From the Past President

Humanistic psychology as an act of resistance

Div. 32 endeavors to serve students, clients and communities in ways that recognize the depth and breadth of human experience, the fullness of what it means to be human and to work towards realizing a just society — our humanitarian values in action.

By Shawn Rubin

rubin-shawnTo be a humanistic psychologist is an act of resistance. We endeavor to serve students, clients and communities in ways that recognize the depth and breadth of human experience, the fullness of what it means to be human and to work towards realizing a just society — our humanitarian values in action.

As agents of radical hope, healing, growth and justice, our love of humanity must be up to the task of challenging the cruel and dehumanizing political forces that are exemplified by the Trump Administration and its supporters in Congress. Indeed, the daily attempts to undermine our love and support for groups who are ruthlessly discriminated against, marginalized and the most vulnerable to political forces is an offense to humanistic values and to all lovers of justice.

Much of our humanistic programming at APA’s Annual Convention and in our Div. 32 Annual Conference showcases the talents of our students, colleagues and guests who share the fruits of their heroic efforts in the spirit of love for others. It is my hope that our times together as a community provide multiple opportunities to come together and enjoy the friendship, energy and passion of our labors in the world. To those who are seeking meaning through service to the community, get woke and stay woke to the challenges facing us across the nation and strategize about how we can resist, rehumanize and heal.

For those of you who are out there on the front lines experiencing the impact of injustice and of those whom we serve, I hope you find respite, sanctuary and time to recharge. The resistance will be long, and we will need periods of rest. May you find it in our community always. I invite you to join the Society for Humanistic Psychology, become active and contribute to our vital present and future.

I am eternally grateful to the Board members who supported my service to Div. 32 these many years, including Maureen O'Hara, Erik Craig, Sarah Bridges, Frank Farley, Krishna Kumar, Louis Hoffman, Scott Churchill, Kevin Keenan, Louise Sundararajan, Brent Robbins, Kirk Schneider, Rich Bargdill and Donna Rockwell. You have been my mentors and my inspiration, and I wouldn't be here nor had the privilege and opportunity to serve if not for you. Looking forward, I am jazzed about the possibilities with our incredibly talented future Board members: Lisa Vallejos, Veronica Lac, Oksana Yakushko and President-Elect Nathaniel Granger. The future is bright for the Board and the Society, and in many cases, the best is yet to come.

To my dear friend Donna, from the beginning of our friendship you have been a light of love and wisdom and passion for humanistic psychology. We have shared this amazing journey for the past 20 years, collaborating very often and enthusiastically supporting one another on our separate initiatives. It is a true delight and pleasure to welcome you into the presidency, and we are so fortunate to benefit from your leadership and guidance.


Shawn Rubin, PsyD
Pronouns: He, Him, His
Past President, Div. 32