Tag Archives: Sofia

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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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。

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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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What can I do with a B.A. in Psychology?

If you’ve been yearning for a new career path or wanting to finish what you started years ago, you may find what you’re looking for through our Bachelors Completion program in Psychology.

Our unique program offers a rich and transformative learning experience through a flexible online format, which is suitable for working professionals, parents, and global students. This completion program allows you to complete your Bachelor’s degree online so you can finally start your career in the field of psychology.

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Loretta Farris, one of our BAC graduates said:

I had my doubts about receiving an education on-line, but I’m pleased to say that the experience was an overall success. I was fortunate to have a kind academic advisor who provided the guidance and encouragement I needed to help me complete my capstone project. Instructors with real-world expertise in their respective fields showed me how to go beyond my expectations of learning. Perhaps most importantly, my classmates shared their experiences with love, honesty and integrity and I will always be grateful to have been a part of their journey at Sofia University.

But what can one do after graduating with a B.A. in Psychology?

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BA Completion graduate, Devi Prem shares her success story:

I am most grateful to the quality and flexibility that the Sofia offers. For my BA completion I have received the most wonderful support to create my own body of work “Seven Sacred Rhythms of Leadership”, a dance meditation coaching offering. I will be continuing with the Global MA in Transpersonal Psychology program, which is truly a choice of my heart.

And BAC graduate Nisha Jumn shares:

I have nothing but great things to say about Sofia. This is an amazing program which offers students the stepping stones that propels us into worlds we may never have thought of entering. I am grateful for my professors and all they had to offer. The BAC program and the knowledge I gained from it resulted in me creating, Adi Shaktee, as an oasis for healing and a platform which I intend using for my women’s movement.

Below is a list of key elements that might help you increase the chances of landing the job of your dreams.

  • Plan early. Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your career interests and options and identify the unique constellation of knowledge, skills and characteristics you need to enter the career of your choice.
  • Assess yourself. Figure out who you are and what you want from a job. Consider these questions: ‘What are the 10 traits that describe you best? What working conditions must you have? How much money do you need to make? What are your long-term goals? What skills do you have and which do you most enjoy using?’ Your answers will provide a foundation for your job search and enable you to pinpoint the opportunities best suited to you.
  • Capitalize on your connections. Think about the people you’ve met who could give you job leads—perhaps you completed an internship, participated in a service learning event or volunteered at a school. Be sure to stay in touch with your professors since local agencies may contact them looking for “good” graduates to fill a job. And don’t forget, even after you graduate, you will need references or letters of recommendation, so staying connected with faculty is a smart choice.
  • Look beyond Internet job postings. With such sites as careerbuilder.com and monster.com, Indeed.com, linkedin.com, and ideal.org, the Internet is a wonderful tool for finding jobs. Many corporations may not list their jobs there, so be sure to visit company websites that may interest you and send an email to introduce yourself.
  • Take advantage of campus services, even after you graduate. Your campus career center and alumni office are both interested in your long-term success.

Kendra Cherry wrote an article on Verywell.com (About, Inc. company) entitled “Careers Options With a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology”.

In this article Kendra mentions that as an undergraduate, chances are you have done a considerable amount of research and writing, and these skills would be useful in positions as a library assistant, probation officer, business manager, case worker and many other related areas. She also points out that the biggest advantage of a bachelor’s degree in psychology is its adaptability.

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So what are the most commonly held careers for those with a bachelors degree in psychology? According to The College Majors Handbook, some of the top occupations that employ those with a bachelor’s psychology degree are:

  1. Top- and mid-level management and administration
  2. Sales
  3. Social work
  4. Other management occupations
  5. Labor-relations, personnel and training
  6. Administrative positions
  7. Real estate, business services and insurance
  8. Marketing

As you enter the job market, consider jobs that require the skills you obtained during your psychology education. These abilities include:

  • Critical thinking
  • One-on-one and small group communication
  • Effective written communication skills
  • Understanding of individual human behavior
  • Knowledge of group and organizational behavior
  • Creative thinking skills

Some students even decide to continue their education due to specific careers that require further training. Therefore, many graduates of B.A. in Psychology programs eventually go on for their Masters in Counseling Psychology to become licensed therapists, the Masters in Tranpersonal Psychology to become educators and authors, or choose our doctorate level programs to become licensed psychologists and/or researchers.

