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Endorsements of Kirk J. Schneider for president of the American Psychological Association

Individuals and members of Div. 32 share their endorsements of Kirk J. Schneider for APA president.

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Society for Humanistic Psychology. (2020, October 7). Endorsements of Kirk J. Schneider for president of the American Psychological Association.

Endorsements of Kirk J. Schneider for president of the American Psychological Association

Schneider’s integrity and leadership abilities are immensely valuable at this juncture in our field.

I have had the good fortune of knowing Kirk Schneider for over 15 years. There is no one who I have more faith and confidence in to be the next president of the American Psychological Association (APA). In recent years, the APA has come under strong criticism due to its handling of psychology’s role in the use of enhanced interrogation techniques as well as other controversies. It is important that we continue to work to reclaim a strong ethical foundation for the field of professional psychology and the APA. Schneider’s integrity and leadership abilities are immensely valuable at this juncture in our field.

The United States as a country, along with much of the world, has become increasingly polarized politically. This is not just a political divide—this polarization is increasingly showing a destructive potential that includes violence and the risk of other forms of long-term harm. It is critical for psychology to play a role in healing the divide in the United States. As one of the field’s leading experts on polarization, Schneider is an ideal person to help APA discover ways to enter this conversation with a healing influence. Not only has Schneider studied polarization from a scholarly perspective, but he has been part of implementing strategies that have facilitated difficult and courageous conversations between individuals from varied polarized backgrounds.

Polarization is relevant in the field of professional psychology as well. Different theoretical orientations and branches of psychology often dismiss or devalue other approaches in a rather polarized manner. This does harm to the field of psychology and is a disservice to mental health consumers. We need leadership in the APA, such as what Schneider can bring, that values the breath of psychology.

In summary, I heartily and excitedly offer my strong endorsement to Kirk Schneider, PhD, to be the next president of the American Psychological Association.

Louis Hoffman, PhD
Fellow, American Psychological Association (Divs. 1, 10, 32, 36, and 52)
Past president, Society for Humanistic Psychology
Executive director, Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association.

About Louis Hoffman, PhD

Louis Hoffman Louis Hoffman, PhD, is a widely recognized author, professor, scholar, therapist, and speaker. He is a psychologist in private practice in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the executive director of the Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association. Hoffman is a past president of Div. 32 (Society for Humanistic Psychology). An accomplished scholar, he serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Humanistic PsychologyThe Humanistic PsychologistJanus Head, and the Journal of Constructivist Psychology. Hoffman is a co-founder of the International Institute of Existential-Humanistic Psychology (IIEHP). Through the IIEHP and the China Institute of Psychotherapy, Hoffman provides training in certificate programs on humanistic and existential psychotherapy in China. In 2015, Hoffman was recognized as a fellow of the American Psychological Association, which is granted to individuals for “unusual and outstanding contribution or performance in the field of psychology.” He is also a fellow of five divisions of the American Psychological Association including Div. 32 (Society for Humanistic Psychology), Div. 1 (Society for General Psychology), Div. 10 (Society for the Study of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts), Div. 36 (Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality), and Div. 52 (International Psychology).

Kirk Schneider can bring psychology’s voice to our national crises

J. Patrick Gannon, PhD, explains that this is a time when psychology must consolidate its power but to do so we must learn to speak with a common voice and shared values.

Dear APA Members,

I am writing to endorse Kirk Schneider, PhD for president of the APA.

These times of existential threat including our partisan divide, racial injustice, climate change, and especially the COVID-19 pandemic require mature, informed and humane leadership. APA could play an essential role in helping our nation understand the complex psychological forces that underlie many of today’s social and political problems. But psychology’s voice has generally not been heard, too often a mere whisper on the sidelines of our national discourse. The pathology present in the Oval Office and throughout this increasingly authoritarian administration demands a broader application of psychological knowledge to inform our polity. Now is the time for psychology to reserve a seat at the table. We do have a “duty to warn” our nation that our democracy is at risk.

But first we must find common ground among psychologists, which is a necessary prerequisite for shaping psychology’s voice and providing a vision for our future. Within APA, our many divisions, history of conflict between scientists and practitioners, and past moral failings tied to “enhanced interrogation” must be countered with a coordinated response that brings us all together. This is a time when psychology must consolidate its power but to do so we must learn to speak with a common voice and shared values. But is APA up to that task? And if so, how do we do that?

Kirk Schneider is the perfect candidate for these challenging times. He brings a breadth of experience, scholarship, and practical knowledge that is crucial to meeting the challenges facing APA and our society at large. He is a scholar having written many books on various aspects of psychology, clinical psychology, and the existential/humanist approach. He has been a practitioner, teacher, and supervisor for a generation of psychology students. He is a unifier, a moral leader uniquely qualified to bring people together. He has developed a key methodology—called experiential democracy dialogues—that has shown progress in bringing opposing parties together and uniting them in constructive dialogues that lead to consensus. While many talk about the partisan divide, Kirk is doing the hard work of developing a model that offers solutions. He is poised to bring this methodology to APA and the nation.

