An Existential Crisis about Existential Psychology
July 8, 2008 11:54 AM   Subscribe

What are some rigorous existential or humanistic psychology Ph.d. programs?

I have finished the first year of my Masters at the New School for Social Research, and I am somewhat dissatisfied with the course of my education. I am interested in a psychology that more strongly embraces its philosophical origins. That doesn't reduce the study of human beings to being the same as the rest of the natural world, simply a matter of statistical analysis. We can think, love, have a sense of self, identity. Argh, I sound lame even to myself, but you get the drift. Do you guys have any suggestions for graduate programs? If it matters, I went to St. John's College for undergraduate and studied western philosophy. My ultimate goal after I get my Ph.d. is to be a private practice therapist.
posted by amileighs to Education (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Seattle University has an existential phenomenological psychology MA. My fiancee did her degree there and enjoyed it, though in retrospect has some questions about how well it equipped her for work in the field. It was excellent for theory, though. From her experience, most people in her program wanting to do a PhD went on to Duquesne. You could probably enroll directly in that PhD program without doing the MA first.
posted by ga$money at 12:19 PM on July 8, 2008

You might take a look at the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. It might be a little too abstract for your intended profession, but it seems pretty open about its intentions.
posted by rabbitsnake at 1:10 PM on July 8, 2008

Get in touch with Irvin Yalom. He is no longer teaching, but is still active in all of what you're looking for. While Yalom is a psychiatrist, he is the living master of existential psychotherapy. He watches, with dismay, as psychiatry has become a field dominated by psychopharmacology - losing its roots. Those psychiatric roots have mostly fallen into the field of psychotherapy in its varied forms. I hope I'm on the same page with you - if so, you'll find Yalom and the linked site on existential psychotherapy to be extremely valuable.
posted by Gerard Sorme at 4:03 PM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sorry for the double-post but I meant to link to an interview with Yalom here. I should also apologize if this is something you already know all about; you may know more than me! Yet, I am astounded how many 'in the field,' are unacquainted with even the basics of existential psychology and the importance of philosophy in the underpinnings of psychotherapy.

Good luck!
posted by Gerard Sorme at 4:13 PM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

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