Tthe Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association is sponsor of a special 2020 International Meaning Conference London (IMEC) that will be held on Saturday, July 25, 2020 from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM MST. This conference is completely online, so RMHCPA members can attend from the safety of their own home. The conference will focus on Facing COVID-19 and Beyond. This is a great opportunity to learn more about how to practice existential and humanistic therapy in the context of COVID-19.
Through our partnership with Meaning Online and IMEC, RMHCPA members can receive a discount to attend (approximately $12 USD). For RMHCPA Members, the price of the conference for is $48.79 USD (40 GDP) and for student members $24.39 USD (20 GDP). If using the RMHCPA discount, be sure that your membership is current.
It is with great sadness that I share with the Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association (RMCHPA) community the loss of one of our members. Nicole (Nikki) Hohl, PsyD, died on Tuesday April 7, 2020. She leaves behind a husband, 8 children, and 2 grandchildren. Nikki was not only a fellow RMCHPA member and colleague, but also was a supervisee of mine. I had the good fortune to be her very first supervisor in her first practicum. She arrived in practicum as a quiet and gentle person who did not say much, but when she did speak many times what she had to say was perceptive and thoughtful. As a new trainee she provided her clients with a space for exploration in a stillness that was filled with respect and safety. She started her training with some of the more difficult clients at the clinic and would hear from her cohort how “lucky” she was and how “brave” she was to be working with some of her clients. Nikki never saw her clients as difficult or that she was “brave.” She, in a very human way, saw her clients as those who needed someone to listen and be present in their pain. Our paths crossed again during her training and I had the opportunity to be her final supervisor at the end of her Psychology Internship at UCCS. Nikki continued to have a similar presence like she had at the beginning of her training—the kind of presence that created space for her clients to see themselves in a different way, a way that could create change for them. Through a compassionate approach, her clients felt cared for and supported while they experienced change. At the end of her training, she had become more confident and less quiet. It was if she had finally found her “pou sto” – gently hold a space for another.
Nikki was a wonderful clinician and knowledgeable psychologist and yet there were parts of her that even colleagues did not know. She married young, and she and her husband, married 31 years, had 8 wonderful children. While Nikki was in graduate school getting her doctorate in psychology, she was also homeschooling all 8 children. She became a published author of a fictional novel during graduate school. Nikki had a dream to go to graduate school, get her doctorate in psychology, and work in a private practice. She completed all her coursework, post-doctoral residency, and as of March 2020, became a licensed psychologist and opened her own private practice. She reached her goal! Those that knew her personally were richer for the experience and those that she helped along the way were given a gift. I will miss Nikki and am grieving the future we would have had as colleagues. I believe our profession will miss her still, gentle spirit of healing as well.
The Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association selected Sandy Sela-Smith to be the first recipient of the Humanistic Exemplar Award, which subsequently will be named after Dr. Sela-Smith. This award is given to individuals who embody the values of humanistic psychology in their personal and professional lives.
Dr. Sela-Smith is a therapist in Colorado and served as a faculty member at Saybrook University for many years. She developed Heuristic Self-Search Inquiry as a research method. This approach has been used by many students for their dissertations. Dr. Sela-Smith is currently finishing a book on the Heuristic Self-Search Inquiry. She has published several other books including The Meaning of Three: Under the Mask.
Dr. Sela-Smith taught at Saybrook University for many years and also served as an editor for Saybrook dissertations. In her teaching and editing, Dr. Sela-Smith developed impactful relationships with her students. As faculty member, Dr. Sela-Smith consistently encouraged reflection on how to respond to challenging situations in a manner consistent with humanistic values. Truly, Dr. Sela-Smith has lived and advocated for the the values of humanistic psychology.
A founding member of the Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association, Dr. Sela-Smith has been active in the organization and presented our annual conference. She continues her therapy practice and training from her home of Conifer, Colorado. More information about Dr. Sela-Smith is available at her website: http://www.infiniteconnections.us.
The award will be given to Dr. Sela-Smith at the Annual Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association Conference.
This past week, the humanistic and transpersonal psychology communities lost one of our long time leaders, Sue Wallingford. The Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association mourns her loss and wishes to express our condolences to the many family, friends, colleagues, students, and clients who cared deeply for Sue.
Sue was a professor at Naropa University for 25 years and served in many capacities, including as faculty member in both the graduate Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling and Transpersonal Art Therapy programs. Sue’s many accomplishments include founding the Naropa Community Art Studio-International and Partners for Social Justice, an organization that brought art therapy to international populations. For the last many years, Sue led international trips to Cambodia, bringing support to those impacted by domestic violence, poverty, and sex trafficking.
Sue was one of the authors in Shadows and Light: Theory, Research and Practice in Transpersonal Psychology edited by Kaklaukas, Clements, Hocoy and Hoffman (2019). Her chapter, “A Transpersonal Approach to Service-Learning: A Call to Right Action,” is a reflection on her Cambodian work. She grew up in Kentucky and always identified with her southern girl roots. She had a sweet drawl and was a tireless champion of diversity education, of personal growth, and learning to be a better person. For many years she and her students held 48 hour art events to raise money for the Cambodian trips or for other causes. Students would create matchbox artworks and sell them at auction parties they would host, of which many are owned & treasured by RMHCPA secretary & Sue’s dear friend, Carla Clements.
