By James Martin, CIIS Director of Communications August 30, 2016

CIIS President Joseph Subbindo at 10th Annual Psychologists Conference of ChinaCIIS President Joseph L. Subbiondo and Somatic Psychology Professor Don Hanlon Johnson brought CIIS and its unique educational vision to Beijing, where they were featured speakers at the 10th Annual Psychologists Conference of China on August 12. During the opening ceremony President Subbiondo delivered the keynote speech, Integral Education and Integral Psychology. The speech addressed the meaning of integral education by illustrating its history and development, and gave a brief history of CIIS and its academic programs.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to open the conference by introducing the integral visions of Sri Aurobindo, Haridas Chaudhuri, and Ken Wilber. Given the attraction of Chinese psychologists to the models of practice taught at CIIS, I focused on the impact of our theory of integral education on the development of integral psychology," said Subbiondo.

On August 13th, Professor Johnson participated in a symposium that was attended by more than 200 people. Johnson also led two workshops on somatic psychology at the conference with 150 people in attendance. The workshops were structured around the impact of psychotherapy on four bodily processes: breathing, touching, sensing, and moving. The educational workshops also allowed attendees to experience the effectiveness of somatic psychotherapy first-hand.

CIIS Professor Don Hanlon Johnson at the 10th Annual Psychologists Conference of China

"The overall experience was something of a return to my origins of creating the Somatic Psychology program at CIIS, before there was a highly regulated and 

defined degree and certification when many of us were exploring the profound implications of transformative body practices for creating a saner and more peaceful world." said Johnson.

During the conference, President Subbiondo was interviewed by reporters from two influential Chinese media outlets that allowed him to introduce CIIS and integral education to new audiences in China. He spoke with Hui, a reporter from Jin Ri TouTiao (TouTiao), an online social media platform in China whose name translates to "Daily News Highlights." Founded in 2012, TouTiao is one of the most-viewed outlets in China with more than 55 million active users daily.

Hui's article began with the assertion that interdisciplinary curriculum originated from Euro-American cultures, and that a new type of psychology, Integral Psychology, is now growing in China. According to Hui, CIIS is driving the development of this new field in China. As an example, he points to the collaborations CIIS has with several famous Chinese universities, including Zhejiang University, which promotes integral education in China. In the article, President Subbiondo highlights that integral education focuses on connecting eastern and western perspectives, addressing human development and the growth of the individual to structure the human-centered pedagogy of body-mind-spirit education.

Hui illustrated the rising interest in integral psychology with the example of Yiming Chen, an executive at Google in China, who has explored body-mind-spirit education in his own enterprise. At the end of the article, Hui introduced the new combined Master's and Doctorate Anthropology degree that is a collaboration between CIIS and Zhejiang University. Students in this new program (set to launch in fall 2017) will receive funding for one year of study in China, and in addition to a PhD from CIIS, will receive a Master's degree from Zheziang University.

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President Subbiondo also discussed the integration of eastern and western cultures with reporter Xiaoyu Miao from the popular China Youth Online (CYOL). Established in 2002, CYOL serves as the online edition of China Youth Daily, the first independently operated news portal in China. Based in Mainland China, CYOL's audience is comprised of young adults, with a daily combined print and online audience of 2 million. Subbiondo observed that American psychologists and philosophers have increasingly been looking to eastern cultures, as evidenced by the growing popularity of yoga, Buddhism, and Taoism in the US. The article goes on to point out the rising influence and presence of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapy in the world, including the media attention paid to the circular red spots seen on the back and shoulders of gold medalist Michael Phelps during the Rio Summer Olympics, which were the result of the TCM practice of cupping. President Subbiondo concluded the interview by discussing the current partnership between CIIS and Chinese universities, including Zhejiang University and South China Normal University.

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