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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Upcoming Event: CITY LIGHTS at 60 Dec 8 Panel w/ Kirk Schneider, Marc Applebaum, Tony Stigliano, and Yannis Toussulis

City Lights books at 60 A panel with EHI's Kirk SchneiderCity Lights at 60 is hosting a panel on Dec 8 to discuss the Beats, Bohemianism and Alternative Spirituality 

Panel includes Kirk Schneider, PhD, Marc Applebaum, PhD, Tony Stigliano, PhD and is moderated by Yannis Toussulis, PhD

source: City Lights Books Events Calendar

   CITY LIGHTS AT 60: Hip, Cool, and Beatitude-The Beats, Bohemianism, and Alternative Spirituality
Sunday, December 8, 2013, 5:00 P.M.
City Lights Booksellers
261 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA

This presentation will begin with a short lecture on the Beat Generation's contribution to religious heresy in America and the spiritual underpinnings of the hipster archetype. Additional references will be made to the earlier romantic and transcendentalist roots of the Beats; and a panel will discuss the current influence of the Beats in literature, the arts, philosophy, psychology, and alternative approaches to spirituality.

Yannis Toussulis, Ph.D. – specialist in the psychology of religion, former director of the Consciousness Studies Program at Antioch University/West, and adjunct professor of political and intercultural psychology at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Author of Sufism and the Way of Blame (Quest Books, 2011).

Panel Discussants:
Marc Applebaum, Ph.D. – faculty member at Saybrook University and consulting editor at the Journal of Humanistic Psychology; specialist in phenomenological and hermeneutical research, cross-cultural psychology, and religious studies.
Kirk J. Schneider, Ph.D. – vice president of the Existential-Humanistic Institute, adjunct faculty member at Saybrook University and Teachers College, Columbia University. He is author of ten books including Awakening to Awe (Jason Aronson, 2009) and The Polarized Mind (University Professors Press, 2013).
Tony Stigliano, PhD – moral and political philosopher and adjunct professor of psychology at Alliant International University; former lecturer at CalBerkeley School of Education and Teachers College, Columbia University.

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public and take place at City Lights Bookstore | 261 Columbus Avenue | San Francisco, CA 94133 For more information, call City Lights at 415-362-8193.

Monday, November 25, 2013

JoAnn Loo, EHI Graduate, Shares E-H Experience in New Blog Series, "The Courage to Seek"

JoAnn Loo is a recent graduate of  EHI's Certification in the Foundations of Existential-Humanistic Practice, she shares her journey in a new series of blog posts.

In 2012 JoAnn Loo made the decision to expand her Existential-Humanistic studies and moved from Malaysia to San Francisco to became a student at Existential-Humanistic Institute in the Foundations of E-H Practice. She has recently graduated, moved back to Malaysia and she shares her personal existential journey in an ongoing series of posts on the Saybrook NewExistentists blog entitled "The Courage to Seek."  This series is an authentic look into an individual's existential-humanistic professional journey.

"The Courage to Seek" posts by Joann Loo are available at the New Existentialists for you to explore , the first post includes intro by Mark Yang the Co-Director of the International Psychology Certificate Program at Saybrook University.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

EHI:7 Annual Conference Program Guide

Coming to EHI:7 in San Francisco Nov 15 & 16, 2013? 

The Existential-Humanistic Institute 2013 Annual Conference Program Guide is available for download on the EHI Upcoming Events page and here on the blog : Download the EHI:7 Program Guide.

We are looking forward to engaging with you at EHI:7, we will see you there!

~Existential-Humanistic Institute

Monday, October 28, 2013

Patrick Faggianelli PhD EHI:7 Session Outline

Aikido and Psychotherapy

Patrick Faggianelli, PhD     90 minutes

Aikido is a Japanese martial art that has the stated aim of resolving conflict without violence and in such a way that no one gets injured. Aikido literally means the way of harmonizing (loving) energy. One of the important aikido philosophies is that one must “embrace one’s opponent with love.” In terms of this workshop, if anxiety and worry is “one’s opponent” the aiki approach is to love one’s anxiety and worry. Embedded in the practice of aikido are many concepts including physical self defense, the nature of the universe, the importance of partnership practice, the importance of developing a practice designed to align oneself with the energy of the universe. This seminar will explore underlying contextual elements which inform aikido and discuss, as well as experience, how those principles and practices can be understood and utilized in the practice of Existential, Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology and psychotherapy particularly in relation to the ability to befriend anxiety and worry.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog.

Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Register for EHI:7 Today!

John Ingle, MA EHI:7 Session Outline

Somatic Trauma Therapy Insights From Near Death to Gentle, Everyday Ecstatic Living

John Ingle, MA    90 minutes

Teaching process work on somatic trauma therapy in Russia for 15 years.
Stories of survival and enlightenment.
Insights and new possibilities.
Sensory guidance and resourcing insights to get through reliving near death experiences.
What to do with fear of existence exercise.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog.

Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Register for EHI:7 Today!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ali Miller, MFT EHI:7 Session Outline

Befriending Difficult Emotions through Self-Empathy: Nonviolent Communication as a Tool for Self-Compassion

Ali Miller, MFT    90 minutes

Nonviolent Communication (NVC), developed by Marshall Rosenberg, is deeply congruent with Carl Rogers’ humanistic, person-centered counseling approach. Much more than a communication or conflict resolution tool, NVC is an approach to being with others that offers the opportunity for tremendous healing and transformation. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to NVC principles and tools, with a focus on how NVC can be applied in the therapeutic setting. Particular attention will be given to teaching the skill of self-empathy for dealing with difficult emotions. Didactic and experiential components will be offered.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog.

Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Register for EHI:7 Today!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ken Bradford, PhD EHI:7 Session Outline

Rude Awakening: Trauma as a Portal to Authentic Presence

Ken Bradford, Ph.D.    90 minutes

This will be a contemplative inquiry-conversation considering how trauma – both extraordinary and ordinary – breaks us open to unwanted existential givens of insecurity, unpredictability, and impermanence. Broken-open, we find ourselves at a portal at which we can pause, recoil, or pass through. Daring to closely observe our own and others’ defensive reactions to trauma allows us to better bear what has seemed unbearable. This felt attention is a great power of depth psychotherapy as we know and practice it. Yet, in allowing psychological self-reckoning to deepen, trauma has the further, rude potential to attune us to a more fundamental awakeness as we come face to face with naked, unconstructed, and unconstructing presence.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog.

Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Register for EHI:7 Today!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Janet Jacobson, ACE, CNA/HHA, RNA EHI:7 Session Outline

How Dancers Think and Feel

Janet Jacobson, American Council on Exercise(ACE), CNA/HHA, RNA    90 minutes

My cousin Richard contracted Parkinson’s when he was 63, which was 10 years ago. His daily determination to exercise keeps him from succumbing completely to this disease. In a recent conversation, I moaned that I was worrying too much and needed to let it go. “No!” he quickly replied. “That’s energy, use it.” Of course, he is so right! I’ve had amazing turnarounds within a moment of anxiety. Rather than try and “let go” of this surging emotion I directed its energy toward an immediate task and simultaneously experienced movement possibilities.

It helps to have a Dancer’s frame of mind when flushed with worry or anxiety. My proposal for this session is to give attendees an intimate introduction to the way Dancers think and feel so they may expand their kinesthetic sense and befriend anxiety and worry.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog.

Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Register for EHI:7 Today!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ilene Serlin, PhD, BC-DMT, Sarah Kass, PhD, Candice Hershman, MFT and Eleanor Criswell, PhD EHI:7 Session Outline

The Art of Embodiment

Ilene Serlin, PhD, BC-DMT, Sarah Kass, PhD, Candice Hershman, MFT and Eleanor Criswell, PhD    90 minutes

Anxiety is a natural response to the storms of life; embodiment can provide a calm center from which to experience and find courage and strength in these storms.

In this workshop, several approaches to embodiment will be explored. Kinaesthetic Imagining is a process by which participants awaken consciousness in the body (“incarnate perception”), develop the language and symbols of nonverbal experience (“kinetic melodies”), and discover meaning in their experience (“action hermeneutics”).

Another approach will explore the therapeutic body, the process of meaning-making with the abstract mind versus with affect and emotions, and the connections between ancient practices of yoga and modern somatic practices.

Embodiment is a crucial dimension of existential/humanistic psychology, but has not been as developed as the theoretical and philosophical ones. This workshop, therefore, aims to address this gap by contributing to the articulation of the “felt experienced” dimensions of an existential/humanistic psychology, while forming closer connections to related fields of somatic psychology and creativity studies.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog.

Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Register for EHI:7 Today!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Lisa Firestone, Ph.D. and Joyce Catlett EHI:7 Session Outline

Creating a Meaningful Life: Through Facing the Anxiety of Being an Adult

Lisa Firestone, Ph.D. and Joyce Catlett    90 minutes

Most people are unaware that they are conducting their lives more from a child’s frame of reference than in an adult mode. Although men and women mature physically and become more capable in their practical lives, they often fail to achieve full emotional maturity and strength. From a Separation Theory perspective, a theory that integrates psychodynamic and existential systems of thought, the primary barriers to maturity are unresolved childhood trauma, the defenses the child forms to ward off emotional pain and existential dread. The latter refers to a core anxiety related to growing up, facing the fact that time is passing, and giving value to life in spite of death’s inevitability. This workshop outlines six major aspects of the adult approach to life: acting rational, formulating and implementing goals, equality in relationships, being active versus passive, being non-defensive and open and realizing one’s personal power and strength. We will explore the psychodynamics underlying the tendency to hold onto a child’s perspective despite the emotional turmoil, maladaption and unhappiness it creates. The principle barriers to living an adult existence are the fears and anxiety associated with becoming adult. There are five major aspects to the fear of growing up: Symbolic separation from one’s parents and other individuals who have offered some sense of security, preference for fantasy as a defense mechanism over reality considerations, the threat of feeling one’s aloneness and death anxiety.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog. Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Michael Guy Thompson, Ph.D. EHI:7 Session Outline

Existential Freud: Converting Neurotic Misery Into Common Unhappiness

Michael Guy Thompson, Ph.D.    90 minutes

This presentation will review Freud’s inherently existential take on the human condition as depicted in his seminal and most popular work, CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS (originally titled: “Culture and Unhappiness”). The paper teases out the paradox of our all too human condition, that in order to achieve self-confidence and inner peace amidst the everyday turmoil of modern living we must come to terms with the observation that most of our endeavors end in failure and disappointment. My thesis is that the willingness to take chances in the face of these disappointments is the surest way of obtaining the happiness we aspire to.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog. Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Koke Saavedra, Psy.D. and Galia Schechter, Psy.D. EHI:7 Session Outline

The Freedom to Choose in the Presence of Our Fears and Anxieties: Mindful Acceptance or Mindful Inquiry

Koke Saavedra, Psy.D. and Galia Schechter, Psy.D.    90 minutes

Over the last decade, mindfulness practices promoting a friendly relationship with our fears and anxieties (and other difficult psychological experiences) have become more central to existential–humanistic (such as gestalt, emotion-focused, somatic, etc) and experiential-behavioral(such as acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, etc) psycho therapeutic work with fear- and anxiety-related challenges. This momentous development has raised a fundamental question as to the distinct roles in psychotherapy of mindful inquiry, on the one hand, and mindful acceptance, on the other.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog. Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jeff Sharp, Ph.D. EHI:7 Session Outline

Addressing Grief and a Looming Abyss: Uncertainty, Terror and Unexpected Rewards

Jeff Sharp, Ph.D.   90min

This presentation will initially focus on a critical, pivotal discussion I had with my Mother about nine months before her death. A discussion, that is, that required both of us to face considerable anxiety—and which greatly strengthened our relationship and provided us with immense opportunities to live in a more meaningful and fulfilling manner. I will look at two separate yet interwoven grieving processes: hers, and mine. Reflections on these processes, informed by Existential/Humanistic themes, Kubler’s Ross’s insights on death and dying, and Attachment Theory, will be shared. Following an initial narrative and theoretical presentation, we will have small group discussions in which participants can discuss related grieving processes and decisions in their own lives. We will create a safe context in which participants can explore, if desired, the risks inherent in addressing specific grieving issues in their own lives, and the risks inherent in avoiding these matters.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog. Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Candice Hershman, MA, LMFT, Doctoral Candidate and Sonja Saltman, MA EHI:7 Session Outline

Befriending Each Other: Befriending Agency & Meaning Through Community

Candice Hershman, MA, LMFT, Doctoral Candidate and Sonja Saltman, MA    90 min

In a world that is becoming increasingly technological and globalized, people have adapted to both the advantages and disadvantages of rapid access to information and communication. However, people are additionally becom- ing more isolated and disconnected from each other. The unfortunate result is waning empathy that results from estrangement of the whole-bodied self and the whole experience of others. However, when we entrust our interac- tions to the basic existential principles of relationship and presence in the here and now, we re-establish intra and interpersonal awareness, strengthen empathy, and meet each other, no matter how different our perspectives may be. Hegel’s model of “thesis, antithesis, and synthesis” becomes possible when we become present to the experience of a diverse community in an intimate, heartfelt setting. This sets the tone for problem solving on a local, grassroots level that will hopefully impact our global world. This is the center where our personal empowerment begins.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog. Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Heatherlyn Hoffman, PsyD, Louis Hoffman, PhD and Theopia Jackson, PhD EHI:7 Session Outline

Cultural Competency & Existential Psychotherapy

Heatherlyn Hoffman, PsyD, Louis Hoffman, PhD and Theopia Jackson, PhD    90 minutes

Existential-humanistic psychology, as commonly represented in the professional literature and practice, is heavily steeped in Western and Euro-American culture and its assumptions. Despite this, it has great potential to be practiced in a culturally sensitive manner in diverse contexts and with diverse clientele. To accomplish this, existential therapy must be aware of its biases and assumptions that may be problematic to certain individuals and cultural groups while developing strategies to be adapted in varied settings and contexts. Cultural competency is generally defined to include self-awareness of one’s own cultural views, attitude toward cultural and other differences, knowledge of different cultural worldviews, and skills for working in cross-cultural settings. This presentation explores what it would mean for existential-humanistic therapy and its practitioners to be culturally competent.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog. Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Elva Hoxie, PhD, RN, MPH EHI:7 Session Outline

The Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) on the Survivor’s Spouse/Partner From an Existential-Humanistic Perspective

The research is based on three methods used in the nursing research: concept analysis (Morse, 1995; Walker & Avant, 2005), concept advancement (Penrod & Hupcey, 2005), and integrative review, (Broome, 1993). A main tenet and value of the chosen theorectical designs are two-fold: (1) the methods are based in health research, and (2) the conclusions promote practical utlization for clinical application.

