for it to arrive. Most especially, I love Christmas. While I know it may sound corny and cliché to some,… Read more »