Alumni

Daphne DavisDaphne Davis
MA Transpersonal Counseling Psychology '06

Dallas, Texas native Daphne Davis graduated from Naropa in 2006 with a master's degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology. From the time she was eight years old, she knew she wanted to be a psychologist and is currently pursuing a doctorate in the field at Penn State University.

Davis, who studied Buddhist and Taoist practices in Thailand, first identified a connection between psychology and spirituality while teaching meditation. “I decided to pursue my masters at Naropa with the intent of better meeting the needs of my meditation students,” she says. However, I fell in love with transpersonal psychology and my interest in becoming a psychotherapist was born. Naropa is a unique place and, in terms of my education there, I think no place could have met me personally, professionally and spiritually as did Naropa. Its values (curiosity, cultivating compassion, etc.) and the integration of mindfulness training into my education as a future therapist was ideal. I can't think of a better place for me to learn how to develop, practice, and embody the foundational skills I need to have as a therapist.”

By satisfying her wish to gain research experience, Davis identifies the Consciousness Lab as crucial to the department. “It helps further develop contemplative research, which is on the cutting edge of psychology in many ways,” she says. “Peter had me help develop our research idea, recruit and interview participants, interpret the data, and do writing related to our work together. It was a fabulous opportunity … that gave me the chance to develop the inquisitive, creative researcher inside of myself who likes to think out of the box. Working with Peter helped prepare me for my doctoral program in which I am researching meditation as well.

“I will be doing my dissertation on the topic of spirituality and psychotherapy. My experiences in the Consciousness Lab helped me become a doctoral student, and now I am seriously considering having my future profession include research work in transpersonal psychology. [The lab] is a fertile place that invites ‘out of the box’ thinking, contemplative process and authentic dialogue.”

Rheanna Hoffmann Rheanna Hoffmann
Graduate Student Assistant

Rheanna is a first-year graduate student in the Transpersonal Counseling Psychology program pursuing the Wilderness Therapy concentration. During her undergraduate career at the University of Oregon, she worked as a research assistant with Holly Arrow, Ph.D., studying the influence of group dynamics on individual decision-making processes and, in 2003, she won the Outstanding Achievement Award in Psychology.

Rheanna's study of meditation began in 2002, when she became an initiate of Sant Thaker Singh, and practitioner of Light and Sound meditation. Since then she has studied Zen, and Shamatha Vipashyana meditation. While travelling in India, Rheanna saw the profound impact that acknowledging the spiritual components of being human has on psychological healing of an individual. She came to Naropa University to further her passion for transpersonal studies and Buddhist scholarship.

Rheanna cites professional opportunities, academic rigor, and personal growth as primary benefits of her time spent in the Naropa University Consciousness Lab. Under the direction of Peter Grossenbacher, Ph.D. she continues to experience the elegance of a contemplative approach to psychological science, as well as the creativity made possible by its precision.

Every human being, she says, is capable of positive change, and contemplative practice becomes an integral function of the self-awareness necessary for this change. This philosophy permeates her professional commitment to working with people in diverse contexts, including international work.

Khristine Turner Rolfe 

Current student in MA  Transpersonal Counseling Psychology Program,Naropa University           

MS in Human Development and Family  Studies, University   of Arkansas

Khristine is a second year  graduate student in the Transpersonal Counseling Psychology program.  She previously received a MS in Human  Development and Family studies with a concentration on early childhood  development.  Her master’s thesis  utilized a comparative study between abusive and non-abusive mothers to  determine possible predictive factors found in abusive mothers.

Khristine is pursuing a degree in  Transpersonal Counseling Psychology due to an interest in working with families  and their children from a perspective grounded in intrinsic health and basic  goodness, versus the pathology based view found in many traditional  psychological traditions.  Also, she was drawn  to Naropa for the opportunity to develop personally, spiritually, and  professionally through the integration of contemplative practices into her  education.

Jesse Luckett 
MA Transpersonal Counseling Psychology '07

Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Jesse Luckett always liked talking and listening to people, viewing interaction with his younger brothers as an act of mentoring. Today, he works with children and families as a counselor. “I’d say I feel like I can gather info about my clients’ experiences more thoroughly due to my experience with the Consciousness Lab,” he says, “And that curiosity factor is really there. That was a great thing about the class—we had permission to be curious, to follow our interests and take our time doing things.”

Toward the end of his undergraduate schooling at University of Kentucky, he got interested in Buddhism and meditation. "I started attending the local Shambhala center, and that’s where I heard about Naropa," he says. "From the moment I saw the website, I knew it was for me.  I was having sort of an existential crisis, recognizing that the fun but somewhat shallow lifestyle of partying I’d developed in college was no longer satisfying.  I wanted to figure out who I was because I felt like I didn’t have a clue."

As a Transpersonal Counseling Psychology student, Luckett discovered that self-exploration could help him become a better healer. “Through meditation (training my mind to settle and simply observing the fickleness and non-solid nature of my thoughts and feelings) I gained actual tools to work with myself that I can, and do, use everyday of my life.” 

Luckett discovered the Consciousness Laboratory as part of an elective class that allowed him to see research in a different way. “I learned to be patient and disciplined while trying to follow the somewhat methodical protocols and guidelines,” he explains. “I also learned how to listen and cooperate and learn from other students. We had a group of folks administering one version of the Meditation Survey and entering data into a computer. Each student chose a special topic to research, and mine was ‘emotion.’ We were to gather concrete examples directly from the surveys in order to recognize trends in the data and then create some sort of conceptual hypothesis about these results, why they existed and so forth. It gave me a feeling of legitimacy, pride and dignity to know that I was a part of such a neat and cutting edge project.”

Khristine Turner Rolfe 
Current student in MA Transpersonal Counseling Psychology Program, Naropa University
MS in Human Development and Family Studies, University of Arkansas

Khristine is a second year graduate student in the Transpersonal Counseling Psychology program.  She previously received a MS in Human Development and Family studies with a concentration on early childhood development.  Her master’s thesis utilized a comparative study between abusive and non-abusive mothers to determine possible predictive factors found in abusive mothers.

Khristine is pursuing a degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology due to an interest in working with families and their children from a perspective grounded in intrinsic health and basic goodness, versus the pathology based view found in many traditional psychological traditions.  Also, she was drawn to Naropa for the opportunity to develop personally, spiritually, and professionally through the integration of contemplative practices into her education.

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