Elva Hoxie, PhD, RN, MPH    90 minutes

The critical review of the literature on traumatic brain injury shows the complexity of brain function and illustrates how damage can negatively affect the survivor’s daily existence  (Kandel, 2006; Greve, 2009; Werner & Engelhard, 2007). Trauma to the brain frequently causes  pervasive cognitive dysfunction and a variety of personality changes, including impulsivity,  unpredictability, anger, lack of critical thinking, lack of empathy, and lack of awareness about one’s own impairments (Godwin, et al., 2011; Saunders & Struchen, 2011). These problematic issues have a negative impact on the marital/couple relationship, family dynamics, and relationships in general. Yet, a meaningful and supportive relationship can contribute to the TBI-survivor’s healing from TBI related life changes and psychological trauma…

The purpose is to help facilitate the process of learning to live with the challenges and transcend the psychological pain into existential meaning.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog. Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

New Article by Bob Edelstein on How Our Identity is Fluid, Subjective and Chosen.

Authenticity and Identity

In this most recent article Bob Edelstein, L.M.F.T., M.F.T discusses how discovering who you are in the moment modifies your already established identity.

From the intro to the article:

In every moment we can rediscover and recreate ourselves. From an Existential-Humanistic perspective, this change takes place when we discover that who we are in the moment is not congruent with how we have identified ourselves. We then have the opportunity to redefine ourselves in order to align with what is most true in the present. To do so, we may need to reinterpret what cannot be denied from our past (George Kelly, Ph.D.). We may also begin to re-envision who we want to be in the future in a more congruent way as we shift this part of our identity into what is authentic in the present. This is an ongoing process because our authentic identity changes throughout our life in response to the impact of our life experiences.

Read the full article on Bob Edelstein's blog Authentic Engagement on the PsychologyToday website published on September 28, 2013.

Related Articles:

Bob Edelstein, L.M.F.T., M.F.T., is an Existential-Humanistic psychotherapist based in Portland, Oregon. In addition to being a therapist for over 36 years, he also provides consultation, supervision, and training for professionals, including a one-day workshop entitled Deepen Your Therapeutic Work Using an Existential-Humanistic Perspective. Bob is a founding member of the Existential-Humanistic Northwest Professional Organization and the Association for Humanistic Psychology - Oregon Community. He is a board member of the San Francisco based Existential-Humanistic Institute.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

EHI7 Conference Update Keynote Speaker Announcement Email

Image and link to EHI7 email update with announcement of Dr E Mark Stern as Opening Keynote Speaker

Did you get the latest EHI Conference Update?

View the EHI7 Opening Keynote Speaker Announcement  here as a webpage.

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Join us on November 15/16, 2013 2-days of Speakers and Sessions in San Francisco, CA at EHI:7.

2 days of Speakers & Sessions with opening keynote speaker, Dr. E. Mark Stern. Speakers & sessions include Kirk Schneider, Orah Krug, Bob Edelstein, Tom Greening and Lisa Vallejos.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

E-H Institute Proudly Welcomes: E. Mark Stern, PhD as Opening Keynote Speaker for EHI:7

Dr. Stern's Keynote Presentation

"Grow Old Along With Me: Psychotherapist Looks at His Own Aging"

"Elders, defying their forgetfulness, become the tellers of passionate tales… Alternative realities are a means to soul making." Dr. Stern states that he has come to appreciate the unique poetics of a tousled mind and that pain and suffering, too, can move us into an unfamiliar paradigm. He states that "through an acceptance of the vitality of dying, we once again know the world."

EHI is excited to have Dr. Stern present the opening keynote at this year's upcoming EHI Conference on November 15/16, 2013. The EHI Conference is two days of speakers and sessions held at EHI/AgeSong on Laguna Street in San Francisco.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog. Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Dr. E. Mark Stern earned his EdD from Columbia University in 1955 and completed post-doctoral work at the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London and thereafter worked at The Maudsley Hospital from 1955-1956. In 1962, Mark earned a certificate in psychoanalysis from the Training Institute of the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis in New York City and has been in private practice since 1956. Additionally, Dr. Stern was chief psychologist of the New York Clinic for Mental Health from 1960-1964, as well as a consultant in psychology for The George W. Henry Foundation from 1956-1962.
From 1964-the present, Mark has served as assistant, full professor, and now professor emeritus of the Graduate Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Iona College, New Rochelle, New York and formerly adjunct professor of psychology at Seton Hall University and Fordham University. He was also a member of the teaching faculty for the American Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis as well as the Training Institute for Mental Health Practitioners, both in New York, and in 1994 was a visiting professor of psychology at the Catholic University of Australia. Dr. Stern served as editor of The Journal of Pastoral Counseling from 1967-1976, of VOICES: The Journal of the American Academy of Psychotherapists from 1976-1988, and was the founding editor of The Psychotherapy Patient Monograph Series from 1988-2003. Mark has concentrated most of his authorship to books, chapters, articles and projects in the sometimes convergence of religious belief and what is central to the practice of psychotherapy.
Dr. Stern has served American Psychological Association(APA)in leadership positions as president of Division 36, (Psychology of Religion) and 32 (Humanistic Psychology). Additionally, he served four terms on the APA Council of Representatives and was a member of the Fellows Chair Committee for Division 32. Mark is currently a fellow of APA Division 12 (Clinical Psychology), 29 (Psychotherapy and Substance Abuse), 32 (Humanistic Psychology), 36 (Psychology of Religion), and 52 (International Psychology); a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science; and a diplomat in clinical psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology. He is also a member of the Dutchess County (NY) Mental Hygiene Board, a trustee of the Stanford Free Library, and the finance chair of the Dutchess County Democratic Committee.

New Speakers Announced for Upcoming EHI:7 Conference

Speakers Sessions for EHI Conference on November 15/16, 2013 

EHI is excited to present these Speakers and their sessions at the 2013 E-H Institute Conference in SF. 

View these Presenters' Session Outlines:
>>Bob Edelstein, LMFT, MFT: "Six Existential-Humanistic Philosophical Frames: Empowering the Therapist "

>>Tom Greening, PhD & Lisa Vallejos, MA: "Existential Shattering"

>>Orah Krug, PhD: "Contact and Context—The Paradox of Relational Presence"

>>Kirk Schneider, PhD: "The Polarized Mind—Its Nature, Basis, and Therapeutic Implications"

Session Updates: More Sessions are to be announced here on the EHI blog- Follow us for updates!

Register for EHI:7:  Download the Registration Form here .

EHI:7 More Information: Find out more about EHI:7 here on the EHI website.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

E-H NorthWest Upcoming Workshop Oct 26, 2013 | The Search for Authenticity: The Practice of Existential-Humanistic Approaches

Logo for Existential Humanistic North West -EH Professionals in Portland Ore founded by bob Edelstein

Existential-Humanistic NorthWest presents

"The Search for Authenticity: The Practice of Existential-Humanistic Approaches"

EHNW in association with the Nonprofit Association of Oregon   is proud to offer a day of workshops with Donald Mihaloew and Bob Edelstein entitled "The Search for Authenticity: The Practice of Existential-Humanistic Approaches" on October 26, 2013 at George Fox University in Tigard, OR.

Morning Workshop 9:00am – 12:15pm
Presented by: Donald M. Mihaloew, Ed.D., LMFT, CFLE

"Reaching Out On the Inside: Processing Courage, Choice and Change While Confronting Our Shadow-Selves"

We have two egos, not one, and two unconsciouses, not none! As such, we need to know the differences and learn how to use them all. Because the brain is 80% wired for survival, we all have to dig deeply inside our Selves to come up with a notion of creation based on True Self discovery rather than on false self protection. Otherwise, we squander our Life Energy compensating for real or imagined inadequacies and settle for a life of what Freud called “normal misery”. We can only go forward by going in deeply. 