Whichever path you choose, you are sure to set a solid foundation for your career success with our Bachelors Completion program.

For more information about our B.A. in Psychology program, please contact our Admissions team at admission@sofia.edu or 1-888-98-SOFIA.

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What are the differences between a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology and a Psy.D in Clinical Psychology?

According to Psychology Career center.org, psychology careers are a highly regulated industry. Earning a degree, especially a doctorate, is very important to ones upward mobility and success. In fact, most research and teaching positions at major universities or government organizations require a doctorate degree.bb_vocalfry_free

Before deciding on which degree is the best fit for you, it may be helpful to know the differences in career potentials for both degrees.

Our Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology program is a non-clinical, research-focused degree, whereas our Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology is a clinical, applied-psychology program that is designed to lead graduates towards licensure as a clinical psychologist.

Below you’ll find additional information on common careers and employment areas pursued by individuals who obtain a doctorate degree in psychology and those who obtain a doctorate degree in clinical psychology.

Careers in Transpersonal Psychology

Some of the most common areas where graduates with a doctorate degree in Transpersonal Psychology may work include: government, business, research, and education. They may also become authors, coaches, speakers, and facilitators of workshops and public programs.

Alumna Julie Gohman, graduated from the Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology program at Sofia University and became a professorjulie.cropped-276x300 of psychology and author of 10 Sacred Questions for Every Woman.

Julie writes about women’s development, motherhood, spirituality, and the art of self-inquiry. Most of what Julie does, in both her personal and professional life, is dedicated to human growth and development, teaching and learning, and understanding the complex dimensions of human behavior. It’s her goal to be mindful and present, to be loving and kind, and to live with wisdom and grace. Julie also believes in the power of gratitude as a game-changer for everything in her life.

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Alumna Bertita Graebner also graduated from the Ph.D in Transpersonal Psychology program at Sofia. Bertita takes an approach that draws from the whole person and integrates principles from Transpersonal Psychology, Positive Psychology, Mindfulness, Solution-based Therapy, Somatics, and Cognitive Behavioral Psychology. Bertita has faith in the coaching process to transform individuals and to create enduring change. She believes in the power of meaning-making to enable transformation and shift towards what is next. She also supports women between the ages of 45 and 85 in transition.

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Dr. Rosie Kuhn, is another graduate from the Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology program at Sofia. She is the author of the popular ‘Self-Empowerment 101’ and founder of The Paradigm Shifts Coaching Group in Silicon Valley, is the preeminent Thought Leader in the field of transformational coaching, coach training and leadership development. Rosie specializes in identifying and transforming belief systems that hold people back in business and in life. She empowers individuals, executives and organizations to fearlessly embrace transformation and realize previously untapped potential.

Careers in Clinical Psychology

According to My Graduate School.com, graduates of applied or clinical psychology programs often become mental healthcare practitioners who diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders through the use of therapy. However, they may also work within the field of academia for research purposes as well.

“This is a very broad category that includes any occupation in which the psychologist interacts with clients for the purpose of assessment, diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of mental health issues (in most careers as a clinical psychologist), or to help clients deal with challenges of daily living (in most careers as a counseling psychologist).”

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Many graduates of clinical psychology programs go on to work in private practice, hospital settings and clinics, or with businesses as a practitioner, administrator, or both. Some specialize in Forensic psychology and work closely with courts and juries. While others may go onto work in government agencies, correctional facilities, or as school psychologists.

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Alumna, Dr. Sarah Neustadter is a Clinical & Transpersonal Psychologist, with her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Sofia University.

Her clinical experience as a psychologist includes working with the severely mentally ill population with bipolar and schizophrenia, crisis-management, suicide prevention, and additionally, in the Los Angeles public school system with at-risk teenagers dealing with all kinds of modern-day adolescent issues.

“My work integrates my “no-nonsense” New York ethic and sense of responsibility with a humanistic approach to psychology, incorporating psychodynamic depth-work, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, alternative modalities of healing such as meditation, mindfulness, shamanism, and other mind-body practices”

 

MeghanFraleyAlumna Meghan Fraley also graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology from Sofia University. She is now a licensed psychologist in California and works at the Sofia Counseling Center. She is also actively engaged in grassroots organizing work addressing economic and social justice issues with the Raise the Wage South Bay & Peninsula Coalition, Politically Inspired Action, and the ACLU of Northern California

“Overall, my passion is to help people feel more connected to themselves and the people and world around them. My approach to therapy is warm, compassionate, and empowering. I support individuals in overcoming the obstacles that prevent them from living freely, authentically, and joyfully. My clinical specialties include: depression, anxiety, life transitions, spiritual/existential concerns, and women’s issues”.

