David King, MSc, PhD
Writer, Teacher, and Health Psychologist


       davidking2311@gmail.com

"We need not to be let alone. We need to be
really bothered once in a while. How long
is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something
real?" (Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)
Home Services Blog Curriculum Vitae Teaching Dossier Contact

Psychology

Get in the Grey…

by David King on June 13, 2013

blackandwhite

I’m not fond of the night. The darkness is withholding, suffocating, and I get lost in it – lost in the emptiness, lost in the agony and apprehension over morning’s coup. I’m not fond of the day either. It’s too revealing and sensational. Over-illuminated, exposing what the night did well to conceal. I prefer the musings of dawn and dusk; the greyness and uncertainty of twilights and daybreaks. My mind thrives in the transitions. My heart beats in the potentials. It is a life lived in ideals and in-betweens, a life lived in conception.

All metaphors aside, a black-and-white thinker I am definitely not. I remain dedicated to the grey, and happily so. Yet I live in a world of black-and-white thinkers; dichromatic dreamers and the sort.

That’s not entirely true of course. By no means am I alone out … Keep Reading Here

Why Zombies Matter More than Housewives

by David King on March 11, 2013

zombie

It’s Monday afternoon, and rather than working, I just watched last night’s episode of The Walking Dead.

In my humble opinion, I think it’s the best thing to happen to TV since LOST. I may be biased, of course. I tend to be drawn to stories about survivors; strangers coming together in hard times and working towards a common goal – or against a common enemy. Perhaps it’s the complex Lord-of-the-Flies-esque social allegories that arise, or the raw and decomposed emotions elicited during extreme survival situations. Either way, it’s difficult to deny that The Walking Dead has some of the best writing on TV.

That’s right, Real Housewives of Who-Gives-A-Fuck, it’s a show that has writers.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Walking Dead, it follows a group of survivors in … Keep Reading Here

Gender Bent and Borrowed

by David King on February 19, 2013

Photo property of Carole Moran

Gender is an issue that has long been a bother – to me and to millions of people around the world. It’s a complicated subject, and it only seems to get more complicated. It’s the F in M/F, or it’s the M, depending on perspective; it’s the T in LGBT; it’s the pink and the blue, the doll and the truck; it’s both penis and vagina, both John and Jane; it’s who we are and yet not even close, a mere product of socialization; an evolutionary relic, forged in binary minds with eyes blind to all that lay outside the box.

When I was a kid, I struggled with my lack of conformity to the male gender role and all its macho stereotypes. Most of my friends were girls and while I enjoyed my fair share of action figures (and … Keep Reading Here

Remnants Heard

by David King on January 30, 2013

In my time spent as an actual adult (which has really only been about a third of my life), my perspective on time has experienced a remarkable shift. Days are no longer only escapist opportunities for future wonderment and anticipation. While some distortion of this remains, days are also opportunities for deep reflection and reminiscence – the stuff born of more mature realities. The stuff that regrets are made of, if you have dared to digress.

I don’t know what to do with it all, really. After five big moves in five years, a lot of loss, and a few heartaches to wear on my sleeve, I feel surrounded by it. The residue is thick, and the remnants plentiful. I look around my place, and it’s right there, in everything I see. It’s in both new and old, both bought … Keep Reading Here

Living in Change, and in Truth

by David King on December 6, 2012

change

Mahatma Gandhi was famously quoted as saying, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” But we have a love-hate relationship with change, us humans. We try our damnedest to embrace it, to go with the flow. Yet on a very fundamental level, perhaps evolutionary and definitely mechanistic and instinctual, we despise the thing. We try to avoid it at every turn (which is ironic in itself, since turning is an act which necessitates a change in perspective), especially when things are going well, or even (dreadfully) when things are just good enough.

Rationally, of course, I could imagine a world without change and it would be all too boring and horrible: No one would really learn, because there would be nothing new to learn from. People would never progress, or invent anything, or determine solutions to … Keep Reading Here

Self-Actualization: The Struggle Eternal

by David King on October 23, 2012

Pick up any first year psychology textbook and you’ll learn about self-actualization, a pinnacle stage of psychological development defined by the realization of one’s full potential. According to Abraham Maslow (the theory’s author), less than 1% of the human population will ever self-actualize. This is surely to the disappointment of nearly 7 billion fragile psyches…

But you see, the realization of one’s potential isn’t about bringing home the bacon. Indeed, it’s about something much deeper than that, something with much more substance – more muchness, as the Mad Hatter might put it.

Self-actualization is about YOU in the truest sense of the word. It’s about digging as deeply as you can dig. It’s about wading through all the garbage – the expectations, the pressures, the demands, the insecurities, and the hurt – and realizing the most authentic version of … Keep Reading Here

Knowing Who You Are, Myth 4

by David King on October 3, 2012

brokenMirror-300x199

In a previous post, Knowing Who You Are, Myths 1-3, I outlined 3 prevailing myths associated with modern identity formation. Very roughly, these myths ascribe the following conditions to knowing who you are: 1) this state requires consistent and predictable behaviour, as perceived by others; 2) this state is impossible without mainly logical and rational examination and exploration of life; and 3) this state is optimized by the commitment to a single life trajectory or career path, which, after all, typifies a strong sense of self.

As I previously indicated, these perspectives are bullshit, remnants of an immature and entirely uninsightful stage of human development. Things are never so black and white.

There is a fourth myth, but this one resides somewhere between identity formation and identity resolution. The fourth myth is simple, really. It is the idea … Keep Reading Here

Intelligence Abandoned

by David King on August 13, 2012

Six years ago, while searching for a topic of research for my Master’s thesis (in the area of psychology and multivariate statistics), I stumbled across an ad in a magazine that offered occupational training in the area of spiritual intelligence. Although I had been previously educated on the topic of emotional intelligence, I had not heard of this particular construct. I was intrigued – so much so that it became the topic of my Master’s thesis and two subsequent publications in academic journals.

My supervisor and I were both aware of the risk I was taking. Topics like spiritual intelligence are not subjects of mainstream psychology (or science, for that matter). It is not what successful psychologists do, plainly stated, despite William James’ very successful and poignant 1902 publication, The Varieties of Religious Experience. I was explicitly warned … Keep Reading Here

The Deconstruction of Wisdom

by David King on March 6, 2012

crumbling-pyramid

In a recent article published in the Lancet, it was reported that the upcoming 2013 edition of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association) will make it possible for the diagnosis of depression following the death of a loved one. In the past, those experiencing grief and bereavement were excluded from such a diagnosis unless the resulting negative emotions were severe and lasted more than 2 months. It was argued that grief was a normal response to death (a view that’s still supported by many psychologists, nevertheless).

Such a shift, however, would essentially allow for the medication of grief, and therefore the avoidance of that which was previously recognized as a normal part of human existence. Yet the standard normal/abnormal debate typically dredged up by the DSM is practically … Keep Reading Here

Signs

by David King on November 10, 2009

I’m a person who believes in signs.

Back in the 1920’s (and later first published in 1952), Carl Jung proposed the idea of synchronicity – the experience that two events are related when no underlying causal connection exists or is likely to exist. Within this framework, logic, reason, and science are not the only possible means of linking events. Jung added to this list the concept of meaning – the interpretation of causality due to the individual perception of a meaningful relationship.

My own experience with synchronicity has been this: If you keep your mind open, the signs are everywhere. Now, being of a research and science background, this notion can be very problematic, as it essentially creates an experimenter bias within this massive study that is THE WORLD. However, I am not convinced that these signs – these acausal … Keep Reading Here