Now more than ever, APA needs a president who will unify the membership behind key psychological values. Building APA into a stronger, more responsive organization that better serves our professional and national interests should be a primary goal in these challenging times. This election, as with the upcoming presidential election represents a key moment for our organization and the nation as a whole. Kirk Schneider will bring our membership together and make our organization a more effective voice in the national discourse.

Please vote for Kirk Schneider for APA President. If you cannot support a number one vote for Kirk, please list him as your number two candidate.


J. Patrick Gannon, PhD
APA member

About J. Patrick Gannon, PhD

Patrick Gannon Patrick Gannon is a clinical and performance psychologist in San Francisco and San Rafael. He works with individuals and couples and specializes in performance anxiety, life transitions, relationship issues, trauma, anxiety, and depression. He grew up in New York and received his BA from Boston College, where he was a varsity tennis player competing against NCAA college teams in New England. Patrick moved to California to attend the California School of Professional Psychology, where he received his PhD in clinical psychology. Patrick’s doctoral dissertation on traumatic stress confirmed his interest in working with clients in stressful life circumstances. He has expertise in helping clients with performance anxiety, life transitions, relationship issues, trauma, relationship issues, anxiety, and depression.

His book, Soul survivors: A new beginning for adults abused as children was originally published in 1989 by Prentice-Hall, and a second edition has now been released in an eBook format. Gannon founded the Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA) self-help program available throughout the United States and abroad.

Scott Kiser expresses support for Kirk Schneider’s expansive vision for psychology

Kirk Schneider has been an extremely important mentor for me during the last seventeen years, beginning as a course professor, and then as a dissertation committee member within my doctoral program at Saybrook University.

I felt an immediate sense of kinship with Kirk, in terms of existential-humanistic (E-H) values/vision, as well as his way of being in interpersonal interaction and communication. He is, quite simply, one of the most empathic, warm, and deeply caring individuals whom I have had the great privilege and honor to know. Indeed, I don’t believe I have encountered anyone who embodies the power of raw presence and profound connection to the great extent that Kirk does; when he is with you he is really, truly with you, and you know you are seen, heard, and valued. He has a unique ability to affirm and empower the beings of those with whom he interacts; he catalyzes the realization of their potentialities, drawing forth the best in people and inspiring them toward growth and fulfillment.

I have experienced this personally within a range of contextual settings. In Saybrook seminar intensives, he gave invaluable insight into the theory of E-H psychology and practice of E-H psychotherapy, creating vital opportunities for student learning and development through asking incisive questions and affirming student contributions. During personal conversation, Kirk listened closely and so intentionally, providing validating resonance and generously sharing of himself in a way that was grounding for me. As editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, he published a paper from a Saybrook course I took with him, enthusiastically supporting the evolution and improvement of my academic scholarship. Throughout my doctoral research process, he contributed critical feedback and corrective suggestions for my dissertation drafts, encouraging and promoting a project study that represents my core passion. Within post-graduate, ongoing communication, and dialogue, he has continued to believe in and support me as a human being and E-H professional.

All these rich, immeasurably valuable influences have changed and transformed my life. Kirk speaks life into and ignites life within those whom his work touches, through his extensive teaching, speaking, and writing, which anyone can see are labors of love rather than mere obligational duties. He nurtures a fierce passion and hunger for life-giving transformation, individually, culturally, and globally, which drives his work, and it is contagious; it is difficult to encounter Kirk/his work and not be inspired toward empowering change.

I believe it is this inspiring and transformational vision that is so clearly needed within our present culture, which he can provide as president of the American Psychological Association, a central organization to which American society looks for guidance regarding psychological knowledge and health.

Kirk’s pioneering work on awe-based living and de-polarization poignantly addresses the fundamental issue and crisis of our time, severe polarization, and its destructive effects. Therefore, he is in a uniquely advantageous position to offer the exact APA leadership needed to approach this damaging and ruinous cultural dynamic most effectively. In an increasingly fragmented and broken society, ravaged by opposing extremes and a false either/or orientation toward conflict, a healing perspective advocating wholeness and centeredness is precisely what is most needed. A culture torn apart by divisiveness, compulsive isolation, and aggressively defensive counterattack, desperately needs an integrating, uniting viewpoint, and approach that the APA can offer through Kirk’s leadership as president.

