What is a Good Life?

Hi there. I’ve thought long and hard about blogging over the last several years. Ok, it really was longer than hard, but it finally dawned on me that I want to write about my passion; helping people alleviate their suffering and learn how to thrive in their lives. This statement begs the question, however, how does one help alleviate suffering and promote thriving?

The main way I have been helping people for the past 25 years is with psychotherapy in my role as a psychologist. I keep current with and utilize the science of psychology, also known as evidence based practice and evidence informed practice, in the application of the art of psychotherapy. Yes, psychotherapy is a combination of science and art. However, I have always been a little frustrated at helping one person at a time. I wondered if there were other ways to reach more people. By blogging, I want to provide information that might help others decrease their suffering and increase their satisfaction and meaning. Here are some topics that I’ll be covering in future posts.

Three Ways to Evaluate How You Are Doing in Your Life:
It is always important to have a method of evaluating how you are doing in your life. Likewise, it is also important to have some measure to know if psychotherapy or counseling is helping. We can tell a lot about how someone is doing by looking at the quality of their:

  1. LOVE – relationships such as marriage, partnership, family, friendships, colleagues, and parenting;
  2. WORK – areas such as satisfaction, performance, and the meaning one experiences in their work; and
  3. PLAY – satisfaction and meaning that one attains with recreation time away from the responsibilities of family and work.

When a person is not doing well with love, work or play for extended periods of time, they can develop anxiety and/or depression symptoms that can also wreak havoc on the body. Conversely, if a person is experiencing significant anxiety and/or depression symptoms, their relationships, work, and ability to experience joy and to rejuvenate can be compromised. If you spend more than two weeks troubled with your love, work, or play, it is time to consult with a psychologist to restore your life to the level of thriving.

The Science of Psychology
I will also be writing about current findings in the science of psychology that can be applied to people’s daily life. This information, when applied, can help you live a life full of good love, good work and good play. This information is not a substitute or replacement for counseling or psychotherapy, but is offered to augment any mental health treatment that is occurring. Of course, this information is also applicable to those who are not undergoing mental health treatment.

Social Commentary
Finally, I will also be writing about observations of current events and their psychological implications. To this end, I aim to help people develop a psychological mindset that deepens their connection to others and life.

To a Good Life,
Mark Hansen, PhD
Licensed Psychologist

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