Category Archives: Sofia Profiles

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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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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Embracing the Sage/Intellectual- Sofia University Archetype #3

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Every university has its audience. Like a magnet, a school can grab your attention based on subconscious desires you may not even know were important.

Sofia University has always attracted those who connect with the Sage/Intellectual. What makes the energy of the Sage a match to the Sofia archetype is our focus on wisdom that comes from three sources – mind, body, and spirit.

We connect with the body’s wisdom through somatic psychology and aikido practices, harnessing the knowledge of deep consciousness through the participatory connection of mind, body, and spirit. Together with an intellectual desire for academic rigor, we provide a solid, holistic foundation of our university.

Check out this article on the Sage/Intellectual Archetype to see if it’s a match for you! images (1).jpg

Then visit our website to learn more about our degree programs. Once you find a program that matches your archetype, contact our Admissions team for more information at admissions@sofia.edu or 1-888-98-SOFIA.

 

 

{Images Courtesy of  open-stand.org & www.globaleconomicgovernance.org }

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Learning at Sofia University: A Student’s Perspective

By Yifan Wang

I wanted to share my experience as a student of Sofia University’s Doctor of Transpersonal Psychology program.

Formerly called the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, my school was founded in 1975 with the intention of providing an education in transpersonal psychology.

But what does transpersonal psychology mean?

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For me, it means the experience of life beyond the self. According to Abraham Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs, transpersonal psychology would be on the level of self-realization and self-transcendence. The theories of transpersonal psychology are built into all of the programs at Sofia including the Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate and Certificate programs. It is also blended into the non-psychology degree programs like Computer Science and Business Administration. I believe this unique component helps graduates stand out from other applicants in the workforce.

Choices: Online, On-Campus, or Hybrid

One of the reasons why I chose Sofia University was its hybrid model of learning as I had been looking for a school that provided online learning and also face-to-face mentoring. Sofia’s hybrid format provides students with the flexibility to study anywhere in the world, with the opportunity to meet faculty and students in person through bi-annual on-campus seminars.

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For me, I prefer the hybrid format because it allows me to continue to work a job and engage in coursework when I have free time. I find that it’s also great for international students who may speak English as a second language because instructors are available for additional questions outside of classroom time via email.

Experience is learning. Learning is healing

Studying at Sofia requires a lot of hard work. There is a lot of reading, online discussion, and some experiential components. But there is another type of work involved while being a student at Sofia: the work of self-awareness. To make sense and gain insight into yourself is critical. It is imperative that we learn about ourselves in order to better understand others – especially in the healing field of psychotherapy.

I’ve learned unique and life-changing skills through my classes at Sofia. Our papers include both self-reflection, and sometimes art modalities that reflect and deepen our understanding of our childhood experiences, developmental stages, and relationships that formed who we have become as individuals. And, all of this self-exploration is held in a safe and private container. We have built good trust between each other.

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The most interesting course so far has been the martial art practice of Aikido, which is a requirement for all psychology students. We use Aikido techniques to re-experience verbal “attacking” and “defending” used in daily life. We explore how to redirect and renegotiate other people’s energy while maintaining a harmonious relationship with them.

Sofia’s learning environment creates a space where people respect each other without judgment. And the instructors act like spiritual surgeons, gently opening and closing their student’s life wounds with loving presence. I feel so honored to learn from them as they are masters in this field who have 15-30 years of clinical experience.

I’ve already gained so much from my experience as a student at Sofia University. I look forward to more learning, growing, and rich experiences throughout my journey here. I highly recommend this school to anyone who is interested in a unique learning experience that will not only provide you with academic rigor and professional training, but will also provide you with greater self-awareness and inner strength.

