Specialization Coordinator: Drake Spaeth, Psy.D.
Psychology Faculty Academic Advisor: Vasiliki Georgoulas-Sherry, Ph.D.
Department Chair: Israel Espinosa, Psy.D.
Saybrook’s Existential-Humanistic Psychology program looks at the depth of what it means to be fully human, from our internal stirrings through our relationships with others and our engagement with the world. Existential-Humanistic Psychology is a meeting point between psychology and philosophy, creativity, spirituality, ethics, and other disciplines. The program explores the freedom within each one of us balanced with our responsibilities to others. From a diverse perspective, students explore how humanity discovers meaning in our lives, moments of awe, and the creation of wisdom. Students are guided through these questions in scholarship, research, and in real world applications by committed faculty who are recognized and prominent scholars in these traditions.
The Specialization encompasses both the important history and contributions of existential and humanistic psychology as well as contemporary directions in these fields. We maintain Saybrook’s long history and legacy as the leaders in existential and humanistic thought and application. The eminent scholars on the faculty are inspired to support the next generation of leaders.
Though specialization does not prepare you for licensing as a psychologist, many master level licensed professionals attend this specialization to deepen their understanding of Existential & Humanistic practices while are interested in acquiring a Ph.D. in Psychology that support other career goals of teaching, lecturing, writing and more. Other students come from divinity backgrounds, health care, and education setting including teachers and administrators.
From a practice/application standpoint, the EHP approach engages others in the lifelong journey toward self-knowledge and effective action. The course of instruction is designed to direct students’ attention toward the growth-oriented dimension of personality and spiritual exploration. Additionally, we explore transformative possibilities inherent within all people and systems.
Augmenting the usual offerings, which focus on behavior and cognition in psychology, the EHP Specialization presents dynamic theories that define personality as a total gestalt, in the context of a spectrum of states of consciousness beyond what are traditionally considered to be the psychopathic and the normal. These states can reach into the realm of self-actualization and the transcendent. An emphasis on fostering existential and humanistic principles in practice and research is encouraged and viewed as an essential aspect of serving the highest and best interests of humanity.