Culture Inclusive Psychology: The Perspective in Social and Personal Relationship Study in Chinese Cultural Societies

By Sin-Ping Hsu and Kwang-kuo Hwang. Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.

During a person’s lifetime, cultural traditions may operate psychologically through heuristic processing. Accumulated through time and life experiences, these cultural traditions gradually become thoughts or habits that can be used to handle problems by the majority of the people in a society, which forms a cultural mentality unique in comparison to other societies.

Thai_Earplug_5Such cultural mentalities affect how people adapt to their lives, and can be used as a method for self-healing. Since Chinese cultural societies are affected by relationalism, people tend to be very different from their Western counterparts, who take on individualistic ways in dealing with interpersonal problems.

According to Hwang (2011), if a person can use the habitus (Bourdieu, 1990) of normal action to smoothly handle life events under certain social conditions, it is unlikely that they will engage in deep reflection.

However, if habitus cannot be used to resolve a problem, the person will attempt to seek solutions from their personal stock of knowledge or social stock of knowledge. The former include schema, as proposed by Piaget (1977), while the latter are cultural traditions (Shils, 1981). In other words, some cultural traditions are instrumental to problem-solving, and provide the crucial origins for the creation of cognitive schemas. When a person encounters difficulties and a certain method from socCognitive_Schemata_Diagramial stock of knowledge is found to be effective, it may be incorporated into one’s personal stock of knowledge for future application.

In Chinese cultural societies of relationalism, the psychological stresses elicited by interpersonal incidents tend to arise from significant others. For instance, the marital tensions between a couple may not necessarily be caused by themselves, but due to the involvement of their natal families. Therefore, in dealing with interpersonal issues, one cannot overlook significant others and situational contexts. Based on their life experiences, people are accustomed to appeal to yuanfen to convert negative feelings, awkwardness, or setbacks caused by interpersonal incidents, into a type of belief that can be used to combat anxiety. Its true functional mechanism is in embodying the perspective of the mandate of Heaven (Wang, 1987Lee, 1995Yang, 2005Hsu and Hwang, 2013).

These beliefs become practical wisdom or mechanisms of psychological adaptation for handling interpersonal problems. People use yuanfen to interpret the problem, and in turn adopt suitable actions to achieve psychological adjustment. Yuanfen demonstrates that people who live in Chinese cultural societies are accustomed to taking a continuous rather than fragmented perspective toward various interpersonal issues. They believe that the formation and destruction of various relationships may connect the past, present, and future as causes and consequences on the same timeline. This is particularly true for expressive ties that satisfy personal, intrinsic needs for love, warmth, security, and sense of belonging, such as parent-child, romantic, marital, and intimate relationships (Hwang, 2012), and may produce different judgments based on whether such expressive ties are inherent or learned.

In the field of Eastern psychology, guan-xi, a similar concept but not the same as “relationship” in Western psychology, has long been an important issue. However, existing literature has tended to focus on the explicit “guan-xi as it ought to be” rather than on the implicit “guan-xi as it is.

According to Zhai (1993), in Chinese society, there are three localized concepts for interpersonal relationships: personal appeal (ren yuan), human sentiment (renqing), and human relations (renlun). These three concepts correspond, respectively, to psychology, values, and norms, in turn creating an overall framework fochinese-familyr the exploration of interpersonal relationships. This study postulates that human sentiment and human relations correspond to the explicit “guan-xi as it ought to be,” which can satisfy the expectations of Chinese social values and norms, but are also the sources of psychological disturbances.

Since personal appeal corresponds to psychology, and is related to the overall configuration of the model of interpersonal relationships, it should have the most direct impact on psychological adaptation as part of relational interaction. For example, when a person forced to accept a breakup and attribute the failure of the relationship to lack of yuanfen, the relationship has also been framed as something that does not have to be taken seriously. Since there is a lack of yuanfen, the relationship should not be fought for. This interpretation is actually beneficial for psychological adjustment in terms of achieving a positive outcome.

Read more from http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00282/full?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Psychology-w17-2016

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Finding My Research Sweet Spot with Non-symbolic States of Consciousness

By Ph.D student Lindsay Briner

The Power of Exploration and Wonder

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-4-22-40-pmI have an MA in Transpersonal Psychology and a relentless passion toward my own personal evolution. I became interested in the *industry* of transformative technology via Dr. Jeffrey Martin and the Transformative Technology Lab, and for the past year explored options within that industry. With that in mind, I spent several months at the University of Arizona with Dr. Stuart Hameroff (pictured) where I investigated Transcranial Ultrasound Therapy, worked with Deepak Chopra on the Jiyo platform and collaborated with Neurohacker Collective as a research member. I enjoyed exploring innovative technologies with fellow research associates, but I still was not able to chisel away a clear point of focus for 2017. However, these explorations did make me wonder as an industry what we are optimizing for and how do we consensually measure it?

Through my lived experiences to discover my area of focus, I have come to realize that the future of human development, education and medicine, through the exponential growth of technology, is destined for human optimization. We are at the cusp of an emergent human ontology with a new interdisciplinary epistemology of neuroscience with technology.

Finding Clarity at the Transformative Technology Lab

My coursework as a PhD student at Sofia University has been complemented with work at the Transformative Technology Lab (TTL) with Dr. Jeffery Martin. The lab is a niche space where technology intersects with transpersonal psychology. The aim of the Lab is to evolve psychology’s working axiom of wellness, from one merely transcending acute distress, to one tapping the outer reaches of human potential.I thoughtfully examined how my contribution at this intersection can be maximized and chose to look at the Finder’s Course.

The goal of Dr.Martin’sFinder’s Course is to help people obtain Persistent Non-Symbolic Experience (PNSE) which includes the states of consciousness commonly known as enlightenment, non-duality, and unitive experience. Such states are not inherently spiritual or religious, nor limited to any particular culture or population, and they can form differently according to various personal experiences.

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-4-22-24-pmIn January of 2017, Dr.Jeffery Martin launched his 10th Finder’s Course research protocol with 2,000 participants. The Finder’s Course collects data from participants on the progress of their psychological states throughout the 4-month program. Dr.Martin’s most recent study achieved strong validation, with approximately 73% of participants reaching ongoing non-symbolic experience in less than 4 months during the program. The program utilizes various methodologies to achieve this, such as positive psychology techniques, mindfulness practices, meditation, and use the transformative technologies such as the Muse neuro-feedback technology for meditation. (Pictured – Jeffery Martin in white & Lindsay Briner)

Curiosity Brings Focus

Over the last year as a research associate at the TTL, I delved into Finder’s Course data and gained an understanding of Dr. Martin’s approach and strategy. His human optimization techniques not only lead to what are often perceived as spiritual experiences, but more broadly form a framework for groundbreaking states of wellbeing. For example, PNSE is linked to significantly decreased depression and anxiety, and enhanced physical health and sense of purpose in life.

