Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Call for Student papers: Sidney M. Jourard Student Award Symposium

The Executive Board of Division 32 has committed itself to continuing the tradition of a Student Award Symposium as part of our main convention program at each year's convention.  We want to continue to provide a rich opportunity for students of Humanistic Psychology to contribute to and become involved in the community of Division 32.  Students are welcome to submit papers from undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels of work. We try to make a place for papers of high quality at any level, so undergraduates should not feel hesitant to apply. We do not accept co-authored submissions:  all paper must represent the student’s own individual work. (Recognition of faculty mentoring for Jourard submissions can be acknowledged in a footnote.) Students whose papers are selected for this award symposium will be given a free membership in the Society of Humanistic Psychology for one year, including subscription to our journal The Humanistic Psychologist.

Please submit a 500-750 word summary along with a word doc of the entire paper for consideration to our program committee.  (The summary should be placed within the document where an abstract would normally go.) In your submission you should indicate the college, university, or graduate institute where the work was completed as your institutional affiliation, along with your highest level of awarded degree (e.g., do not list any degree for which you are a candidate). Your title should be limited to 10 words. Please also include your full contact information along with your APA membership status at the end of the document. The actual presentations will be approximately 12 minutes in duration. Please send your submission to Jourard Chair Dr. Scott Churchill at bonobo@udallas.edu with copy to the Awards Chair Dr. Susan Gordon at susan.gordon@snet.net.

Work submitted for consideration should not have been previously published or presented at another national or regional conference. To be a candidate for the Jourard in 2014 you must be a student in the year of the 2014 convention.  (It is okay if you graduate in the spring of 2014; but we are not accepting applications from individuals who graduated in 2013 or earlier.)

The absolute deadline for submission is January 2, 2014.  A committee will review and select the finalists from all of those papers submitted by that date.  All students will be notified of the outcome of the review process by early February of 2013. 

Please note: The submission of a paper is considered to be a professional commitment by the author to attend the conference and to present the paper if the paper is chosen for the award. Please do not submit papers for consideration for the Jourard unless you are 100% committed to attending the convention and presenting your work.

Also please be aware that any member of APAGS (American Psychological Association of Graduate Students) who is presenting as first author within any symposium or paper/poster session at APA will have his/her advance registration fee waived.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Experience of Joy: Interview with Brent Robbins

The following is an interview in the magazine, The Point:

Visit your favorite bookstore, in person or online, and search for titles about depression; more than 21,000 are on Amazon.com. Now look for titles about feeling joy; 158 are on Amazon. What makes you joyful? Is it similar for everyone? How do you attain joy? Questions like these, and the lack of research, led Brent Robbins, Ph.D., director of Point Park’s psychology program, to begin to study “joy” in 1998. He completed his dissertation on it, has been exploring the subject ever since, and is writing a book to (ultimately) help people find it. The Point talked with Dr. Robbins about his research.

What prompted you to study joy?

BR: In my first-year doctoral program, this 21-year-old woman comes in. When it’s the first day, you ask what the presenting problem is: ‘What brings you here?’ First thing out of her mouth was ‘I don’t have any joy in my life.’ That was how she presented her problem. My first thought was, I never heard that before. My second thought was, I don’t know what you are supposed to do in therapy to help people find joy. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders doesn’t say anything about joy deficit disorder. There’s depression, there’s anxiety disorders, there’s schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, but nothing about joy. There’s nothing about how to have a better life, how to build your strengths. It’s all about how to get rid of symptoms.

Given that your research was just beginning, how did you ultimately help your patient?

: I went back to this person and asked her, ‘What do you imagine joy would be and what do you think you need to do in order to find it?’ We started to explore that. In that case, it was a two-year process where her symptoms in the beginning of her therapy ultimately led her to the realization that she wanted to have a child. She wanted to be a mother, but she didn’t feel like she was worthy of being a mother. That was all unconscious. In the beginning she wasn’t explicitly aware of that, but we worked through all that; she decided that’s what she wanted to do. Her desire to have joy in her life was to have a little one. That’s what it was for her; maybe it would be different for somebody else.

What have you learned in your research to define joy?

BR: Joy seems to include both elation on one hand and relaxed serenity on the other. When you ask people to describe times when they felt joy, you get something along that continuum. Some people talk about hanging out with friends by the campfire, feeling at home, relaxed and at peace. Others talk about the buildup in tension: the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl or they’re walking with their boyfriend and he turns around and proposes suddenly. There’s this tension, then ‘boom,’ the surprise, and then there’s elation. They are not thinking about what’s coming next, they’re not thinking about what’s happened. They’re completely in that present moment.

You described one aspect of the feeling of joy as fecundity. Explain that.

BR: It has this sense of plentifulness. There is so much to see, so much to feel in this moment. It will never end. It will always be enough, and I never need anything more than what I’m having right now. That’s fecundity, and that’s a core thematic element of joy. It’s all throughout the experiences of joy.

You believe there is a connection between meditation and joy?

BR: Depression and anxiety is almost the antithesis of joy. It’s when people get caught up in their thoughts. When people describe doing meditation, and having those moments of feeling fully present in the moment, it’s almost indistinguishable from what people describe when they talk about joy, especially the serene version of joy. Really what people are looking for, when they’re looking to be healed of their suffering, is not so much getting rid of their symptoms but to cultivate a life of joy.

You stated, “If joy becomes a goal in and of itself, it becomes strangely elusive.” Why?