 Donald M. Mihaloew, Ed.D., LMFT, CFLE Don is a licensed marriage and family therapist with over forty years of practice and teaching experience in and around the northwest and overseas. Formerly of Eugene, but now residing in Bellingham, Washington, Don still commutes every week to his adjunct teaching position at Portland State University where he teaches marriage, family, and depth psychology courses in the Counselor Education Dept. there.
Don holds a B.A. in philosophy from Westminster College (Pa.), an M.Div, in theology and psychology from Princeton Theo. Sem., an M.A. and an Ed.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Oregon.
He is a clinical member of AAMFT, WAMFT, NCFR (Nat’l Coun. Of Fam. Relat.; Cert.Fam. Life.Ed.), Oregon Friends of C.G., Jung, North American Society of Adlerian Psychology, and the American Association of Humanistic Psychology. His article on The Ego and the Eternal: Ruminations on Cosmic Co-operation appeared in the Decmber,2008/January,2009 issue of AHP’s periodical “The Perspective”. 


Afternoon Workshop 1:15pm – 4:30pm
Presented by: Bob Edelstein, LMFT, MFT

"Authentic Engagement: A Radical Way of Being"

Authentic engagement is the ability of a human being to access all of their inner life, and then, in the most constructive way, to express what is important to them. This workshop will examine the three facets of authentic engagement. Participants will experience the differences between each of the three facets and learn how they can facilitate their clients to experience being authentically engaged in their life.

Bob Edelstein, LMFT, MFT Bob is an Existential-Humanistic psychotherapist with 40 years of experience. He provides consultation, supervision, workshops, and trainings for clinicians and students. He is a blogger for Psychology Today and has published a number of articles on the Existential-Humanistic Perspective, including a chapter in the upcoming second edition of the Handbook of Humanistic Psychology. 
Bob is a founding member of the Existential-Humanistic NorthWest Professional Organization and a former board member of both the Existential Humanistic Institute and the Association for Humanistic Psychology. 

EHNW Workshop

"The Search for Authenticity: The Practice of Existential-Humanistic Approaches"

Saturday, October 26, 2013
9:00am – 4:30pm
George Fox University – Tigard Center

Early Registration by October 1st:  $110
After October 1st   $135
Students  $75
6 CEUs approved by Oregon Counseling Association/NBCC
Registration includes continental breakfast, beverages and lunch.
>>Online Registration Available Here
>>Mail-in Printable Registration Form Here

For more info contact EHNW:  workshop[at]

Check back for the EHNW Workshop Schedule & Outline here on the EHI blog and download here on the EHNW website.

Kirk Schneider, PhD EHI:7 Session Outline

The Polarized Mind—Its Nature, Basis, and Therapeutic Implications

Kirk Schneider, PhD    90 minutes

Drawing from my new book The Polarized Mind: Why It’s Killing Us and What We Can Do About It, the purpose of this presentation is to discuss the nature, basis, and alleviation of psychological polarization. The presentation will emphasize experiential participation with didactic material as context. Dialogue and small group exercises will be engaged to address ways to both identify and address polarization in psychotherapy and everyday lives.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog. Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Orah Krug, PhD EHI:7 Session Outline

"Contact and Context—The Paradox of Relational Presence"

Orah Krug, PhD   90 minutes

This one and a half-hour workshop will provide participants with a didactic and experiential appreciation for the dimensions of the therapeutic encounter, i.e., the “you” the “me” the “we.”  Being present to all three dimensions is crucial because the therapeutic relationship, which is co-created, by therapist and client is the context for healing and change. Within a safe and intimate relationship clients can let go of past relational patterns and develop new ones by integrating previously disowned feelings and experiences. The workshop will particularly focus on how and why real presence with self, other and world is interrupted in both the client and therapist. Participants will be invited to reflect on their own personal contexts and relational styles to experientially understand how interruptions to genuine contact with clients, with self and with the world can occur.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog. Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Tom Greening, PhD and Lisa Vallejos, M.A. EHI:7 Session Outline

"Existential Shattering"

Tom Greening, PhD and Lisa Vallejos, M.A.   90 minutes

This workshop will introduce the concept of Existential Shattering as conceived of by Dr. Tom Greening.  Participants will learn what Existential Shattering consists of and how it is related to trauma and PTSD.  Case vignettes, personal experience and discussion will be utilized during this workshop.

Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog. Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Bob Edelstein EHI:7 Session Outline

"Six Existential-Humanistic Philosophical Frames: Empowering the Therapist "

Bob Edelstein, LMFT, MFT - 90 min Workshop

A core tenet of the existential humanistic philosophy is that presence is a key to guiding therapeutic choices. In this workshop, the presenter will explore six philosophical frames that support the existential humanistic therapist to be more fully present with their clients. This in turn facilitates the clients to be more present with themselves and with the therapist.   The six philosophical frames explored are:
  • Being versus Doing
  • Identifying and exploring existential themes
  • Process versus content
  • Holding the container
  • Everything is everything
  • Inclusion, not amputation
Speakers and sessions are being highlighted here on our blog. Read more about the EHI7 sessions here.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Gloria Saltzman Reviews The Polarized Mind by Kirk Schneider

Gloria Saltzman, psychotherapist in private practice in San Francisco, reviews The Polarized Mind by Kirk Schneider in a piece entitled, "A Historical Haiku on Human Conflict."

The Polarized Mind
Kirk Schneider, PhD
University Professors Press, 2013

Here is the closing quote from the piece:

"Schneider has written a beautiful book that is informative and easy to read. His collection of historical events gives a clear understanding of how he understands why good men have killed other good men since the beginning of recorded time. What must come next, is a conceptual plan to reduce the underlying causes of polarized thinking, the experience of not being seen, of feeling invisible and powerless. In addition, we must also address the confines of mental illness and the lack of effective treatment available to all who suffer. We must not ignore the fact that lethal weapons and easy access to them also play a large role in the level of violence we live with. Schneider contends that by being “ignorant of life’s paradoxes…miracles are squandered.” Tolerance and mutual respect not withstanding, to live in an America without guns and with mental health services available to all would be a big step in keeping “ the polarized mind” in check and would in fact be miraculous." Saltzman, Gloria. "A Historical Haiku on Human Conflict." August 26, 2013.

Read the well-thought out review by Gloria Saltzman in full online here on Tikkun's website.

Related Posts:

Interview | Michael Krasny of KQED Talks with Kirk Schneider

New Article by Kirk Schneider on Winning the Battle Against Extremism and Polarization

Interview | Dr Kirk Schneider with Thom Hartmann on The Big Picture

Featured Book | The Polarized Mind: Why It's Killing Us and What We Can Do About It by Kirk Schneider, PhD

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Article by Kirk Schneider on Winning the Battle Against Extremism and Polarization

How to Prevent Extremism

Combat the Polarized Mind

In his intro to his latest blog post drawn from his book,The Polarized Mind Kirk Schneider writes:
If we are to combat historically rooted, technologically bolstered polarization in our contemporary world, we are going to need bold thinking with longer term, in depth results. As a clinical psychologist with over 35 years of experience, I have seen how the quick fix, instant solution has repeatedly failed when it comes to issues of profound moral import, while the active but slower tussling with such issues has triumphed, both for individuals and societies. If we are to have a chance of saving both ourselves and our planet over the coming decades we will need to mature in ways rarely anticipated by the architects of conventional culture: we will need to mature in the fashion of those who have combated polarization down through the ages--our seers, sages, and depth psychotherapists.
Read the full article on Kirk Schneider's blog Awakening to Awe on the PsychologyToday website published on August 26, 2013.

