East-West Psychology

Community and Academic Life

Community and Academic Life

Community building is central to the pedagogical approach of the Department of East-West Psychology. During the fall semester of each year, new students take the course EWP Community Retreat, where they connect with their cohort's members. In addition, the department organizes a social gathering at the beginning of the fall semester for all students and faculty, as well as an End-of-the-Year Celebration and other social events (such as the Thanksgiving Dinner and MA Integrative Seminar presentations). EWP students and faculty come together for EWP Social Gatherings at different venues and actively interact through a EWP Chat Room, which is used also for housing opportunities and academic discussion. EWP students are also supported to organize other community-building activities such as discussion groups (such as the ongoing doctoral research colloquium) or student retreats (with financial support from the department).

EWP students are invited to attend doctoral dissertation defenses, as well as Special Evening Lectures sponsored by the department every semester. During 2010-12, for example, the department invited Prof. Anne Carolyn Klein to speak on "How Wisdom Dawns: Stories, Images, and Illumination from Tibet," Prof. Brian L. Lancaster on "Kabbalah, the Divine Feminine, and the Christian Shadow: Critical Phases in the Rise of Transpersonal Psychology," Prof. David Loy on "Healing Ecology: A Buddhist Response to the Environmental Crisis," the shaman-therapist Francoise Bourzat on "Traditional Mushroom Ceremony in Transpersonal Counseling," Dr. Christopher Ryan on "Sex at Dawn: The Evolutionary Origins of Human Sexuality," and Dr. Beatriz Labate on "The Internationalization of Ayahuasca," among others.

EWP students and graduates are coached by the faculty to present at professional conferences and publish their work in scholarly journals and publishing houses. Every spring the department organizes an EWP Student Symposium: The Many Voices of East-West Psychology, which features students' presentations of their work in progress. During the last two academic years, with the support of the EWP Scholarship Program, EWP students presented in professional conferences such as the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, the American Psychological Association (APA) Annual Convention, the Society of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology Meeting (APA Division 24), ITP Conference on Spirituality and Psychology, International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology, the International Conference on Expressive Arts (Lima, Peru), and the Daimonic Imagination Conference (University of Kent, UK), among many others.

In addition, EWP students recently published articles in journals such as Asian Philosophy, Journal of Analytical Psychology, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, Psychosis, ReVision, Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology, Journal of East-West Psychology, Journal of Child and Family Studies, and Somatics, as well as became Associate Managing Editors and Book Review Editors with the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. In recent years, EWP students were winners of numerous scholarships in support of their research, including the Cultural Integration Fellowship scholarship, the Esalen scholarship, the Kranske scholarship, and the Baumann scholarship. (For more information about our community's professional achievements, see "EWP Academic News" and "Students and Alums," where this information is regularly posted and updated).