His expansive vision of meaningfully applying psychology to intra/interpersonal health and well-being extends beyond academia and professional practice to advocate for the inestimable goal of sociocultural and global transformation. His call to embrace awe involves an inherent emphasis on humility and an openness to the “other,” to transcend the limitations of an egocentric mentality and mode of relational interaction, which will enable him to foster collaborative communication and shared goal achievement between APA divisions. His passionate commitment to depolarization will ensure that all APA members and office holders have a recognized and valued voice that is heard and respected by the association’s president.

The APA will benefit immensely from presidential leadership that is grounded in an E-H ethos and offered by a leading figure within the contemporary E-H field. The values of honoring the full humanity of individual persons, respecting the broad, diverse range of human perspectives/expressions, facilitating integration and unification within sociocultural brokenness, and empowering full, deeply passionate living, will guide the critical work that is needed to provide psychological healing/growth for our divided culture and nation.

I believe that Kirk Schneider exemplifies these values and that as president of the APA he will lead that vital organization to demonstrate them in transformative action.

About Scott Kiser

Scott Kiser Scott Kiser holds an MA in marriage/family therapy from George Fox University and a PhD in psychology from Saybrook University. He teaches psychology at Clackamas Community College, and research courses, as well as chairs dissertation committees, in the graduate online program at Ashford University. He has also taught in the Graduate School of Counseling at George Fox University, the School of Professional Psychology at Pacific University, and Warner Pacific University. He has worked as a professional psychotherapist in community mental health agencies as well as private practice, involving extensive experience practicing individual, group, and family therapy. His area of expertise and specialization within academic training and scholarship is existential-humanistic psychology/psychotherapy, representing his core passion and field of professional vocation. He has been the recipient of academic scholarship awards for published work, has given APA presentations of published work and academic research and has published scholarly articles in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology and The Humanistic Psychologist.

Personal endorsements for Kirk Schneider for APA president

Friends and colleagues of Kirk Schneider share testimonials and experiences in support of his presidential campaign.

“There are few times in history when we have the opportunity to make a substantial impact on our broader field. Now is one of those times. Kirk Schneider, former Journal of Humanistic Psychology (JHP) editor-in-chief, is a candidate for president of the American Psychological Association (APA). Kirk needs no introduction to this group; he is a longstanding and widely respected leader in humanistic-existential psychology. Kirk's crucial work as a scholar and a psychotherapist brings the human being front and center. We need this sort of work and leadership now more than ever in our troubled times, as we technologize approaches to society and our souls. It is also an extraordinarily rare moment, as we have not had the opportunity to elect an APA President who represents humanistic psychology since Maslow (52 years ago) and Frank Farley (26 years ago). Personally, Kirk has been a source of great wisdom and inspiration, and I am proud to endorse his candidacy.”
—Sarah Kamens, PhD, editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology

“Kirk Schneider is not only doing great work aimed at healing psychological and political divisiveness; he also lives his principles. Kirk provides a true example to learn from in terms of his ability to be deeply, humanistically present as he engages with others. We need more elders like him in these spiritually, existentially, and politically troubling times.”
—Micah Ingle, PhD, student in psychology at University of West Georgia

“I first learned about Dr. Schneider through my humanistic-existential readings for my doctorate program. Something about the way he writes, even for academia, resonates his soul and spirit through the pages. When I went to my first professional conference, I shyly tried to position myself in spaces where he was speaking, meeting, and convening. Seeing a person in my readings come to life before me was unbelievable. No matter where he was in the crowds of scholars, colleagues, and friends, you could just tell he was there. It was like a beacon of his goodness, his kindness, and his warmth, emanated from his presence. As his words on paper took meaning in those many rooms, I felt an inspiration to his way of being-in-the-world unlike any other; he believed in people, he believed in inner and external peace, he believed when people dared not, and he was unconditional. I finally got up the nerve to catch him as we were all leaving from the conference with a request to sign a JHP copy he edited, which I fatefully had in my hands to offer, and he graciously accepted it. What he wrote will remain with me and has moved me through my many iterations with Div. 32 and the APA from student to scholar to professional. He asked me to continue being a beacon of light in humanistic psychology. The very person who I felt glowed so warmly, saw a light in me. I've been with him since and have had the honor of sitting at dinner tables and board room tables together. When Kirk Schneider sees people, they really feel seen. He is an advocate and a warrior for the unseen. As an early career professional, a woman, and a person of color, I have felt that he sees the mosaic of all that makes me up, and lifts me with his positive regard, hopefulness, and engaging support. He has broadened the reach of his light to APA, and I believe that there is no better candidate to lead us through dark times, because Kirk Schneider sees our potential as an organization and a nation to shine brightly, and when he sees things, they really feel seen.”
—Roxanne Christensen, PsyD, Div. 32 secretary and communications chairperson; Aloe Integrative Psychology Group (Rochester Hills, Michigan)

“Kirk was my former educator, who demonstrated a compassionate and caring leadership whose purpose aims to empower individuals to reach their full potential.”
—Azeb Bhutia, PhD (Los Angeles Harbor College)