从前,有一个有趣的心理类学校

两周前发过一篇微信文章“不一样的标准答案”,有很多朋友对我走这条路挺感兴趣的,也表示出了对心理学,和对非传统的学习方式很感兴趣。那么这篇文章,让我来介绍一下我们这个“小精品”学校。

之前读过牛津大学的好处是他是一个好的敲门砖,另外一个特别大的好处是从此以后“妈妈再也不用担心学校排名了”,我可以自由的选择自己喜欢的学校。有人问我这个学校排名怎么样,我说这个学校没排名,可能都没参与排名。因为外界会定位这个学校非常”boutique”, 小精品的感觉。

我们学校叫做索菲亚大学Sofia University,以前叫做Institute of transpersonal psychology, 1975年建校。所以我们学校主打的就是transpersonal psychology, transpersonal 是啥意思呢,可以理解认为它是在自我(self)范畴之外的经历,比如说梦境,灵魂深处,深度的合一,马斯洛提出的人的需求理论的最高层级,自我实现和自我超越。这门课程是基本上学校所有课程的必修课,从本科,硕士到博士,或者证书课程,从学校传统的灵魂心理学,临床心理学到学校新开设和将要开设的计算机,和商业类课程。 从心理学来讲这是非常新的一个类别, 有别于精神分析,行为学,和人本主义。从非心理学课程来讲,学校让这些科目变得非常独特,让这些理科和商科科目注入了新的生命。相信你的经历会让你在人才市场或者是生活中变得的有特点,有别于其他竞争者从而可以脱颖而出。

怎么上学:线上,线下,还是线上又线下

这是我三年前为什么选择索菲亚大学的另外一个重要原因。我希望找一个学校可以线上读书,又可以有面对面和老师交流的机会。这样可以既不耽误工作,又可以有多重的学习体验。就是上图所示的Hybrid课程。1/3面对面授课,2/3线上教学。

索菲亚大学提供了非常灵活的学习方式。如果你想扎扎实实的呆在美国读书,可以选择来学校上课(on campus/residential)。如果你想完全线上(online/global)来上课,这样让自己的学习时间可以自己掌控,那么可以选在在国内或者其他任何有网络的地方。如果觉得网络没有让大家看见“真人”,完全泡在学校又不现实,可以选择半线上的课程(hybrid/low-residency)。

对于我来讲,我太喜欢线上的学习了。虽然线上课程,网络课程在我们国家,或者全世界都没有传统的全日制认可度高。但是学习效果可以非常好1)理论实践的完美结合,如果你一边工作一边读书的话,可以使得两边相互促进。 2)合理分配自己的时间。选择你想上学的时间上学,不用担心早上8点的课起不来了。3)讨论的内容都在论坛里面,可以随时查看,根本不怕跟不上,听不懂(可以查词,查百科),没机会表达自己观点的顾虑。4)一直在进行。这一点很容易让人忽略。网络的讨论和老师的在线解答时一直进行的。面对面的授课我个人的经历是,上完课一走人,什么内容都忘了。

总之线上的学习拿到的文凭不好听(半线上的就好听一些),但是真的能学的很透彻,可以规避掉很多面授的弊端。

体验就是学习,学习就是疗愈

在索菲亚的上课,更多是以阅读,讨论配合体验的方式。人和人其实没有太多的不同。对自己的认识和理解是任何自我提升中比较重要的环节。在索菲亚的心理课程的学习过程中,我们对自己的生命发展历程,儿时经历,和母亲的关系,性经历,成瘾/着迷经历进行了深度并且安全回顾,通过写文章,还可以通过各种艺术形式来表达。我们学校另外一门必修课,也是学生最喜欢的一门课就是合气道(Aikido),我们通过和同伴之间对抗练习来充分体会人和人之间的攻防是怎样进行的。每天面对各种压力“攻击”,怎样通过动作来优雅的防御,并且和攻击者保持良好的关系。通过招式的体会,我们可以自然的抵消,转化很多来自于外界的批评,刁难和施压。

索菲亚大学的另外的特点是这个学习社区(community),有一位著名的心理学家曾经说过从哪里受伤,就回到哪里去疗愈。人都是从关系和人群当中受到伤害,我们还要回到人群当中来治疗。所以,在这个学习者都很尊重对方的伤痛的环境中,学习者可以安全的说出自己以前的不好的经历,老师(以治疗师的身份)会同你的同组的学习者帮你轻轻的揭开伤疤,再帮你轻轻的缝合。在学习的几年中,学生可以深度才从各个角度看到自己的伤痛,人性中的不完美,也同时认识到自己的“资源“(正能量)。当然,从中你也通过给予他人的爱,来了解其他人,在给别人疗愈的同时让自己得到新生。所以,把自己的经历理顺出来,不逃避,用真实的情绪讲出来,再加上众人的接纳和包容,这是自己的治疗的珍贵体验,不是书本上学的来的。

