In this issue

Member News

Featured members' announcements

Member Andrew Bland reports: "I recently had my first peer-reviewed article published. The paper is on the enneagram, a Sufi-based holistic personality system that I utilize in case conceptualization. It is published in the Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education, and Development, 49(1). (This is the journal of the humanistic division of the American Counseling Association.)

I also have upcoming presentations on: (a) reflective approaches to career decision-making (at Great Lakes Counseling Psychology Conference in Akron, OH), and (b) expressive therapies for grieving children of military families (at Indiana Counseling Association conference in Indianapolis).

I currently am in my third year (of four, plus internship) in the Counseling Psych program at Indiana State University. When things begin to settle a bit, I plan to resume work on a collection of Mike Arons' writings (he and I had been working on that project for a couple of years before his death).

Book News

Studies in Meaning 4: Constructivist Perspectives on Theory, Practice, and Social Justice

Edited by Jonathan D. Raskin, Sara K. Bridges, and Robert A. Neimeyer

This volume addresses cutting edge issues in constructivist psychology dealing with theory, practice, and social justice. The volume begins by delving into thorny issues of meaning and communication from both radical constructivist and social constructionist perspectives. Building on this, prominent practitioners share advances in research and practice related to constructivist therapy - including work exploring grief, love, and narrative. From there, the volume pays special attention to constructivist conceptions of social justice as they relate to working with torture survivors, mentoring graduate students, and dealing with the objectification of women; it even uses constructivist theory to reflexively examine the limits of social justice counseling as a theoretical orientation. Finally, the volume comes full circle by revisiting theory - this time exploring the value preferences that often infuse research on epistemological beliefs, the metaphor of the psychotherapist-as-philosopher-of-science, and the contentious status of individualism within pragmatism and constructivism. In sum, Studies in Meaning 4 highlights constructivism's multiplicity through fourteen stimulating and, at times, controversial scholarly contributions intended to sharpen the implications of constructivism for social critique and psychological practice.

See the table of contents

Visit Kirk Schneider's new website to read his latest articles, hear radio interviews, watch video presentations, and order the latest books on existential-humanistic psychology, psychotherapy, and social change.

Member at Large, Richard Bargdill

Psychology has been the motivating force behind much of my artistic inspiration. I have a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and I am currently an associate professor of psychology at St. Francis University, in Loretto, PA. My conceptual art pieces point toward issues of identity, self-exploration, and obstacles toward personal growth. This current piece speaks about the artist trying to grow while being faced with daily situations that are trying to hinder the process.

My work is sometimes controversial: I was asked to remove a piece (Socket Knives) from a show because it was “threatening.” Another time, a piece (Bulimia) of mine was not displayed as it had been accepted because it “might be disturbing.” Such is work of the psyche. Despite these hurdles, I have won several awards at regional shows for my work. Both pieces can be viewed on my website.
In 2006, I published “An Artist’s Thought Book: intriguing thoughts about the artistic process,” which offers my insights on five major topics: the nature of creativity, what it means to be an artist, how one can find one’s voice in music, what the poet is trying to accomplish, and how to find one’s muse while painting. The book and an author’s blog are available on The words from this book are the writing that appears on “I’m a tree chopped down everyday”.

I also write poetry and have been fortunate to win three consecutive Sophie Awards in poetry from Perry County Council of the Arts. In addition, I was invited to New York City to appear on a television show dedicated to poetic verse. “Poet Laureates Come to Queens” sponsored by the Fresh Meadows Poets aired on Queen’s Public Television in the fall of 2008.  A number of poems and other creative endeavors are available for viewing on my fore mentioned website.

Whole Person Healthcare: The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion

Chair: Ilene Serlin
Participant: Michael Jawer
A book talk in the Hospitality Suite of the Society for Humanistic Psychology
Co-Sponsored by Psychotherapy and the Arts, Div. 32
Thursday, August 12, 2010 – 3:00 to 4:30 pm
Whole Person Healthcare understands the psyche as part of a whole that includes the body, other people, and forces larger than the self. In this workshop, Michael Jawer provides a radical alternative to conventional psychology by showing how aspects of the psyche, particularly its ways of knowing, lie in what we feel in our bodies. His research demonstrates new ways that emotions affect our health and conditions such as fibromyalgia and allergies.
Do you have clients who seem extraordinarily sensitive – who are highly reactive physically and emotionally, and who may be susceptible to “psychosomatic” distress in the form of allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, and similar complaints?
Evidence gathered by speaker Michael Jawer suggests that highly sensitive individuals become that way through a combination of nature and nurture.  Not only are they more environmentally sensitive than the norm but also more suggestible, fantasy prone and have a more “thin-boundary” personality overall.  Intriguingly, these are the same people who are prone to anomalous perceptions and compelling spiritual experiences.
Could such predilections be explained through a close examination of our biological processes – the way our brains and bodies are linked and the flow of emotion that characterizes our existence?
Author and researcher Michael Jawer believes so.  In tandem with Marc Micozzi, MD, PhD, a pioneer in the field of complementary and alternative medicine, he has produced The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion (Park Street Press, 2009), a book that considers the whole person – the embodied person – as the key to a host of perennially puzzling conditions. 
Contemporary neuroscience suggests that the brain is the be-all and end-all of the human being.  The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion proposes otherwise: that what we feel in our bodies, and the energy that moves us, is of greatest import in assessing our perceptions and understanding our personalities.  People differ in what they sense and literally how they feel.  Those differences may be crucial in coming to understand phenomena ranging from phantom pain and PTSD to apparitional and so-called “out of body” experiences.
The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion has received strong reviews and endorsements from the likes of Andrew Weil, Larry Dossey, and Stanley Krippner.  It has been the subject of articles and interviews in Spirituality & Health, Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, and Psychology Today.  (The book is also slated for review in PsycCritiques.)  Jawer’s talk in the Society’s hospitality suite at the APA convention will enable psychology professionals to more fully consider the importance of body-based personality differences – and the role of emotion itself – in certain people’s extraordinary sensitivities.
Questions will be welcomed and discussion encouraged.  More information is available at website.