 

markformanAlumnus Mark Forman, Ph.D. is also a graduate of the Psy.D. program at Sofia and is now a licensed clinical psychologist with fifteen years experience working with individuals, couples, teens, and families. Mark has found success as the Clinical Director of Life Design Centre and Lead Trainer of the Certified Integral Psychotherapist (CIT) Training Program. He currently teaches courses in Integral Theory at Sofia.

 

No matter what path you decide on, both degrees provide the opportunity to work in administrative roles within universities, public or government institutions, or in businesses.

For more information about careers and salaries for individuals with degrees in psychology, read The 25 Most Lucrative Careers in Psychology.

To learn more about our doctoral programs, please contact our admissions team at admissions@sofia.edu.

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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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Transformative Tech Lab at Sofia University Bridges Psychology and Engineering to Create Conscious and Impactful Technology

The Transformative Technology Lab (TTL) and Sofia University are creating an impact factory for the development and commercialization of scalable technologies to increase human well-being.

According to co-founders Dr. Jeffery A. Martin and Nichol Bradford, the lab incorporates an open-community approach toward research and development services, training, and go-to-market evaluations in the Transformative Technology space. Academically, the lab conducts and publishes research in the area of Transformative Technology, advises Sofia University on the curriculum for their Transformative Technology degree programs, and mentors and supervises graduate students.

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For the wider Transformative Technology community, the lab hosts open ‘maker’ type events, Meetups, workshops, industry conferences, as well as other public and private events.

“The future of education is no longer isolated,” says Sofia University President Liz Li, Ph.D. Sofia University and the Transformative Technology Lab take the core disciplines of psychology, computer science, and business and combine them in a practical cross-discipline, team-based structure, with real world applications.”

“Our programs are graduating students with Masters Degrees in Computer Science and minors in Psychology, and Masters and PhD Degrees in Psychology with a focus on Computer Science,” says Dr. Li. “Students are able to blend technology, science, business and the school’s 40 years of leadership in humanistic and transpersonal psychology to create substantial real-world impact. Our ‘whole-person’ approach to education allows them to better understand the people around them and, in-turn, become leaders of more productive organizations.”

The lab has also attracted advisors and mentors who work at its major Silicon Valley neighbors such as: Google, Founders Fund, Twitter, Mayfield Fund, Palo Alto Neuroscience, Spire and Heartmath.

Its academic advisors and collaborators span the world and all areas related to Transformative Technology, and include researchers from: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, UCLA, UCSF, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, Rochester Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, University of Washington, University of Arizona, NYU, King’s University College (Canada), Institute of Psychiatry/Kings College London (U.K.), Duke-NUS (Singapore), and Hong Kong Polytechnic University (China).

More Impactful Engineers and CEOs

Sofia’s Masters Degree programs in Computer Science and Business Administration, in conjunction with its well-regarded Psychology programs, are teaching students, especially engineers, to be more mindful, effective and impactful.

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Graduates enter the workforce with both a cutting-edge education and as well-rounded leaders. Unlike other MS and MBA programs, especially those online, students don’t just pass one course at a time in isolation, because lab’s research and integration into Sofia’s curriculum helps them combine disciplines in a way that is unimaginable at other top universities.

Mentorship-based Incubator

TTL and Willow Group co-founder Nichol Bradford expects the program will also enhance the university’s growing reputation as an incubator for entrepreneurs. “Transformative Technology is the next big thing and there is a quickly growing pool of entrepreneurs in the Valley who are looking to build companies that tackle the opportunities it creates. The TTL-Sofia partnership will support this trend,” says Bradford.

Sofia University is more than just academically invested in the idea. An incubator started by the school, Incubator C-Space, has already become well known in Silicon Valley. Dr. Li says the university has also established a practice of investing in start-ups from students. She says the university is more likely than ever to continue that practice with the launch of the TTL.

