MA/PhD Psychology

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What does it mean to be human in the 21st century?

As a student in the Psychology degree program within the Department of Humanistic and Clinical Psychology at Saybrook University, you can tailor your experiential learning goals and courses to meet your individual needs and interests. You may select graduate courses from multiple areas for a broad base of knowledge, or select a specific group of professionally meaningful courses to address a particular concern. You also have the option to focus your Psychology degree with Certificates or Specializations if you wish to study specific topics in greater depth.

Graduates of the Psychology degree program in the Department of Humanistic and Clinical Psychology are successful as college faculty and authors, but our programs prepare you for more than a career in academia. Many of our graduates as well as faculty members are noteworthy social activists who pass on their professional experience and passion to their students. Many Saybrook students are now creative contributors in a variety of fields, and make significant contributions to our better understanding of human behavior from a humanistic perspective and to the alleviation of human suffering on many levels.

Our Psychology Ph.D. program provides you with the opportunity to build upon the foundation provided by an M.A. degree. It can be helpful if you want to enhance your counseling skills and already have attained licensure, if you seek work in the public or private sector, or if you wish to pursue a career in research and teaching. You are welcome to select from any of the Specializations listed at either the masters or doctoral level.

The Psychology degree program in the Department of Humanistic and Clinical Psychology specific boundaries to focus on such subjects as consciousness, spirituality, and integrative health; creativity studies; Jungian studies; existential, humanistic, and transpersonal psychology; and transformative social change. Discovery that is informed by a variety of disciplines and modes of inquiry can enliven your primary field of study and enrich the learning process. It is with this in mind that the Department of Humanistic and Clinical Psychology degree program has expanded the definition of the field to include not only human processes that occur at an intrapsychic level, but also those that occur within groups, communities, societies, and at the global level.

Our research and practice encourages the best in human qualities and activities while also adhering to rigorous scholastic standards. By producing humanistic scholars, researchers, and practitioners, the Psychology degree program offers interdisciplinary graduate education that crosses and merges many disciplines within the field of Psychology. Through such an approach, exploration of what it means to be human in the 21st century is expanded beyond traditional definitions of the field.

The uniqueness of the Department of Humanistic and Clinical Psychology degree program also lies in its heritage of humanistic, existential, transpersonal, and phenomenological inquiry. Key founders and early contributors to this tradition include such innovative thinkers as Carl Rogers, Rollo May, Abraham Maslow, James Bugental, Henry Murray, Viktor Frankl, Charlotte Buhler, and Virginia Satir. These and other leaders in humanistic and transpersonal psychology came together in the 1960s to challenge the dominant behaviorist and psychoanalytic theories and other models of inquiry into human experience. Today Saybrook faculty, alumni, and students continue to question, critique, and offer alternatives to many of the axioms of mainstream academic psychology and professional practice, including those of the now predominant bio-medical model. Through creativity, sound research, scholarly writing, and integrative professional practice, members of the Department of Humanistic and Clinical Psychology community keep alive the spirit of innovative and creative approaches to the increasingly complex issues of our times.

Their work offers a vital and emancipatory alternative to individuals, families, groups, and societies as they respond to human needs in an increasingly complex world. The emphasis of the course of study is on disciplined inquiry, scholarly research and writing, and the conceptualization of issues in Psychology within the framework of their philosophical, scientific, social, and political contexts, as well as practical “real world” implications. It is an alternative educational program committed to the study of human experience from multiple frameworks informed by this historical and evolving humanistic perspective.