PhD in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology
Transpersonal psychology is a transformative psychology of the whole person in intimate relationship with a diverse, interconnected, and evolving world. It pays particular attention to states of consciousness associated with spiritual, mystical, and other exceptional human experiences that seem to promote healing, transformation, and connection to the larger world.
As a psychology situated in community and world, transpersonal affirms the value of social action and ecological stewardship. Because our relationships are global, a transpersonal approach challenges the false norms of a psychology that is situated in any one meaning frame. Transpersonal’s initial mission to include more than one valid state of consciousness can now be extended to embrace many ways of being human as reflected in culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, spiritual path, and ways of knowing. The integral vision of a whole-person psychology can blossom into a psychology of humanity that celebrates our differences as much as it honors what we hold in common.
The notion that spirituality is an aspect of the human being apart from any specific religion is an idea that comes directly from transpersonal psychology, and it was the first field to examine the practices of Eastern spirituality, such as mindfulness, from a psychological perspective. Transpersonal was also the first psychology to study psychedelics, a field that is now coming back to the attention of mainstream researchers. As an outgrowth of humanistic psychology, it is part of the movement that almost single-handedly invented the field of personal growth and development. As a whole-person psychology, it resonates with the values and perspectives of the complementary and alternative medicine movement, which has become a major force in healthcare.
Integral psychology is concerned with exploring and understanding the totality of human consciousness and personality. It seeks to unify the personal, interpersonal, and transpersonal dimensions of human experience to achieve wholeness of personality, multicultural harmony, and collective transformation. Integral psychology was first developed by Indra Sen based on the practical and transformative aspects of Sri Aurobindo’s integral yoga psychology.
Later formulations of integral psychology were offered by CIIS founder Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri, who developed his own unique approach, and others including Brant Cortright, who has developed a synthesis of Sri Aurobindo’s thought with the three major streams of Western psychology—behavioral, psychoanalytic, and humanistic-existential—in the context of integral psychotherapy.
There are three main groups of students for whom this degree is well suited. One such group is those with an existing profession who wish to advance their education and contribute to the development of better research and scholarship in their professional areas of work, such as psychotherapists, social workers, psychologists, counselors, consultants, activists, organizers, leaders, teachers, researchers, nurses, physicians, lawyers, or others in fields related to personal development, social change, or environmental protection. Another group consists of individuals who are entrepreneurially oriented, and who may wish to use their degree as the basis for consulting or writing and teaching in the public arena about their area of expertise. In addition, some students wish to pursue a PhD as a means to more fully developing their personal gifts and potentials.
Apply to the PhD in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology
Applicants must have a master's degree from a regionally-accredited institution either in an area of the humanities such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, or education or in a field that is directly related to their proposed area of dissertation study.
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Last updated January 15, 2018