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Rollo May

Brief Bio: American existential psychologist

Lived: 1909-1994

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“Between Stimulus and Response”

Freedom is the individual’s capacity to know that he is the determined one, to pause between stimulus and response and thus to throw his weight, however slight it may be, on the side of one particular response among several possible ones.

Indeed I would define mental health as the capacity to be aware of the gap between stimulus and response, together with the capacity to use this gap constructively.

From the article “Freedom and Responsibility Re-Examined”

— 1963

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“The new form of the problem of identity”

The individual is forced to turn inward; he becomes obsessed with the new form of the problem of identity, namely, Even-if-I-know-who-I-am, I-have-no-significance. I am unable to influence others. The next step is apathy. And the step following that is violence. For no human being can stand the perpetually numbing experiene of his own powerlessness.

From the book Love and Will

— 1969

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