Curriculum for Transformational Therapy & Consciousness Studies Program

Fundamentals of Psychology

Course Credits: 4
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Vic Shayne, PhD
Course Description:


This course provides the student with the basics of psychology — the key figures, and its intentions, discoveries, and statistical findings, as well as the development of the mind, brain, and body, and the formation of the self. The main objective of this course is to give students an appreciation of Psychology in the broadest of terms. Since Psychology is the home of a wide diversity of practices and applications, this course focuses upon the commonly used jargon, influential personages, and development of ideas that have lead to the treatment of problematic behaviors, recognition of psychological tendencies, human motivation, human interaction, social influences on behavior, and influences affecting normal mental and emotional growth and development.

While Psychology is not only a field of inherent diversity, it is also rapidly changing and developing with regard to new types of therapies, especially in the areas of trauma, PTSD, TMS, and personality disorders. This course will discuss several such therapies that may not even be common knowledge to practicing psychologists.

Stress, Meditation, & Happiness

Course Credits: 4
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Vic Shayne, PhD
Course Description:

This course leads the student through the idea of happiness and stress, as well as the role of meditation not only as a means to cope with stress, but also to move beyond the troubled mind. We focus on three main aspects of meditation, including metta, mindfulness, and self inquiry and how each affects the daily lives of practitioners physically, mentally and emotionally. We explore the meaning of happiness and how it may be differentiated from the pursuit and attainment of pleasure, which is a fleeting emotion. This course explores various means of reducing stress, including not only meditation, but also yoga, physical exercise, and involvement with activities that bring contentment to the individual. 


The Self is a Belief

Course Credits: 4
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Vic Shayne, PhD
Course Description:

The self, also known as the “I,” or egoic mind, is explored as a construct, a belief based upon psychological conditioning throughout one’s life. This is an essential study for students as well as professional healthcare practitioners and therapists, because it puts the individual in a new light. The course delves into self inquiry as a direct means of knowing what is behind the self and that which we call consciousness. The student will be able to explore from different perspectives the ideas of free will, conscious choice-making, meditation, the “hard problem” of consciousness, and how the mind creates the self out of an accretion of thoughts. Discussed in detail are Eastern concepts and philosophies such as Advaita-Vedanta, which considers the self as the source of most suffering. The works of Jiddu Krishnamurti and other modern mystics are incorporated into this study alongside notable physicists and other scientists.

Consciousness, Belief, and Reality

Course Credits: 4
Prerequisites: None
Instructor: Vic Shayne, PhD
Course Description:

This course discusses in detail the meaning of consciousness, and what may be considered reality. In so doing, we take a close look at beliefs and the subjective experience as shaping reality for each individual. Brought into the study are diverse fields that have much to contribute to the conversation about consciousness and reality, including neuroscience, quantum physics, philosophy, Eastern thought, psychology, and meditative studies. The student shall discover various points of view and engage in the debate over whether consciousness is an artifact of the brain or whether it is nonlocal and nonphysical in its essence. Reality is discussed in terms of subjectivity rather than objectivity, and why the objective argument seems to fall apart under intense observation. Brought into the discussion are studies on altered states of reality, reincarnation, psychedelic experiences, dreams, and more. This course also looks at the difference between idealism and materialism in perceiving and explaining reality, consciousness, and the experience of the self.

Metaphorical Therapy

Course Credits: 4
Prerequisites: Fundamentals of Psychology
Instructor: Vic Shayne, PhD
Course Description:

This course is for students of psychology, life coaching, health coaching, and other therapeutic health practices, and is meant for both the university student and the practicing professional. 

Metaphorical Therapy allows the astute and intelligent practitioner to be of benefit to a client who is working to resolve a many health and psychological issues. The essence of Metaphorical Therapy involves the workings of the human mind and its propensity and ability to create imagery, scenarios, dreams, and visualizations in the process of working through psychological problems. On a macro scale, metaphorical therapy is related to mythology, a topic discussed at length in the course materials.

While the term “metaphor” may be familiar in a grammatical sense, as a form of analogy, in the psychological sense it is often misunderstood as a delusion, meaningless dream, or even a troubling series of thoughts. But when we delve into this topic we find that the mind is able to construct realities out of consciousness and may be telling us something, but we tend to ignore it or be baffled by it.

The main objective of this course is to give students an appreciation of the power of metaphor, and the way the mind uses metaphor for problem resolution, especially when psychological issues are complex or repressed. 

Topics covered in this course will be hypnotherapy, past life regression, dreams, the “waking dream,” and other forms of metaphor presented by the mind either spontaneously or in therapy. From a therapeutic perspective we are not assessing mental or spiritual experiences for their scientific validity, but rather for their effect and usefulness.

