In this issue

Inside the SHP newsletter: Winter 2015

The editors provide overview and context for the articles in this issue.

By Donna Rockwell, PhD, and Kevin Keenan, PhD

As we step into 2015, the Society for Humanistic Psychology (SHP) leads the field of clinical psychology in speaking a humanistic language that may help to heal the broken human spirit we see all around us, in national news reports, on the global political scene and in our therapy rooms. Evidenced in symptoms of depression, anxiety, grief, loss of hope and other existential challenges, humanistic practitioners and scholars know that human suffering comes in many forms. As a psychotherapy with heart, humanistic-existential approaches in the therapy room, and in the wider context of public policy and global multicultural community building, seem to be taking root.

In this issue, SHP President Krisha Kumar writes about his presidential theme of “Contemporary Humanistic Psychology: Beyond Maslow, May, and Rogers,” and emphasizes his intention to position humanistic psychology as fundamentally relevant to our times and “a dynamic evolving field of study with new developments and advancements of value to psychological theory, research methodology, clinical practice, and culture.”

President-Elect, Kirk Schneider is excited and looking forward to his presidency in 2016, highlighting the various challenges the lay before him, as he works to draw attention to and heal “the polarized mind” that dominates human discourse at this time. Two critical areas upon which Schneider would like to focus are “the humanization of graduate training in psychotherapy and the application of humanistic therapeutic principles to governmental and ethical deliberation.”

Div. 32 member Jonathan Raskin writes about the creation, purpose, and goals of the Global Summit on Diagnostic Alternatives, an initiative by SHP looking into humane alternatives to the DSM system of diagnosis. Co-chaired by Raskin and longtime board member Frank Farley, this international collaboration of mental health professionals is working to pursue more realistic and sustaining approaches to assess and treat “human suffering.”

Ed Mendelowitz examines the notions of peace in troubled times echoing a theme of King Hussein of Jordan, “If you want to make peace with your enemy you have to go to war with yourself.” Offering up a prayer, or mourner's “Kaddish,” Mendelowitz's Humitas column, “Reconciliation, Perhaps Providence: Toward a Middle East of the Heart” explores what it will take to heal nations and people.

Div. 32 Membership Chair Trish Nash, gives us an update on membership stats and news, focusing her attention on building and sustaining a vital and growing SHP membership. A hearty thank you to Rich Bargdill, past membership chair, for his tireless development of a strengthened membership roster, visionary leadership of the future of humanistic psychology and his nurturing presence for student members of SHP.

Please send us articles, news, perspectives and feedback. As co-editors of the division newsletter, we are open to and invite your reports of humanistic and existential approaches to psychotherapy, input on the various applications of humanistic ideals toward solving global strife and personal anecdotes of your particular being-in-the-world of humanistic psychology.