California Institute of Integral Studies
Recent publications
This study examined how gender shapes sexual interactions and pleasure outcomes. We highlight varying expectations people have in regard to sex by combining questions about orgasm frequency and sexual pleasure. Our analysis was driven from a sample of 907 survey responses from cis women, cis men, trans women, trans men, non-binary, and intersex millennial respondents, 324 of which had gender-diverse sexual histories. The findings built upon previous literature about the orgasm gap by including those with underrepresented gender identities and expanding our conceptualization of gender’s role in the gap beyond gender identity. Qualitative results indicated that individuals change their behavior based on their partner’s gender and follow strong gendered scripts. Participants also relied upon heteronormative scripts and cis normative roles to set their interactions for the sexual encounter. Our findings support previous research on how gender identity impacts pleasure outcomes and has implications for how we might make gender progress in the arena of sexuality.
Fractal analogue of Newton, Lagrange, Hamilton, and Appell's mechanics are suggested. The fractal α-velocity and α-acceleration are defined in order to obtain the Langevin equation on fractal curves. Using the Legendre transformation, Hamilton's mechanics on fractal curves is derived for modeling a non-conservative system on fractal curves with fractional dimensions. Fractal differential equations have solutions that are non-differentiable in the sense of ordinary derivatives and explain space and time with fractional dimensions. The illustrated examples with graphs present the details.
Cocaine has been a heavily abused street drug over the last several decades. It is well-documented in the nineteenth and early twentieth century that the drug was used as a form of treatment for various psychiatric disorders due to its medicinal properties. More recently, the “psychedelic renaissance” has opened doors for many researchers and clinicians to explore the medical use of drugs that were previously thought to possess little to no therapeutic properties. Purpose of review This literature review was performed using PubMed and Google searches to explore the history and current medical use of cocaine. Although there has been some research some decades ago on cocaine’s effects on depression and anxiety, it has largely been ignored more recently as more attention has been diverted to compounds such as 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) and psilocybin. Recent findings Based on the literature, cocaine has been shown to reduce severity of depression and anxiety. However, the evidence is limited to scant experimentation conducted on patients several decades ago that reported a side effect profile similar to conventionally prescribed amphetamines. Further investigation, along with the possibility of decriminalization, is needed to evaluate risks and benefits of using cocaine to treat psychiatric disorders.
Oppression refers to systemic discrimination where the injustice targets or disproportionately impacts specific groups of people. The Trauma Symptoms of Discrimination Scale (TSDS) is a self-report measure designed to assess the traumatizing impact of discrimination broadly by measuring anxiety-related symptoms of trauma due to discriminatory experiences. This may include symptoms arising from racism, homophobia, sexism, poverty, or other forms of marginalization. Almost all studies of the TSDS have examined its use in marginalized ethnoracial groups, primarily African Americans. This paper will extend prior work to help us better understand racial trauma across groups by reporting and comparing TSDS mean scores across ethnoracial identities in a diverse national sample (n = 923). It also explores trauma with other marginalized identities and demographic dimensions, including gender, sexual minority/LGBQ status, education, and income. The relationship of TSDS scores to clinical psychopathologies are examined, including stress, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. We also examine the unique risks associated with intersectionality, and how having multiple marginalized identities may increase traumatization. Clinical implications and future directions are discussed.