As wonderful and laudable as her accomplishments are, what was most important about Sue is her kind heart, gentle spirit, and fierce commitment to living from her authentic core. It was always Sue who volunteered to host gatherings at her beautiful home or take on the responsibility for creating a remembrance or celebration. She would provide art supplies (such as a basket and strips of cloth) that she would pass around the group circle, inviting everyone to tie some love or memory into the basket that would then become a gift to that person. She treated her students to magic and ritual as a way of initiation, both in and out of the program. Sue’s life was challenging these last few years, having lost both her mother and sister. The death of her son, Jayce, this past fall was devastating for her. She has been sharing the process of her grief on Facebook these few months–her writing and her art and it has been a gift to those who have witnessed her journey.
Sue’s work, influence and love live on in the spaces she created, such as Crowd Collective, a co-work studio, community workspace and small gallery. Sue is survived by her husband Jay, daughter Emma, daughter in law Janae, grand babies Zane & Ezra and the rest of the family she leaves behind.
RMHCPA will be offering a a workshop on Using Poetry to Facilitate Healing and Growth on Friday, February 28, 2020, in Colorado Springs. The workshop will be followed by a book release celebration for A Walk with Nature: Poetic Encounters that Nourish the Soul (Poetry, Healing, and Growth Series) edited by Michael Moats, Derrick Sebree, Jr., Gina Subia Belton, and Louis Hoffman. All nine books from the Poetry, Healing, and Growth series will be available for purchase at the event. For more information, visit the event page at: https://rmhcpa.org/using-poetry-to-facilitate-healing-and-growth-workshop/
It is time for members to renew memberships. If you joined before October 2019 and have not renewed your membership for 2020, we encourage you to do so soon. Our online store to renew memberships was temporary down for several days; however, it is now up and functioning again (https://rmhcpa.org/join/). I also wanted to mention a number of exciting updates:
Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association Institutional Review Board (IRB)
RMHCPA now has an officially registered Institutional Review Board (IRB). We are pleased to welcome Heather Miller as our new IRB chair. Dr. Miller has many years of experience chairing and serving on IRBs and also has contributed to the scholarly literature relevant to institutional review boards and research ethics. We are grateful to have her as our IRB Chair! Dr. Miller is in the process of establishing our policies and procedures for the IRB and preparing the new members of the IRB committee to begin reviews. RMHCPA members will be able to utilize the IRB at a substantially reduced rate. As independent IRBs tend to be expensive, this is an important new membership benefit. We will have more information available on our website in the coming months. If you have questions for the IRB, you can contact Dr. Miller at email@example.com.
Two New RMHCPA Institutes
RMHCPA has officially established two new institutes:
Rocky Mountain Existential and Humanistic Institute
Rocky Mountain Transpersonal Institute
These two new institutes will provide the organizational structure to establish our existential and humanistic archives and library as well as our transpersonal psychology archives and library. Additionally, we are finalizing a process to recognize important scholars and luminaries in existential, humanistic, and transpersonal psychology through these institutes and make their scholarship available in our archives. We will be providing more information about this in the coming months.
RMHCPA Fundraising and Grant Writing
The RMHCPA board is shifting its focus to fundraising and grant writing with hopes to raise enough money for a downpayment on purchasing a building by the end of 2020. We had a successful start to fundraising last year, but we still have a ways to go to meet our goal. The building will house the archives as well as therapy clinic that will house therapists and counselors in private practice. We will also form a training clinic that offers low fee therapy services to the community of Colorado Springs. We are planning a few fundraisers in Colorado Springs, Denver, and Boulder over the next several months. If you are interested in getting involved with supporting these efforts, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year was an exciting year for RMHCPA. We are looking forward to an exciting 2020 as well. Please remember to renew your membership soon to be part of the growing vision of RMHCPA! Louis Hoffman, PhDExecutive DirectorRocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association
Nathaniel Granger, Jr., and Louis Hoffman were interviewed by Dr. Jim Ungvarsky about the Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association (RMHCPA). They discuss how RMHCPA began, what distinguishes humanistic psychology, and developing a new institute in Colorado Springs.
Congratulations to Rocky Mt. Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association members Louis Hoffman, Heatherlyn Cleare-Hoffman, and Nathaniel Granger on the publication of Humanistic Approaches to Multiculturalism and Diversity: Perspectives on Existence and Difference (Routledge, 2019). This new publication, which was co-edited with David St. John, is an important contributions to the humanistic and existential literature. Two other RMHCPA members, Lisa Vallejos and Michael Moats, also contributed chapters to the volume. All four editors will be at the book release celebration and book signing at the social following the Third Annual Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association Conference on October 12, 2019 to be held in Colorado Springs.
The Rocky Mountain Humanistic Counseling and Psychological Association is pleased to announce that Dr. Erica Palmer has joined our Board of Directors. Trained by the founders and faculty of the Colorado School of Professional Psychology, Dr. Palmer graduated with her PsyD in 2011 from the University of the Rockies. She has spent the majority of her career working in community mental health treating underserved populations suffering from chronic mental illness. She has served on the Board of the Psychological Society of the Pikes Peak Region, and has been published in the poetry compilations Journey of the Wounded Soul and Capturing Shadows, and also was a contributor in Existential Psychology East-West.