Meet The Board

New Board Member introductions
  • President - Maureen O'Hara (2009)

  • President-Elect - Sara K. Bridges (2009)

  • Past President - Frank Farley (2009)

  • Secretary - Frederick J. Wertz (2011)

  • Treasurer - Therese Leferriere

  • APA Council Representative - Art Lyons (2010)

  • Executive Committee Members at Large - V. Krishna Kumar (2010), Erik Craig (2009), Katheen Wall (2011),

  • Brent Dean Robbins (2011), David Lukoff (2010), Louis Hoffman (2009)

  • Awards Chair - Susan Gordon (2014)

  • Student Representatives - Miraj Desai, Kathryn Stamoulis

Selected Board Introductions

Miraj Desai

I am a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at Fordham University and have served as Student Representative to the Board of the Society for Humanistic Psychology since February of 2008. Serving on the Board has been both a pleasure and a privilege. I have enjoyed bringing a student voice to this dedicated community of individuals, all committed to a humane vision of psychological practice and research.

When reflecting on the host of problems that plague modern society—from economic turmoil to religious tensions to environmental degradation to prejudice and discrimination—I have felt that the Society for Humanistic Psychology is one of the only divisions in APA that can offer a comprehensive and collective worldview in response. With its insistence on the well-being of all persons, and its emphasis on purpose and meaning, the Society for Humanistic Psychology presents a positive vision to the often negative events that confront our world.

For students, the Society offers excellent opportunities to connect with leaders in the field of practice and research. In addition to having a rich tradition dating back to pioneers like Rogers, Maslow, and May, the Society is always open to new members and novel discourses. If interested in learning more about Division 32, particularly from a student's perspective, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Susan Gordon

PhD is an adjunct professor of biological, personality, and developmental psychology at National University, La Jolla, CA. She has a master's in heath psychology and a doctorate in the history and philosophy of psychology; mind-body medicine with focus on humanistic-transpersonal perspectives from Saybrook Gradate School and Research Center, San Francisco, CA, and completed basic medical sciences at Bastyr University's naturopathic medical school, Seattle, WA. Dr. Gordon is research director of the Southbury Clinic for Traditional Medicines, Southbury, CT and a licensed massage therapist in the State of Connecticut.

As a Saybrook graduate, I am passionately committed to preserving our existential-humanistic and transpersonal heritage. Through awards for excellence in research and scholarship we embody the achievements and vision of our founders and mentor the next generation. This is crucial to our survival as a profession. As Awards Chair for the next six-year term, I serve as a liaison between the Executive Board, our Divisional membership, and our community at large. My responsibilities, and those of my committee, include gathering nominations (September-November annually); coordinating the review and voting process; proposing revisions of procedures, and preparing and presenting publication materials, plaques, and certificates for the established divisional awards: Charlotte and Karl Bühler, given to an institution, and an individual associated with an institution, that has made an outstanding and lasting contribution; Abraham Maslow, given to an individual for an outstanding contribution to the exploration of the father reaches of human spirit; Carl Rogers, given to an individual for an outstanding contribution to theory and practice; Rollo May, given to an individual for independent and outstanding pursuit of new frontiers, Carmi Harari (Early Career Award) for contribution in the areas of inquiry, application, and social action, and the Sidney Jourard Award for outstanding student papers. Additionally, the Society named two new awards in 2008: Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contributions, and the Mike Arons and Mark Stern Award for Outstanding Lifetime Service to the Society. At the January, 2009 winter meeting, the Board unanimously voted to allow "an unlimited number of awards of any kind (one per category) in any given year." A graduate student dissertation award, a scholarly book award, and Presidential citations are being considered. Your comments are always welcome. Email me directly.

Louis Hoffman

I am a Member-at-Large on the Board and Chair of the Continuing Education Committee. The Continuing Education Committee sponsors and helps create continuing education opportunities in Humanistic Psychology. We also assist with the Society for Humanistic Psychology Conference. In my professional life, I am a core faculty member of the University of the Rockies, Editor-in-Chief of the University of the Rockies Press, and in practice at the Center for Growth. I chose to serve because of a deep commitment to existential and humanistic psychology and the general mission of Division 32. Our voice is needed in psychology and I strongly believe we need to be working hard to develop collaborative relationships with other interest groups in psychology. I am also very committed to trying to bring greater diversity to humanistic psychology. Our main upcoming challenge will be finding people willing to develop quality, online continuing education opportunities for the division. Also, in our role as being involved in the Society for Humanistic Psychology Conference, we must work to get a strong turn out despite the challenging economic times and decreased professional development funding that many are facing. We need members to help with developing online continuing education classes, helping get the word out about our conference, and attend the yearly conference this October in Colorado Springs!