Obituary: Nat Raskin

Nat Raskin was a quiet giant in client-centered therapy and the person-centered approach. Nat was only sixteen years old when he first encountered Carl Rogers. He was a student, a colleague, and a therapist of Rogers over his long affiliation with Carl.

He was a quiet but major contributor to the theory and practice of the approach. One of his succinct statements about the “new” therapy was written in 1946 and quoted in Rogers’ 1951 book, “Client-Centered Therapy”. It has become a classic statement that ought to be periodically reviewed by all who might be interested in “Person-Centered Therapy”. Nat summed up the following about the “nondirective” level of response of the counselor/therapist:

There is [another] level of nondirective  counselor response which to the writer represents the nondirective attitude. In a sense, it is a goal rather than one which is actually practiced by counselors. But, in the experience of some, it is a highly attainable goal, which … changes the nature of the counseling process in a radical way. At this level, counselor participation becomes an active experiencing with the client of the feelings to which he gives expression, the counselor makes a maximum effort to get under the skin of the person with whom he is communicating, he tries to get within and to live the attitudes expressed instead of observing them, to catch every nuance of their changing nature; in a word, to absorb himself completely in the attitudes of the other. And in struggling to do this, there is simply no room for any other type of counselor activity or attitude; if he is attempting to live the attitudes of the other, he cannot be diagnosing them, he cannot be thinking of making the process go faster. Because he is another, and not the client, the understanding is not spontaneous but must be acquired, and this through the most intense, continuous and active attention to the feelings of the other, to the exclusion of any other type of attention. (Rogers, 1951, p. 29).

Nat was a scholar, a celebrated Professor at Northwestern University and a notable researcher. In the activities of conventional psychology, he managed to hold his sensitive and sincere “ person-centeredness” to those with whom he interacted as well as with his clients.

I met Nat at the first meeting of the Association for The Development of the Person-Centered Approach in 1986. We were leaving the meeting, waiting for the shuttle bus when Barbara Temaner Brodley suggested that someone should start an on-going workshop for those interested in the person-centered approach. I said that I would check a “magical place” for the site, the Roosevelt Rehabilitation Center in Warm Springs, GA. This was the site of the Little White House where Franklin D. Roosevelt administered the country for half of each year. Nat said in his characteristic way: “Great”, and along with Fred Zimring and Dave Spahn, the five of us started the Warm Springs Person-Centered Workshop. Students at the University of Georgia did much of the preparatory work. The five us were the initial designated facilitators but dropped the idea of designated facilitators after the first workshop. Nat originally suggested that we simply did not need to discriminate between staff and participants. I don’t remember Nat missing any of the workshops until illness kept him from the 20th meeting. He stated several times that Warm Springs was his favorite workshop where he felt most free to be a person. He and his long time colleagues, Armin Klein and Jerry Bauman, were affectionately referred to as the three Amigos during workshops. It was during the first workshop in 1987 that Nat identified a difference between Rogers’ Person-Centered Theory and other tributaries from the theory of Client-Centered Theory.  He succinctly stated this difference as that of systematic/unsystematic activities. He elaborated in a Renaissance newsletter that read in part as follows: 

The (client-centered) therapist may go further and, in a spontaneous and non-systematic way offer reactions, suggestions, and questions, try to help the client experience feelings, share aspects of her or his own life, etc. while maintaining a basic and continuing respect for the client as architect of the process. (v. 5, 3 & 4, 1988)

He continued:

The difference is that these (other) practitioners have a preconditioned notion of how they wish to change the client and work in a systematic fashion, in contrast to the person-centered therapist who starts out being open and remains open to an emerging process orchestrated by the client. (v. 5, 3 & 4, 1988)

Nat’s personhood and presence was obvious in several organizations including the Association for the Development of the Person-Centered Approach (ADPCA). I feel fortunate to be co-authored with him in the statement of the history of this organization for the ADPCA website just a few months ago. Nat’s presence was facilitative to many. I am convinced that his memory and contributions will continue to be facilitative to many more as well as to me.

Jerold D. Bozarth
April 6, 2010