I am an emerging scholar engaged with planetary health and well-being (global health, mental health), trans-disciplinary gender & sexuality studies, and critical development studies focused on politics and ethics of social justice, and aim to nurture peace and harmony.
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When I read Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, I wrestle with the idea that an individual is solely responsible for his or her life, a sort of radical individualism: “You are the only one responsible for the success or failure in your life” (Cohen, 2017, April 8), which seems to neglect the influence of positive relationships and of chance.
The first time parents laid eyes on their newborn child, they probably pictured various milestones: first steps, first day of school, college graduation, and, perhaps, a big wedding. What may have never occurred to them is that, as their child grows, he or she may be at risk of suicide. Shocking news to most parents, […]
A remarkable amount of writing and research has been done since the early 1990s on psychological trauma—its etiology, biopsychological effects, and forms of therapy. Because this intense focus on trauma is relatively new, it isn’t a surprise that we don’t yet have a generally agreed upon framework to guide our understanding of what trauma is […]
From personal tragedies, such as accidents, illnesses, deaths, and relationship violence, to larger scale catastrophes, such as terrorist attacks, natural disasters, communal crimes, and violence, psychological traumas and losses could befall anyone in unpredictable ways. Yet most of us assume that whatever we encounter tomorrow will more or less be consistent with what we’ve encountered […]
The answer to my lifelong search for meaning and happiness in times of suffering seems surprisingly simple: To live a meaningful life regardless of circumstances is to have the courage and responsibility to become what you were meant to be, to become your best self as a gift to others.
Claude-Hélène Mayer (Dr. disc. pol. habil., PhD, PhD, MA hist-phil, MSc) is a Full Professor in Industrial and Organisational Psychology at the University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa, Adjunct Professor (PD) at the Europa Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, and a Senior Research Associate at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.