William Braud, Ph.D. preferred to think of himself as a writer, educator, researcher, and scholar. He began his academic work in physics, at Loyola University in New Orleans, but switched to psychology, earning his B.A. in psychology in 1964 from the University of New Orleans.
He earned his M.A. in 1966 and his Ph.D. in 1967, both in experimental psychology,at the University of Iowa. From 1967 to 1975, he taught undergraduate and graduate psychology courses at the University of Houston and conducted original research in areas of learning, memory, motivation, psychophysiology, and the biochemistry of memory. After 8 years, he left his tenured Associate Professorship to join a private research organization, Mind Science Foundation (San Antonio, TX). In his 17 years there, he directed research in parapsychology; health and well-being influences of relaxation, imagery, positive emotions, and intention; and the then-new field of psychoneuroimmunology.
In 1992, he joined the Residential Core Faculty of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (Palo Alto, CA), serving as a professor, research director, dissertation director, and co-director of ITP’s William James Center for Consciousness Studies. In 2002, when ITP initiated its distant learning Global Ph.D. Program, he moved to its Global Core Faculty. In 2009, Dr. Braud retired from his position at ITP, and was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus.
During his 17 years at ITP, Professor Braud taught research-related graduate psychology courses, supervised dissertations, and conducted quantitative and qualitative research studies in areas of exceptional human experiences (mystical, intuitive, peak, transformative) and their interpretations, meanings, and life impacts; personal and spiritual change and transformation; alternative ways of knowing; the development and promotion of more inclusive and integrated inquiry approaches for transpersonal studies and science in general; and examining some of the underlying assumptions of science, psychology, transpersonal psychology, and certain spiritual and wisdom traditions.
He also served on Editorial Boards of several professional journals and is the recipient of fellowships, travel awards, federal grants, honors and awards, including a university-wide Teaching Excellence Award (University of Houston), Award for Outstanding Contribution (Parapsychological Association), and President’s Award for Outstanding Service (Institute of Transpersonal Psychology).
Before his death, Professor Braud published over 250 articles in professional psychology journals and numerous book chapters he coauthored, with Rosemarie Anderson,
Distant Mental Influence
Professionals in modern psychology, behavioral medicine, and psychoneuroimmunology are exploring ways in which we can “mentally” influence our own bodies through hypnosis, imagery, visualization, attention, intention, and other forms of self-regulation–for fostering physical and psychological health and well-being.
- Is it possible for us to use such techniques to influence others, even at a distance, for purposes of healing?
- Is it possible for us to influence the images, thoughts, behaviors, and physiological reactions of other persons–separated by distance–without conventional sensory means of interaction?
- Can these abilities extend to animals and even to cells (e.g., human red blood cells)?
- Might these abilities be involved in the efficacy of distant, mental, or spiritual healing and intercessory prayer?
- Might these influences even extend to events distant in time–even “backwards in time?”
- Do these influences have major implications for our scientific theories, our human identity, the interconnections between ourselves and nature, and our relationships with others?Careful laboratory work–described in detail in this book–suggests that the answer to all these questions is a resounding “Yes!”A personal introduction and 12 detailed chapters describe the evidence that support these important claims. The book also describes the factors that make such distant mental influences more or less likely, so that anyone might use these distant influence skills more effectively and consistently for their own benefit and for the benefit of others.
Transforming self and others through research
Research approaches in the field of transpersonal psychology can be transformative for researchers, participants, and the audience of a project. This book offers these transformative approaches to those conducting research across the human sciences and the humanities. Rosemarie Anderson and William Braud first described such methods in Transpersonal Research Methods for the Social Sciences (1998). Since that time, in hundreds of empirical studies, these methods have been tested and integrated with qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method research designs. Anderson and Braud, writing with a contribution from Jennifer Clements, invite scholars to bring multiple ways of knowing and personal resources to their scholarship. While emphasizing established research conventions for rigor, Anderson and Braud encourage researchers to plumb the depths of intuition, imagination, play, mindfulness, compassion, creativity, and embodied writing as research skills. Experiential exercises to help readers develop these skills are provided.
Transpersonal research methods for the social sciences
There is no shortage of research methods that are easily applied to the study of everyday human experience. How, though, does one attempt to study extraordinary human experiences – ultimate values and meanings, peak experiences, transcendence and heightened awareness, among others.
William Braud and Rosemarie Anderson introduce a series of transpersonal research methods that are intended to help researchers develop new ways of knowing and methods of inquiry. While these methods will be of particular interest to researchers in transpersonal psychology, humanistic psychology, or transpersonal studies applied to traditional fields, the authors argue that these approaches – with their emphasis on developing intuition, empathy and self-awareness – can benefit anyone involved in the research enterprise across many disciplines.
Rosemarie Anderson is a professor emerita at Sofia University. Together with the late William Braud, she created the field we now know as transpersonal research methods. Her individual scholarship includes the creation of an oracular system based on Celtic mythology, a transpersonal research method called intuitive inquiry, an assessment of body awareness called the Body Insight Scale (BIS), an embodied approach to writing and data collection called embodied writing, and a model of human development, which begins at conception and continues through death..
Rosemarie supervises doctoral research and serves as the U.S. representative on the Board of the International Transpersonal Association (transpersonalassociation.org). Throughout the year, she lectures on spiritual and transpersonal topics, including intuition, intuitive inquiry and the creative process.
Before joining Sofia University’s core faculty in 1992, Rosemarie taught in undergraduate and graduate programs at Wake Forest University, Graduate Theological Union, and the University of Maryland’s Asian and European programs. From 1983-87, she served as a university dean for the University of Maryland’s European Division in Germany. In 1987, she was ordained an Episcopal priest and served as a parish priest and university chaplain for several years.