Brent Robbins

Brent Robbins
Point Park University · Psychology Department

Ph.D.

About

100
Publications
28,238
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887
Citations
Citations since 2017
32 Research Items
522 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100
Additional affiliations
August 2008 - present
Point Park University
Position
  • Chair

Publications

Publications (100)
Article
Full-text available
Positive and humanistic psychology overlap in thematic content and theoretical presuppositions, yet positive psychology explicitly distances itself as a new movement, despite the fact that its literature implicitly references its extensive historical grounding within humanistic psychology. Consequently, humanistic psychologists both celebrate diffu...
Article
Full-text available
The mindfulness ‘foundations’ of existential-phenomenology appeared at the turn of the twentieth-century. Humanistic psychology’s affinity with phenomenology emerged in the latter half of the mid twentieth-century. Yet the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) third wave mindfulness literature does not appear to have turned toward full collaborative a...
Article
Full-text available
Maurice-Merleau Ponty's phenomenological philosophy provides the basis for a form of cultural-existential therapy. Through an examination of Merleau-Ponty's analysis of the phantom limb and anosognosia, we develop a cultural-existential approach to "psychopathology" and its treatment. In the course of this analysis, ego syntonic labels are seen in...
Article
Full-text available
In the midst of a global pandemic, psychology has a duty to identify dispositional or character traits that can be cultivated in citizens in order to create resiliency in the face of profound losses, suffering and distress. Dispositional joy holds some promise as such a trait that could be especially important for well-being during the current pand...
Article
We described how family trauma experienced by Native Americans/Alaskan Indians (NA/AIs) influenced substance use. We explored participants’ desire for culturally tailored interventions during substance abuse treatment. This phenomenological investigation involved nine participants from a large NA/AI Tribe. We explained how participants’ and familie...
Article
Full-text available
Narrow or restricted case formulation considerations can limit therapeutic effectiveness, limit the lived base of evidence guiding psychotherapy, and contribute to psychotherapist microaggressions. Notably, Person-Centered Therapy (PCT) and existential phenomenology have, in combination, actively maintained that the cultural landscapes or interconn...
Article
Full-text available
Student activism is a highly underresearched topic in psychology despite the field’s commitment to studying person–environment interactions and advancing social justice aims. Furthermore, less is known about the ways in which student activists navigate the neoliberal or “corporatized” university in the United States. This research study utilizes a...
Book
This book examines how modern medicine’s mechanistic conception of the body has become a defense mechanism to cope with death anxiety. Robbins draws from research on the phenomenology of the body, the history of cadaver dissection, and empirical research in terror management theory to highlight how medical culture operates as an agent which promote...
Article
We are delighted to introduce a new issue of our Journal of Humanistic Psychology Special Issue Series on Diagnostic Alternatives. Diagnostic alternatives are blueprints, frameworks, practices, or approaches that might serve as alternatives to the contemporary diagnostic paradigm found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (D...
Preprint
We are delighted to introduce a new issue of our Journal of Humanistic Psychology Special Issue Series on Diagnostic Alternatives. Diagnostic alternatives are blueprints, frameworks, practices, or approaches that might serve as alternatives to the contemporary diagnostic paradigm found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (D...
Chapter
The lone mass shooter is among one of many examples of pathological behavior that can be linked to anesthetic culture. An in-depth case study of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock will illustrate how anesthetic consciousness likely played a key role in Paddock’s violent behavior. Anesthetic consciousness can be linked to Paddock’s case, including hi...
Chapter
Cartesian subject-object metaphysics operative in medical discourse renders it impossible to grapple with the ambiguity of the cadaver. Within this framework, the cadaver seems to present itself as an object, but an object haunted by the subjectivity of the deceased. When understood in light of the lived body, the cadaver can be more appropriately...
Chapter
Modern culture in the West erupts from out of a religious crisis. This crisis provided the background against which the mechanistic and objectifying view of the body and nature appears as dominant themes. In the Middle Ages, Trinitarian theology and Christology informed a relational conception of the cosmos, in which the body was experienced as sac...
Chapter
Anesthetic consciousness is an obstacle to the organismic valuing process by which people orient themselves to intrinsically motivated, felt values, which is the basis for experiential wisdom. As a coping mechanism in response to the human finitude and mortality, it is a self-defeating, maladaptive strategy. In contrast, the cultivation of mindfuln...
Chapter
Modern medicine and science share propensities to objectify and dehumanize the person. The concept of the person has been a neglected area of scholarship in medicine. This neglect is related to emphasis on third-person perspective methodologies that dominate the social sciences and medicine. A more adequate comprehension of personhood requires holi...
