Humanistic thought holds that people are active agents in a process of constantly engaging their humanity, instead of passive mechanisms or parts upon which doctors, workplaces, and systems act.
Humanistic thought holds that people cannot be reduced to components, but instead are whole beings, with intrinsic dignity, whose subjective experiences must be valued.
To really understand people, you can't look at an MRI image. You can't look at a test score. You can't refuse to talk about anything except "behavior." Deep down, we all know that.
To really understand people, you have to grapple with emotions; with love, with desire, with anger, with fear. You have to deal with aspirations: with hope, with ambition, with self-actualization.
To really understand people, you have to look at the systems they participate in, the cultures they come from, and the way their internal worlds connect with the collective structures around them.
Throughout the history of ideas, many movements have refused to do this because the human experience is rich and troublesome, messy and complex. They have sought to use methods that offer yes-or-no answers, and in so doing tried to reduce people to charts and binary functions. People are economic actors, or the sum of their political decisions, their faith community, or the neurotransmitters running through their brains - and nothing more.
The humanistic perspective emerged out of a movement to approach people as they truly are, and to try to understand them on their own terms. It asks the big questions - what is the human spirit? What binds us together? What does it mean to be alive? - because these are the questions that many people are trying to answer.
A humanistic university not only encourages students to ask those questions, in a meaningful way that is relevant to their lives and work, but teaches that way; treating its students as unique individuals with unique talents, passions, and life's work, rather than as cookie-cutter "customers" to be loaded up with pre-fab knowledge and sent along. A humanistic university empowers students to make choices that are relevant and meaningful, and teaches them how to take their lives and careers to the next level. A humanistic university believes that education and service go hand in hand, and that results can best be measured by the way they improve the lives of real people. It focuses on qualitative research as much as quantitative, on human potential as much as profit, and on spirit as much as mind.
Saybrook is one of the world's leading centers for scholarship in the humanistic tradition. The Journal of Humanistic Psychology, one of the movement's leading publication, has always been edited by a Saybrook faculty member.
Today, Saybrook University's mission, vision, and programs remain grounded in a belief in human potential and the conviction that all human beings are capable of personal growth and achieving higher states of consciousness.
A study published in the journal Music and Medicine featured a successful project that used music therapy with palliative (or hospice) care. Sandi Curtis, professor at Concordia University Department of Creative Arts, pulled together professional musicians to work alongside music therapists to provide 101 terminally ill individuals ranging in age from 18-101 years old with single music therapy sessions that lasted between 15 to 60 minutes.
The goal of the intervention was to relieve the pain, encourage relaxation, increase quality of life and improve mood. The results were positive, so positive that a few of the families and participants requested music be played at the time that they died. Music soothed the soul during one of the most deeply soulful and spiritual points in life.
Every individual has a unique role and influence in the world that can be realized through their life’s work.
Saybrook’s College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies helps you find your passion, prepare for your career, and engage with the world to make it a better place.
The premier graduate university for education in humanistic psychology; a cutting edge pioneer in the study of organizational systems; and the only American university offer accredited degrees in Human Science (the European tradition of social sciences) – Saybrook’s College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies (PHS) offers a truly unique opportunity to advance one’s life’s work through humanistic study, scholarship, and activism.
PHS degrees are offered in low-residency programs, allowing students to study while remaining in their careers and without relocating. Students are required to attend a small number of Residential Conference each year for workshops, seminars, training, and intensives – and otherwise can complete coursework online.
PHS offers the following degrees:
- MA Psychology
- MA Psychology, specializing in Creativity Studies
- MA Psychology, specializing in Jungian Studies
- MA Psychology, specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
- PhD Psychology
- PhD Psychology, specializing in Clinical Psychology
- PhD Psychology, specializing in Jungian Studies
- MA Organizational Systems
- MA Organizational Systems, specializing in Leadership of Sustainable Systems
- PhD Organizational Systems
Students in any PHS program have the option of choosing a concentration in one of the following areas:
- Consciousness and Spirituality
- Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology
- Integrative Health Studies
- Organizational Systems
- Social Transformation
Saybrook offers 11 certificates to non-degree students and to degree students seeking to enhance their education.
To earn a certificate, students need to complete four 3-credt certificate courses, one 3-credit practicum course, and a 1-credit integrative paper that ties course study and research together. Students will earn 16 units by completing a certificate. When appropriate, Saybrook students can transfer credits earned through a certificate towards their degree program.
