Faculty & Staff  |  Current Students

Online | News | Calendar | Directory | Library | Give

School of Arts and Sciences

Annual Conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology

Thanks to all who attended and supported the Fifth Annual Conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology, Division 32 of the American Psychological Association held March 29 - April 1, 2012. We had approximately 250 attendees and the conference was a wonderful success!

Check out the video and web feature on the conference.


stock photo of Pittsburgh

Person, Consciousness and Community

The Experiential Revolution in Humanistic, Existential, Constructivist

and Transpersonal Theory and Practice 

Hosted by

Point Park University

and the Division 32 logo

Point Park University rightly prides itself on its academic, artistic and professional interrelationship
with its diverse urban community.
Our community sustains us, as we in turn nurture our community.

Conference Schedule

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.

As Bernard Lonergan wrote, "...transforming love has its occasions, its conditions, its cases. But once it comes and as long as it lasts, it takes over...There has been opened up a new world in which the old adage, 'Nothing is loved unless it is first known,' yields to the new truth, 'Nothing is truly known unless it is first loved.'"

NOTE: The title of our 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?

Presentations need not be deeply philosophical; we are striving for a balance of theory, research, and experiential processes.


Brent Dean Robbins, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, Point Park University, brobbins@pointpark.edu

Robert G. McInerney, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, Point Park University, rmcinerney@pointpark.edu


Keynote Speakers

Isaac Prilleltensky, Ph.D.

Constance Fischer, Ph.D. 

Robert Stolorow, Ph.D.


Martin Luther King's Vision of the Beloved Community and Humanistic Psychology: Common Ground

Invited Speakers:

  • Jennifer Selig, Ph.D.
  • Royal Alsup, Ph.D.
  • Nathaniel Granger, Jr., Psy.D.

Celebrating the Women of Humanistic Psychology

Constance T. Fischer, Ph.D., and other women who helped to shape the humanistic tradition of psychology will be honored during a special symposium.


  • Sara Bridges, Ph.D.
  • Myrtle Heery, Ph.D. 
  • Ilene Serlin, Ph.D. 
  • Louise Sundararajan, Ph.D.  

Richard Bargdill, Ph.D., University of Virginia Commonwealth. Please stay tuned for more details on this important event.

A Most Dangerous Manual: Division 32 Presidential Symposium


  • David N. Elkins, Ph.D.
  • Frank Farley, Ph.D.
  • Sarah R. Kamens, M.A.
  • Jonathan D. Raskin, Ph.D.
  • Brent Dean Robbins, Ph.D.
  • Donna Rockwell, Ph.D. will serve as panelists at this symposium

The Legacy of R.D. Laing


  • Brent Potter, Ph.D.
  • Theodor Itten, Ph.D.
  • Andrew Feldmar, Ph.D.
  • Allan Beveridge, Ph.D.
  • Miles Groth, Ph.D.
  • Dan Edmunds, Ph.D.
  • Daniel Burston, Ph.D.
  • Matt Stichman, Ph.D.
  • Murray Gordon, Ph.D. 

Drugging our Children: How Profiteers are Pushing Antipsychotics on our Youngest, and What We Can Do to Stop It

Drugging Our Children documents the impact of antipsychotics on children’s health and it spotlights the historical and cultural factors that have contributed to this dangerous trend. The role of the pharmaceutical industry in creating a child market for antipsychotics is exposed.

Invited speakers:

  • Jim Gottstein
  • Sharna Olfman, Ph.D.
  • Brent Dean Robbins, Ph.D.
  • Tony Stanton, M.D.

The Renaissance of Existential Therapy

This symposium features a dialogue between Kirk Schneider, Ph.D. and Robert Stolorow, Ph.D. and will be facilitated by David N. Elkins, Ph.D.

Invited speaker:

  • Kirk Schneider, Ph.D. 

How and Why to Treat Patients Without Psychiatric Drugs

This presentation will describe how psychiatric drugs really work by disabling brain function and producing Medication Spellbinding (Intoxication Anosognosia). The basic drug-induced malfunctions will be examined for various psychiatric drug groups, including antidepressants, benzodiazepines, stimulants, mood stabilizers and antipsychotic drugs.Longer-term hazards will also be examined including Chronic Brain Impairment and atrophy of the brain. Additionally, this presentation will aim at empowering therapists to treat patients, including those diagnosed bipolar and schizophrenic, or suicidal and violent, without resorting to psychiatric drugs or involuntary treatment.

Invited speaker:

  • Peter Breggin, M.D.