“Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.”

~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


In his keynote address in 1967 to the American Psychological Association Conference, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. urged his audience to help people to be creatively maladjusted to those things in society to which one should never be adjusted – things such as poverty, racial discrimination, war and militarism.

More recently, addressing a similar group of professionals, environmental educator and activist Dr. Steve Chase revisited this challenge from the perspective of profound climate change as well as the ongoing, even heightened cruelty of global and local economic disparity. He argued that the answer to the question of how mental health practitioners can participate and contribute to social movements for change can be found in King’s notion of fostering creative maladjustment.  Psychologists, he added, ought to become more politically savvy and environmentalists need to become psychologically smart.  Echoing King’s speech, he urged the audience to share their psychological tools and insights with activists and to help people join in social movements to make this one and only world we have a better place in which to live.

We are certainly living in challenging times. These challenges are not only difficult to deal with, they are difficult to think about. And yet, we must face them if we are to have a peaceful future for our children and grandchildren.  How do we do that?

There are numerous psychological tools and insights that have been helpful in processing trauma, developing resilience and strengthening potential in people in all sorts of situations.  In future posts I will share some of these tools and insights with you. I will address both personal and global issues because I strongly believe they are intimately intertwined.

In my work, my intention is always to nurture positive change in ourselves and our world.

Here’s to Creative Maladjustment!

Please stay tuned!