Specialization Coordinator: Marina A. Smirnova, Ph.D.
Psychology Faculty Academic Advisor: Vasiliki Georgoulas-Sherry, Ph.D.
Department Chair: Israel Espinosa, Psy.D.
Students in the Department of Humanistic 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 CSIH Specialization is not required to earn the degree, it will be listed on the transcript if students formally declare CSIH Specialization and complete its requirements. Because CSIH Specialization requirements are subject to change, each student’s CSIH Specialization requirements are established at the time when they formally declare CSIH Specialization.
The CSIH Specialization takes an interdisciplinary and integrative (psyche, mind, body, and spirit) approach to understanding individual, cultural, transcultural, and transpersonal perspectives on consciousness evolution, biopsychosocial-spiritual and cultural transformation, spirituality, healthful and vibrant longevity, individuation, healing, wholeness, and wellness. We believe that well-being, vitality, and health need to embrace all dimensions of human life. The integrated study of consciousness, spirituality, and integrative health offers ways of understanding people’s internal and external growth, worlds, and lives as accessible through such pathways as consciousness studies, the world’s spiritual and wisdom, traditions, and healing arts, depth psychology, transpersonal psychology, energy medicine, healthspan and vibrant longevity, spiritual creativity, self-regulation and self-healing, hypnosis, imagery and the imaginal, the arts, dreamwork, and contemplative practices. In this context, students who wish are certainly able to focus their work on transpersonal psychology, transpersonal inquiry, and transpersonal practices.
The study of consciousness, psychology of consciousness, and consciousness evolution offers students a unique opportunity to explore various aspects of consciousness through approaches ranging from ethnography, autoethnography, and historiography to phenomenological, heuristic and Heuristic Self-Search Inquiry, hermeneutic, and art-based explorations of work and community life, interpersonal relationships, spiritual beliefs and practices, extended healthspan, healthful and vibrant longevity, culture, and social action. Given the diverse array of course offerings, in consultation with Dr. Vasiliki Georgoulas-Sherry, our Psychology Faculty Academic Advisor, students are able to incorporate in their program plans courses that support their individual scholar-practitioner calling, interests, and career goals. The study of spirituality supports students who want to pursue work in areas such as pastoral care, spiritual guidance, spiritual mentoring, and life coaching or who want to integrate understanding of the spiritual dimension of human life into another profession or field. Faculty members work with students to focus their studies in ways that best meet their academic, professional, and personal goals. This Specialization allows students to focus on the study of interdisciplinary and integrative approaches to health, healing, healthspan, healthful and vibrant longevity, and well-being that have not necessarily been regarded as standard within mainstream medical and psychological care, including spiritual wisdom, esoteric, mystical, and Earth-honoring traditions and practices of the world. Additional alternative health perspectives, approaches, and practices relevant to psychological, psychospiritual, and physical health and vitality that are studied include meditation, mindfulness, prayer, contemplation, psychomythology, energy medicine, healthspan and vibrant longevity, hospice work and chaplaincy, guided imagery, clinical hypnosis, Holotropic Breathwork, dreamwork, biofeedback, Enneagram, the arts, and indigenous healing. Students may also explore spirituality and consciousness, including their role in physical and psychological health, personal and professional relationships, organizational functioning, culture, 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 research, scholar-practitioner writing, health care, healthspan, innovation and longevity studies, peace work, pastoral care, spiritual counseling, conflict resolution, education, consulting, coaching, mentoring, and/or organizational work.