Third Force Psychology

1 Commentby   |  04.23.13  |  Student Posts

Third force psychology is killing me, but only because I am letting it. In my mind, the focus on free will almost strips you of your individuality. It sounds paradoxical. And I think it is. As soon as you begin trying to live an “authentic” life, you quickly realize that everything around you is influencing you and you cannot escape all of it.

If you have not read the play “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett, I highly recommend it. The play is centered around two characters who are waiting for someone, someone they do not know, someone named…you guessed it…Godot. They wait and do all sorts of absurd things (an illusion to the existential “absurd”) to pass the time. The take-away is that the meaning of life does not exist inherently. A person must create value by defining it and living it. On a grander scale, perhaps there is some inherent meaning but we, as humans, are incapable of understanding it. I’m getting carried away with philosophy. Back to psychology:

I have not studied or practiced existential therapy so do not mistake my pondering as truth. I would consider the focus on choices and consequences to be very effective in therapy because it gives the client some freedom. I can also see how understanding that death is inevitable would help a client who is grieving or about to lose a family member. All of this has to be tactfully and with skill. I doubt that very few clients would find it helpful to hear “death is inevitable and their time has come”. I also would not be surprised if that blunt satement does help someone. It is all about context. It really is. That is what makes therapy and life so difficult. We never know anyone’s story completely and we never will. We can only know our own stories, and even then, only if we try.

How can we take something so basic and make it so complicated?

You really should read the play. It’s short.

1 Comment

  1. Lyndi Smith
    6:18 pm, 04.23.13

    I couldn’t agree more with what you said about free will strips you from you individuality. Often times, we misinterpret our free will for just the thought of fitting in with the real world. The things that we surround ourselves with daily whether it be sports, friends, family, school, work, etc. it influences us and the decisions we make constantly. Once you are sucked into this life, which you will be, it is extremely hard to escape it like you said. Also, when you said that we can only try to know our own stories, it really hit me at home. I go days at a time in routine and don’t look past the routine that i experience daily. However, one day i may notice something and wonder “when did that happen?” and someone say “it’s been like that.” You know we often get so caught up in just what we know and we don’t really learn anything new because it’s almost as if we can’t handle it. Because we are still just trying to understand our own life. Much less anyone else’s.

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