No, We’re Not “Divided” – Some of Us Are Simply Lost from Social Reality

One of the basic tenets of Alfred Adler’s theory is that most social realities are fictions – and they are either socially useful fictions, or else socially useless (harmful) ones. This “psychology of ‘as-if,’” which Adler adopted from the philosopher Hans Vaihinger, is similar to the post-modern or social constructivist way of thinking, and says that common-sense (or consensual) reality is usually the healthiest basis for an individual’s construction of social reality. The closer to common-sense thinking we remain, the healthier our beliefs tend to be. An over-reliance on “private logic,” in Adler’s view, is a mark of pathology.Continue Reading No, We’re Not “Divided” – Some of Us Are Simply Lost from Social Reality

Predicting and Preventing Workplace Violence: An EAP’s Worst Nightmare

The recent tragedy involving the murders of a news reporter and camera operator on the air in Roanoke, Virginia is a reminder that workplace grievances and grudges can erupt into violence very easily, and that terminating a person’s employment can be the trigger that causes a marginally disturbed person to become violent. Taking away a person’s job not only threatens his or her sense of survival (because a job is the means we have to provide ourselves with food, clothing, and shelter), but also threatens a person’s self-image and self-worth, when being fired is equivalent to a rejection. One of the most difficult aspects of such a situation is that the breaking point may not occur when the employer and co-workers might expect it and can prepare. Often, as in this case, it simmers for months or even years before a violent incident occurs.Continue Reading Predicting and Preventing Workplace Violence: An EAP’s Worst Nightmare

Unspeakable Horror

In the aftermath of the horrific shootings in Sandy Hook Elementary School, we see (as we do after each of these increasingly common incidents) many pieces in news media and from mental health experts (including the American Psychological Association) on how to talk to children about such tragedies. Unfortunately, we adults also need help in figuring out how to talk to each other – and ourselves – about such events.Continue Reading Unspeakable Horror