Polarized Mind

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The Polarized Mind, Terror Management Theory
+ Awakening to Awe:
Our three guest scholars approach the discussion of the Polarized Mind from their respective viewpoints by touching upon the sources of this mindset throughout history and how it continues to ignite in our lives, particularly within the political climate of the United States. Dr. Schneider describes the meaning of ‘awe’ as the potential ingredient to move out and above this polarized environment by cultivating empathic understanding of the ‘other’s’ beliefs. How are we able to co-exist within a society that holds these divergent views? Dr. Pyszczynski, coming from an existential terror management theory perspective, is less optimistic in our ability as a whole society to self-formulate our understanding of the other. While Dr. Hoffman touches upon our political system, which by design, is not a true democratic system, given its relationship to free market capitalism. The current political climate facilitates the deepening of this polarization as he observes more individuals bring up and grapple with politics as part of their own psychotherapeutic processes.

Dr. Kirk Schneider is a licensed psychologist and leading spokesperson for contemporary existential-humanistic psychology. Dr. Schneider is co-founder and current president of the Existential-Humanistic Institute, Council Member and Candidate for President of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Schneider has written 13 books including “Awakening to Awe” and “The Polarized Mind: Why It’s Killing Us and What We Can Do About It”. | https://kirkjschneider.com

Dr. Tom Pyszczynski is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Along with colleagues at the University of Arizona, he developed Terror Management Theory, which explores the existential terror and role of death in life. Dr. Pyszczynski has published over 250 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has co-authored several books including, “In the Wake of 9/11: The Psychology of Terror and The Worm at the Core: The Role of Death in Life.” | tpyszczy@uccs.edu

Dr. Louis Hoffman is a licensed psychotherapist and executive director of the Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association. He is a Fellow member in five divisions of the American Psychological Association for his contributions in Professional Psychology. Dr. Hoffman has edited 16 books and published over 100 articles in journals and book chapters. He is co-founder of the International Institute for Existential-Humanistic Psychology in Southeast Asia. | http://www.rmhcpa.org

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