I'm thrilled to share the publication of my doctoral dissertation from the California Insitute of Integral Studies exploring the value of Cooperative Inquiry in the context of Transpersonal Psychology, Education, and Research, now available open access through ProQuest.
Cooperative inquiry (CI) is an experiential, participatory approach to research and learning about human experience (Heron, 1996a). In this method, a small nonhierarchical group of co-inquirers engage multiple ways of knowing through cycles of action and reflection to explore topics of mutual interest. Using the multi-paper format, this dissertation examines CI in theory and practice to explore the value of this approach for transpersonal psychology, education, and research. After reviewing the literature regarding existing and prospective applications of CI in transpersonal psychology, education, and research the dissertation presents one theoretical paper and two qualitative studies. The first paper expands and deepens the theoretical discussion regarding the value of CI for transpersonal psychology. The second paper presents an Embodied Spiritual Inquiry—a participatory research and holistic education approach inspired by elements of CI (Ferrer, 2017; Ferrer & Sohmer, 2017)—into the nature of human boundaries within and between coinquirers. The third paper shares the process and outcomes of a CI initiated by the author exploring the experience of the authentic self. Finally, overarching themes and suggestions for further research revealed by these entwined projects are discussed. This mixed methods design (i.e., combining theoretical and qualitative approaches) advances understanding of the gifts, challenges, and mechanisms of CI in practice, while illuminating future opportunities for CI in transpersonal psychology, education, and research.