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    Saybrook University
  Jul 25, 2024
2018-2019 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum 
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2018-2019 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum [Archived Catalog]

Foundations of Existential-Humanistic Practice Certificate

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Certificate Lead: Orah T. Krug, Ph.D.

Sponsored by: Existential, Humanistic, and Transpersonal Psychology (EHTP) Specialization, Clinical Psychology Degree Program, and the Existential-Humanistic Institute (EHI)


Recent research places existential-humanistic therapy not on the fringe, but squarely at the center of psychological theory and practice. The Certificate program provides a foundational core that focuses on both theory and skill development. The theoretical part focuses on existential-humanistic therapy with an emphasis on two of its founders, Rollo May and James Bugental. An overarching assumption of existential-humanistic therapy is that the client’s in-the-moment experience forms both the underlying and actual process in therapy. This assumption anchors the existential therapist in the principles of practice that focus on experience over explanation and process over content.

Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the Certificate, students will be able to…

  1. Identify meaning-making processes unfolding in the present moment.
  2. Illuminate these actual but often unrecognized processes by cultivating intra-psychic and interpersonal presence.
  3. Develop a safe and intimate therapeutic relationship.
  4. Recognize and work with existential life issues that may be present but disguised.
  5. Recognize and work with transference and counter-transference issues within an existential framework.


Note: Students without previous clinical training or not involved in a clinical psychology degree program at Saybrook may be eligible if they have a strong background in existential or humanistic therapy

The following are required courses:

  • * EHTP 2040  Existential Psychotherapies
  • * EHTP 6150  Existential Psychotherapies II: Rollo May and the Existential Tradition
  • * EHTP 2047  Existential Psychotherapies III: James Bugental and the Existential-Humanistic Tradition

Two experiential courses:

  • * EHTP 2045  Existential-Humanistic Therapy: Experiential I**
  • * EHTP 2046  Existential-Humanistic Therapy: Experiential II**

**These two four-night/five-day experiential courses offer a total of 48 hours of skill development training. These courses are offered sequentially beginning in the fall semester, concluding in the spring semester. Tuition for the certificate program is included in Saybrook’s tuition. The only additional costs for Saybrook’s students are for lodging and food at the retreat which students pay for separately through EHI.  The experiential courses are held at a retreat center, the exact dates for the coming year can be found on the EHI/Saybrook Certificate Program page.


* Integrative Paper/Seminar
* One year of personal therapy taken either before or during the year-long program is strongly recommended.

As an added bonus, students enrolled in the Certificate program will be able to attend the annual conference of the Existential-Humanistic Institute (EHI) at a reduced rate. Information about the conference can be found on the EHI Conference page:

* Receive an additional 12 hours of skill development training, specifically intended for Certificate program students

College of Social Sciences Certificate Programs

Saybrook University’s College of Social Sciences offers a number of exciting certificate programs intended for non-matriculating students (e.g., professionals, activists, community leaders/organizers, etc.) who want to expand or deepen their knowledge and skills pertaining to specific foci.  Our certificate programs offer a variety of topics relevant in today’s world. From existential psychology to integrative healthcare, the College of Social Sciences certificates offer students the humanistic and interdisciplinary education students desire in a convenient certificate program.

Delivery Model

All entering students will begin their program in consultation with the Certificate Lead Faculty in order to clarify requirements and ensure that their interests are integrating within their learning experience. Students can change their study plan later, but need to make an initial plan at the outset, including a tentative plan for a one-year enrollment for those individuals not enrolled in a Saybrook degree program. Typically, certificate requirements can be completed within one to two years (see Certificate Lead Faculty for more details). Students progress through certificate requirements through a combination of on-line cohort courses and either face-to-face experientials during a Saybrook Residential Conference and/or at-a-distance platforms such as video-conference or conference calls. Additionally, students participate in online Graduate Colloquia shells, which are virtual classrooms utilized to foster community among all enrolled in specializations that sponsor the certificates; deepening the learning environment and broadening the application of theory and practice.

These certificates are available to degree and non-degree students alike. Non-degree students who subsequently pursue a degree at Saybrook may be able to transfer credits toward degree requirements.  Students formally enrolled in one of Saybrook’s degree programs may be able to integrate the certificate into their program as the certificate course requirement may satisfy either specialization requirements and/or degree electives.  In the event that a doctoral student wishes to complete more than one Certificate program, only one course (3 credits) may be counted toward a second Certificate. No course overlap may occur for fulfillment of a third (or more) Certificate. In addition, fulfillment of each Certificate requires completion of a unique practicum (CSIH/CS/EHTP/TSC 8151: 3 credits) as well as a unique final paper (CSIH/CS/EHTP/TSC 8950: 1 credit). No overlap of required Certificate coursework will be permitted for M.A. students who wish to declare more than one Certificate.

Core Components

Though each certificate is specific to the area of focus, there are general Core Components or expectations.

  • Required course(s) (3 credits each)
  • Choice of Electives (3 credits each) to be determined in consultation with the Certificate Lead Faculty
  • Practicum/Project (3 credits) which is individually designed by the student in consultation with Practicum Instructor based on his or her interests and goals. This may involve related theory, research, and/or practical application. Several Certificates require the presentation of the Practicum/Project during a Saybrook Residential Conference and/or at-a-distance presentation through video conference platforms such as Go To Meeting or Skype (see Certificate Lead Faculty for more details).
  • Integrative Paper/Seminar (1 credit) which can be a capstone paper, professional poster presentation, or mini-project designed to allow reflection, assessment of progress, integration of experience and academic learning, and forward projection into how one will use these learnings and skills. It also invites a look into other competencies one might still wish to add. (Not all certificates require an integrative paper).


  • Applied Consciousness Studies
  • Arts and Self-Expression for Health and Wellbeing
  • Building A Sustainable World
  • Community Health & Development
  • Complex Trauma & The Health Process
  • Creativity Studies
  • Death, Loss, and Meaning
  • Dream Studies
  • Foundations in Existential-Humanistic Practice
  • Multiculturalism and Social Justice
  • Organizational Leadership & Transformation
  • Peace & Conflict Resolution
  • Professional Studies in Psychophysiology
  • Socially Engaged Spirituality
  • Stress Management Education
  • Transpersonal Psychology

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