Sin and Injury: When Sorry Is Not Enough

With the recent spate of revelations about sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and sexual assault being reported in the media, many people of conscience wonder exactly what the aggressors owe the people who were the targets of their hurtful behavior. There are a lot of components to the hurt that people may have suffered, but the most devastating effects are the destruction of their sense of self-confidence and safety, the shame, the guilt (always undeserved), and the damage to their reputation and social support systems. Simply keeping a secret like a sexual assault is destructive, but when added to shame, guilt, fear, and traumatic disruption of a life, it can be crippling.

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October 22, 2013 Rally for Illinois Marriage Equality

Rally in Springfield
October 22 2013 rally in Springfield

I traveled to the Illinois State Capitol this week with a busload of faculty, staff, and students from Adler School of Professional Psychology, for a rally and march in support of SB 10, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which passed the Illinois Senate earlier this year but did not pass in the Illinois House. The hope was that it would be taken up by the House during the veto session, and would overcome the perceived resistance of some religious groups, particularly of traditionally African-American churches. Continue Reading October 22, 2013 Rally for Illinois Marriage Equality

Work, Justice, and Social Responsibility

Alfred Adler’s Individual Psychology views human life in terms of social connectedness, and mental health in terms of how well we are meeting the tasks of life. Adler saw these tasks as falling into three main categories: Love and intimate relationships, friendships and social connections, and work. Adlerians view the task of work in terms of making a contribution to the community. This is much more than simply earning money, because it takes into account using your talent, energy, and effort to contribute to the common good.

Adlerians have always been sensitive to issues of social justice, because social interest – the innate feeling of wanting to belong and courage to meet the tasks of life – can be thwarted by conditions that prevent a child or adult from developing a sense of feeling equal and competent. Rudolf Dreikurs (the founder of Adler School of Professional Psychology) wrote a book titled Social Equality: The Challenge of Today back in the 1960’s. That challenge is still with us in the 21st century.Continue Reading Work, Justice, and Social Responsibility