From Angst to Awe: The Power of Life-Enhancing Anxiety with Kirk J. Schneider PhD


As a human certain anxieties are a natural part of life. But, in our current culture, lack of alone time, screens that pummel us with non-stop data, and expectations of instant results and quick fixes, how do we have time to appreciate the awe that is our existence?  To take a deep dive into how we can repair trauma and restore vitality to our lives, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with Psychologist and Author, Kirk J. Scheider about how to enhance life through anxiety. In his book, Life-Enhancing Anxiety: Key to a Sane World, he shares the experience of how a therapist provided him a sense of safety after a childhood trauma by bearing witness and being present. Kirk now assists others in utilizing fear as a mobilizer to enhance their lives.

Kirk J Schneider — The Power of Life-Enhancing Anxiety:


  • After an extreme family disruption, at age six, Kirk found solace and peace by speaking with a psychoanalyst. [2:18]
  • Kirk speaks of the skyrocketing rates of anxiety in our culture, what may be at the root of it, and the healing power of having a witness. [9:13]
  • Kirk shares his thoughts about the primal anxiety of birth and how it can play out in human life. [16:42]
  • How to apply life-enhancing anxiety to the process of repairing or restoring vitality. [20:49]
  • Ways to cultivate the life-enhancing anxiety of awe. [23:45]


About Lisa’s guest:

Kirk J. Schneider, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and leading spokesperson for contemporary existential-humanistic and existential-integrative psychology. Dr. Schneider is a past editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, adjunct faculty at Saybrook University and Teachers College, Columbia University, and president of the Existential-Humanistic Institute (EHI), He is also a Fellow of five divisions of the American Psychological Association (Humanistic, Psychotherapy, Clinical, Theoretical and Philosophical, and Independent Practice) as well as a frequent speaker at conferences and in the media.

Podcast called From Angst to Awe: The Power of Life-Enhancing Anxiety with Kirk J. Schneider PhD

“When somebody really listens to us... it is a powerful sensation that is love." - Lisa Cypers Kamen


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