I relate to and am fascinated by this material, often reflecting on my own experiences of PNSE. Last year, I began experimenting with nootropics to assist in my levels of productivity and ability to concentrate on tasks. As I was taking these supplements, I began observing an increase in my ability to access and maintain higher states of PNSE while also increasing focus, motivation, and productivity.

I experienced a flow-state from the productivity, yet also experienced states of PNSE. This may be difficult to understand if you are not familiar with these states, but the experience of sustained, calm focus, backdropped by a general sense of wellbeing, is an experience I desire to help other people access and maintain. I want people to be able to feel so deeply connected to nature — to experience a unitive, non-dual awareness — while remaining grounded, healthy, and more productive in a meaningful way than ever before.

Because of my extraordinary results from my own use of nootropics, along with my curiosity to deepen the scholarship on this emerging field of human optimization, I felt I would be potentially well suited for the lab’s extraordinary research vision.

Finding My Research Sweet Spot

This desire caused me to approach Dr. Martin in the lab one day with an idea with which I was ready to hit the ground running. And now, I am excited to say that in January 2017, I started collecting data on cognitive performance with three experimental groups during the 10th Finder’s Course. A particular point of emphasis within my work will be investigating the effects of nootropics or “smart drugs” on Finder’s Course participants. Nootropics provide cognitive enhancements, and are intended for people who have a good physiological and psychological baseline of health.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 4.34.22 PM.pngThe work will show how increasing one’s processing capability of symbolic states may influence one’s relationship to non-symbolic states. The data collection in the Finder’s Course has great implications for engineering specific states for human optimization across various applications. I am honored to work alongside him as I move into my final stages of the PhD program.

Summary

For so long, psychology and medicine have been focused on pathology. At the Transformative Technology Lab, we are focusing on healthy individuals and asking, “How do we advance our need to be more healthy into true optimization?”

This last year has revealed to me how humankind is now at the very precipice of our next great civilizational epoch. Fifteen years ago, “social media” was a virtually unknown phrase and concept, and so too, “transformative technology” will become the next great societal wave of influence. It may end up under a slightly different name- “human optimization”, “neurotech”, “transtech”, etc.- but it is clear that there is an emerging coalescence of brilliance and technology across the world, centered around the concept of transcending previous assumed limits of individual neurophysiology. This includes any technological methods that enhance wellbeing, such as non-invasive brain stimulation (i.e. ultrasound, tDCS, tACS), virtual reality, augmented reality, brain-computer interface (i.e. microchips, Elon Musks’ brain lace), neuro-feedback, all bio-feedback devices, and much more.

 

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The Power of Presence – Mindfulness based Therapy

The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

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What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness has been present in multiple practices throughout the world for millenniums. Its origin has been traced to Hinduism in 1500 BCE and was introduced to the field of psychology in the 20th century. Mindfulness is a mental state which consists of achieving a deeper awareness of one’s body and mind by focusing on the present moment. It is utilized in many therapeutic practices such as Mindfulness-based stress reduction, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

Mindfulness is more than an intervention, it is a way of life. According to an article on the benefits of mindfulness by the American Psychological Association, mindfulness has been shown to:

Reduce

  • rumination
  • stress
  • emotional reactivity

Increase

  • working memory
  • focused attention
  • cognitive flexibility
  • relationship satisfaction

Techniques used in Mindfulness based therapy

mindset-743166_960_720During sessions, therapists can use various tools in order to help their clients achieve a state of mindfulness. Some of the techniques used include breathing meditation, sitting meditation, and body sensation meditation. The techniques can be used at any time and whenever needed.

It is also recommended to practice mindfulness outside of therapy. There are various practices promoting mindfulness such as yoga, qigong, tai chi, as well as the meditations mentioned above. The goal is to focus on oneself and on the present moment.

Mindfulness Based Therapy at Sofia University

Mindfulness is one of the major educational teaching models at Sofia University that provides the foundation for deep transformational growth and enhanced personal experience of the subject matter.Faculty understand the stress and anxiety experienced daily by both students and humanity in general, and the school’s mission is to teach students how to integrate and transcend these stressors.

Almost every in-person psychology class begins and ends with meditation and centering, while other classes are entirely focused on mindfulness. Courses such as “Transpersonal Skills Labs (Yoga, Ai-kido)”, “Meditation & Mindfulness”, and “Creative Expression” are examples of such mindfully focused courses.

If you’re interested to learn more about yourself, as well as how to help others in a mindful and transpersonal environment, then Sofia University is meant for you! Have a look at our degrees to find what resonates best.

Hope you join the family 🙂
A bientôt!

Here are some external resources if you would like to learn more about mindfulness:

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Mindfulness quote borrowed from Goodreads 

About the Author

paramanBlog writer Pierre Araman is a student in the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program. He is an international student originally from France who has lived in many different countries around the world. Serendipity brought him to Sofia University.  His goal to fuse spirituality and science in the field of psychology is based on the belief that body, mind, & soul have not been fully integrated in either domain. Promoting Sofia University is a passion as well as he believes the university is a unique and wonderful environment. You can contact Pierre at p.araman@sofia.edu

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Alumna Rosie Kuhn, Ph.D Talks Cultivating Spirituality in Children

rosiekuhn.jpgMost parents, grandparents and guardians have great hopes for their children, but they do not take seriously enough their role in creating an environment that truly empowers children to fulfill their fullest potential as human beings… We are not attending to their human needs beyond their survival. We are not attending to their needs as spiritual beings.” Rosie Kuhn, Ph.D.

Interview re-posted from Psychology Today.

Welcome to Childhood Made Crazy, an interview series that takes a critical look at the current “mental disorders of childhood” model. This series is comprised of interviews with practitioners, parents, and other children’s advocates as well as pieces that investigate fundamental questions in the mental health field. Visit the following page to learn more about the series, to see which interviews are coming, and to learn about the topics under discussion: http://ericmaisel.com/interview-series/

Rosie Kuhn, PhD, began her career over 30 years ago as a clinical therapist for addictionrecovery programs in Nova Scotia, Canada. In 1999 she founded The Paradigm Shifts Coaching Group and in 2001, she created the Transformational Coaching Training Program in Silicon Valley, where she facilitated the program for over a decade. She is currently a coach, author, and trainer.

