Doctoral Candidacy and Research Abstract

I’m excited to share that my dissertation proposal has been officially approved and have now advanced to Ph.D. candidacy in East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies!  After an entirely entwined journey of doctoral study and entry into parenthood, I am grateful to celebrate this milestone.  My dissertation is entitiled:

An Exploration of the Value of Cooperative Inquiry for Transpersonal Psychology, Education, and Research: A Theoretical and Qualitative Inquiry

ABSTRACT: 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 will examine 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 will present one theoretical paper and two qualitative studies.  The first paper will expand and deepen the theoretical discussion regarding the value of CI for transpersonal psychology.  The second paper will present a case study of 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 co-inquirers.  The third paper will share 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 will be discussed.  It is anticipated that this mixed methods design (i.e., combining theoretical and qualitative approaches) will advance the understanding of the gifts, challenges, and mechanisms of CI in practice, while illuminating future opportunities for CI in transpersonal psychology, education, and research.