Specialization Coordinator: Robert Schmitt, Ph.D.
Students in the Department of Humanistic & Clinical Psychology may opt to declare a Specialization in Consciousness, Spirituality, and Integrative Health (CSIH). Students may select many paths through this Specialization based upon their interests. While a Specialization is not required to earn the degree, it will be listed on the transcript if students complete the requirements.
The CSIH Specialization takes an integrative (mind, body, and spirit) approach to understanding individual, cultural, and transcultural perspectives to transformation, healing and wellness. We believe that well-being and health needs to embrace all dimensions of human life. The integrated study of consciousness, spirituality, and health offers ways of understanding people’s inner worlds as accessed through such methods as depth psychology, self-regulation, inner healing, mental imaging, the arts, dream work, and contemplative practice.
The study of consciousness offers students a unique opportunity to explore various aspects of consciousness through methods ranging from psychophysiology, ethnography, and historiography to explorations of work and community life, interpersonal relationships, spiritual beliefs, and social action. Given the diverse array of course offerings, students are able to create a degree path that suits their particular interests and career goals.
The study of spirituality supports students who want to pursue work in areas such as pastoral care, spiritual guidance, and life coaching, or who want to integrate understanding of the spiritual dimension of human life into another profession. Faculty members work with students to focus their studies in ways that best meet their academic, professional, and personal goals.
The study of integrative health empowers students to focus on the study of integrative approaches to healing and stress management that have not been regarded as standard within mainstream medical and psychological care, including conditioning of immune functioning (psychoneuroimmunology), traditional Chinese medicine, shamanism, Ayurvedic (East Indian) medicine, and Native American medicine.
Studies also focus on additional alternative health practices relevant to psychological and physical health and include the ethical application of meditation, nutrition, energy medicine (e.g., therapeutic touch, healing touch, and energy channeling), hospice work and chaplaincy, and many others. Mind-Body therapies like these are being integrated rapidly into health care settings, from imagery, hypnosis, biofeedback, meditation, mindfulness, and health coaching, to expressive therapies such as music, dance, art, and indigenous ceremonies. Students may also explore spirituality, including its role in physical and psychological health, personal relationships, organizational functioning, and communities.
Although not intended as preparation for licensure, studies in this Specialization can be applied to the work of psychologists and other licensed mental health professionals. Studies can also be applied to health care, peace work, pastoral care, spiritual counseling, conflict resolution, education, consulting, and organizational work.