“TTL’s research will help students evolve from a resume-driven post-graduate experience to an entrepreneurial one where one of the top reasons for failure – team failure – is academically economized,” says Dr. Li. “That could launch an exciting new era in higher education.”

In October 2016, TTL will host the Transformative Technology Conference from October 6-9th at Sofia University, 1069 E. Meadow Circle in Palo Alto, CA. This the only conference focused on learning, sharing, and connecting in order to drive serious research and development, commercialization, and awareness of Transformative Technology.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/from-isolation-to-tech-impact-factory–a-combo-psych-and-tech-lab-helps-sofia-university-educate-more-impactful-engineers-taking-psychology-and-engineering-from-adversaries-to-allies-300149192.html

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What can I do with my Masters in Counseling Psychology?

According to MastersinPsychologyguide.com those who graduate with a Masters in Counseling Psychology may find employment in an array of different settings, from working in their own private practice to assessing mental disorders out in social care settings. They may specialize in subcategories such as health psychology, transpersonal psychology, or learning disabilities, which could also influence their chances of finding employment in a certain specialty area.

Many of our counseling psychology program students focus their interest in the following areas of this unique helping profession:

Private Practice Counselor or Therapist (LPCC/LMFT)

The primary role of a counselor or therapist is woman-and-man-on-couch-near-therapistto assess, diagnose, and treat client mental and emotional disorders. Most counselors and therapists desire to work in a private practice so they can set their own hours while working with as many or as few patients as they prefer.

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Alumna Crystal Stokes  is a great example of a graduate of the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program who also works in private practice. Crystal is a Consciousness Coach at Crystal Stokes Coaching. She combines eastern and western approaches towards psychotherapy, in conjunction with functional fitness, holistic nutrition, consciousness, and mindfulness.

Substance Abuse Counselor

Some counselors and therapists specialize in helping individuals and families who struggle with addiction. These therapists may work with groups or individuals as part of an outpatient program, or within a hospital setting. Sometimes additional certification is required to serve this population.

Rehabilitation Counselor

While some addiction therapists work in hospitals, others work in rehabilitation facilities. holly-daniels-outreach-sober-college

Alumna Holly Daniels, is another example of a Sofia graduate who has become a successful licensed marriage and family therapist. Holly works as a substance abuse and rehabilitation counselor and also serves as a meditation teacher, mental health advocate, and most recently as the Clinical Outreach Director at Sober College.

In her role as Clinical Outreach Director at Sober College, Holly is able to integrate her complex clinical expertise with her passions for connecting people and spreading the word that the path of recovery, health and wholeness can be both exciting and fulfilling.

Geriatric Counseling Therapist

With more and more people living well into their 80’s and 90’s, there is a growing need for counselors who can work with the elderly, especially those who suffer from mental illnesses as a result of the aging process.

Learning Disabilities Specialist

Some counselors work in elementary or high schools to provide support to students with learning disabilities. These counselors and therapists may also help diagnose disorders suchspeechkid as ADD and Autism, which can affect a student’s ability to learn.

Child Mental Health Specialist

Those who enjoy working with children may wish to specialize in child development and work as a child counselor or therapist. Becoming a child mental health specialist is a way to help children work through problems at school and at home, and to diagnose mental health issues early enough in life to make a difference.

Adult Mental Health Counselor

While some mental health counselors choose to work with children, others specialize in adult mental disorders. This generalized position is usually available in hospital settings or a private clinic.

Below are more job options for MFT’s or LPCC licensed professionals.

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Schools

MFT’s work at all levels of the school system – from treating families with troubled elementary school students to counseling parents on how to understand and cope with an out-of-control teenager.

Social Service Agencies

MFT’s are hired to work for government, non-profit, and for-profit agencies that provide social services to children, youth, families, seniors, and communities. Sometimes, marriage and family therapists are hired to take on administration roles, such as supervising other counselors and social service staff.

Medical Centers

From conducting psychosocial assessments to making resource referrals for patients in need of outpatient assistance, therapists also work at a medical centers and collaborate with other team members to ensure patients receive and maintain adequate treatment. They may provide both clinical and therapeutic services to patients on an individual basis and/or within a group setting.

In addition, there are other career opportunities for MFT’s that help counselors obtain success and professional growth such as:

Nursing and Residential Care Facilities. 