Chapter
The cosmos of the Middle Ages and Renaissance was understood to be an integrated, holistic and hierarchical order in harmonious relation, wherein the organism of the body reflected the intrinsic natural order of the larger cosmos. With the revival of Neoplatonism in the Renaissance, the intellectual climate placed increasing emphasis on the separat...
Chapter
In the case of medicine, the role of doctor can be understood as a cultural hero-project. When the self-esteem of the physician is weakened, he or she is exposed to increased risk of burnout. To protect self-esteem, physicians can become prone to cognitive biases to protect self-worth, which can lead to “medical narcissism” and “defensive medicine”...
Chapter
In comparison with indigenous cultures, the modern culture of white colonialists of European origin differs in their practices and rituals surrounding death. Over the past two centuries, funeral and burial traditions in North America and Europe have shifted to create a greater distance between families and their dead relatives, and this has created...
Chapter
Dehumanization as a terror management defense is especially prone to impact attitudes and behaviors toward women. A compelling body of evidence demonstrates that reminders of feminine reproductive functions, including menstruation, lactation, and pregnancy, are typically associated with nature. Reminders of the creaturely aspects of women and thoug...
Chapter
An examination of the figure of Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli reveals his central role as a cultural agent, whose influence contributed to the nominalist revolution, the revival of Neoplatonism in the Renaissance, the development of linear perspective technique in art, the new anatomy of Vesalius, the new physics of Galileo, and the launch of colonial...
Chapter
Time is examined for its implications for an equally radical transformation in the conception and experience of space and place. The emergence of the linear perspective technique in Renaissance art, as developed by Brunelleschi and Alberti, is systematically examined as a cultural artifact that uniquely discloses a qualitative shift in the percepti...
Chapter
By restricting dissection to unknown and stigmatized individuals, dissection in fourteenth-century medical schools lent themselves to a defensive style of psychological distancing from the memorial body of the cadaver. Vesalius exploited the new linear perspective technique in art for his illustrations as a means to enhance an attitude of detached...
Chapter
By turning to a phenomenology of time, medical culture is situated within a radical shift in the conception and experience of time in Western culture. As the experience of time underwent a profound change, the Western world, and medicine, became increasingly ordered for the purpose of risk management as a coping mechanism for dealing with uncertain...
Chapter
In general, people cope with death through two basic avenues, the enhancement of self-esteem and the protection of one’s cultural worldview. Neuroscientific evidence has shown a brain area called the insula plays an important role in the self-regulation of emotions associated with terror management, with regard to both self-esteem and empathic enga...
Chapter
A cultural hermeneutic interpretation of the cadaver in the history of medicine is examined in light of a body of evidence, including historical data on cadaver dissection, qualitative analyses of medical students working with cadavers, responses during a panel discussion on experiences in a gross anatomy course, and interviews with the creator of...
Article
Diagnostic nomenclatures have been central to mental health research and practice since the turn of the 20th century. In recent years, an increasing number of mental health professionals have proposed that a paradigm shift in diagnosis is inevitable. The Standards and Guidelines for the Development of Diagnostic Nomenclatures and Alternatives in Me...
Article
This book examines how modern medicine’s mechanistic conception of the body has become a defense mechanism to cope with death anxiety. Robbins draws from research on the phenomenology of the body, the history of cadaver dissection, and empirical research in terror management theory to highlight how medical culture operates as an agent which promote...
Article
Full-text available
Transpersonal psychology has at times critiqued the broader psychology field for perpetrating a somewhat arbitrary Cartesian subject-object divide. Some phenomenologists claim that reframing this purported divide as an experienced phenomenon can defuse its philosophical impact. If subjective experiences are viewed as continuous with the lifeworld o...
Article
[Excerpt in lieu of abstract:] “Paradigm shift” has become a catchphrase in contemporary psychiatric dis- course. Philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn (1962/2012) once wrote that when a paradigm shift occurs, "[...] scientists see new and different things when looking with familiar instruments in places they have looked before. It is rather as if t...
Article
Since 2011, the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32 of the American Psychological Association) has taken a lead in organizing an international coalition of organizations and individuals that share major criticisms of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders–Fifth edition (DSM-5) diagnosis and the search for alternatives. Ins...
Article
In October 2011, the Open Letter to the DSM-5 was posted as an online petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/dsm5/. To the surprise of its authors, the petition garnered the endorsements of over 15,000 individuals and over 50 professional organizations, including 15 additional divisions of the American Psychological Association. It is here...
Article