EM: Your work as a Transpersonal and Transformational Life Coach embraces a much larger perspective of well-being than that of psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists. What contributed to you choosing such a different orientation to mental health and well-being?

RK: Initially, through my Masters degree in Marriage, Family and Child Therapist, I cultivated the foundational perspective that we are a member of many systems. An individual’s symptoms, especially a child’s symptoms, are indications of a breakdown within the family system, or any one of the primary systems within which a child interacts. This will lead to a breakdown within the individual member of the system.

Through a second Masters degree, in Social Work, I was exposed to patients within the mental health hospital system. All had been diagnosed and were being treated with medications. And from my humble experience, what contributed to their hospitalization was rarely acknowledged, nor were they given many opportunities to reveal that which triggered their mental health issues. They were learning to manage and cope with life and their diagnosis. Their identity became attached to their diagnosis, which limited their capacity to see themselves beyond the handicap and disabilities defined by their diagnosis.

I spent eight years in the field of addictions and recovery. Working with families dealing with addiction and recovery issues revealed to me the huge absence of support for spiritual crisis within the therapeutic model. And, with the incredibly positive influence that the 12-step program has on individuals who work with this programs, it made sense to me that I begin to find a program which allowed me to understand more fully the influence that spirituality has on our human experience.

Through my final degree, a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology, I specialized in the field of spiritual guidance. After three masters degrees, a Ph.D., and 30 years of experience supporting and empowering all people, including children, I see each individual child and grown-up as whole and complete, and quite brilliant in how they come to create the myriad of strategies they use to survive their circumstances. My work empowers my client to see just how empowered they are to create these strategies and to survive. If they can empower themselves in the way they have so far survived, they certainly have the capacity to choose more self-fulfilling strategies.

EM: What is the single most common trigger for children seeking professional health assessments?

RK: Childhood is filled with firsts, presenting every one of us with so many moments of testing ourselves in an unknown world. Every child experiences anxieties as they continually enter realms of human experiences that are unfamiliar and perhaps challenging to comprehend. Each child assesses their situation from their own unique youthful orientation. Depending on the temperament of each child, they all confront anxiety to one degree or another. And, depending on the degree to which a child feels safe and secure in their environment, they handle the everyday stresses and anxiety with ease or with fear.

6239670686_65fdd9e0eb_b.jpgI see the most common trigger for children potentially requiring support from a health professional is a crisis of trust. Quite often, something happens; it could be something significant or something that, for many, could seem very mundane. But, in that moment, for that individual child, their reality is shattered. In their experience, what they believed was true, and the person they believed they could trust, was taken away, and their way of being required a shift. They begin finding patterns of thinking, feeling and acting that allowed them to compensate for any restlessness, irritableness and anxiety that arose. They create survival strategies in their logical, rational mind, which they believe will keep them invulnerable from ever experiencing that kind of shattering ever again.

The more distressed a child is, the more intense their survival strategies. When parents and other guardians ignore, deny or distract themselves from the child’s symptoms, perhaps hoping the symptoms will go away, the child is most likely going to intensify their symptoms until they are acknowledged. Good parenting requires intentional focus on what’s working, and what’s not.

In my work as a life coach, it is not uncommon for my adult clients to share that specific moment when their childhood innocence was shattered. They remember specifically how they began to think and act differently to assist them in not feeling the trauma of the shattering, or hiding it from others. Again, the degree to which a child feels safe being seen and heard within their family system is the degree to which they can share and perhaps be supported through these childhood crises.

EM: What treatment do you suggest?

RK: My suggestion is that the whole family enters into family therapy. A child’s world, the systems within which he operates, contributes to his or her way of being. The family system is the number one source of support and comfort, except when it isn’t. If the family doesn’t participate in treatment a huge component of the child’s reality is left out of the healing process.

EM: You wrote a book for parents called Cultivating Spirituality in Children: 101 Ways to Make Every Child’s Spirit Soar. Why did you write this book?

RK: I wrote Cultivating Spirituality in Children because I believe that though most parents, grandparents and guardians have great hopes for our children, we do not take seriously enough our role in creating an environment that truly empowers our children to fulfill their fullest potential as human beings.

4568163813_2a9b9db088_b.jpgWe don’t take seriously our role in their development, on all levels. We are mostly concerned with making sure their survival needs are taken care of, and that they have the education required. By attending to survival needs, we teach our children to attend to their survival needs and not to the needs of their spirit-selves, that which inspires them to thrive beyond the limiting perspective of consensus reality. We are not attending to their human needs beyond their survival. We are not attending to their needs as spiritual beings.

In dysfunctional family systems (dysfunctional corporate, religious, and educational systems as well), individuals are not allowed to know what they think, feel, need or want. Given such circumstances where an individual’s creativity, imagination, and ability to express themselves fully is diminished, emotions and psychic energies build up and they have to be expressed in some way or another. Depression is caused through the process of self-deprecation. When deprived of the freedom to discover their own expression, children learn to deprive themselves of their own knowing of their own truths and natural exuberance. Again, they begin to suppress their natural exuberance, and develop strategies that will minimize the anxieties that arise. Anxiety arises when we feel unsafe.

EM: In your opinion, how does spirituality contribute to mental health and mental illness issues?

RK: I see spirituality as an essential component of mental health. We are born seeking love and expression of our whole self. We are trained to desire creative outlets, and ways to express ourselves – through language, affection, connection, activity, and our need to truly get to know who we are – as our essential self, intuitively.

woman-1264729_960_720.jpgWe feel our heart’s desires and are inspired to fulfill those desires. We are encouraged to use our imagination to create – what we want to be when we grow up. We feel what is true in our hearts. We are perhaps taken to churches, synagogues, or mosques, so we can learn to believe in those who are unseen, cultivating faith, and a capacity to surrender our will to a higher power. Creation, love, connection, inspiration, faith, and intuition are all aspects of our spiritual selves.

At the same time, the majority of our family, educational, and religious systems provide conflicting messages. Children who are spontaneously singing, laughing or playing, are told to stop making so much noise. They are told that they are wrong or bad for being themselves. They are told they can’t have their dreams or their desires. Now, as a parent or teacher, these may be necessary tactics to control a child’s behavior, but for the child, it can be very confusing. This can trigger a crisis of trust. And, again, they begin to compensate by developing ways of being that is more acceptable to authorities but may wreak havoc with their spirit-self.

