Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Psychology woo at Columbia U.

"Merging Spirituality and Clinical Psychology at Columbia."

Mainstream psychology programs traditionally exist in the realm of academic language and empirical fact, keeping the supernatural at arm’s length. But in January, Columbia began a spirituality concentration in its clinical psychology master’s program, and last month, the university created a broader program, the Spirituality and Mind-Body Institute, to conduct research and host colloquia.

There were already institutes around the country — like the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and Sofia University, until last month known as the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, in Palo Alto, Calif. — teaching from similar perspectives, as well as faith-based universities that teach psychology in particular religious contexts. But Columbia is the first Ivy League university to develop a master’s concentration in spiritual psychology.

...They say their teaching is rooted in, among other things, Buddhist meditation and philosophy, the work of Carl Jung, “ancient-Judeo-Christian traditions” and insights drawn from quantum physics.

“This takes it beyond simply the analytics of physics and says that love is in the fabric of the universe,” Dr. Miller said, sounding more Deepak Chopra than Freud. “We can grow healthy and move past suffering if we don’t simply look at ourselves as isolated but look at ourselves as part of the greater consciousness of love.”

The opening bit about the grad student, Buddhist singing bowl, and homeless men reads like satire. Offensive on so many levels.

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