Related Posts:

Interview | Michael Krasny of KQED Talks with Kirk Schneider

Interview | Dr Kirk Schneider with Thom Hartmann on The Big Picture

Featured Book | The Polarized Mind: Why It's Killing Us and What We Can Do About It by Kirk Schneider, PhD

Friday, August 23, 2013

EHI:7 Conference CEU's Update

Earn CEU's at the Upcoming 7th Annual EHI Conference

This year EHI will be offering CEU's to Professional Level Attendees for RN, MFT and LCSW. Please specify on your EHI7 Registration form if you are interested in receiving CEU's.

You can get a Registration Form on the EHI Website here on the Upcoming Events page or download and print the EHI:7 Conference Flyer pdf and use the handy included registration form!

If you haven't had a chance to view the Conference Flyer here it is:
(if viewing on your smartphone you can scroll on the outside of the viewer)

Interested in staying up to date with Conference and EHI news & info? Sign up for our email updates here.

We look forwarding to seeing you in San Francisco at the EHI 7th Annual Conference on Existential-Humanistic therapy and theory!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Upcoming Event July 31-August 4 | Kirk J Schneider, PhD & Orah Krug, PhD to Present at APA 2013

EHI Boardmembers will be presenting at the 121st Annual American Psychological Association.

logo for APA 2013 Convention in Hawaii, EHI Boardmembers Kirk Schneider and Orah Krug to present
EHI Vice President, Kirk J Schneider and EHI Program and Training Director, Orah Krug will be attending and presenting at the upcoming 2013 APA Annual Conference. Kirk Schneider, PhD will be presenting "The Polarized Mind: Why It Kills, How It's Transformed" in a Paper Session entitled Paradox and Polarization - Existential and Humanistic Perspectives on Truth and Wisdom. Orah Krug, PhD will be presenting "Recent Trends in Existential-Humanistic Therapy Training" in the Symposium Session entitled Renewal of Humanism in Psychotherapy---A Roundtable Discussion chaired by Kirk Schneider. Included below are the listings, details and abstracts for these presentations.

Paradox and Polarization--- Existential and Humanistic Perspectives on Truth and Wisdom.
Session ID: 2024
Session Type: Paper Session
Division/Group: 32, 1, 24, 26, 36, 39, 45, 48
Location: Convention Center-Room 314, Level 3
Date and time: Thursday, 08/01 at 8:00AM - 8:50AM

Presenter: Kirk J Schneider, PhD
Presentation Title:
The Polarized Mind: Why It Kills, How It's Transformed

From the Babylonian story of Gilgamesh to the Nazi era and beyond, psychological polarization (or the privileging of one point of view to the utter exclusion of competing points of view) has become one of the greatest scourges, not just of individuals or cultures, but of humanity. Drawing from an existential-depth perspective, this talk touches on three basic concerns: 1) how power centers and their leaders throughout history have repeatedly become polarized, 2) the physically and psychologically destructive toll that this polarization has exacted, and 3) some steps that can be taken to alter this destructive and potentially cataclysmic path. Although several volumes have been written about this phenomenon generally, from the authoritarian personality studies of Adorno and colleagues (1950), to the obedience studies of Milgram (1962) to the treatises on “opposable minds” (Martin, 2007), “divided minds” (Sunstein, 2009), and “righteous minds” (Haidt, 2012), most of these studies have been written from the standpoint of reductionistic science (e.g., the findings of paper and pencil tests or biological and evolutionary psychology). This talk by contrast will draw from the intimate observations of existential depth psychology to both address and propose alternatives to the polarization peril. The psychological literature on the cultivation of awe and wisdom will be central to this latter discussion. To sum, I will plumb deeply into the question of what sets up the conditions for polarized functioning, how that functioning has impacted individual and social well-being, and what steps we might take to address the problem. Examples will be used from actual historical events, contemporary as well as classic psychological research, personal clinical experience, and my recent book The Polarized Mind (in press).

Also presenting in this session is Daniel A. Helminiak PhD -   Seeking Truth and Respecting Diversity: Resolving the Contemporary Paradox.

Renewal of Humanism in Psychotherapy---A Roundtable Discussion.
Session ID:       3227
Session Type:       Symposium
Division/Group:       29, 12, 17, 32, 35, 39
 Location:       Convention Center - Room 321A, Level 3
Day/Time:       Fri 08/02 at 12:00PM - 1:50PM

Presenter: Orah Krug, PhD
Presentation Title:     Recent Trends in Existential-Humanistic Therapy Training

In this presentation I will explore the renewal of humanism by examining recent trends in existential-humanistic (e-h) training and educational programs. Current research, revealing that personal and relational factors are primarily responsible for healing and change, has contributed to a renewed appreciation for humanistic practice principles. One researcher, Bruce Wampold even suggested that e-h principles could form the basis of all effective therapy. The training and educational program that I will give special attention to is grounded in the current research and these principles. Two of its primary learning objectives are: (a) a focus on the development of the therapist as a whole person, and (b) a focus on the therapeutic encounter as a context for healing and change. As director of the EHI/Saybrook certificate program in the “Foundations of Existential-Humanistic Practice,” I have first-hand knowledge of this particular program. In addition to providing vignettes of the training, I will also provide students’ perspectives on the efficacy of the program.

This session will be chaired by Kirk Schneider, PhD. Also presenting in this session are: David N. Elkins, PhD, Participant/1stAuthor, "Research Support for Humanism: Implications for Psychotherapy Training and Practice;" Robert D. Stolorow, PhD, Participant/1st Author,  "Renewal of Humanism in Psychoanalytic Therapy;" Lillian Comas-Diaz PhD, Participant/1stAuthor"Renewal of Humanism in Multicultural Therapy;", and Melba J.T. Vasquez, PhD, Discussant.

If you will be attending the 2013 APA Conference EHI welcomes you to join these sessions and wish you a great convention!

Related Posts:

Featured Book | The Polarized Mind: Why It's Killing Us and What We Can Do About It by Kirk Schneider, PhD

Orah Krug: Lessons From an Existential-Humanistic Training Program

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

EHI Welcomes New Advisors Dr. Diane Blau and Dr. Donna Rockwell

EHI is proud to announce it's newest Advisors Dr. Diane Blau and Dr. Donna Rockwell.

Bio pic of Dr Diane Blau as new Advisor to EHI
     Dr. Diane Blau | EHI Advisor     
Dr. Blau is president, co-founder, and previous Dean of Academic Affairs at the Michigan School of Professional Psychology (MiSPP). She has collaboratively developed the masters and doctoral programs at MiSPP and promotes the study of humanistic psychotherapy and qualitative research. Dr. Blau is a national and international presenter and is co-author of The Imperfect Therapist. Read Dr. Blau's bio here.

Bio pic of EHI Advisor Dr. Donna Rockwell
Dr. Donna Rockwell | EHI Advisor

Dr. Donna Rockwell is a mindfulness meditation teacher and existential-humanistic psychologist in private practice. Dr. Rockwell designed the Mindfulness and Psychotherapy curriculum in the Michigan School of Professional Psychology’s (MiSPP) doctoral program. She contributes to Huffington Post, and Detroit’s Ambassador Magazine and Dr.Rockwell teaches courses in Mindfulness and Psychotherapy; Foundations and Applications of Qualitative Research; Core Concepts in Humanistic Psychology; Group Process and Communication; Community Outreach in Psychology; and Professional Writing Seminar. Visit Dr. Rockwell's bio page here.

EHI warmly welcomes Dr. Diane Blau and Dr. Donna Rockwell as EHI Advisors!

Friday, July 12, 2013

EHI Welcomes Lisa Vallejos

EHI welcomes Lisa Vallejos as new Program/Marketing Administrator

Lisa Vallejos, M.A.,LPC, NCC
The Existential-Humanistic Institute is proud to announce its new Program Administrator, Lisa Vallejos, M.A., LPC, NCC.  

