East West Psychology

The East-West Psychology Department offers two degree programs, as well as two certificates for currently enrolled students:

East-West Psychology (EWP) is a multidisciplinary department concerned with the meeting of Eastern, Western, and  Indigenous psychological and spiritual traditions, practices, and worldviews. Approaching cross-cultural encounters in the spirit of dialogical pluralism, cultural sensitivity, mutual transformation, and open inquiry, we actively explore the implications of this convergence for our diverse, changing, and multicultural world.

As an academic field, EWP constitutes a larger context for many disciplines that explore the interface of psychology and spirituality, including:

·         Transpersonal and integral psychology

·         Asian psychologies

·         Modern consciousness studies

·         Participatory and socially engaged spirituality

·         Depth psychology (Jungian, archetypal, and psychoanalytic)

·         Religious comparative studies

·         Shamanic studies

·         Spiritual and entheogenically assisted counseling

·         Ecopsychology.

Through its unique combination of cognitive and experiential offerings, the department grounds academic excellence and the acquisition of professional skills in both the personal transformation of students and the cultivation of a spiritually informed scholarship. Graduates deliver their skills to a world yearning for new sources of meaning and value rooted in both modern deep psychologies and ancient spiritual traditions.

Statement of Diversity:

East-West Psychology began as an intercultural dialogue in 1975 between the Indian philosopher and academic Haridas Chaudhuri and the Western integral psychologist Kimberly McKell. Since then, "East-West" has moved from being a literal bridge between Asian and Western thought and practice into a metaphor that signals respectful conversation (vs. appropriation) among different cultures, traditions, and worldviews-a conversation in service of personal and collective scholarship, reflection, and transformation.

Our use of "East-West" honors the department's historical legacy while fostering understanding of how one's socio-cultural background and experience influence attitudes, values, and biases about culture, religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, and inclusivity. Awareness of personal inner diversity and social complexity makes us both teachers and students, ever more sensitive to our richly diverse world and its marginalized populations. Learn more about the founding and history of EWP here.

How has studying in EWP helped students and alums further their career goals? Hear what some students and alums are saying:

To learn more about how CIIS supports students' professional development visit the Career and Community Engagement Center.

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