Every grown-up knows this spirit self exists. And, it is so understandable that with today’s stresses, it is so challenging to attend to our children’s spiritual development, let alone our own. That’s why I wrote – Cultivating Spirituality in Children.

EM: What is the role of a parent as an advocate for their child?

RK: The role of a parent is to be an advocate for their child. Too often, parents turn their power over to those who consider themselves authorities. The child often feels helpless, and so do the parents. It makes sense that parents look to experts in the field of mental health for support, however, turning their power over to anyone means that they often relinquish responsibility for the current circumstances. That means that they let other people make decisions that may not be in their child’s best interest, even though they are experts. From a child’s perspective, if a parent relinquishes control or responsibility, the child may feel abandoned or betrayed, which only exacerbates the situation for both parent and child.

Parent as advocate requires them to participate in every aspect of decision-making. It requires them to educate themselves on symptoms, medications and treatment modalities, both standard and alternative. Parents need to talk with their child, discuss what feels right for them – what are their ideas and thoughts. Too often those who we put in powerful positions don’t always act in the best interest of their clients or patients. They utilize standard procedures, and miss important personal aspects of a person’s reality – especially related to our human-spirit.

EM: What do you suggest parents do to prevent mental health issues?

images.jpgRK: Attend to your children, give them quality time every day – even just 15 minutes a day will give your children a good sense of value and worthiness. Give them your presence – put away your iPhones, iPads, computers, and walk away from the television. A parent cannot be present to their children while on an electronic device.

Listen to your child as though what they have to say is important. Rather than tell them what to think or what to feel, ask them questions about what is happening for them. The sooner you begin cultivating a trusting open relationship with them, the sooner they will trust that they can come to you when life gets to be too much, too confusing, or when something is going on that they just don’t know how to deal with. If they learn to trust you at a younger age, you both can continue to cultivate and nurture that trusting relationship into adolescence, early adulthood and beyond.

Get to know who your child is, how they think and feel inside themselves. Ask questions that allow them to use their innate intelligence – stretching their intuition and imagination and to feel into what is true for them – not just mental constructs that are fed to them. This way of being with your child allows them to develop healthy interpretations about themselves – that they matter in your world, and in their own, no matter what.

Bottom line, when a child is having mental challenges, parents and guardians need to get therapy, education, and support for themselves.  In essence the child may need rehabilitation, but the parents need some healing, support and training so as to advocate for and empower their children’s lives, so that their spirit is able to soar.

**

If this article touched you and you have a passion for teaching children, you can  learn more about Sofia University’s Master of Education in Transformational Arts  which can help you  engage with your students in a more powerful and innately mindful way.

To learn more about this series of interviews please visit http://ericmaisel.com/interview-series/

 

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A Hero’s Journey – From Resistance to Acceptance. Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Embracing diversity and imparting knowledge and skills that empower people to live together in peace within multicultural communities are core values for Sofia University. In this regard, among others, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is an amazing role model. On January 15th, the nation honored his courage and vision.

This post celebrates Dr. King from the perspective of the hero’s journey. Following the hero’s journey in Sofia University’s Global Master of Arts in Transpersonal Psychology is a staple in the core curriculum, helping students to recognize the cyclical nature of life, and to acknowledge all stages of growth and self development.

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. : Social Activist and Influential Change Maker

We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.

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1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has left such a strong legacy in this country that America has set aside a day in his honor to recognize his achievements. Many people know little about his background, but his journey toward greatness was fraught with the same internal conflicts that anyone on the Hero’s Journey must confront. Cultural, social and parental influences strongly shaped King’s early childhood.

The Home Environment

Dr. King’s father was a minister, who himself was raised in a culture of ministry. King’s father grew up in a life seeped in racism and he chose a life of social activism to fight against it. His strong belief that racism, as well as a sense of racial superiority, was against God’s will shaped King Jr.’s upbringing. King Jr was clearly academically advanced, skipping both 9th and 11th grade to enroll in Morehouse College at age 15.

A Conflicted Life – Refusing the Calling

Not everything was great in King Jr.’s life.

  • At age 12, young Martin jumped from a second story window at the family home, allegedly attempting suicide when he missed being at the bedside of his grandmother when she died.
  • Despite his father’s hopes, King Jr. spent his first two years at Morehouse College unmotivated and continued questioning religion in general as well as overt religious displays.
  • Rebelling against conservative values, King Jr. played pool (considered an unseemly activity), drank beer through most of his college years, and entered into a relationship with a white woman that was more than controversial.

The Awakening, the Mentor and Crossing Over 

In Dr. King’s junior year at Morehouse, he took a Bible class and was soon spiritually awakened (despite being baptized at an early age). Finding his life path, King Jr. began to thrive.

  • In 1948, he attended the Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania and thrived. He was elected student body president, earned a graduate fellowship and was chosen valedictorian of his class in 1951.
  • Finding a spiritual mentor under the guidance of Morehouse College President Benjamin E. Mays, an outspoken advocate for racial equality, King was encouraged to view Christianity as a potential force for social change.

Moving Humanity Forward – Finding the Approach & Living the Challenge

 

Rosaparks.jpgMartin Luther King Jr.’s rise to prominence began with the arrest of Rosa Parks (pictured) in December, 1955. The head of the NAACP, E.D. Nixon, chose Dr. King to lead a citywide bus boycott. With youth and strong family connections, Dr. King had strong credibility within the black community. After 382 days of intimidation, violence and refusing to board the buses, the financial losses finally made the city of Montgomery lift the law mandating segregated public transportation.

This success led civil rights leaders to create an organization that would coordinate efforts nationwide. In 1957, Dr. King, Ralph Abernathy and over 60 activists and ministers created the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. 

Gandhi and  JFK – Allies of Non Violence

sit-in.jpgInspired by Gandhi’s success with non-violence, in 1959 Dr. King organized a trip to India which encouraged him to increase his commitment to non-violent actions within the civil rights movement. When he returned, he became co-pastor with his father at the family church while continuing his civil rights efforts.

In 1960 at a lunch counter sit-in, Dr. King and others were arrested when they continued to sit at the counter after being refused service and told to leave. The mayor of the city of Atlanta where the sit-in took place, recognized that with Dr. King’s national notoriety, the city would suffer and so he released.everyone. But Dr. King would be imprisoned not long after that for a simple traffic violation. It was then when presidential nominee, John F Kennedy interceded, and political pressure soon got Dr. King’s release.

The Dream – Having a Vision

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On August 28. 1963, Dr. King gave his most recognized speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. His “dream” consisted of more than a vision, but a request of a nation to honor their words.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice… But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir… Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds.