Saybrook offers certification in the following areas:
- Building a Sustainable World
- Community Health and Development
- Creativity Studies
- Dream Studies
- Expressive Arts for Healing and Social Change
- Existential-Humanistic Therapy
- Jungian Studies
- Leading Organizational Transformation
- Organizational Consulting
- Peace and Conflict Resolution (International Focus)
- Violence Prevention and Response
Researchers Simine Vazire and Erika Carlson explore this self-defining issue in an article published in the Current Directions in Psychological Science. (This study is actually a follow up to their 2010 study which was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology).
In their 2011 piece, Vazire and Carlson suggest others have a better picture of who we are than we do. Why? Apparently we have a blind spot that is a result of what they refer to as “motivated cognitive process” in other words at some level we are motivated to not see all that we are. Those motivations can be conscious or unconscious, seen or hidden.
They suggest that we have a better concept of who we are internally, meaning we can tell what’s going on inside whether anger, anxiety or optimism. On the other hand, others have a better view of the external picture of us. For example, a good friend may tell you that you give off a confident energy when you may not believe that you do. According to this research your friend is probably right. But they are probably not picking up on what is going on inside you – all of that anxiety behind the confidence. This doesn’t mean the confidence is not there. It means that both are present and part of your experience.
Vazire research shows that across the board, others are able to give accurate impressions of one another: but here are exceptions.
How you talk can make or break you. In fact, there is an entire science devoted to improving face-to-face communication – and it suggests that flawed communication is a major source of relationship distress and demise.
In Is Your Communication Style Affecting Your Relationship for Better or for Worse?, Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter suggests that conversational styles and patterns in relationships are a major source of clandestine stress. Dr. Bourg Carter contends that many relationships and communications involve parties who are essentially speaking “a different language” depending on their level of directness, assertiveness, and compassion.
Dr. Bourg Carter is among many psychologists who suggest the importance of effective face-to-face communication for relationships and interpersonal fulfillment. It’s long been suggested that communication depends on the on “skill sets” or “talk habits” in one’s conversational repertoire.
In The Talk Book: The Intimate Science of Communicating in Close Relationships, author Dr. Gerald Goodman explores the skill sets needed for improved communication, transformed relationships, and fulfilled interpersonal relations. Dr. Goodman purports that changing six talking habits will transform all facets of your life.
Here’s some suggestions:
A new organizational framework was announced for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Published by the American Psychiatric Association, it’s the book doctors look at to decide if you’re crazy and what medicine to prescribe for it. It may or may not be accurate – but it’s a big deal.
The newest version, now scheduled for May 2013, is proposing to restructure previous categories and chapters to reflect scientific advancements and hypothesized.
Sounds good, but there’s one big problem: the DSM has always been flawed, and the proposed DSM-5 looks to be no better.
The flaw is that it tries very hard to figure out symptoms, but no time at all trying to understand people.
There’s no empirical validation to this approach … and it’s packed with conflicts of interest to the drug companies who benefit each time a new symptom is deemed “treatable” by drugs.
Have you ever wondered what that’s like?
Hearing voices or “auditory hallucinations” is the one aspect that
The Saybrook Alumni Association Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies Alumni Dinners Texas Dallas - May 7 - Breakfast Austin - May 7 - Dinner Colorado - In Planning Denver - June 18 Dinner Colorado Springs - June 19 Lunch Hawaii - July - Dates To Be Announced Honolulu Mauii Big Island RSVP SaybrookAlumniAssociation@Saybrook.edu or call 415-394-5968
Alumnus Robert E. McCarthy, PhD '03 Recently Appointed to the National Executive Advisory Board of the American Psychotherapy Association.05/04/2011
Alumnus Robert E. McCarthy, PhD '03 was recently appointed to the National Executive Advisory Board of the American Psychotherapy Association.
Alumna Jean Millay, PhD '78 was Invited to Discuss Her New Book at the Foundation for Mind/Being Research05/04/2011
Saybrook graduate Jean Millay, PhD ('78) was invited to discuss her book -RADIANT MINDS: Scientists Explore the Dimensions of Consciousness - at the April 22nd meeting of the Foundation for Mind/Being Research. www.fmbr.org The book is an Anthology of the Parapsychology Research Group, with 55 authors participating. Jean's main topic involved the suggestion that there may be a 5th...