"I first met Kirk in 2002. Over the years, I have seen him in action in numerous capacities--collaborating on a book chapter, presenting and facilitating dialogues at conferences and workshops, conducting psychotherapy, serving as former editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology—and I regularly employ his writings in my teaching and scholarship. In all these capacities, Kirk embodies the essence of all that he stands for: unpolarized thinking, awe-based living, healing presence, genuine compassion, social justice, holism, and so on. Kirk has clearly articulated and demonstrated how these qualities can be practically applied both within APA and as a global society to promote sustainable transformation. His persistent effort to employ healing dialogue to overcome polarization and build bridges and his emphasis on the whole person in mental health care are essential to addressing the needs and challenges of our times."
—Andrew Bland, PhD

“Kirk Schneider embodies the spirit of a healing presence. Kirk's mentorship (at the Existential-Humanistic Institute) has supported me to pursue the depth and wonder of my calling as an existential psychologist.”
—Johnathon Neda, PsyD, Orange County Psychology

“While I have never met Dr. Schneider in person, he has been a very influential and positive force in my professional development, encouraging my work in his past role as editor in a journal where I submitted a manuscript for review. His thoughtful, patient, sensitive, and encouraging feedback meant a tremendous amount to me. Beyond his clear brilliance as a clinician and scholar he is such a decent, kind human that I can think of no other individual better qualified to lead APA forward in these uncertain times.”
—David Shumaker, PhD, associate professor, psychology, Suffolk University, Boston

“Kirk Schneider has been a consistent and dedicated contributor to humanistic psychology theory and practice for over three decades. I have known him as a Div. 32 colleague since the late ‘80s. As APA president, he would, I believe, offer fresh, ‘out of the box’ perspectives to the governance of APA and do so in a manner that honors the needs of both academics and practitioners. He understands and appreciates the needs and challenges of those in independent practice and would not lose sight of the support they need from APA in these chaotic and problematic times.”
—Steven J. Hendlin, PhD, APA fellow, Divs. 29, 32, and 42, private practice, Newport Beach, California

“It has been my pleasure to use his books in my class, Humanistic/Existential Models of Psychotherapy.”
—Philip Farber, PhD, professor emeritus, Florida Institute of Technology

“Kirk Schneider’s genuine commitment to social justice in psychology and public mental health is manifest. I know this to be true from my experiences as a graduate student working with him on the Div. 32 Executive Board, and because he has graciously offered his time and contributions to my research in psychotherapy. In these areas, not only has he consistently advocated for the role of psychology in healing the sociopolitical and environmental crises of our time, but he has humbly listened to all input about how to transform the field together.”
—Zenobia Morrill, PhD candidate, University of Massachusetts Boston, Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology student board member, Div. 32 student board member

“I wholeheartedly endorse Dr. Kirk J. Schneider for 2020 American Psychological Association (APA) president. I have yet to met Dr. Schneider in person, but I am very familiar with his work, which, I have cited before, and am familiar with his commitment and dedication to the field of psychology and his passion for existential-humanistic and integrative psychology. Dr. Schneider will serve as an influential president for the APA as well as for the psychological community.”
—Steven Whitaker, PhD/I/O PSI-C, Inc.

“I have been behind you since the very beginning...and will continue to support you in any way I can.”
—Kenneth J Gergen, PhD, Taos Institute, Swarthmore College

“For too long, APA has not been led by a humanistic-existential psychologist. Kirk Schneider is passionately committed to introducing new thinking and practices into an organization that has drifted too far from William James, in the process becoming uninspiring to many psychologists, especially younger generations. Following in the footsteps of Jim and Elizabeth Bugental and Rollo May, Kirk has worked tirelessly in his prolific writings and talks to become the face of existential-humanistic psychology in the US and around the world. But APA has stagnated. We can change the face of APA if we elect Kirk as our next President. If not Kirk, who? If not now, when?”
—Robert Kramer, PhD, George Washington University

“Kirk is one of the kindest people I know. He is not only an excellent scholar but one who lives what he writes. He has my full support as the next APA president.”
—Mark C. Yang, PsyD

“Kirk would be wonderful, offering the fullest views of human potential, in a mind-body-spirit context, strong ethical outlooks on the world at present, and the courage to take necessary stands. He would also bring caring and empathy, awe, wonder, and aesthetic appreciation, along with humility and diverse ways of knowing, thus ensuring varied groups that they will be heard and honored, whatever their views. I believe he can advance new awareness and action among psychologists. Kirk has the ability to be heard verbally, in writing, and in working collaboratively with others and in many forums; he will help create community within APA and among diverse colleagues. I am definitely a supporter. Go, Kirk!”
—Ruth Richards, MD, PhD, Saybrook University and CIIS