What did Dr. King envision? Among many of his statements, this is the most famous.

So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

Revising the Vision – Tests and Enemies

Although Dr. King’s movement was becoming more popular, and had now expanded to Chicago and Los Angeles, young black leaders increasingly began to challenge his methods. Dr. King, ever vigilant, decided to expand the vision of civil rights to not only the Vietnam War but to issues of poverty. His hope was to broaden his base to include all disadvantaged and unemployed people of all races.

The Dream is Questioned – Reaching the Inner Most Cave of Doubt

No matter how brave, strong or supported we may be on our journeys, as humans we all become weary. This was no different with Dr. King. After so many years of energetic and passionate dispute and confrontations, Dr. King began to get discouraged as to whether civil rights were possible.

I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.” April 3, 1968 speech

The Ordeal – A Dream Never Dies – A Hero is Reborn

mlk-by-bstangland.jpgThe day after Dr. King gave his prophetic speech about never reaching the promised land, he was shot while standing on a balcony at his hotel by James Earl Ray. Dr. King’s death left a lasting impression, as seen by riots and demonstrations across the nation, but also further into history. Since that time, he has been honored, not only with streets and schools named after him,but with a national holiday.

 

References

Martin Luther King Jr. Biography http://www.biography.com/people/martin-luther-king-jr-9365086

The Hero’s Journey http://www.thewritersjourney.com/hero’s_journey.htm

 

 

 

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A Transpersonal Evolution and Awakening – Maria’s Story

202163-334076-1_120x150.jpgI was fortunate to teach Transpersonal Entrepreneurial Skills fall quarter, 2016. In this hybrid course, I hoped to inspire students who are not used to transpersonal studies, to personally evolve and awaken to the transpersonal in all aspects of life. Maria exemplifies such a journey, poignantly evident in two of her final class writings–the last journal entry, and the last of three “evolution” papers.

English is Maria’s second language. We decided not to edit her writing except an insignificant spellcheck. But we changed “briefing” to its intended word, “breathing.” I mention this because “briefing” is, in fact, metaphorically apropos, and we can also interpret it transpersonally.

Similarly, when Maria writes “. . . my body in the same proportion experiences the various sensations and is organized to transform* itself with the leaves that are released from trees. . . .” nicely uses structure to symbolize the process of evolution, albeit cyclical, in both self and nature (Fall, rather than the start of ending, as some poets symbolize it, is another beginning for Maria)–some words inadvertently have dual meaning, but relevantly so.

Goolrukh Vakil, Marriage & Family Therapist, PhD, MA, LMFT, MS

[*In psychotherapy, a good theory–which informs the processing of personal material in session–has structure. A structural change in the client can be symbolic of evolution and healing yet, the change remains in proportion to the client’s essence such that she can remain authentic in processing anew, life’s events].

Maria and Her Children – “The best meditation that I have had”

Dharma_Primary_School_-_Children_Meditating_2015.jpg

I asked my kids what is Meditation? They answered it with a big and sweet smile:

  • “Is when you sit in silence and fill your heart with love,”
  • “Is when you put your favorite teddy bear in your belly and starting breathing to see all the movements that he makes,”
  • “Help us to thing better”,
  • “We are behavior better after listen to maestro music and breathing very deep”

After hearing my kids voices I asked them to joy me in my silent moment.They did, with their feet firmly on the ground and keeping their back erect sitting in the floor with me with their hands in the lap, “towards the sky”. They closed their eyes and gently they started breathing.Before opening their eyes I told them to image a good feeling embracing them and what color it would be–they said in common agreement that was the rainbow, “because the rainbow is the happiness color.”

Was a very brief meditation however, my little ones understand the basic and the most important thing is to allow them to feel what they feel. This experience was the best meditation that I have had, to image the rainbow of my “jewels” with the biggest and happy faces; embracing myself was a very nice feeling.

Autumn and Me: Recycling and Transpersonal Transformation with Autumn

Autumn gives us magic in the colors of its leaves. The eyes capture the changes in color, the magic of the tones. The scent that spreads in the air and the thermal sensation that touches our surface, awakens our senses. Thus my body in the same proportion experiences the various sensations and is organized to transform itself with the leaves that are released from trees that I have not planted.

boy-713169_960_720.jpgI give myself as I walk on a dazzling carpet of leaves that fall to renew, and to my gaze nature is bound to offer me a spectacle of colors. Blue sky and brushstrokes of yellows, oranges and reds take my horizon and deep green hills there highlight the vivid hues of these raw colors. I will still hunt for the colors of autumn. This landscape that grabs, envelops and awakens my eyes represents the essence of this passage. The clear sky favors the colors that get lush. The days gradually get shorter and the nights come back to have the same duration of the days, the temperature also remodels.

The arrival of autumn is also to remember who brought it, spring and summer and understand why they change color.With the shorter days, longer nights the trees recognize the lesser amount of light they receive and restructure. The trees get ready for winter. They send less nutrients and water to the leaves. Each leaf builds a protective layer at the base of its stem to block receipt of any tree supply. The predominant green leaves by its chlorophyll, due to lack of nutrients give space for the new pigments to appear. Individually each leaf is transformed. At different times the remaining shades of green merge into yellows, reds and oranges. These are accentuated and soon, one sheet at a time in the completeness of its cycle and rhythm, comes off.

In this beautiful process of losing their leaves, the trees eliminate the toxins left by the leaves and are ready to nourish themselves during the next season. In this impressive process of metamorphosis the soil feeds on the decomposition of this rich organic material. What make this cycle of nutrition, protection, preparation, transformation to be so perfect?

 

ITP-logo_large.pngThe Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University offers courses in both clinical and non-clinical psychology at the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral levels. Transpersonal psychologists work across disciplines and draw on insights from not only the various areas of psychology, but also the sciences of cognition, consciousness, and the paranormal; philosophy; social and cultural theory; integral health theories and practices; poetry, literature, and the arts; and, the world’s spiritual and wisdom traditions.

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Sophie’s Story – Saying Yes to Spirit and Becoming a Spiritual Entrepreneur

 

Sophie F.JPGSophie Skover Frabotta is an alumna who received her degree from the Sofia University Master of Arts in Transpersonal Psychology Global program with a specialization in Spiritual Psychology.

Through her education at Sofia, she realized that she had the gift of sacred remembrance and is devoted to sharing that with her community. Whether it is helping one remember the lost parts of their truth and one’s connection to source,  or how to release the past, embrace the future, experience joy in the moment, work towards their vision, and have healthy relationships,she believes all that she is doing is helping them access that sacred truth that sits deep within their being.

Her Background. Sophie arrived at Sofia with an undergraduate degree in psychology. She had been a practicing Life Coach for the past 6 years and running her own business, but began to feel like her practice was running a little flat. She started looking at Master’s programs, but didn’t want anything that was traditional. And that is when she found Sofia, or as she likes to say “heard the call from Sofia.”

Clarity of Spirit.”Sofia changed my life and connected me back to who I really was. Sofia awakened me. From the very first seminar I had a lot of fear that started to unravel.  I had to dig through the depths of my soul and deal with it to a point where I was able to transmute the energy and move into a new space.

In my second year I took this class, Entrepreneurial Spirit and my world was flipped upside-down. At that point, I was thinking [my business ]Awaken was going to be a spiritual center that needed substantial funding in order to happen. In that class, I ended up creating a 50-page business plan. I worked nights, weekends, and poured my soul into this project. It was intense and challenging on deep levels. After seeking funding, and going through the process of presenting my idea and meeting with potential investors, my idea of Awaken the Spiritual Development Center began to shift.  I began to see that I already had momentum in my coaching business and could use a much smaller investment to re-brand and grow what I had already created. I felt that the class truly unlocked the spiritual entrepreneur in me, and that space of driving spiritual transformation into commerce was born.

It was probably the most difficult 10 weeks academically I’ve ever been through. It was rather like boot camp; you’re happy when it’s over; I really got stronger during that, but through a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.”

team-building-1381084_960_720.jpgA Supportive Tribe. Sophie found that the faculty at Sofia was transformational in itself and that she felt safe academically and spiritually, at the same time “Most teachers carried this similar vibe of holding of space for the students to really search and express the true self. I found this experience to be so soft and kind.  I just really felt that I could just be myself and I was going to be loved, supported and encouraged no matter what.” .In addition to classes and teachers, she loved the seminars, her fellow students , and cherishes the friendships she made.

And Then This Happened.  “I had this whole experience during my master’s program. I was saying yes; yes to spirit, yes to my purpose, yes to whatever wanted to come through me, and yes to whatever I needed to do in the world. This practice opened up a funnel and all this energy began to flow, creating an improved version of my Life’s work.

A Career Worth Loving.  Sophie has had her coaching business for the past 8 years. Near the end of her master’s program she began to feel that her company was in need of an awakening, a make-over, itself. She began rebranding, and Awaken was born. Awaken, however came with a much bigger presence than her former company.  Mid-way through her re-branding she realized that she was building a lifestyle brand that focused on transformation in three areas: life coaching, meditation and crystal education.

My intention is to bring spirituality into the business world and to integrate transpersonal awareness while creating beneficial business.”

Sophie GMATP.JPGSophie describes herself as a Spiritual Entrepreneur and says, “I believe it means you believe in commerce and  want to be a profitable, abundant person. However, you have this intense amount of spirituality rushing through your veins. This makes it very important to be in tune with what you are doing, which also creates profit and can support the lifestyle you desire to live. What I’m working on in my own life is blending the two, finding the best of both worlds. I have a lot of dreams, a lot of things in this world that I want to experience, and I know it takes money to get there. I also know that I have some spiritual gifts that can help people transform their lives. So Spiritual Entrepreneur means to me that I’m blending my gifts with the ability to create financial abundance.” Sophie wrote her final paper for her MATP masters program on Being a Spiritual Entrepreneur in Modern Business Society, and defines spiritual entrepreneur below.

Spiritual Entrepreneur (n.): (a) one approaching commerce with a divine alignment first of all and innovatively identifying needs and finding solutions that create profit and make a meaningful difference in the world; (b) one pursuing morally sustainable commerce, providing the consumer with a meaningful resource, while making a profit;

(c) one creating business with an outer force and an inner force that are in balance; (d) one with a practice of opening to the divine flow, thinking outside of the box, finding a community need and fulfilling it, welcoming things already happening instead of always making things happen, and acting with inspiration as soon as the download is complete; Synonyms: Spiritual Leader, Spiritual Trailblazer, Beneficial Business Pursuer, Conscious Commerce Practitioner.

Sophie wants to experience everything. “Part of embodying the spiritual entrepreneur is being in tune with two very opposing ideas, and blending them together in a way that is innovative. I don’t feel like they’re opposing, but when I talk about it with others, sometimes I’m met with a little bit of confusion.”

Building A Life Worth Living

I think that one component that I offer clients, is that I believe in them. They may have forgotten what they are capable of, but I know it. I hold that space for them naturally and help them remember their greatness.” 

Sophie currently works with clients, teaches meditation, holds local and virtual workshops and designs and makes crystal jewelry, which she sells online. “I have this gift of hearing things that are said underneath words. I’m very word sensitive and when I work with people and I hear what they are saying, there are specific words that pop out and I can usually go deeper into what needs to heal. I then help them to release whatever is blocking them from their inner alignment and what they truly want.”

“What my true credentials are and what they will always be is that I do the inner work. I live the work; I am dedicated to the work. So the spaces that I’m able to travel to with my clients are because I’ve been there myself. I know what it looks like to be bulimic, depressed, anxious, suicidal, 70 pounds heavier, and so on. Darkness is darkness, but the light can save us all. I understand that those spaces of darkness in the soul can heal, and find it natural to go there and bring the light.”

This past summer, Rich—Sophie’s Husband—saw an amazing opportunity to take
Sophie’s healing vision and technique—using crystal jewelry—online. Coming from the corporate world, Rich knew she could reach more people on the world wide web. So they partnered up and created an online platform for her to sell her crystal jewelry and teach people about healing crystals online.

 

Awaken.JPGHer Business: Awaken. Awaken’s different healing modalities: life coaching, meditation, crystal jewelry, and crystal education, are often weaved together. Her days are spent seeing clients one on one. She also teaches local classes and workshops on meditation, crystals, and the chakras.

She began her virtual work as a way to expand her reach and work with people all over the world. She always uses a video platform as she believes that having a face-to-face connection preserves the intimacy and connection of in-person transformational experience, so one requirement for her clients is that they have internet connection and front facing camera.

“I find that there are different ways to connect with people. Some people are more comfortable with eyes closed, in that meditative space, to do their inner work, which is where the meditative lessons come in hand. On the other hand, crystals offer this very stable, transmittable vibration due to its molecular structure. Different stones offer a variety of vibrations. I use crystals as companions for people as they go on their healing journey..”

One important component of Sophie’s work is structure. She provides structure for people going through what is an unstructured journey. “Typically I work with people from 8 to 32 weeks. The length of time depends on what they put into it, as that is what they get out of it. I offer accountability, forward movement, strategic planning and goal setting, but the most important principle is doing the inner work to heal the blockages in front of one’s desires. Simultaneously I know that people will also begin to have a spiritual awakening and the speed at which they awaken, is the speed they awaken. And there’s no rushing that.”

The entrepreneurial aspect also comes into play on the business end. Sophie describes, “there’s a business end to all this as well. Client’s are paying for a transformational experience, a seat in my office and that costs money. That’s not something that I offer for free.” She feels it is important to acknowledge her time and she balances the sharing of her gifts with financial reimbursement, which is an important aspect of being a spiritual entrepreneur.

“To me the biggest principle is that living your life’s work is a balance. And balance fluctuates…. Sometimes my practice will be more driven by spirituality and sometimes more by commerce. And both are okay.”

For Sophie, it all comes down to being in tune with your soul purpose and sharing that with the world. She encourages us to create a joyful life by accepting our true self, falling in love with who we are, and living with an open heart!

Connect with Sophie

www.AwakenLifeCoachingWPB.com       www.PalmBeachOfficiant.com

Instagram: @SophieFrabotta  & @AwakenCrystalGallery
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sophie.Skover.Frabotta

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The Wisdom of the Body : Somatic Based Therapy

The mind-body clash has disguised the truth that psychotherapy is physiology. When a person starts therapy, he isn’t beginning a pale conversation; he is stepping into a somatic state of relatedness” -Thomas Lewis

What is Somatic-Based Therapy?

Merriam-Webster defines somatic as “relating to, or affecting the body especially as distinguished from the psyche.” Somatic therapists believe that past traumas, emotions, and experiences can become trapped within the body and then externalized by posture, facial expressions, etc and/or internalized through muscular pain and other types of body language.

Somatic therapy is a holistic approach to healing traumas through different techniques such as dance or other body movement, breathing exercises, massage, voice work, and more. There are various forms of somatic therapies such as Core energetics, Bodynamics, Hakomi, and Bioenergetic analysis.

The father of Somatic-Based therapy is Wilhelm_Reich_in_his_mid-twenties.JPGan Austrian psychoanalyst,Wilhelm Reich, who became known for his idea of muscular armour. Muscular armour aka Segmental Armouring Theory, states that all living organisms contain a life force which Reich named as orgone energy. When the orgone energy does not flow properly through the body due to various reasons (in this context trauma), the body will internalize and/or externalize the blockages through various means. When the blockages are identified and then worked through, it enables the release of extra orgone energy or repletion depending on the needs in order to rebalance the body to a natural equilibrium.

Techniques used in Somatic-Based therapy

As mentioned earlier, somatic-based therapy utilizes different techniques in order to help the body process traumas. The needs of clients are met depending on their own preferences. For instance, dance is known to be an efficient technique to release traumas through body movements.

CIJam.jpg

Another technique is acting/drama and/or vocal exercises which would require the client to verbalize and/or exteriorize the trauma through movements and voice work. Also, different massages can be used such as energetic massages and/or physical massages. Breathing and grounding exercises can also be used along meditation, visualization, and mindfulness. Somatic-Based therapy has a wide array of tools which clients can choose from.

Somatic-Based Therapy at Sofia University:

There are multiple classes where you will be introduced to Somatic-Based Therapy and its effectiveness on yourself as well as on clients. Classes such as “Creative Expression” and “Psychotherapy Theory and Interventions” are good environments where you will be able to conduct your own somatic exploration and how to communicate with your body. You will also be introduced to the different interventions and how to use them efficiently. If you feel like this might be a good tool for you to have, come join us at Sofia University!

Faculty Connections: Manuela Mischke-Reeds, MA, MFT

843a32cc-c314-4ab4-b81a-7b0ec5ec0371.jpgManuela Mischke-Reeds, MA, MFT, is an international teacher and writer of mindfulness-based somatic psychology. She co-directs the Hakomi Institute of California and teaches in the US, Europe, and Australia. A meditation practitioner for over 25 years, Manuela lectures, consults and trains professionals in mindfulness, attachment, trauma, and movement therapy. She maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Menlo Park, CA.
Manuela frequently lectures at conferences and Universities and has been faculty for the past 15 years at JFK University, Sofia University, and The California Institute of Integral Studies in California.

 

Come join the family 🙂

A bientôt! by Pierre Araman

 

Somatic Body Oriented Studies

If you would like to read about studies conducted on the effectiveness of Somatic-Based Therapy, here are some links:

The Effectiveness of Body-Oriented Psychotherapy: http://www.pacfa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/PACFA_LitReview_Body-Oriented-Psychotherapy_Final.pdf

Empirical Support for Somatic Regulation in the Treatment of Traumatized Adolescents: http://www.traumacenter.org/products/pdf_files/Body_Change_Score_W0001.pdf

Neuroscience in Somatic Psychotherapy: http://cellularbalance.com/Articles/Neuroscience_Somatic_Psychology_Part_III.pdf

References

Book 1: http://hakomiinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Book.png

Book 2: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51rVnvlu3RL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Book 3: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/312R%2BNb6XgL._BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Energetics Institute: http://energeticsinstitute.com.au/psychotherapy-counselling/characterology/reichs-segmental-armouring-theory/

GoodTherapy.org: http://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/somatic-psychotherapy

paraman

Blog writer Pierre Araman is a student in the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program who enjoys sharing his growing knowledge of therapy and therapeutic technique with the wider audience.

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Change your thoughts and you can change your worldview – That’s CBT in Action

Change your thoughts and you change your world.”–Norman Vincent Peale

Is it true? Is it possible to change your thoughts for a more positive outlook on the world? Aaron Beck, father of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), certainly thought it was. He believed that people are capable of self-healing by restructuring their thoughts and changing the schemas, or cognitive concepts that created them. By altering the negative thoughts, symptoms of anxiety and depression could be safely treated. CBT is now one of the predominant therapeutic treatments  used in clinical settings to alleviate and treat cognitive distortions or false beliefs.

truth-257158_960_720.pngWhat are some examples of Cognitive Distortions, aka False Beliefs? 