Marriage and family therapists are hired by nursing homes and residential care facilities to diagnose and treat mental and emotional issues related to married couples and families. Oftentimes, therapists provide counseling related to coping with a spouse’s or family member’s illness.

Legal and Correctional Systems

MFT’s also help families and couples in legal crisis, and with those who are working through issues in the correctional system. Sometimes therapists work are called upon to make recommendations to courts regarding the outcome of child custody cases or visitation disputes. To make a fair determination, the therapist often contacts doctors, schools, social starticle-0-1E07829300000578-884_964x598aff, juvenile counselors, and law enforcement personnel. It is also not uncommon to see therapists testify in court.

In regards to correctional system work, therapists may assume the role of counselor for families of spouses who are newly released from prison. Therapists may also hold therapy sessions for incarcerated individuals to address issues concerning their family ties or spouses before gaining reentry into society. Other cases may involve sexual abuse victims and perpetrators, as well as juvenile offenders, and mental health cases found in the criminal justice system.

Health Maintenance Organizations – HMO’s

Health maintenance organizations provide or make managed care arrangements for health insurance, self-funded health care benefit plans, and individual patients. They work with a range of health care prmaxresdefaultoviders (such as hospitals and doctors) on a prepaid basis, hiring MFT’s to treat clients.

For example, Kaiser Permanente, the largest not-for-profit health maintenance organization in the U.S, hires marriage and family therapists to work in their related behavioral health centers, chemical dependency treatment programs, and mental health facilities.

The Government

MFT’s employed by the government assume roles that can influence decision-making on a government and political level. According to the BLS, therapists working with the government on both the state and local level, are typically paid the highest salaries for this occupation in the U.S.

The Military

Marriage and family therapists are employed at clinical resource centers dedicated to assisting and supporting current service members, veterans, and their families. Often providing PTSD and TBI counseling to Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard servicemen, therapists typically complete additional coursework or training, or experience assuming a role with the military, such as the Therapy with Military Families Specialization.090818-N-2541H-001

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities

It wasn’t too long ago that Marriage and Family Therapists were not eligible to be hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs to work in VA facilities, but the Department has since expanded access to such mental health services. Now therapists working in VA facilities conduct screenings and assessments; develop treatment plans and goals for patients; provide crisis intervention; and offer individual, conjoint, family and group therapy.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Industrial-Organizational Psychologists are human efficiency experts who specialize in working with companies and corporations to keep employees efficient, healthy, and working hard. The majority of industrial-organizational psychologists enter their careers with a master’s in I/O psychology, but salaries increase substantially with doctoral education. The industry for this career is one of the most stable and expanding on this list. Companies around the world are dedicating time and money to making their employees more efficient and happier, and are hiring I/O psychologists right out of school to make this happen.

Churches and Religious Settings

According to American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT), 25% of specialty family therapists work in faith-based settings.

Sturbuck Community Church

Although they receive the same training as secular family therapists, MFT’s who complete additional coursework in religion and counseling can become a faith-based therapy provider, such as a Christian family therapist. This kind of therapist provides counsel to married couples and families regarding mental health problems, relationship issues, and parenting concerns – all while following a treatment and counseling approach that falls in line with the Christian faith.

In conclusion, this is not an exhaustive list of all the places that people with MFT or LPCC degrees can work, but aims to highlight some of the employment opportunities offering the highest number of available possibilities.

From working as case managers for insurance companies to negotiating psychiatric care for employees of large corporations, the number of job positions that marriage and family therapy professionals qualify for continues to increase with experience, further training, and education.

You can refer to CareersinPsychology.org for more insight into the job opportunities available to licensed Marriage and Family therapists.

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Research in a Sacred World

By Rosemarie Anderson, Ph.D.


While qualitative approaches have a long history in medicine and philosophy, the formal articulation of qualitative research methods begin with Phenomenological Research and Grounded Theory in the 1960s; Ethnography and Case Study methods in the 1970s; Narrative Research, HeurisStained_glass,_Holy_Family_Church,_Teconnaught,_September_2010_croptic Research, Art- and Body-based Approaches, and Transpersonal Approaches in the 1990s; and Auto-biographical Approaches, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, and Mixed Methods, among others, in the 2000s. Qualitative Methods rapidly secured strong traditions especially in the United Kingdom and the United States and increasingly elsewhere. All these methods are rooted in hermeneutic perspectives developed in Europe in the late 19th C. and 20th C.

