Modern societies have been experiencing rapid increases in rates of psycho-emotional distress, which negatively affect us all: our children, our relationships, our personal sense of well being, our places of work — even our politics. You may be amazed to learn just how dramatic this has become. Immediately, we wonder why.
There is nothing wrong with our brain circuits, or our blood chemistry, and it is not that we are failing to get enough exercise, or eating too much processed food. Although it certainly hasn’t helped, it is not because of the pandemic. The period of time we are living in is a frame in a flowing stream of changing cultural circumstances, moving almost imperceptibly slowly — like climate change — that have had detrimental consequences for the stability of the sense of self, our psychological experience, our connection with each other, and our communication practices. Because the evolving circumstances of culture are unique, we interact with each other in ways that are unique to this period. These times pose particular problems related to constructing and maintaining our sense of who we are, and to connecting with others meaningfully and sustaining those relationships. Our emotional lives reflect these problems.
It isn’t possible to understand our common problems of being and relating without understanding the tectonic forces of modernity that have greatly complicated existential being in many parts of the world. The goal of this site is to flesh out some of the reasons why people may not do well in modernity, and to offer some suggestions about what we might be able to do about that.