Eurotas Conference 2019


Olga Sohmer

Olga Sohmer, MA, PhDc, is a scholar and holistic counselor passionate about encouraging the depths of human potential, weaving her background with transpersonal psychology, transformative coaching, yoga/mindfulness, intergroup dialogue, and participatory inquiry. She has published on Embodied Spiritual Inquiry, a participatory approach to transpersonal education and research, and is associate editor of the upcoming International Journal of Transpersonal Studies monograph on participatory research. Born in Russia, Olga resides in California with her husband and son. Through her work and daily life, she is committed to healing the way human beings relate to ourselves, each other, and the Earth, our home.



Cooperative Inquiry: An Innovative, Relational Approach to Enhance the Contribution of Transpersonal Psychology to Collective Flourishing

As a discipline committed to cultivating the frontiers of human potential, intimately entwined with the greater web of life, transpersonal psychology can make important contributions to the widespread social, ecological, and spiritual crises of our time. Systematic reviews and theoretical critiques of the field, however, have illuminated persistent challenges that detract from our mission. Specifically, repeated calls have been made for more diversity, social engagement, and research from multiple perspectives. This presentation will juxtapose these critiques with an exploration of Cooperative Inquiry (CI; Heron 1996)—a participatory approach to human research and learning—as a promising avenue to address them. Strengths of CI, such as its intrinsically holistic, relational, and transformative dimensions, will be discussed along with limitations in the context of transpersonal validity standards. Concrete examples of contemporary CIs in related disciplines and suggestions for future applications will be offered.

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