Who Was George Washington?

An analysis of George Washington's character and relational strivings on what would have been his 283rd birthday.

On Developing a C.A.L.M. M.O.

A C.A.L.M. M.O. is a stance of "Meta-cognitively Observing" our thoughts and feelings with a Curious, Accepting, Loving compassionate attitude that is Motivated to learn more and grow from a position of security.

What Is Mindfulness and How Does It Work?

Mindfulness is one of the most important developments in mental health in the past twenty years. Understand what it is and how it works.

What is Your Theory of the Person?

Although human psychology started by trying to develop a theory of the person, that goal has largely been abandoned by the mainstream. But the question is an excellent one for all of us to consider, and one that human psychologists should not lose sight of.

Adaptive and Maladpative Anger

The conversation about whether anger is ever adaptive continues.

Differentiating Anger from Aggression

It is the aggression, not the anger, that is normally the problem.

Well-being in College Students

Some data on college student well-being. Not surprisingly, symptoms of anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation were strongly inversely related to well-being. Napping was also. Binge drinking frequency was not related at all. The research demonstrates the utility of thinking about mental health in terms of well-being rather than disease-like mental disorders

Spiders, Minds, and Values

This blog addresses the questions of whether spiders have minds and if they have moral value.

The Unified Theory: A Blog Tour

A unified view of the field of psychology is possible. Here I offer readers a "blog tour" of why unified theory offers a needed meta-perspective on the field of psychology that is far more compelling than the current practice of viewing it as a disconnected, fragmented set of empirical findings that exists vaguely above biology and below the social sciences.

A Wicked (WKID) Approach to Human Knowledge

A WKID approach to knowledge starts with a big picture view of science.

A Straightforward Model of Depression

Depression is a descriptive term for someone whose psychological system is "shutting down" its active investments.

Beck on Why a “Unified Theory” Is the Future of Therapy

Famous cognitive psychotherapist A.T. Beck argues that the future of psychotherapy is a "unified theory."

The Unified Approach in a Nutshell

One of the difficult things about the unified approach is that it is complicated. Here I offer ten key insights that might help organize the message.

Why Is It So Hard for Some Men to Share Their Feelings?

A strong masculine identity is often associated with difficulty expressing deeper feelings, especially feelings associated with vulnerability and dependency needs. Here I share how this can show up in the clinic room in the context of couples therapy.

Understanding Gender Differences in Religiosity (Part II)

In Part I of this series, I reviewed the current literature on gender differences in religiosity. Here I examine how to understand these findings from a unified approach.

Understanding Gender Differences in Religiosity (Part I)

One of the most robust findings in the science of religion is that men are less religious than women. Here I review the current explanations for this finding. In Part II, I review the unified approach and show how it provides a way to coherently organize these competing explanations into a whole that allows for a better understanding of the whole.

The Key Ingredients to Good Psychological Therapy

This blog describes the nine key ingredients that go into effective psychotherapy.

A Theory of Ten Universal Values

This blog summarizes a prominent theory of ten universal values and how it overlaps with the unified approach. I have found much to like about Schwartz’s theory of universal values. I also believe there is much value in building bridges between this work and the unified approach.

Why I am an Agnostic Atheist

Although atheism and agnosticism are often characterized as being opposing views regarding one's beliefs about God, the fact of the matter is that they can go together quite well. It makes sense to be agnostic regarding what might be in the vast vastness of the universe, and atheistic regarding all the personal gods found in the various religious creeds.

Three Views on Morality

How do you make decisions about what is moral? This blog offers a description of three positions on morality: moral absolutism, moral universalism, and moral relativism.


Much evidence suggests that feelings of alienation are increasing in our society. If we are to reverse this trend, we must understand its root causes.

Why Psychology Thinks You Are Average

The vast majority of research in psychology is done by comparing differences between groups who differ on some independent variable. Yet, as this blog points out, group differences DO NOT readily translate into truths about specific individuals. "Average man" is a mathematical fiction, and this is a point that is too often overlooked in mainstream psychology.

Our Relationships Must SING or Die

SING is an acronym for “suppose innocence, not guilt.” It expresses a fundamental principle of life, explaining how we relate to others and the world around us through a triad of spontaneity tempered by caution to produce a reliable trust.

Considerations Regarding the Unification of Psychology

This blog provides a snapshot of the major issues involved in attempting to unify the field of psychology. Specifically, I identify five broad domains that should at least be considered in attempting to produce a general, workable framework: 1) Problems of Definition and Identity; 2) Philosophical Issues; 3) Theoretical; 4) Empirical; and 5) Issues of Application.

Human Reality in Three Worlds

A helpful way to think about the domains that make up human reality.

The Core Need

I find it useful to conceive of character and well-being as being shaped by the fundamental need to be known and valued by self and important others.

Incredible Fourth Grade Science Quiz

How do we keep fundamentalism from destroying our future?

All Pain Is Psychological

Should we think about pain as physical versus psychological? No. This blog explains why.

Why the Clinical Scientist Model Fails

This blog explains why the clinical scientist model for training in clinical psychology fails. The short answer is that one cannot reduce the practice of psychology to the science.

Cultural Bubbles in the Era of Globalization

It is a healthy exercise to occasionally step outside your cultural bubble.