Sohmer, O. R. (In Press). Cooperative inquiry: An experiential and participatory research method in spirituality and contemplative studies. In the Routledge International Handbook of Research Methods in Spirituality & Contemplative Studies (2024).
Sohmer, O. R. & Ferrer, J. N. (In Press). Embodied spiritual inquiry: A participatory research method in spiritual and contemplative studies. In the Routledge International Handbook of Research Methods in Spirituality & Contemplative Studies (2024).
Sohmer, O.R. (2020). An exploration of the value of cooperative inquiry for transpersonal psychology, education, and research: A theoretical and qualitative inquiry. [Doctoral dissertation, California Institute of Integral Studies]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. (Publication No. 28258221).
Sohmer, O.R. (2020). Addressing persistent challenges in transpersonal psychology: Cooperative inquiry as an innovative response. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 52(2), 78-112.
Sohmer, O. R. (2019). Goddesses of wholeness: An exploration of Gaia, Demeter-Persephone, and Ariadne through the lens of personal myth and archetypal activism. Immanence: The Journal of Applied Myth, Story, and Folklore, 3(2), 57-72.
Sohmer, O. R., (2019). (Ed.) Special topic issue: Participatory research in transpersonal studies. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 38(2).
Sohmer, O. R., (2019). Participatory research methods in Transpersonal Studies: Introduction to special topic section. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 38(2), 66-77.
Sohmer, O. R., Baumann, R., & Ferrer, J. N. (2019). An embodied spiritual inquiry into the nature of human boundaries: Outcomes of a participatory approach to transpersonal education and research. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 38(2), 117-137.
Heron, J., & Sohmer, O. (2019). An interview with John Heron: Exploring the interface between cooperative inquiry and transpersonal studies. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 38(2), 207-225.
Ferrer, J. N., & Sohmer, O.R. (2017). A radical approach to second-person contemplative education. In O. Gunnlaugson, E. Sarath, H. Bai, & C. Scott, (Eds.), The intersubjective turn: Theoretical approaches to contemplative learning and inquiry across disciplines (pp. 15-35). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
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 co-inquirers. 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.
For newcomers and experienced astrologers alike, exploratory experiential tools--such as body awareness, movement, guided meditation, role playing, and coaching practices--are a powerful means for deepening our relationship with the archetypal cosmos and actualizing the potentials inherent in our natal charts and transits. Beyond learning about astrology from external sources, turning inward provides a direct pathway to encounter the planetary archetypes as they inhabit and incarnate through us. This presentation will discuss approaches to facilitating experiential astrological inquiry with individuals and groups, including examples from the presenter's exploration of Astrological Coaching and Embodied Archetypal Inquiry.
Discussion of prominent themes evident in the life and work of Gloria Anzaldua--the late feminist, Chicana, Queer writer and spiritual activist--through the lens of archetypal astrology. Presented at the California Institute of Integral Studies, 2014.