请把手弄脏

我还记得我上学的前几天,老师就说了一句话我们不做role play,我们就拿出自己的问题给对方来练习。作为初体验美国这个文化,美国这个心理文化还有这个学校的文化时,有些事情真的不习惯。我看到我的同学在和老师做示范的时候,直接拿出自己而是强奸的经历, 有的同学直接拿出昨晚上做的噩梦,吓得直哭。虽然面对同学强烈的情绪和脆弱时,手足无措,但是这都是很好的实践机会。所以,两三年下来我们和彼此建立了很好的信任,也都做了彼此的治疗师,所以实习的时候我们基本上都已经”get our hands dirty”, 已经有了一些技能的基础了。同时还把自己做的治疗过程进行录音,然后逐字逐句的和老师进行修正讨论。这些都不会让自己像象牙塔出来的书生。

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When a New Life is Calling You – How Will You Respond?

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How I Came to Sofia University

Kimberly Anne ChristensenKimberly Anne Christensen, 4th year – PhD in Transpersonal Psychology

Many students come to this school because it is a CALLING! We have been directed through signs or spiritual messengers to come here. This is not a NORMAL school.(Smiles). Clearly, there is something very special about this school which attracts people that believe or recognize in another level of consciousness. Coming to this school is a sure sign that you are seeking a non-traditional approach that recognizes something within you that is crying out for expression and can transform not just yourself, but send ripples of transformation outward to all who come in contact with you.

IT WASN’T JUST A DREAM…...

1864411974_fa6b7b02f9_zI woke up one morning in April 2012 after a dream in which I saw myself in San Francisco and I didn’t know why. I was hundreds of miles away in Yreka, CA, wondering what I would be doing in this 3rd phase of life. I had no job or source of income, but knew I was supposed to get my doctorate. Two weeks later, in a guided meditation on my life purpose, I imagined myself standing on a beach and saw on a huge banner laying on the sand displaying the words TRANSPERSONAL PSYCHOLOGY. I was shocked. I never seen words in my meditations and had no knowledge of this field of psychology.

When I looked it up on Google with a keyword search of San Francisco, I found a school that seemed to fit the bill – the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology actually existed and offered doctorate degrees! FYI. Once I made this connection, I was consistently sent messages and photos and signs that I was to move my life to San Francisco Bay Area. The synchronicity was evident!

RESPONDING TO THE CALL

hqdefaultOriginally from Southern California, this was a big move for me. I had never lived in the Bay Area before and I didn’t know anyone. But I kept moving forward. I applied to the school and made an appointment to visit and learn whether I had what it took to be part of the doctoral program.

That appointment in July changed everything and convinced me this was the right place for me. There were 3-4 Admissions counselors who all greeted me by name and they were some of the most caring people I had ever met. They were eager to show me the campus and point out the growth that was coming.

The school had recently been renamed Sofia University, and they completely believed in the future of the school.

Then I met with the kindest woman named Genie Palmer for my interview. She embodied my understanding of transpersonal and also made me feel SAFE. She told me how my dreams would fit in with the school and the program of my choice and clarified all the details.

When my interview was over, the admissions staff offered to drive me back to my hotel so I wouldn’t have to endure another 1 hour or more trip on the bus! My security needs were met, and the financial aid office assured me everything would be okay.

I never got housing squared away until I got here, and my financial aid check was not ready since I applied late, but to my surprise, some very generous and kind students took me in for free!

This is the nature of the school — THE HUMAN TOUCH. Kindness. Mercy. Generosity. These are qualities that ripple throughout the staff and faculty of this school.

THE RESULT

6660064659_5bd12b756a_bFast forward four years and it’s 2016. I have passed my proposal and am ready to conduct my research on the use of guided imagery in science to raise academic test scores for 3rd grade students (I was a former educator). I now also work at the school, beginning in the Dissertation office with Dr. Carol Haefner, and now with the Marketing and Communications department to help promote and share our special and unique gifts with others across the world.