As the new Program and Marketing Administrator, Lisa brings a wealth of experience and talent to the EHI team.

Lisa is a LPC and NCC in private practice specializing in Existential Psychology. She is currently completing her Phd as well as advanced training in Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy and provides clinical training and supervision.  In addition to her clinical work Lisa has founded and currently runs a non-profit, provides executive coaching and has served as a leadership development consultant for many years. Lisa has a deep compassion for humanity and it can be seen not only at Veritas Counseling, the counseling facility she founded, but also with her advocacy in the community with organizations such as Gabriel's Gift, Donor Alliance and The Children's Hospital of Colorado. We are excited to have Lisa bring her extensive experience to the administration of the EHI Certificate Programs including the newest program in advanced training, EHI Master Therapist in Existential-Humanistic Therapy Certificate.

We extend a warm welcome to Lisa as she joins the EHI Team!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

AgeSong | Words of Wisdom

“Our happiness is the happiness of others. The misfortune of others is our misfortune. To see ourselves in others and feel an inner sense of unity with them represents a fundamental revolution in the way we view and live our lives. Therefore, discriminating against another person is the same as discriminating against ourselves. When we hurt another, we are hurting ourselves. And when we respect others, we respect and elevate our own lives as well.”
“Do not worry in the least about yourself, leave all worry to God,” – this appears to be the commandment in all religions. This need not frighten people. They who devote themselves to service with a clear conscience, will day by day grasp the necessity for it in greater measure, and will continually grow richer in faith. The path of service can hardly be trodden by those who are not prepared to renounce their self-interests, and who cannot recognize the conditions of their birth. Consciously or unconsciously, every one of us does render some service or other. If we cultivate the habit of doing this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow stronger, and will make not only for our own happiness but that of the world at large.”

“If you have a touchstone, go ahead, choose; otherwise, go and devote yourself to one who knows the differences. Either you must have a touchstone within your own soul, or if you don’t know the way, find someone who does.”
- Rumi

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

EHI 7th Annual Conference | Newsletter & Brochure

Print the new EHI:7 Info Brochure & Quick Mail-in Registration Form

We just sent out an EHI email update with the latest info from the new EHI:7 Conference Brochure. You can download and print the EHI:7 Brochure here[pdf] and you can view this EHI email update online here.

EHI 7 November 15/16, 2013 at AgeSong Institute in San Francisco

EHI:7 Conference Theme

Befriending Anxiety and Worry:
Finding Strength and Meaning in Everyday Living

“Finding the center of strength within ourselves is in the long
run the best contribution we can make to our fellow men. ...
One person with indigenous inner strength exercises a great
calming effect on panic among people around him. It is is what
our society needs — not new ideas and inventions; important
as these are, and not geniuses and supermen, but persons who
can “be”, that is, persons who have a center of strength within
~ Rollo May, Man’s Search For Himself

Speaker Proposals Now Being Accepted

We welcome proposals that address this theme from a variety of perspectives with preference for experiential workshops that combine a didactics with ‘felt experiencing’ or other modalities that move us beyond the abstract and talking ‘about’ things.

About EHI:7

Celebrating EHI’s 7TH annual conference, EHI:7 will focus on the introduction and deepening understanding of the theory and practice of existential-humanistic psychotherapy.
Learn the basic assumptions underlying existential-humanistic (E-H) psychotherapy, therapeutic interventions as illuminated through “live” work with active cases, demonstrations, and engaging presentations. Also explore how to effectively work in the “here and now” with yourself, your client, and in the relation between the two. Stretch the principles of E-H beyond psychotherapy into other realms of human experience and psychological work. EHI:7 will be held in San Francisco, at AgeSong Elder Care in centrally-located Hayes Valley neighborhood. The planned schedule will include high level keynote speakers and workshops. EHI:6 hosted over 5 keynote speakers and 6 breakout sessions.

Would you like to be notified when EHI:7 updates come out?

Sign up for EHI email updates

Earn Continuing Education Units (CEU)

CEU is available to RN, RCFE , and BBS (MFTs/LCSWs).
Visit EHI's website online


Existential Humanistic Institute 
2-Day Conference
November 15/16, 2013
AgeSong Institute
624 Laguna Street, 

San Francisco, CA 94102

The Registration Fee covers attendance to keynote and breakout sessions, coffee breaks and a special evening reception. The Professional rate is $250, student rate is $150 and Presenter rate is $150. There is also a 1-Day attendee fee option: 1-Day attendance rate for Professional level is $150, the 1-Day student rate is $75.

Register here for EHI:7 today!


Please contact Dr. Mary Madrigal

Related Posts:

Read about the EHI 6th Annual Conference 2012 at AgeSong San Francisco:
"Everyday Existentialism: Cultivating Presence, Awe and Meaning"

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Featured Book | New eBook Edition of Deeper into the Soul Available Now

Book Cover for Deeper into the Soul: Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer's Towards Forgetfulness Care by Nader Robert Shabahangi, Ph.D. & Bogna Szymkiewicz, Ph.D.

Deeper into the Soul: Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer's Towards Forgetfulness Care

by Nader Robert Shabahangi, Ph.D. & Bogna Szymkiewicz, Ph.D.
Elders Academy Press, 2008

eBook edition $9.95 (epub and mobi formats)

“If you are a researcher, a hospital worker, a teacher, a caregiver, this book belongs on your desk or at your bedside. Deeper into the Soul will push you further than you meant to go, surprising you into a smile of pleasure, a buzz of new learning, a challenge to your usual interpretation of meaning. Best of all, it will engage and enlarge your heart.”

—Elizabeth Bugental, Psychotherapist and Author of AgeSong: Meditations for Later Years

Read more about Deeper into the Soul and authors Nader Robert Shabahangi and Bogna Szymkiewicz here.

Deeper into the Soul, ebook edition $9.95*, plus shipping & handling

For your convenience your new Deeper into the Soul eBook is available in both ePub and Mobi formats.

About the Mobi format: Mobi is PC and Kindle-compatible. Mobi files can be read on the Amazon Kindle.

About the ePub format: ePub can be read on the Apple iPad, Nook, Sony Reader, smart phones such as the Android, Adobe Digital Editions, and many other devices.

This book and all Elders Academy Press books are currently available 4 for the price of 3 during our Celebrate Eldership! book offer.

*During the Celebrate Eldership! book offer the price is 25% off if purchased with 3 other books from Elders Academy Press!

Related posts:

Featured Book | Conversations with Ed - Waiting for Forgetfulness: Why are we so Afraid of Alzheimer's Disease?

Featured Book: Doing Sixty and Seventy by Gloria Steinem

Featured Book | Deeper into the Soul: Beyond Dementia and Alzheimer’s Towards Forgetfulness Care by Nader R Shabahangi, Ph.D. & Bogna Szymkiewicz, Ph.D.