Full-text available
At this time, it does not appear that existential phenomenology and humanistic psychology (PHP) have formed inclusive, process-oriented frameworks that reference the sociocultural and contextual significations embedded in the flow of everyday human experience. And yet apart from the welcome variety of psychotherapy approaches comprising PHP, the fo...
Article
In this introduction to the special issue on humanistic community psychology and the hermeneutics of love, a context is provided for the emergence of a community psychology founded on a hermeneutics love. The origins of the concept are traced to the development of a humanistic community psychology program at Point Park University. The introduction...
Article
Full-text available
At this time, it does not appear that existential phenomenology and humanistic psychology (PHP) have formed inclusive, process-oriented frameworks that reference the sociocultural and contextual significations embedded in the flow of everyday human experience. And yet, apart from the welcome variety of psychotherapy approaches comprising PHP, the f...
Chapter
Full-text available
F or many, the notion of a humanistic neuroscience may seem to be an oxymoron. Neuro-science and physiological psychology emerged during the 18th century within the climate of a staunch materialistic worldview, which aimed to reduce all subjective qualities to objective qualities. Humanistic psychology, on the other hand, has always been grounded w...
Article
Full-text available
Psychotherapy has been identified as a form of applied ethics and moral dialogue which is necessarily value-laden. The ethical aspiration toward beneficence obligates psychologists to care for the wellbeing of others, including the wellbeing of the client, his or her relationships, and even the society at large. This paper is an attempt to reflexiv...
Chapter
The relationship between positive psychology and humanistic psychology has been a strained one. Humanistic psychology shares with positive psychology the key aims of identifying and investigating positive experiences, traits, and institutions, which is how positive psychology was defined broadly. By adopting a humanistic approach to positive psycho...
Article
Full-text available
Through a philosophical analysis, guided by phenomenology, humanistic psychology is interpreted as a way of knowing that is guided by an interpretive stance of love. Hermeneutics, the study of interpretation, understands that interpretation is guided by certain moods or dispositions. Agape love, or a good will toward others, is an interpretive stan...
Article
Full-text available
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s approach to natural scientific research has unmistakable parallels to phenomenology. These parallels are clear enough to allow one to say confidently that Goethe’s delicate empiricism is indeed a phenomenology of nature. This paper examines how Goethe’s criticisms of Newton anticipated Husserl’s announcement of the cris...
Article
Interpretations of Heidegger’s existentialism tend to emphasize states of mind such as anxiety and boredom in his work, and his analysis of human being-toward-death. With such talk, one might rightly come to the conclusion that Heidegger had a morbid fascination with death and the horrible aspects of life. However, I am not alone in recognizing tha...
Chapter
This chapter introduces enactive cognition, an approach that integrates dynamic systems theory with first-person, phenomenological methods of investigating human experience and neurophenomenological method. Neurophenomenology is an extension of enactive cognitive theory, which integrates first- and third-person perspectives in ways that allow them...
Article
Full-text available
Resiliency is the ability to survive, or even thrive, during adversity. It is a key construct within both humanistic and positive psychology, but each sees it from a contrasting vantage. Positive psychology decontextualizes resilience by judging it as a virtue regardless of circumstance, while humanistic psychology tends to view it in a more holist...
Article
We acknowledge those individuals who assisted us in our investigation by providing consultation and feedback on key issues of concern. Thank you in particular to Richard Bargdill, Victor Barbetti, Lisa Cosgrove, Daniel Burston, and Sharna Olfman.
Article
Reviews the book, The quest to feel good by Paul R. Rasmussen (see record 2008-07553-000 ). In a statement that would fit the neo-Marxist interpretation of social change, Rasmussen suggests that our reductive, and pathologizing, bias with regard to emotion is rooted partly in socioeconomic forces. His analysis of human emotion, and its application...
Article
Resiliency is defined as the ability to achieve successful outcomes in the face of challenging circumstances. As a positive characteristic of persons, resiliency is a theme that falls within the domain of positive psychology which is the study of positive human states and traits, as well as social institutions that shape such states and traits. Hum...
Article
Through a cultural hermeneutic interpretation of the cadaver in the history of modern medicine, this study will argue that at least some medical interpretations of embodiment serve as a form of death denial. This analysis will draw on four major sources of evidence to support this contention: (a) the history of cadaver dissection in Western medicin...
Article
Reviews the book, Current perspectives on the anxiety disorders: Implications for DSM–V and beyond by Dean McKay, Jonathan S. Abramowitz, Steven Taylor, and Gordon J. G. Asmundson (see record 2009-11694-000 ). One of the more contentious decisions of the DSM–V Task Force has been the decision to sign confidentiality agreements to essentially cloist...
Article