BR: It goes back to the time consciousness of joy, the temporality of joy. It’s about being present in the moment. A goal is something that’s happening in the future. So if you say, ‘I’m going to work on having joy in the future,’ you’re already out of the present moment.

Can someone be joyful alone?

BR: Yes, very much so. We were just doing joy experiences in my Methods class, and one of the students was talking about dancing in the rain by herself, a wonderful image. When people have a state of joy, they feel emotionally connected to people in their lives, even when they’re not physically present. That’s an important distinction. You can experience joy when you’re physically alone, but I think it’s really hard to feel it when you’re lonely. And you can be lonely in a room full of people.

You also noted, for adults, joy is rare. Why?

BR: I think what happens is when you’re an adult, you have a lot of responsibilities; you have children, you have jobs. At any particular moment in time, it’s very difficult to be fully present in the moment because there’s always something else that needs to be done.

Tell me about the book you are working on.

BR: It’s tentatively titled The Joyful Life - An Existential, Humanistic Approach to Positive Psychology. The goal of that is really to provide guidelines for people on what kinds of lives people live who really experience a lot of joy in their life. What does it look like, so you can know if you already have it; then you can just appreciate that you have it. If you don’t, you have some idea about what you’re shooting for. There will be information about how to get that; how to get from where you are to a more joyful life.

What gives you joy?

BR: My sons, my wife. Having kids can be the most stressful moments of our lives, but it’s also the moments of the greatest joy. Also, I’m a spiritual person, and I have a relationship with God. It’s in my deepening relationship with God that I think I have some of my greatest joys. It’s not politically correct sometimes to talk about your relationship with God, but it’s important for me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Election Results

Dear All,

Please join me to welcome the following individuals who have been elected to the Division 32, Society for Humanistic Psychology Executive Board:


Louis Hoffman


Brent Robbins

Member at Large:

Susan Gordon

Donna Rockwell

Runner-up presidential candidate

Krishna Kumar

We had a very strong pool of candidates this year and I only regret that not everyone could be elected.

Thanks to everyone who was willing to run!

Louise Sundararajan
President, Society for Humanistic Psychology

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Call for Nominations

Nominations for the Society for Humanistic Psychology/Division 32 are now being accepted for the following elected positions: President-Elect, Secretary, and 2 Members at Large. Division members are invited to submit nominations for any member (including self nominations) to Sara K. Bridges, Immediate Past President, Chair of the Elections committee 2010, through the nominations e-mail address div32nominations@gmail.com. All nominations must be received by December 1st for evaluation by the elections committee.

Please include the following information when you send your nomination to div32nominations@gmail.com:

- Name
- Contact Information
- Qualifications

The elections committee will forward the top candidates to the Executive Board, who will select the final slate of candidates. Any candidate who has been nominated by 5% of the membership will automatically be placed on the final slate of candidates for the full membership vote. Remember the deadline is December 1st!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology: Meeting in San Diego

One Week from Today:

An invitation to help make history: Come to the organization meeting for:

The Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology
At the annual meetings of APA, San Diego
Date: August 15
Time: Sunday morning , 10-12
Place: Columbia Room 2 on the lobby level, San Diego Marriott Hotel

It is time to chart the course for this new adventure, to envision our potentials, and to deliberate on the means of realization. Broad participation is essential. We are now poised, as well, to officially become part of Division 5 of APA. However, the Society will not only be a section within this Division, but a stand-alone organization in itself. So, please, come and add your voice to the conversation.

Ken Gergen Ruthellen Josselson Mark Freeman

PS: Bring a friend!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Division 32 Election Results

Big congratulations to the following individuals who have been elected to the Division 32, Society for Humanistic Psychology Executive Board:

President-elect: David N. Elkins, PhD

Treasurer: Thérèse Laferrière, EdD

Member-at-Large: Kevin P. Keenan, PhD, and David G. Lukoff, PhD

Council Representative: Frank Farley, PhD

We had a very strong pool of candidates this year and I only regret that not everyone could be elected.

Thanks to everyone who was willing to run!


Sara K. Bridges, Ph.D.
President Society for Humanistic Psychology, Div 32 of APA
Associate Professor
The University of Memphis

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Call for Papers: On Corpses


Special Issue: On Corpses

Guest Editors: Natalie Alvarez, Athena Colman, Rajiv Kaushik

The body has become a site of active critical inquiry in a variety of disciplines. For some thinkers, the body is a discursively inscribed locus of materialities. For others, however, the body has an originary presence that exceeds its discursivity. For this special issue of Janus Head, we wish to investigate the ways in which the corpse articulates, challenges, or limits current theories of embodiment. We are looking for papers that investigate such questions as: Is a corpse still implicated in the same nexus as a material body or has it in some way slipped outside of its everydayness? What does the corpse show or reveal anew to us? How do we encounter the corpse? Does the encounter with the corpse present to me the death of an-other or, acting as a memento mori, does it force my own death upon me? What is the body's relationship to its own death? What is the status of scientific and medical discourses in relation to the corpse? We are particularly interested in the following themes as they relate to the corpse: performativity, the uncanny, in-visibility, anxiety, disgust, the abject, decay, decrepitude, temporality, narrative, metaphor, etc. We welcome papers that investigate these themes from the perspective of various backgrounds: critical theory, psychoanalysis, comparative literature, medical sciences, performance theory, phenomenology, art history, etc.

Deadline for submissions is June 1, 2009. Articles can be sent by email to Rajiv Kaushik at rkaushik@brocku.ca or mailed to:

Rajiv Kaushik

Department of Philosophy

Brock University

500 Glenridge Avenue

St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

L2S 3A1