Featured Book: AgeSong: Meditations for Our Later Years by Elizabeth Bugental, PhD

Featured Book: Encounters of the Real Kind edited by Nader R Shabahangi, PhD

Celebrate Eldership! with Elders Academy Press Book Offer: Buy 3 get 4th book free

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Featured Website | Existential-Humanistic NorthWest

Logo for Existential-Humanistic NorthWest non-profit org for healing professionals
Existential-Humanistic Announces New Website/Online
Resources for Healing Professionals
We are pleased to share this link to the new website for Existential-Humanistic NorthWest. Envisioned by Portland psychotherapist, Bob Edelstein (former EHI Board Member and current EHI Advisor), as a result of his passion for the existential-humanistic perspective. Newly launched, is the online home of EHNW, a Pacific Northwest organization of healing professionals who aim to embody the primary existential-humanistic values found in the EHNW Vision:
Existential-Humanistic NorthWest is here to impact the world through existential-humanistic values of authenticity, integrity, responsibility, inclusion, and awe.
Find out more about EHNW and get to know the 12 members of the Existential-Humanistic NorthWest Organization Development Committee on the About page of EHNW here. Also check out the EHNW Upcoming Events/Activities, visit the events page here . EHNW invites you to stay up to date with EHNW news and events byjoining the EHNW mailing list here.

Related Posts:

Bob Edelstein Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy Interview Series Pt 5 (w/ links to Parts 1-4)

Recently Bob Edelstein writes on "We are No-thing"

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Registration Open | EHI 7th Annual Conference

"Beyond Anxiety and Worry: Finding Strength and Meaning in Everyday Living."

EHI has opened registration for the upcoming 7th Annual Existential-Humanistic Institute Conference. The 2013 Conference theme "Beyond Anxiety and Worry: Finding Strength and Meaning in Everyday Living" will be explored in the two-day event taking place at the AgeSong Institute in San Francisco.

Online and off-line registration options are available here at the EHI Upcoming Events page along with more information.

To receive email updates regarding EHI and EHI's 2013 Annual Conference join our mailing list:

Sign up for EHI email updates

Related Posts:

EHI Annual Nov Conference info and Call for Proposals

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Featured Interview | Dr Kirk Schneider with Thom Hartmann on The Big Picture

Why Extremism is on the rise...Kirk J. Schneider, Ph.D., The Polarized Mind, joins Thom Hartmann on The Big Picture

Dr Kirk Schneider talks with Thom Hartmann about why extremism is on the rise. We often talk about right-wing extremists trying to take over the Republican Party - but in reality - there are extremists in all branches of our society. What leads someone to resort to extremism - and how can we combat polarization of the mind?

View the interview:

Book Release and Signing

Join us May 22, 2013 6:00pm - 8:00pm at Saybrook University Campus for Book Release and Signing with Kirk Schneider, PhD, Polarized Mind, at Saybrook University. Jointly hosted by Saybrook University and University Professors Press.

Related Posts:

Featured Book | The Polarized Mind: Why It's Killing Us and What We Can Do About It by Kirk Schneider, PhD

Monday, May 20, 2013

Featured Webinar Event | The Self Under Siege: A New Model of Differentiation

Bio pic of Dr. Dr Lisa Firestone Author and Clinical Psychologist - presenter of webinar "The Self Under Siege: A New Model of Differentiation" Presented by: Dr. Lisa Firestone, author and clinical psychologist

Webinar | The Self Under Siege: A New Model of Differentiation
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 4pm to 5:30pm PST
Register and view program at any time (it will be recorded)
3 CE Credits- $35 includes recording, PowerPoint and two chapters.

Differentiation refers to the struggle people face in striving to develop a sense of themselves as autonomous individuals. A fundamental question to have clients consider is: are they living based on the things that really light them up and give meaning to their lives, or are they living based on prescriptions from their past? Are they living according their own values and principles or according to the values and standards of others or society? A person's identity is continually affected by interpersonal experiences that are either favorable or damaging to the development of his or her personality. In order for people to fulfill their destiny, they must free themselves from destructive influences. When someone is able to develop and sustain aspects of their unique identity, they're able to live truly individualistic lives. This Webinar teaches an innovative approach to differentiation, a four-step process developed by Robert Firestone, PhD :
  1. Breaking with internalized thought processes, critical attitudes toward self & others.
  2. Altering the negative personality traits in oneself that represent an incorporation of aversive traits of one’s parents
  3. Identifying/relinquishing patterns of defense formed as an adaptation to painful events in childhood.
  4. Developing one’s own values, ideals & beliefs. 
When taking this challenge of differentiation, clients have their best chance of living a goal-directed life & developing themselves to their fullest.

Learn more or register here -
PyschAlive Events | The Self Under Siege: a New Model of Differentiation

A recording will be sent to all paid registrants. 
CEs are offered to professionals through PsychoEducational Resources, Inc. (PER). 
For beginner, intermediate, and advanced level practitioners. 
Get CE details at  
CE Certificates are mailed from (PER) 3-4 weeks after Webinar completion. 
For more CE info call PER at 800-892-9249, email
For special needs - or 805-681-0415.
No cancellations/ refunds.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Consensus Smiles | Conversations with Ed

Dr. Sally Gelardin shares some of her perspective on the backstory of Conversations with Ed - Waiting for Forgetfulness

Nader, Ed and Patrick discuss
"Conversations with Ed -
Waiting for Forgetfulness
I first met Ed in early 2010, at a book event in Marin, where Ed was presenting with Nader Shabahangi, Founder and CEO of AgeSong Elder and Assisted Living Communities, and Patrick Fox, Co-Director, Institute for Health & Aging, UCSF.

Conversations with Ed, Waiting for Forgetfulness: Why Are We So Afraid of Alzheimer's Disease? is a book about Ed, who had been diagnosed with early Alzheimer's in 2008. I was inspired by the book, the conversation, and especially by the dignity that Ed both demonstrated and inspired from the audience and his co-presenters. As a result, I chose to volunteer at one of AgeSong’s elder communities in the Bay area, where I met other individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's, who were also treated respectfully and provided with a variety of enrichment activities.

Origins of the Book

In the following interview with Bob Levitt, Ed’s long-time friend, I learned how Ed and Nader met and how Nader came to co-author the book with Ed and Patrick. Book cover Conversations With Ed by by Ed Voris, Nader Shabahangi and Patrick Fox
Bob recalled: "I was really just a messenger, carrying an idea, a concept, that had been developed in concert with Ed and Elizabeth Bugental. It was Elizabeth who encouraged us to go to her friend Nader and develop a relationship of mutual benefit between Ed and AgeSong. I have known Ed for over 20 years. We met in the early '90s. I was a director on the board of the Bolinas Community Land Trust (BCLT) and completely ignorant in the realm of affordable housing projects. Ed was an affordable housing project manager, serving non-profits. BCLT’s board's hiring committee interviewed all the applicants for that job and selected Ed.

Dealing with HUD was (and still is) a rigorous, tedious process. Ed made the process both clear and somewhat fun. He had that good sense of humor and even disposition to manage a tricky and difficult business. Unlike other managers of such projects, who appear to be jovial, but can be manipulative, his humor isn't the manipulative kind that "covers up" or "distracts" illuminates."

Ed has a direct, honest approach. His good spirit is genuine. In the non-profit world, people like that are precious. Ed met Nader at AgeSong. Elizabeth Bugental came up with the AgeSong name. She created it from the depths of her experience and perception of aging, from her belief that even the most challenging elements of aging can be seen – and lived – as part of life's full song. I'm sure she says it better in her own words, in her book, AgeSong: Meditations for Our Later Years, one of the seminal connections.

Elizabeth was living with James Bugental, her husband, a legendary psychologist, teacher, and writer. Jim’s pioneering work in existential psychology influenced hundreds of young psychologists, including Nader Shabahangi. Elizabeth was running the drama department at a university in Washington, DC, related to art, psychology, and aging. Then Jim had a stroke, losing all sense that he was James Bugental.

