Annual conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology

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The Fifth Annual Conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology, Division 32 of the American Psychological Association will take place March 29 – April 1, 2012. The theme of this year’s conference is Person, Consciousness and Community: The Experiential Revolution in Humanistic, Existential, Constructivist and Transpersonal Theory and Practice.

The conference is hosted by Point Park University in Pittsburgh and the div32 logo header - Annual conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology

Although person, consciousness and community can be considered discrete entities, our conference theme indicates a confluence and co-creating emergence of this tripartite. We do need each other and we are, to some extent, of each other; and yet, each of us are unique, our agency and individuality honored. Our attempt then is to carefully walk Martin Buber’s narrow bridge which is an intermediate journey (avoiding extremism and polarization) toward recognition, appreciation and empowerment of others, all others, as well as the community we build together. And so, we hope that many of the presentations will foster interdisciplinary bridges that allow us all to be deeply moved by the alterity, creativity, values and ideas of others. The aforesaid is a utopian vision of invitation and possibility and not of certainty and completeness. A utopia for the community is a hermeneutics of love and a transformation of consciousness, and as such, love comes forward as the structure by which we evaluate our theories about, and interventions with others.

The title of the conference, “Person, Consciousness and Community,” is intended to encourage presentations that address theoretical and practical applications that emerge from a conception of the person as a being that is situated in a community of others; in which personhood means person-in-relation-to-others; and in which consciousness is situated neither in the person nor in the community, but enacted in the relation of self and other. When we start with a humanistic understanding of the person, it changes how we think about our practices. We want presentations that articulate how humanistic practices flow from the stance that human beings are in communion with others.

What does it mean to be person? Does this notion of the person include an understanding of consciousness? Is this a consciousness that includes the possibility of relation to others? And, given the answer to the preceding questions, what are the implications for humanistic practices?

For more information on attending the conference, please visit the website.

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