David Lukoff, PhD

Member-at-Large of the Society , is a Professor of Psychology at the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology and co-author of the DSM-IV diagnostic category "Religious or Spiritual Problem." His areas of expertise include treatment of schizophrenia, transpersonal psychotherapy, and spiritual issues in clinical practice. He is author of 70 articles and chapters on spiritual issues and mental health; co-president of the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology and of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology; maintains the Spiritual Competency Resource Center.

Art Lyons

I am beginning my second year of service as your Council Representative in my second three-year term. With respect to our Society I have served in a number of roles. I have served as Membership Chair, Treasurer for six years, President of the Division, and also served as editor of our journal. The Council of Representatives serves as the governing body of APA. I chose to run for this position because I was very interested in advancing a humanistic perspective and also felt that because of my quantitative background I could form alliances with folks who otherwise might not take us seriously. By and large I feel that I have been successful at doing this. APA is planning to reduce its budget by almost 12 million dollars for this year and our meetings in February should offer quite a few challenges as we try to accomplish this task while still serving our membership. Just this past month we have been notified that we have earned a second seat on Council beginning in 2010. We will be voting for the person to fill this position in our next election. Please read each candidate's statement carefully and vote. Council meets in Washington D.C. 2/19/to 2/22 and the day before our Convention in Toronto in August and on Sunday morning of the Convention as well. Meetings are open to the public. Come and observe us at work. It is the best way to get a feel for our governing body. I'm always willing to answer questions that you might have about Council and the issues that we deliberate on. Feel free to email me.

Brent Robbins

Bill is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, and has a doctorate in clinical psychology from Duquesne University. Prior to his appointment at Point Park University, Dr. Robbins taught full-time at Allegheny College and Daemen College. He is Editor-in-Chief of Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology, and the Arts ( His research areas include existential / phenomenological approaches to therapy, including individual psychotherapy and cultural therapeutics, the medicalization of the body and human suffering, the socio-economics of psychiatric diagnosis, and the phenomenology of emotion. Dr. Robbins is a Member-at-Large for Division 32, and in that capacity serves as a voting member of the Board. He is also Chair of the Society's annual conference, including last year's conference in Boston and this year's conference in Colorado Springs, CO, which will be held at University of the Rockies. He has served as Membership Chair, and continues to serve on the Membership Committee. In addition, Dr. Robbins manages the new blog for the Division, helps to manage the website, and is Chair of the Positive Psychology Interest Group. Members can be of help to the Division in a variety of ways. First and foremost, I encourage all members to actively recruit colleagues and especially students and younger colleagues, to become members of the Society for Humanistic Psychology. For those promising colleagues and students who are not actively engaged with the Society, please encourage them to get involved. We now have a special interest group for undergraduate students, so you are especially encouraged to invite your undergraduate students to become a part of our organization -- they will have plenty of opportunities to get involved, and you are welcome to provide my contact information to them -- I will be happy to point them in the right direction. Second, please help promote the annual conference of the Division and, if possible, please come to this event, which is essential for the economic growth of the Division, and by implication, the future well-being of the humanistic movement in psychology. Finally, I welcome any and all feedback about the Division's website. Let us know what you think might be done to make it better. You can email me.

Fred Wertz

I have been affectionately involved with Division 32 since for almost 25 years. I first served as the Society's Membership Chair in the early 1980s, and I am currently the Secretary of the executive committee. Division 32 is my primary APA home because of the deep values and intellectual interests I share with fellow members. For me 32 is the most exciting and inspiring division in APA. Currently at Fordham University, I am returning to full teaching responsibility after 6 years as chair of the Department of Psychology. There, I have been introducing qualitative research methods, philosophical studies, and humanistic theory and practice. I am enjoying the opportunity to teach graduate students phenomenology, my greatest scholarly passion. During my recent fellowship leave, I finished a paper on Husserl's method of the intuition of essences, submitted an article on the sociopolitics and ethics of qualitative research to the American Psychologist, and acquired a contract with Guilford Press to finish a collaborative volume that compares various ways of qualitatively analyzing a dramatic interview with a cancer survivor. I serve as the editor of the Journal of Phenomenological Psychology and have a small independent practice of psychotherapy with vulnerable populations in New York City. As the secretary of the Society, my main activity is taking minutes at the executive committee meetings. I love listening to the generative interchanges among board members and it is an honor for me to attempt to convey, in writing for the membership, the committee members' insights, energy, and wonderful contributions to the Society. In my minutes, I try to include just about everything that is said in our meetings. If you have any suggestions about how I can make the minutes more informative, interesting, or enjoyable to you, please let me know!