Monday, February 02, 2009

Charlotte and Karl Bühler Award

Entry for 2 February 2009:

We learned last week that Division 32 of the American Psychological Association, also known as the Society for Humanistic Psychology, is giving the Counselling Unit the Charlotte and Karl Bühler award for 2010. The award letter indicates that this award is given to an institution, and an individual associated with an institution, that has made an outstanding and lasting contribution to humanistic psychology. The Society for Humanistic Psychology established this award in order to recognize the important role played by key organizations in the development of humanistic approaches to psychology, psychotherapy and counselling.

A bit of historical background: Charlotte Bühler (1893-1974) and Karl Bühler (1979-1963) were important forerunners of modern humanistic psychology, linking Gestalt Psychology with Maslow, Rogers and others. Before they left Austria in the late 1930's to escape fascism and came to the USA, Charlotte pioneered humanistic education and Karl made important contributions to the psychology of language.

The following is the list of previous recipients. Note that this is the first time this award has been given to an institution outside of North America.

1991 Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Thomas Greening, Editor
1992 Saybrook Graduate School, Stanley Krippner
1993 West Georgia College (now State University of West Georgia)
Psychology Dept., Myron Arons
1994 Sonoma State University Psychology Department, Art Warmoth
1995 Duquesne University Psychology Department (no one individual was
named; David Smith, former Chair, accepted on behalf of the faculty as a
1996 Not Awarded
1997 The Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, Amedeo Giorgi
1998 The University of Florida Psychology Department, Arthur W. Combs
1999 Not Awarded
2000 The Focusing Institute and Eugene Gendlin, Ph.D.
2002 Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Robert Frager, Founder and
2003-2008 Not Awarded
2009 York University Psychology Department, David Rennie

As founder of the Counselling Unit, Dave Mearns has agreed to accept the award and present a lecture (or as we would say, an "input") at August 2010 meeting of the APA in San Diego. However, I think he would agree that the award really goes to all the dedicated staff and students who have worked and given their all to the Counselling Unit over the past 17 years!

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