Background Despite a growing body of research on genitopelvic pain/penetration disorder (GPPPD), few studies have examined racial and ethnic differences. Aim The goal of this study was to examine differences across racial groups pertaining to GPPPD with sexual vaginal intercourse in young college women at 2 public US universities. Methods Data were collected from 1197 students from 2 public US universities. We limited our sample to 667 sexually active participants aged ≥18 years (mean, 19.21). Participants responded to survey items on their sexual history, wellness, and practices and to the Female Sexual Function Index. Data were analyzed through standard bivariate and regression analyses. Outcomes Participants were asked, “In general, do you feel pain with sexual intercourse?” and categorized into 1 of 3 pain groups: occasional (10%-25% of the time), frequent (≥50%), and no pain (<10%). Results GPPPD was prevalent among young college women, with 162 (24.3%) reporting pain occasionally, 119 (17.8%) frequently, and 386 (57.9%) never or very seldom. While there were no differences in pain between Latina and non-Latina participants, our analysis indicated that pain was significantly higher among all other minoritized racial groups as compared with White women but particularly high in Black women, who had 2.15-higher odds of reporting pain than White women. Differences persisted when adjusting for socioeconomic status. Specific descriptors for pain sensation were more aligned with traditional descriptors of GPPPD (eg, burning, stinging, cramping, and pinching) in the White sample than among participants of color. Pain intensity did not differ among racial groups. We also found that a significant number of participants, particularly Black women, reported experiencing painful sex occasionally. No differences were noted across racial groups when assessing sexual function with the Female Sexual Function Index. Clinical Implications Existing surveys and physician intake forms should be critically examined for usability with patients of color. As evidenced, Black women’s GPPPD seems to go underdetected/undetected by current measures. Strengths and Limitations This study is the first to explicitly compare racial differences among adolescents/young adults. The most notable limitation is the reliance on participant self-report and the absence of gynecologic examination to determine pain-contributing etiologies. Conclusion Painful intercourse affects young Black women at a higher rate than White women. Further research is needed into categories and metrics that capture their experiences of pain.
In this paper, we summarize fractal calculus on fractal curves and nonstandard analysis. Using nonstandard analysis which includes hyperreal and hyperinteger numbers, we define left and right limits and derivatives on fractal curves. Fractal integral and differential forms are defined using nonstandard analysis. Some examples are solved to show details.
Relation-theories—theories on the metaphysical status of relations—have for some time stood at the center of disputes between realism and idealism. To such disputes, this paper contributes insights from an understudied premodern source, the Sambandhasiddhi (Proof of Relation). Its author Utpaladeva (c. 925–975 C.E.) is the Śaiva philosopher of India best known as an innovator in the Pratyabhijñā (Doctrine of Recognition) school of Kashmiri Śaivism. This lesser-known late text shows Utpaladeva deploying an even more explicitly Bhartṛharian grammatical view of reality than he had previously. He argues against his chief rival and predecessor, the Buddhist epistemologist, Dharmakīrti (c. 6th or 7th C.E.), while modifying the latter’s epistemic idealism to an objective idealism. This text differs from Utpaladeva’s prior works in its sustained attack on Dharmakīrti’s nominalism and citation of the Buddhist’s own writings. The Sambandhasiddhi accordingly offers an interesting glimpse at a sustained treatment on relations, a topic that is important to Utpaladeva’s prior arguments, but that he considered perhaps not sufficiently developed, so as to warrant a separate treatment. A few brief comments are also offered on how Utpaladeva’s relation-theory might fit alongside Russell’s disputes with Bradley over relations, and Utpaladeva’s affinity with Peircean semiosis.
As the first full issue dedicated to social justice in Music Therapy Perspectives in its 40-year history, this special issue has been long in the making. We were honored to work with the authors in this issue from a wide range of intersectional identities, all of whom wrote from their lived experience as minoritized music therapists. The articles in this special issue contain philosophical, theoretical, and reflective topics as well as research studies that span themes related to disability, ableism, normativity, racism, experiences of sexual orientations and gender identities, and burnout. The authors focus on examining and understanding student, professional, supervisory, clinical, and research experiences that seek to remove hierarchies and encourage more equitable approaches to investigation, education, and practice. “Performing normal: Restless reflections on music’s dis/abling potential,” by Cynthia Bruce¹ provides an astute and much-needed critique of normativity and ableism in music therapy, while “Lived Experience Perspectives on Ableism Within and Beyond Music Therapists’ Professional Identities” by Carolyn Shaw, Victoria Churchill, Sarah Curtain, Allison Davies, Brede Davis, Emily Hunt, Zoe Kalenderidis, Benjamin McKenzie, Belinda McNamara, Megan Murray, and Grace Thompson offers powerful reflections on lived experiences of disability. The three qualitative research articles “Music therapists’ experiences of therapeutic relationships with clients with marginalized gender identities and sexual orientations” by Sarah Biedka, “Who is being silenced? Sociocultural and privilege dynamics within music therapy education,” by Debra Gombert, and “Understanding the experience of discussing race and racism during clinical supervision for Black music therapy students” by Janae Imeri and Jennifer Jones all unpack power, privilege, and ethics in music therapy education, practice, and supervision, highlighting LGBTQIA2+ perspectives and the experiences of Black supervisees. Ami Kunimura’s “The intersections of race, burnout, and self-care in social justice and music therapy” presents a timely and essential discussion for music therapists and activists. Finally, “(Un)learning from experience: An exposition of minoritized voices on music therapy training” by Denise Wong and Frances Myerscough offers personal reflections and queries from music therapy student training.
Part of a special section on Creation Care, this essay argues that Christian responses to the ecological crisis ought to move beyond a conversation organized around the demands of prevailing environmental philosophies before which religious tradition seeks to justify itself, and towards a more dialogical, theoretically rigorous, heuristic, and contemplatively transformative exploration of the way Christian communities might deploy their spiritual and intellectual traditions in order to participate in the continuing effort to construct an integral ecological theory, practice, and politics. Drawing on the contemporary ecological criticism of writers such as Amitav Ghosh, Jan Zwicky, and Robert Bringhurst, the essay proposes that the Christian contemplative practice of reading the book of nature (theoria physike) provides a powerful example of what such Christian contemplative formation might look like in the Anthropocene.
These are postnormal times, a transitional period in human history characterized by global problems that manifest with an overwhelming sense of complexity, chaos, and contradictions including within our intimate love relationships. Utilizing an integrative transdisciplinary approach, this article provides an overview of recent literature, polling data, and current developments on a variety of themes around emotional intimacy in romantic partnership including: the digital age and online intimacy; dating during the coronavirus pandemic; and generational shifts in norms and values around marriage and cohabitation, gender identity, sexual identity, sex and pornography, and gender roles.
Objective : This study explored if human primary mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), derived from two donors and cultivated in a medium made with intentionally treated water, would exhibit more growth and pluripotency than MSCs from the same source but grown in untreated (control) water. Design : To create the treated water, three Buddhist monks directed their attention toward commercially bottled water while holding the intention that the water would enhance the growth of MSCs. Under double-blind conditions, cell culture growth mediums were prepared with the treated and untreated water, which was in turn used to grow the primary MSCs. Primary cells obtained from two donors were designated as Cells #1 and Cells #2. The prediction was that treated water would result in increased cell proliferation, that more cells would enter the cell cycle growth phase, and that there would be increased expression of genes (NANOG, OCT4 and SOX2) associated with improved cell growth and decreased expression of genes (p16, p21, and p53) associated with a decline in cell growth. The improved growth hypothesis was directional, thus one-tailed p-values were used to evaluate the results. Results : Proliferation averaged across Cells #1 and #2 showed overall increased growth in treated as compared to control water (p = 0.0008). Cells #1 and #2 considered separately had differences in the same direction but only Cells #2 showed a significant difference on day 6 (p = 0.01). For cell cycle, there was a significantly greater percentage of Cells #2 in the S interphase with treated vs. control water (p = 0.04). For the gene expression analysis, when considering the average across the two donor cells, only the NANOG gene expression was in the predicted direction (p = 0.01); by contrast, the p16 gene expression was significantly opposite to the predicted direction (p = 0.005, one-tailed, post-hoc). For Cells #1 considered separately, no differences were significant except for p16, which resulted in an effect opposite to the predicted outcome (p = 0.05). For Cells #2, three genes were significantly in the predicted directions: NANOG (p = 0.0008), OCT4 (p = 0.005), and P53 (p = 0.05); p16 was significantly opposite to the prediction (p = 0.001). Conclusion : Intentionally treated water appeared to have some biological effects on the growth, pluripotency and senescence of human MSCs. This was especially the case in one of the two donor cells tested, but the effects were not consistently in the predicted direction. As an exploratory study, caution is warranted in interpreting these outcomes, and adjustment for multiple testing would likely reduce some of the weaker effects to nonsignificant. But given the double-blind protocol, as well as several more significant outcomes in the predicted directions, further research is warranted.
This manuscript aims to study the effect of having high centrality on the commitment to heterosexual norms and heterosexual scripts. Centrality is the level of importance of one's gender is to an individual's identity which has been traditionally prescribed by stereotypical gender traits. Also, this study will evaluate whether gender identity plays a role in determining an individual's choice of sexual partners’ gender. This study focuses on an individual's gender makeup (on the scale of masculine and feminine) and the participants’ own view of importance for how gender identity plays a role in the way the individual feels about themselves. Previous research has focused on sex roles and gender stereotypes as it pertains to pleasure and intimacy, but these studies have only focused on binary gender identity categories (male/female). The researchers conducted a secondary data analysis using survey data, from the 2020 and 2021 Pleasure Study, on human sexuality that was collected online. There were a total of 1183 respondents in the study of various gender identities. The data shows strong correlations between highly masculine individuals with high centrality choosing sexual partners with high femininity and not individuals with high masculinity. This study showed that cismen with nonbinary partners and ciswomen with nonbinary partners had the lowest average centrality out of all the gender partner combinations.
If all aspects of the mind-brain relationship were adequately explained by classical physics, then there would be no need to propose alternatives. But faced with possibly unresolvable puzzles like qualia and free will, other approaches are required. In alignment with a suggestion by Heisenberg in 1958, we propose a model whereby the world consists of two elements: Ontologically real Possibles that do not obey Aristotle's law of the excluded middle, and ontologically real Actuals that do. Based on this view, which bears resemblance to von Neumann's 1955 proposal (von Neumann, 1955), and more recently by Stapp and others (Stapp, 2007; Rosenblum and Kuttner, 2006), measurement that is registered by an observer's mind converts Possibles into Actuals. This quantum-oriented approach raises the intriguing prospect that some aspects of mind may be quantum, and that mind may play an active role in the physical world. A body of empirical evidence supports these possibilities, strengthening our proposal that the mind-brain relationship may be partially quantum.
In recent decades, as environmental destruction has become more extreme and prevalent around the planet, the way that humans experience the natural world has also changed, giving rise to more frequent and intense experiences of eco-anxiety. Not simply personal or social, eco-anxiety is distributed across the relationships that humans have with the life, land, air, and water of Earth. This anthology presents international and interdisciplinary perspectives on eco-anxiety, with attention to two of the most prominent sources of eco-anxiety today: the COVID pandemic and the climate crisis. From the microscopic scale of viruses to the macroscopic scale of Earth’s atmosphere, instability in natural systems is causing unprecedented forms of psychological distress, including anxiety and related emotional or affective states like grief, anger, guilt, and depression. To tackle crises of such unprecedented scope and impact, we need to expand beyond mainstream behavioral research approaches to include also rigorous methods from the human sciences. This book both builds upon and moves beyond the latest research in environmental psychology, conservation psychology, and clinical psychology. Dominant research paradigms in these areas rely primarily on experimental and observational methodologies that analyze quantitative data. In contrast, this book focuses on sophisticated traditions of social and cultural psychology in dialogue with other disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. The result is a nuanced understanding of the human experience of confronting eco-anxiety, offering critical insights into the subjective worlds of individuals as they grapple with the intertwined existential threats of the climate crisis and pandemics.
Review of: An Introduction to Psychotherapeutic Playback Theater: Hall of Mirrors on Stage , Ronen Kowalsky, Nir Raz and Shoshi Keisari with Susana Pendzik (2022) London and New York: Routledge, 191 pp., ISBN 978-0-36776-630-6, h/bk, $160.00 ISBN 978-0-36776-629-0, p/bk, $39.95 ISBN 978-1-00316-782-2, e/bk, $35.95
This article describes and documents a step-by-step, iterative process of competency modelling – a way of identifying, generating and disseminating professional knowledge-based competencies in the field of drama therapy. The authors, the Education Competency Team (ETC) designated by the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA) board, discuss the significance of and the need for knowledge competencies, as well as the importance of transparency in their design. Relevant literature defining competency-based learning, its connection to skill, employment and equity, as well as a detailed outline of the three-tiered recursive method used collaboratively to create this inaugural document are included. We conclude with a discussion of limitations and future directions for the model, which also evidences as a living document.
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Glenn Hartelius
  • Integral and Transpersonal Psychology
Alfonso Montuori
  • Department of Transformative Inquiry
Leland Van den Daele
  • Department of Clinical Psychology
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  • Department of Transformative Inquiry
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