Positive Disintegration
The Active Mind
The Creative Life
Intensity & Well-Being
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Careers & Contributions
Relationships & Belonging
Memoir & Biography
Politics & Society
Pursuit of Happiness
Sorting Out Our Values

Toward an Empowered Humanity

Jason Littlefield put it all on the line to save everything important to him.

This is the story of how he rebelled against a dehumanizing culture and lost everything—and how he’s rebounded to fight the ideological colonization of our minds.

Abstract Intensity in the Ideological Classroom

Marie loved helping her abstract intense students hone their ability to question and reason in pursuit of a better world. Then a new political trend hit, making school less friendly to questioners than she’s ever seen it.

Why Debate? The Personal Benefits of Intellectual Engagement

In this age of social media, “debate” too often brings to mind trolls on Twitter. But just because it can be hard to find, we shouldn’t forget that there’s a higher form of debate, and that engaging in it can help us harness and channel our intensities.

In Our Latest Issue

Abstract Intensity in the Ideological Classroom

Marie loved helping her abstract intense students hone their ability to question and reason in pursuit of a better world. Then a new political trend hit, making school less friendly to questioners than she’s ever seen it.

Toward an Empowered Humanity

Jason Littlefield put it all on the line to save everything important to him.

This is the story of how he rebelled against a dehumanizing culture and lost everything—and how he’s rebounded to fight the ideological colonization of our minds.

Why Debate? The Personal Benefits of Intellectual Engagement

In this age of social media, “debate” too often brings to mind trolls on Twitter. But just because it can be hard to find, we shouldn’t forget that there’s a higher form of debate, and that engaging in it can help us harness and channel our intensities.

Community Zooms

We're rolling out our late summer and fall Zoom schedule, and several events are now available for your RSVP in our Community Forum.  Our theme for the fall is overcoming agreeableness and facing conflict with a constructive mindset.  Many of these times are during the workday here in the US; we hope they'll work for those of you who work from home, are self employed, or are in Europe!  If the times don't work for you, however, let us know.  We will gladly schedule additional sessions if there's interest.

Coming up soon, we'll have some more lighthearted sessions, as well as more challenging ones, but on a different set of challenges.  Stay tuned!

If you'd like to participate and are not yet a member, head to thirdfactor.org/join/ and sign up at the Community Member level.

Issue 23: Counterpoints on Diagnosis Culture

Reframing My Struggles with ADHD

Christina Waggaman was diagnosed with ADHD in high school. But there was more to her psychologist’s evaluation that didn’t interest her–until she started to run into the limits of that diagnostic frame.

Dear Autism: When a Label Is Wrong

Margo Margan was diagnosed with autism when she was seven years old, in an effort to make her eligible for some extra services.

But, as it took her years of struggle to realize, she never needed those services in the first place.

Can You Change? The Purpose of the Third Factor

Neurodivergence is all the rage, especially in creative circles. But, contrary to some people’s expectations, that construct is well beyond the point of this site, if it’s even useful at all.

Issue 22: Relationships and Community

Lessons From My “Are You My People?!” World Tour

After an unmirrored youth and alienation in her early career led her to a positive disintegration, Hannah Klein set out to find a community with whom she actually clicked. Starting from scratch, she shares what she’s learned about finding healthy, positively adjusted friends.

Through Chaos, Toward Community

When there are rules and taboos that prevent true fellowship, is there a path out of this stifling pseudo-community? Ralph Rickenbach blends the insights of M. Scott Peck and Kazimierz Dabrowski to navigate through the chaos.

Dealing with Detractors: How to Protect Your Equanimity

When you engage publicly, there will be a lot of people who want you to shut up—and occasionally, one will go to great lengths to make it happen.

Based on her own experience, therapist Stephanie Winn shares her thoughts on how to maintain equanimity when a detractor is playing by different rules.

Issue 21

What Skills Do We Need for Community?

What skills do we need to contribute to healthy communities? Author Neil Barnes has teased out five foundational abilities.

Your Body as a Barometer for Belonging

Fitting in is merely a simulacrum of belonging—but your body can tell what’s real and what isn’t. Pay attention to the signals it gives you.

Third Factor: The Origin Story

As we work to take this magazine and community to the next level, our strategist Alexis Obernauer wanted to reflect on where this project came from. So she sat down to chat with founder and editor in chief Jessie Mannisto. Here’s the result!

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