I love Sofia University.  I am happy I heeded the call. I know getting my doctorate here is helping me fulfill my dream of opening up a charter school that provides the same kind of caring, compassion and transpersonal practices that Sofia/ITP has shared for 40 years.

Learn more about the residential Transpersonal Psychology doctorate program

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Alumna Julie Gohman, PhD Releases 10 Sacred Questions for Every Mother: Stories of Joy, Pain, and Mind-blowing Love.

Julie Gohman graduated from Sofia University in 2014 from the Global PHD program in Transpersonal Psychology. julie.cropped-276x300

Having one book release is always exciting, but now Julie, who has always wanted to be a writer, has released her second book on Amazon titled: 10 Sacred Questions for Every Mother: Stories of Joy, Pain, and Mind-blowing Love.

Julie recognizes that her path and purpose, besides being a loving mother and wife, is dedicated to human growth and development, learning and teaching, and understanding the complex dimensions of human behavior.

10sacredquestionsfor every mother.bookcoverAs a human being, her goal is to be mindful and present, to be loving and kind, and to live with wisdom and grace.  Living wholeheartedly, and with greater consciousness, pushes Julie every day to show up authentically, and with gratitude for all that she has been given.

This book was based on her research about motherhood.

Here is the link to her book on Amazon. 10 Sacred Questions for Every Mother

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Julie’s first book, 10 Sacred Questions for Every Woman,was based on the narratives from her doctoral research at Sofia University. Her insights and narratives are shared, along with questions for the reader to engage in  self-inquiry and contemplation.

The book focuses on the journey to discover one’s own sacred presence and answers questions such as What would I do if I were not afraid? How can I find true happiness? What do I need to flourish? What is my soul story?

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The Struggle with Addiction – Can Sobriety Enhance the Creative Process After All?

By Alumna Holly Daniels, PhD, LMFT

As a private practice therapist, Holly incorporates narrative, behavioral and transpersonal modalities and believes that healing involves reconnection to ourselves, to others, to Spirit and to nature. In her role as Clinical Outreach Director at Sober College, Holly integrates her complex clinical expertise with her passions for connecting people and spreading the word that recovery, health and wholeness can be exciting and fulfilling.

This Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) examines the lived experiences of 6 professional creative artists who had previously struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, found successful treatment, and gone on to lead healthy, sober, emotionally well lives while still producing and performing their art. The 6 creative professionals reported that authentic and successful creative effort was enhanced, not diminished, by sobriety and abstinence from drug and alcohol use.sober_gamzee_by_tfmgal222-d7kq219

Participants reported that drug and alcohol use was normalized in their creative cultures, and that using drugs and alcohol created an internal state that this researcher termed pseudo-flow, which granted momentary relief from their emotional discomforts and anxieties.

All participants reported that they were able to find authentic flow, emotional balance, and more success in their creative efforts once achieving sobriety. This study includes guidelines for mental health professionals regarding best practices for treating creative professionals who struggle with addiction issues.

Click the here to see Holly’s pp presentation…

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As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc site

Holly Daniels, PhD, LMFT

Holly Daniels is a licensed therapist, meditation teacher, and mental health advocate. After earning her degree in clinical psychology, Holly worked for many years as a primary therapist at several premier treatment centers in southern California, where she specialized in treating those with complex issues including co-occurring addictions, eating disorders, PTSD, and associated mood and anxiety disorders.

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Prof. Fred Luskin: Leading the Way on Forgiveness

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Sofia’s own Prof. Fred Luskin is one of the most recognized researchers and teachers of forgiveness in the United States. He is the author of the best-selling books Forgive for Love and Forgive for Good.  As both Professor and Chair of the Psy.D. Program in clinical psychology, Prof. Luskin teaches the clinical assessment sequence, as well as quantitative research methods. He also chairs the research ethics committee and has an extensive background in assessment and research, as well as teaching positive psychology.

We sat down with Prof. Luskin and asked him some questions about his forgiveness work, his academic life and sprinkled in some fun stuff too.  Read Prof. Luskin’s Sofia Profile and learn what industry trends will affect professionals in the next few years.

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