Psychology of Greek Drama (02:48)
Rollo May revisited ancient Greek history during his doctoral research. At the peak of a historical period, cultural symbols and myths absorbed anxiety. When civilization began to disintegrate, isolation and alienation emerged.
Cultural Role of Symbols and Myths (02:44)
May defines symbols as images grasping the emotions, will, and imagination to bridge the gap between past and present. Myths are symbol collections put into teachable dramatic form. Together, these provide a context for understanding life and reducing anxiety.
Symbols and Myths in History (03:23)
May outlines the development of new cultural ideas after the Middle Ages. Rationalism and individualism absorbed anxiety until the 20th century, when individualism resulted in loneliness. May discusses current attempts at forming new myths, including psychology and psychotherapy.
Coping with Cultural Disintegration (01:35)
Rationalism, individualism, and the American frontier are no longer adequate myths. May examines how people try to alleviate anxiety and loneliness through psychotherapy.
Counselor's Role (04:51)
May believes therapists should help clients experience potentialities in relation to community and relationships. Most suffer general isolation and depression. Therapy should create a new consciousness; use anxiety to stimulate and inspire clients.
Garden of Eden Myth (03:01)
May discusses how Adam and Eve represent the development of human consciousness of anxiety, guilt, love, responsibility, and morality. These should be used for creativity and potentiality.
Alternatives to the American Frontier Myth (03:12)
May says national symbols of hard work and individualism are no longer proving effective for young people, who are struggling for authenticity. Rediscovered Christian myths include communes and women's liberation.
Aspects of Existentialism in Therapy (01:54)
Counselors help clients construct viable myths for the present through discovery of their authentic self. This starts by recognizing their myths have broken down and that other people are also lonely.
Credits: Rollo May on Counseling: A Professional Perspective With John M. Whiteley (00:46)
Credits: Rollo May on Counseling: A Professional Perspective With John M. Whiteley
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