Reviews the book, Clinical handbook of mindfulness by Fabrizio Didonna (see record 2008-17304-000 ). This book is an outstanding volume that well represents the most current and cutting-edge research on the subject. The first part of the book, quite appropriately, opens with a broad and delicate survey of theories, conceptualizations, and the pheno...
Chapter
James, WilliamJob SatisfactionJoyJung, CarlJusticeReferences
Article
Full-text available
This study utilized a mixed method, phenomenological approach to better understand the lived experience of suppressed laughter. Study 1 utilized an empirical, phenomenological analysis of 17 first-person descriptions of suppressed laughter, which identified various essential themes, including the key findings that suppressed laughter occurred withi...
Article
Reviews the book, Touching your lifethread and revaluing the feminine: A process of psychospiritual change by Patricia M. Berliner (see record 2007-07819-000 ). This book describes the function and outcome of a series of weekend workshops for women. The workshops are aimed at women from various religious backgrounds, but especially Roman Catholic w...
Article
Full-text available
Dissection of a human cadaver is a time-honored tradition for teaching anatomy in medical education. However, in recent years, for a variety of reasons, including costs and ethical concerns, some medical programs have ceased cadaver dissection in exchange for virtual dissection of cadavers in cyberspace. Past research suggests that students find wo...
Article
Reviews the book, Assimilation and contrast in social psychology edited by Diederik A. Stapel and Jerry Suls (see record 2007-01310-000 ). The book is subdivided into three sections: (1) Classic, Perceptual, and Judgmental Perspectives; (2) Social Cognitive Perspectives; and (3) Motivational Perspectives. Between the bookends of Suls and Wheeler's...
Article
Reviews the book, Reason, Virtue and Psychotherapy by Antonia Macaro (see record 2006-06809-000 ). According to the reviewer, this book is an application of virtue theory for psychology--more pragmatically focused on applications of psychotherapy. The book has much to offer, especially to those in clinical practice who are seeking out very practica...
Chapter
This chapter provides insights into the applicability of theories of subjective well-being for understanding joy. The participants of the study described what could be construed as a sense of being fulfilled, and one could make tentative inferences about how the fulfillment of certain needs may have led the participants to feel that way. The partic...
Article
Full-text available
The self-conscious emotion of embarrassment has been the focus of much attention by phenomenological and cognitive researchers in psychology. However, although a variety of theoretical models of embarrassment have been proposed, there has been little consensus in the literature. Through a synthesis of prior theory and empirical research, these auth...
Article
Reviews Attachment, Evolution, and the Psychology of Religion, by Lee A. Kirkpatrick (see record 2005-03323-000). Kirkpatrick's thesis can be summarized in one sentence: "In short, I think religion is a kind of socio-emotional-cognitive cheesecake." The sentence expresses the essence of the text. First, the literal meaning of the sentence expresse...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a theory of the emergence of ethical relatedness, which is developed through a synthetic reading of the developmental theories of Melanie Klein and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Klein's theory of the paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions are found to roughly parallel Merleau-Ponty's distinction between the "lived" and the "symboli...
Article
Full-text available
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's approach to science is a radical departure from the Cartesian-Newtonian scientific framework and offers contemporary science a pathway toward the cultivation of an alternative approach to the study of the natural world. This paper argues that the Cartesian-Newtonian pathway is pathological because it has as its premise...
Article
Comments on the article by G. A. Winer et al (see record 2002-13736-001), which reviewed research about a profound misconception that is present among college students, namely, the belief that the process of vision includes emanations from the eyes. According to the present author, the article by Winer et al is an exemplary exercise in Popperian fa...
Article
Full-text available
Numerous studies have documented relationships between a variety of problem behaviors and academic achievement measures. However, the results of these studies should be interpreted cautiously, given the considerable comorbidity of problem behaviors that often exists among school-age youth.This study addressed the relationships between 8 teacher-rep...
Article
Freud's 1911 case study based on Schreber's (1903) Memoirs of My Nervous Illness provides the investigator with the opportunity to reexamine Freud's interpretation through a return to the original data Freud used. This study reveals both the insights and limitations of Freud's theory of paranoia. An alternative interpretation of the case is overed...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT Four emotions are investigated: Joy, awe, gratitude and compassion. Through philosophical and empirical perspectives, these emotions are found to be mutually determining and reinforcing, thus part of an experiential, structural whole. Taken as a unity, they are understood to be existential emotions that are revelatory of existential meanin...

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Projects (4)
Project
This is a series of special issues on diagnostic alternatives -- alternatives to the current diagnostic paradigm in mental health research and practice.
Project
Examining the ethical implications of psychiatric diagnosis