About this website
I am Harris Stern, a psychologist and psychotherapist. I live, work and write with a Wholistic Existential point of view. This Website is intended to support change, growth, healing, and freedom—for myself and others. It grows in part out of my efforts to find my voice and to find a platform from which to speak. I believe that one of the best measures of human freedom is our ability to speak our minds, to voice our truths, to express ourselves. I also believe that our existence is created out of the stories we tell about ourselves and this website it intended to provide the logic and evidence which supports this kind of psychology, theoretically and with creative examples-in-action.
“HarrisStern.com” has grown out of three interrupted efforts to write books for publication, two earlier websites, a blog, and two workshops I have given. It is still new (as of November, 2011) and the structure and design is still very much in process.
The progress and improvement of this site over my previous sites is in large measure due to the skill, knowledge and hard work of Tim Peterson, psychologist- in-training and web-site designer. I am grateful to him for his efforts and I am very pleased with the website in its current and developing state.
The website has three major sections:
Who Am I (and Who are you?)
Support for Change
Psychology for Psychotherapy
“Who Am I? (and who are you?)” is intended to give me an amphitheatre to use my voice to support my own developing existence. It presents short stories I write that represent intentionally fictionalized versions of my own personal narratives along with backstories that relate the fiction to the perceived experienced reality of my life. These backstories, of course, are also constructed narratives --not intentionally fictionalized, but fictional none-the-less). There are also essays and images that are intended to be presentations of the existence I am creatively living.
As a psychologist and therapist, one of my narratives includes my intention to support the growth, development, healing and freedom of others, and so I am hoping that these writings (and images) will support and inspire the people who read and look at them to discover similar or analogous ways to find their own voices. Originally “Who Am I?” was a blog which invited comment or even postings of narrative efforts by others. I am hopeful that as “HarrisStern.com” develops, it also will become interactive.
“Support for Change” (which was a separate website) is intended to be a collection of writings which make use of my experience and thinking as a psychologist and psychotherapist, as a psychotherapy client and as a struggling and developing human being to guide others in their efforts to grow and heal. It might be a support to people who are in psychotherapy (as a client of mine, or working with someone else), or anyone who is seeking change. It might also be of use to other therapists—experienced or in-training.
“Psychology for Psychotherapy” is a collection of theoretical writings that elucidate the metaphysical underpinings and conceptual structure of the Constructivist Psychology which I call “Wholistic Existential Psychology”. Some of these writings are quite long. I am hoping that they will be made more readable by having them work on tablet computers and e-readers. I have already published a couple of them as e-books on Amazon, where they are formatted especially for those instruments.
Although the internet is often about speed—how quickly we can find information, how quickly we can take it in—my hope is to support the kind of personal change that requires reflection, the slow assimilation and integration of internal and external material. I am also trying to communicate with images as well as words, since much of reality cannot be captured in words and a lot of our wisdom is non-verbal. I am not a professional artist, nor a professional web-master. I am hopeful that the appearance of the website will be sufficiently pleasing and compelling to support the non-verbal aspects of experience conducive to change and growth. It is an experiment. Since you and your experience with the material are part of that experiment, I ask that you give it a fair chance by:
GOING SLOWLY. SPENDING TIME WITH THE IMAGES AS WELL AS THE WORDS.
I am also planning to post suggestions for specific ways to support personal change with the clear understanding that these are not prescriptions and that each of us must be responsible for choosing what is useful for us and discarding what is not.
The writing and Images on this Website are copyrighted, but I hereby grant permission to download and or print any content for private study or use. Any mass reproduction or commercial use of the material is denied without written permission. Quotation is permitted with proper citation and acknowledgement
If you are a client of mine . It is intended that the material on this website will clarify and elaborate my work as a therapist. Some of what you see here you may have already heard me say in a session. This may be helpful and clarifying or confusing or repetitiously boring. Other material may be new and useful or new and unexpected and confusing. Please share your reactions with me and ask any questions that come to you.
Freud wrote that the therapist should be a blank screen in order to facilitate the projections of the client onto the therapist so that they would then be available for analysis in the therapy. Most current therapists realize that a balance between disclosure and obscurity is important for the good of the therapeutic work. Therapists also know that in the age of the internet and Google clients can know a great deal about therapists whether the therapist reveals it directly or not. In publishing some of my personal information and my writings, I am taking the risk of making disclosures that might not be helpful for some people some of the time, with the hope that more often the loss involved in those cases will be offset by the benefit of giving people more information about the person from whom they may choose to get support. It may also help to provide some redressing of the inevitable power imbalance in the therapy relationship. Perhaps this will also support the development of trust which is so crucial for successful therapy.
I am interested in reactions and feedback to everything that is presented on this website. I am open to suggestions. I am willing to respond to questions and to provide answers when I can. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.