At a presentation, Elizabeth told us that she had hoped that Jim was going to come along that evening, but he had a cold and wasn't feeling so well, so he stayed at home. And when she "talked about" Jim, she talked with an insightful, compassionate empathy that amazed and informed us all. Elizabeth described what it was like to be a partner of a man who had no recollection of his career or their life together. She said that though Jim’s short and long-term memory were gone, his essence was still there – open hearted, sensitive, and present. He did not remember tha the was married to Elizabeth, but his knew that she was very nice and adored him. Because what she put into the relationship was so pure, Jim responded with trust. She was able to impart the merits of being trustworthy with a husband who had no memory of their relationship.

At a party Elizabeth threw for Jim, everyone spoke about what Jim gave to them in their lives. When they finished, Jim said to Elizabeth, “Who? That’s me. I really did that!” When she spoke to us on that one night, she evoked the best kind of tears from many of us. Jim lived to be in his 80s. Elizabeth died about five or six years later. Before she died, I told her that I had a friend, Ed, who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She was running an AgeSong support group in Marin. She wanted to meet Ed. I introduced her to Ed at lunch in Petaluma. They got along immediately. Elizabeth told Ed to keep breaking new boundaries, to relax, and to get together with Nader. Ed adored her. Shortly thereafter, Ed met with Nader. In 2007, Nader brought Ed together with Patrick and they wrote the book collectively, each bringing his special perspective into the conversation.

Six Years Later

Ed lived independently for many years and has recently moved to AgeSong’s Hayes Valley community in San Francisco, where one can usually find him in the front lobby, watching the world go by and chatting with passersby. His friend Bob had fears about Ed moving to assisted living. Bob was afraid Ed was feeling frustrated about his lack of independence. “He finds life entertaining and stimulating at AgeSong,” Bob noted. He continued: "Ed is at his best when he feels useful, even when it's simply through the elevating quality of his humor.Yesterday, as he struggled with his mind's fluctuating abilities, trying to express what was an important point, getting it started, but losing it, starting it again, losing it again, restarting, losing, restarting, losing.....I tried to help by doing a rehash of what he'd said, a bit of what had led into what he'd said, then his key words repeated, and then, as he stared at me with a puzzled look, I added the explanation, 'I just said all that as a rehash for you to consider, to get you re-directed back on track', to which Ed replied, 'Well consider me un-re-directed.' And, once again, our efforts in "keeping continuity" surrendered pleasantly to shared laughter. Ed's humor is a great and continuous, therapeutic gift, to us and himself."

“I like it here,” asserted Ed, “I talk with people who have hours worth of talk. My favorite thing to do is to support people and to make decisions to work our way out of medical problems. I’m working hard at doing little.” At a recent Elders Academy session, Ed said, “We do not spend enough time to figure out who we are and why we are here. When I want to go home, I ask myself, ‘Isn’t home where the heart is?’ ”

[Reprinted from We are AgeSong, May 2013 AgeSong Communities Newsletter posted on AgeSongToday by Dr Sally Gelardin, Enrichment Director at AgeSong Elder & Assisted Living Communities]

Click here to see more Upcoming Events at AgeSongAgeSongToday

Related Posts:

Featured Book | Conversations with Ed – Waiting for Forgetfulness: Why are we so Afraid of Alzheimer’s Disease? by Ed Voris, Nader Shabahangi and Patrick Fox in collaboration with Sharon Mercer

Celebrate Eldership with Elders Academy Press Book Offer

Upcoming May 17 Elders Academy session | Learn about AgeSong’s Elders Academy Certificate Training Program

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Upcoming Events | Elders Academy: Learning How To Be an Elder at Any Age

Eldership Education for the Second Half of Life
 by Nader Shabahangi, AgeSong Founder and CEO

Elders Academy Sessions to be held at AgeSong San Francisco
AgeSong Elders Academy
Exploring the Definition of
Eldership and Implementing
Personal Eldership Practice
Exploring the definition of eldership, cultural views of eldership in history, eldership in the media, principles and practices of eldership, and implementing a personal eldership practice.

Elders Academy prepares us through education for the second half of life. Whereas societies have found ways to initiate us for the demands of our first half of life through educating us for adulthood and middle adulthood, we are often less prepared to face the second half of life. Here concepts such as retirement and golden years present a limited idea of the potential contained in our second half. Elders Academy re-establishes a truly important role which has been lost in the last few centuries of our industrialization: the role of the elder.

The role of the elder was once the most revered role in our human communities. Eldership as a role and position within a human community started within the tribal traditions. There we find an emphasis on elders as guides and leaders. This indicates that they are experienced and wise and are fit to lead the tribe and teach the young. Elders also resolve social concerns and are expected to make final decisions about the direction communities will take on the many social and individual issues we humans must face.

Today, however, elders are scarcely available to guide and initiate the young and lead our communities to make wise decisions. There is an absence of elders also because the old have not been given the skills and ability to be elders. Moreover, in the last few centuries, the status of the elderly as respected members of their societies has declined. Paralleling this decline has been a diminution of the elders’ role in their respective communities.

We need to train elders if we want to help individuals living in our communities and societies with the important tasks of supporting and guiding the younger in age and experience. For being older does not make an elder. As the history of eldership shows clearly, the qualities attributed to being an elder are quite universal. These traits must be acquired through much training, learning and practice. If we recall, for example, how monks in the various spiritual traditions are initiated over many years into becoming a respected member of their communities, then we have a glimpse of what it will take for an older person to grow into becoming an elder.

Michael Meade emphasizes this point as follows:
“Elders, by tribal imagination, and by more recent definition, are those who have learned from their own lives, those who have extracted a knowledge of themselves and the world from their own lives. We know that a person can age and still be very infantile. This happens if a person doesn’t open and understand the nature of his or her own life and the kind of surprising spirit that inhabits him or her.”

However, where do we learn anymore how to ‘extract knowledge’ from ourselves and the world? What places are left where those of us interested in eldership can learn? Where do we turn to allow our elder within to grow out of us?

Elders Academy is this place within which we can learn to become elders at any age. It is a place where the values that often arrive with age are also seen as an alternative to living a life of meaning and depth. As such, eldership provides a different approach to the way our young and middle adults understand their lives, what they deem to be their values. Our second half of life, rather than being a burden or a period of decline, is understood as the most important part of our life for which the first half was but preparation.

It is our elders, their life experience, skill, knowledge and wisdom that will help usher in a new era of understanding how we can live in harmony with planet and people. And it is our elders that will lead the way to teach us younger in age how we can reach a sustainable way of life, both in terms of matter and spirit.

Upcoming Elders Academy Events:

May 17, 2013 | 4:00 pm - 6:00pm
AgeSong Cafe
602 Hayes Street (corner of Hayes and Laguna)
San Francisco, CA
Topic: Learn about AgeSong’s Elders Academy Certificate Training Program, including Experience in the AgeSong Communities
RSVP: Marlena del Hierro, 415.318.8672 E-Mail:

June 21, 2013 | 4:00 pm - 6:00pm
AgeSong Cafe
602 Hayes Street (corner of Hayes and Laguna)
San Francisco, CA
Session topic: That Old Song and Dance
Featuring Deborah Bloch, PhD, author of That Old Song and Dance
Read more about Deborah Bloch and book here in AgeSongToday article. RSVP: Marlena del Hierro, 415.318.8672 E-Mail:

July 19, 2013 | 4:00 pm - 6:00pm
AgeSong Cafe
602 Hayes Street (corner of Hayes and Laguna)
San Francisco, CA
Session topic: Food for Thought
Presented by Nader Shabahangi
RSVP: Marlena del Hierro, 415.318.8672 E-Mail:

Click here to view more Upcoming Events at AgeSong

[Reprinted with permission from AgeSongToday | January 25, 2013, Elders Academy: Learning How To Be an Elder at Any Age]