Feature Article

Letter to members

The Co-editors introduce this edition of the newsletter.

By Donna Rockwell, PsyD, and Kevin Keenan, PhD

Dear Members:

After a long winter, spring spreads warm breezes and the promise of new growth. Buds appear on trees as possibility. As Society for Humanistic Psychology President, Louis Hoffman points out in his SHP Newsletter column, this same promise of growth is flowering in our division, bringing with it an air of excitement for Humanistic Psychology's future and our relevance to a field hungry for humanistic-existential considerations of what it means to be human. As Division 32 grows, we expand into an ever-greater, richer and more diverse community.

The coming together of the SHP community at conferences is experienced more and more, year following year, as a much-welcomed time to meet and greet and exchange ideas, challenge long-held beliefs and each other, and envision how Humanistic Psychology might, in some way, help heal those who are suffering. SHP 2013 Conference Chair Brent Potter shares his insider's view of this year's annual Division 32 gathering, reminding those who attended of the thought-provoking programing and many memorable moments of connection, and summing up what was missed for those who could not make it.

As qualitative research continues to gain increasing favor among a whole new generation of clinical psychologists and psychotherapists in training, garnering funding for innovative research initiatives, we find ourselves evolving into new relationships and new associations, as the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology (SQIP) officially becomes a section in the Division of Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics (Division 5) of the APA. SQIP President Mark Freeman takes us on a tour of this new frontier for qualitative research, journal publishing, and human science inquiry.

We want to invite all SHP members to join us for another community opportunity in Honolulu, Hawaii for the 2013 APA Convention, July 31- August 4 to share in scholarship and camaraderie. We have an interesting collection of authors and a compelling program of scholarship and insight, examining a variety of topics. Look for the Division 32 sponsored offerings in the main convention program as well as in our Hospitality Suite at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. A summary of both programs will shortly be posted in our news and events page .

Membership Chairperson, Richard Bargdill, who keeps the Division 32 member numbers growing, and cultivates engagement with students, offers an update on Membership news.

Given our focus this year on diversity, Ed Mendelowitz writes his column, Humanitas , on musical genius Charles Mingus, a man of radical tensions, contradictions and manifold talents. Mingus was, technically, a mix of many races (his paternal grandmother was Swedish and his maternal grandmother was of Chinese descent) and sometimes referred to himself as a "mongrel" or "outcast." “The brilliance that arose out of the teeming antimonies,” says Mendelowitz, “makes for a fascinating study, perhaps even talisman, of diversity, integration, paradox and high art -- a veritable ‘posterperson' for our SHP division theme”.

Two great men who personified both the art and science of Humanistic Psychology passed away this year, leaving us with broken hearts, but also with a living legacy which continues to thrive in their respective extraordinary bodies of work. Those who worked with and were mentored by Humanistic Psychology founder, Clark Moustakas, remember him as a firebrand, who was committed to the study of “experience” and discovering the “essence” of being-in-the-world. Saybrook Professor and scholar, Eugene Taylor is remembered by Mark Stern, who first posted this loving memorial of Eugene on the Division 32 Google Group listserv. From the same source, poems in memoriam for Eugene are graciously offered by Tom Greening.

As we toil in our own professional and personal patches of soil, nurturing the seeds of Humanistic Psychology, and join together as a diverse and rich human community, we will continue to describe, define, and strengthen the foundation of humanistic-existential values and what it means to be alive.