The Transpersonal Approach developed by the late William Braud and myself in the mid-1990s and first published in 1998 are essentially “mixed-method approaches,” that endorse both quantitative and qualitative approaches for the study of transpersonal and spiritual topics. However, in addition, to the standards of detailed documentation and analysis, we advocated that transpersonal research incorporate the following principles to guide transpersonal research:

  • An interior interpretative and reflective perspective
  • Research topics evolve from explicit personal life experience
  • Multiple ways of knowing, including intuition and personal insights
  • Transformation of self and others through research
  • Research as a response to the Sacred world

 

Biography

Rosemarie Anderson is Professor Emerita at Sofia University in Palo Alto, CA. and a research consultant. She received her Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1973 and a M. Div. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA in 1983. In 1998, she authored Celtic Oracles (Random House) and co-authored, with William Braud, Transpersonal Research Methods for the Social Sciences (SAGE Pubs), the book that established the field of transpersonal research methods. In 2011, she co-authored Transforming Self and Others Through Research (SUNY Press) with William Braud and co-authored Five Ways of Doing Qualitative Research: Phenomenological Psychology, Grounded Theory, Discourse Analysis, Narrative Research, and Intuitive Inquiry (Guilford, 2011) with Frederick Wertz, Kathy Charmaz, Linda McMullen, Ruthellen Josselson, and Emalina McSpadden. As a research supervisor and consultant, she oversees research using Intuitive Inquiry, Narrative Research, Art- and Body-based Approaches, Case Study, and Mixed Methods (Quantitative and Qualitative). She lives in Oregon and is a student of Denma Locho Rinpoche and Paul Goodberg.


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A Writer and A Scholar: Remembering the Work of William Braud

william-b.jpgWilliam 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, 

51Ql-hioArL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgDistant 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.

 

51UTqckqLTL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgTransforming 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.

41rxTbaOAXL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgTranspersonal 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.

re-upload.jpegRosemarie 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.

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Is Movement Meditation a productive alternative?

Mindful MovementUnknown.jpeg

Movement meditation is ideal when we feel energetic. Some people are so vigorous or restless that they cannot use sitting meditation; thus, moving meditation is a productive alt
ernative. In some monasteries and retreats, participants alternate between sitting meditation and moving meditation (usually walking meditation) in order to give the physical body some exercise and to release physical tension and stimulate blood circulation.

Read more from http://www.trans4mind.com/jamesharveystout/move-med.htm

Tai_Chi2.jpgWashing the Dishes–Mindfully 

You can also be imaginative. Some people do movement meditations while washing the dishes, or even rhythmically scrubbing the floor or stains out of clothing. Circular movements while polishing a car, or gently stirring a soup can also be other repetitive motions that you can attempt to bring a meditative or focused, calming mental state to. For creative people, simple dance steps, artwork that requires cross-hatching (and repetition in general), or even kneading clay can be ways to incorporate movement meditations into your daily life.

Read more from http://www.wildspeak.com/other/movementmed.html

images.jpegEight-Form Moving Meditation

Dharma Drum’s Eight-Form Moving Meditation is a set of easy-to-learn exercises that can be practiced almost anywhere and at anytime. This system of “meditation through motion” is beneficial to both body and mind, and once acquired through diligent practice, can be performed whether walking, standing, sitting or reclining, so that you are always mindful of being relaxed in body and mind. By practicing the Eight Forms, you will always be composed and at ease, and at every moment enjoy the bliss of meditation and the joy of the Dharma.

Read more from http://chancenter.org/cmc/chan-practice/moving-meditation/

Unknown-1.jpegDance, Walk, Taichi or Do Qigong: Find your Pace 

Meditation can do it all: reduce anxiety and sensitivity to pain, make us smarter, ward off sickness, and prevent stress. If carving out an hour to sit on a cushion doesn’t float your boat, there are many unexpected ways to meditate every day. Get the benefits of meditation by trying out an alternative style from the list below.

  1. Standing Meditation
  2. Walking Meditation
  3. Tai Chi
  4. Qigong
  5. Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique
  6. Dance Meditation
  7. Daily Life Practice Meditation
  8. Hand Movement Meditation
  9. Gazing Meditation
  10. Breathing Meditation

Read more from: http://greatist.com/happiness/unexpected-ways-to-meditate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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