Essentially, the human mind experiences stories. We go through time having experiences and then these events form the images of who we are and what is important to us. The life we lead and the way we speak, dream, and remember are all due to metaphors, and this is the lesson to be learned in this course as a way of understanding the deeper levels of experience that are not describable without analogy, metaphor, or simile.

The student will learn that metaphors— stories — are integral to the way we think and communicate. And when a client seeks counseling to resolve psychological issues, it is important for the therapist to realize that metaphors not only shape memory and response to experiences, but also that metaphors are effective tools to make sense of subconscious, often repressed, emotions.

Personal Myths to Live By

Course Credits: 4
Prerequisites: Metaphorical Therapy
Instructor: Vic Shayne, PhD
Course Description:

This course is geared toward students of psychology, life coaching, health coaching, clinical nutrition, naturopathy, and other health sciences, and is meant for both the university student and the practicing professional. All disciplines involved in health, healing, and prevention are working with the mind, emotions, energy, and body. Thus, an understanding of the depths of Mythology in both personal and cultural terms serves to appreciate and include the mind and its means of imagery and metaphor to describe and convey that which seems too vast or beyond the mind itself. Various disciplines may benefit from mythology, to help understand the complexities of thought and the role of consciousness in its great complexity — so great that myth may be humankind’s most adept way to explain or behold it. 

The main objective of this course is to give students an appreciation of mythology as a personal story full of metaphor, including its history, evolution, role, and application. In addition, on a macro level, the student will learn how myth serves as a cultural, societal, and personal entryway into the psyche in order to align and bring into oneness the outer and inner experience. By appreciating myth as a metaphor for reality, the student will appreciate how he/she can discover a personal sense of self in relationship to consciousness as a whole. The purpose of myth is to break down this separation between the egoic self and consciousness in order to be at onement (atonement) with life itself. 

Myth melds the perceived fragmented self with the Self of consciousness: As the student continues to read and study the field of mythology and metaphor he/she should find meaning in this sentence. It is the crux of the entire purpose of myth and how it relates to the individual to lead him/her on an inward journey. The outward journey — the hero’s journey — is a metaphor for one’s personal journey to the innermost core of his/her being. This course is to show not only the significance of this journey in art and literature, but more importantly in one’s own life and the lives of clients and patients in psychological therapeutic settings.

Mythology is perhaps one of the least understood of all subjects, mostly owing to how it is taught in the educational system and portrayed in the media. It has been reduced to the simplicity of fairy tales, ancient religion, and fiction, which is far from its essence. In fact, the word myth is often thought to mean a lie, which reduces its wonder and brilliance into a base, meaningless story once believed by uncivilized and primitive cultures. In this course, myth will be explored not only as a cultural expression to explain the “super” natural, but also as a personal metaphor for understanding the self, society, and others.

Healing from Trauma
(to come)

Course Credits: 4
Prerequisites: Fundamentals of Psychology
Instructor: Vic Shayne, PhD
Course Description:

This course delves into trauma as both a psychological and physiological experience. We focus mainly on the most modern pioneers of trauma work, such as Peter Levine, PhD, and how emotions are embedded in the body. We also look at the techniques used to move past trauma, such as hypnotherapy, psychological talk therapy, and somatic therapy, including the strengths and weaknesses of each. In addition, the student will be able to understand how the mind, as an accretion of thoughts, processes difficult situations. In light of the ubiquitous instances of abuse in modern society, also studied will be the processing of trauma and why victims of abuse are reluctant to report abuse, and why it may take years before doing so.

Transformational Therapy in Practice

Course Credits:
Prerequisites:
Fundamentals of Psychology
Stress, Meditation & Happiness
The Self is a Belief
Consciousness, Belief & Reality
Accessing the Unconscious
Metaphorical Therapy
Instructor: Vic Shayne, PhD
Course Description:

This course is about talking with people in order to help alleviate their mental and emotional suffering. Suffering is the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship. As we have seen, as a common theme throughout the courses in the Transpersonal Therapy and Consciousness Program, suffering has been deemed the result of desire, according to ancient Eastern thought. Desire is a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. And now the question is: How can you be of service to other people to help them alleviate their suffering, recognize their desires, discuss their personal myths and metaphors, and clearly identify conscious and unconscious desires?

The goal with this course is to share with you tips on what works, what helps, what to say, and how to be a better listener. It’s all about your client, so you have to be keen to his/her interests, problems, ideas, metaphors, relationships, and goals. Throughout the whole process there should be one overriding goal on the part of the therapist — to be of service. Your client’s happiness must be foremost on your mind. If you are a good listener, which you must be in order to be successful and helpful, then you need to pay attention to what your client wants and not what you want to achieve. 

Thesis

Course Credits: 25
Prerequisites: All coursework for the Transformational Therapy Program
Instructor: Vic Shayne, PhD
Course Description: