Tag: Mark McKinley

The Role of Morality in Trauma

Trauma represents a life altering experience. It engenders a sense of helplessness, confusion, and disorganization for those directly involved in it and for those who bear witness to it. Part of this confusion is attempting to decipher what is real and what is fantasy, what is inside and what is outside, what happened in the… Read more »

Covering and Unconvering Shame in the Therapeutic Relationship


Rodin’s Eve After the Fall The experience of shame is universal. As social creatures, humans desire connection and a sense of belonging. Each social group to which one belongs has established, often implicitly, certain standards of behavior or ways of being that are deemed acceptable. Transgressing these moral codes of appropriateness threatens expulsion or censure… Read more »

Experience and Psychological Well-Being


Photo by Andreas Praefcke via Wikimedia Commons The question of what constitutes psychological well-being has always fascinated me because it appears so elusive.  With the exception of positive psychology, it is most readily defined as an absence of psychopathology and efforts to assert its constituent parts seem under theorized.  Yet the notion of psychological well-being… Read more »

Poiesis and the Art of Therapy


Illustration from Balzac’s 1842 A Bachelor’s Establishment. Our understanding of psychotherapy has traditionally focused on the interplay between theory and technique. In practice, however, as is often the case, a gap emerges between these two concepts. The persistence of such a gap suggests our conventional schema for understanding the practice of psychotherapy may be obscuring… Read more »

Marcel on Hope


What’s the question? Hope is a fickle thing.  Some extoll it as a saving grace in trying times while others decry it as a cruel deception.  Often described as fleeting and other times as enduring, it always appears to signify an affectively powerful experience.  It can inspire courage, motivation, and sustain a sense of faith,… Read more »