Track: Transpersonal Psychology, Psychotherapy and Clinical Studies
Using Conventional Research Methods to Explore Nonconventional Topics in Transpersonal Psychology
An academic discipline is primarily defined by three parameters: its subject matter, the explanatory frameworks within its canon, and its approach to methodology. Over the fifty years since the inauguration of Transpersonal Psychology, its focus on the subject of psychological
aspects of spirituality and mystical states has become less of a delineating feature in view of the growing interest in these topics from other branches of psychology. As a consequence, the importance of the explanatory frameworks and approaches to methodology for the future of
Transpersonal Psychology has increased. In this Panel, the presenters will explore the extent to which scientific methods and explanatory models are consistent with the envisioned future of transpersonal psychology. Creative tensions may be discerned around issues such as the
researcher’s detachment from the issues being researched; the extent to which the method is seen as instrumental in the transformation of the researcher and participants; and whether or not constructs that challenge a materialistic ontology should be incorporated in explanatory
Harris Friedman, PhD, is retired Research Professor of Psychology at University of Florida, Professor Emeritus of Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology at Saybrook University, and Distinguished Professor of Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He teaches on the core faculty at Goddard College, supervises dissertations at several universities, and practices clinical and organizational psychology. He has written extensively on transpersonal psychology, cultural change, and research methods. He has over 200 professional publications, many in top mainstream psychology and general science journals, and his recent books include Transcultural Competence (American Psychological Association, 2015), The Praeger Handbook of Social Justice and Psychology (3 volumes; 2014), and The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Transpersonal Psychology (2013). He is Associate Editor of The Humanistic Psychologist and Senior Editor of the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. He is now completing Transpersonal Psychology in Practice (2 volumes; Praeger). He is Life Member and Fellow in 6 American Psychological Association divisions, and recently received its Humanistic Psychology Division’s “Abraham Maslow Award” (“for an outstanding and lasting contribution to the exploration of the farther reaches of human spirit”). He serves on the boards of both the Association for Transpersonal Psychology and the International Transpersonal Association.