Mislabeling aka Global Labeling . Mislabeling is represented as extreme, emotionally charged, negative, and irrational generalizations such as : I flunked a test therefore I will never succeed at anything/I’m a failure – They didn’t say hello to me therefore they must hate me/no one likes me
Catastrophizing – Castastrophizing is represented  by “what if” questions that magnify both positive or negative possibilities to an extreme degree  such as: Oh no, it’s raining. What if I drive my car and I begin to aquaplane? What if I walk in the rain and then I slip and hurt myself?
Polarized Thinking – Everyone and/or everything is black or white, there is no middle ground. Examples such as  X gave me chocolate, they are a good person but Y did not give me chocolate, means they are a bad person,  speak to a difficulty to see shades of grey.

Techniques used in CBT

Once the schemas or distortions are found, therapists will use some of the following techniques to help clients reshape their thinking processes.

Reattribution. Therapists begin by testing assumptions and automatic thoughts via alternative causes or events using questions such as: Have you failed all your tests? No? Hence you are not a failure.
Redefining.  By providing new thoughts that will empower the client such as: Say “I will study more” instead of “I will fail this test, therapists are able to give control back to clients.
Diversion.  Interrupting thought patterns by using activities such as social clubs, sports, work activities, are examples of techniques therapists use to reduce negative thinking. The key is to distract and help clients from ruminating about their problems..

Therapy using CBT is very structured and usually encompasses homework and/or a workbooks.

 

CBT in Action with Aaron Beck

In this video, Beck is using a technique called downward arrow to find the client’s schema. Once discovered, he begins to restructure the thoughts using redefining, reattribution, and decatastrophizing.

 

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at Sofia University

Learning at Sofia University is both intellectual and experiential. One of the best strategies to understand the therapy is through self-evaluation and role play. CBT is covered in different classes such as “Critical Thinking in Clinical Psychology”, “History and Systems of Psychology”, “Psychotherapy theory and Interventions”, and more! Special thanks to Dr. Sersecion for her lecture on CBT!

If you feel ready to heal yourself in order to better heal others, come join us at Sofia University!

Come join the family 🙂
A bientot! by Pierre Araman

If you would like to learn more about CBT, here are some links to additional resources:

 

 

ARTICLE REFERENCES
Quote: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/n/normanvinc130593.html

book 1: https://www.psychotherapy.net/data/uploads/m502590c42a684.jpg

book 2: https://www.selfesteemshop.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The-Anxiety-and-Worry-Workbook-The-Cognitive-Behavioral-Solution-David-Clark-Aaron-Beck-239186-200×262.jpg

book 3: http://www.bestcounselingschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/50-best-self-help-books-feeling-good.jpg

CBT techniques: http://www.counsellingconnection.com/index.php/2014/11/05/cbt-techniques-cognitive-and-behavioural/

CBT distortions: http://psychcentral.com/lib/15-common-cognitive-distortions/

PAraman.jpg

Blog writer Pierre Araman is a student in the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program who enjoys sharing his growing knowledge of therapy and therapeutic technique with the wider audience.

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What can I do with an M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology?

So what is Transpersonal Psychology?

At Sofia University, transpersonal psychology is described as the study of an individual’s highest potential for the betterment of humanity and the sustainability of the planet. An article by  Study.com  added that the focus of transpersonal psychology is to better understand human consciousness and experience using multiple disciplines as well as helping  individuals develop spiritually, emotionally and personally.

Poirier Teaching Developmental Psychology

Transpersonal psychologists work across disciplines and draw on insights from not only the various areas of psychology, but also the sciences of cognition, consciousness, and the paranormal; philosophy; social and cultural theory; integral health theories and practices; poetry, literature, and the arts; and, the world’s spiritual and wisdom traditions.

What careers are available for transpersonal psychologists?

Careers in Psychology.org advises that there are a variety of jobs for Transpersonal Psychology Masters graduates, and it all depends upon their level of education and their career goals. Transpersonal psychologists often spend time in research facilities studying the effect of spirituality and holistic living on the overall health of individuals, in educational settings, and in corporate settings as well. Just a few of the positions often held by these professionals include but are not limited to the following:

Teaching Positions
Corporate Consulting
Counseling
Research Positions
Life Coaching
Art Therapy

Life-Coach-London-tscoaching

Teachers and health care workers can employ analytic thinking abilities when evaluating statistical data and use research methods when performing psychological experiments and writing scholarly articles.

Master’s degree holders with several years of experience in business and industry can obtain jobs in consulting and marketing research, while other master’s degree holders may find jobs in government, universities, or the private sector as counselors, researchers, data collectors and analysts. Today, most master’s degrees in psychology are awarded in Clinical, Counseling and Industrial/Organizational Psychology (I/O) which enjoy established occupational niches. I/O psychology focuses on the relationships of individuals to the workplace environment, organizations, and other employees.
Persons with master’s degrees in clinical, counseling, school and testing and measurement psychology often work under the direction of a doctoral psychologist. Some jobs in industry — for example, in organizational development and survey research — are held by both doctoral- and master’s-level graduates. But industry and government jobs that focus on compensation, training, data analysis and general personnel issues are often filled by those with master’s degrees in psychology.

Life coaches help clients create plans to reach their life goals, while at the same time boosting clients’ self-awareness and confidence. Prospective life coaches often receive their training through a program accredited by the International Coach Federation or through certificate or degree programs at a university. Sofia University offers both a stand alone certificate program as well as a Masters degree with a certification in Life Coaching. 

Alumni Highlights

Alumnajenny-buergermeister2-400x451, Jennifer Buergermeister graduated from the M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University. She’s an adjunct instructor at several universities, a writer for various blog sites, newspapers and magazines, Director of Programming for Hines Center for Spirituality and Prayer, and the CEO and Founder of Breathe the Cure, Inc. which consults and facilitates programs for children and adults incorporating wellness such as Jennyoga and the Texas Yoga Conference. Untitled

 

Another proud Sofia alumna Lindsay Zwicker, graduated from the M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology. Lindsay is a holistic therapist. She believes that to achieve mental health we must explore and heal the connections between our mind, body and spirit. Moving through life with a feeling of dis-ease can be exhausting, and it is her goal to help individuals achieve a sense of wholeness and well-being.

Associations for Transpersonal Psychology

There are a few different reputable organizations for transpersonal psychologists, including the Association for Transpersonal Psychology, European Transpersonal Association, Eurotas. and the American Psychological Association. The associations mentioned are great resources for finding continuing education sources.  They also provide opportunities to share your knowledge as a speaker. Psychologists who have the ability to attend conferences and workshops within their industry should definitely do so. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn new trends within the industry, as well as network with like-minded professionals.

 

 

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