Dr. Sheldon Solomon Presented on Terror Management Theory

At a colloquium on June 20th, Sheldon Solomon, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Skidmore College, discussed his studies of the effects of the uniquely human awareness of death on behavior, which have been supported by the National Science Foundation and Ernest Becker Foundation, and were featured in the award-winning documentary film Flight from Death: The Quest for Immortality.  He is co-author of In the Wake of 9/11: The Psychology of Terror and The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life. Sheldon is an American Psychological Society Fellow, and a recipient of an American Psychological Association Presidential Citation (2007), a Lifetime Career Award by the International Society for Self and Identity (2009), and the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs Annual Faculty Award (2011).

The talk was riveting for many students and faculty who felt that Dr. Solomon’s breadth and knowledge of the topics were both thorough and inspiring as he brought in many different areas of psychology as well as literature, philosophy, and religion.  While discussing complicated and challenging issues such as death and the fear of death, and how these attitudes affect our choices, Dr. Solomon also offered humor and hope.

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Bringing Unique Perspectives to Counseling

When MaiLinh Hartz, a master’s student in the Couple and Family Therapy program, was younger, people often said she had an old soul. “I was very introspective and had time to listen and absorb people’s stories and emotions,” she explains. It’s a common narrative heard among people who work in the mental health field that they were always, in some way, drawn to care. As a student, she is expanding what it means to take care of others—not just as a therapist, but as a peer. 

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