Education: After growing up in Atlanta, GA, I earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Georgia (2000), a master's degree from the University of West Georgia's humanistic-existential-transpersonal psychology program (2003), and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Indiana State University (2013).
Courses Instructed: I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in counseling and assessment skills, human development, family dynamics, personality, and psychology of creativity. Further, I instruct Directed Projects in Psychology (an undergraduate capstone field placement experience in applied psychology), and I provide clinical supervision to masters trainees. My teaching emphasizes systemic, holistic, existential-humanistic, and phenomenological approaches in psychology/psychotherapy in dialogue with conventional natural science psychology.
Scholarship: My scholarly pursuits (see below) involve providing both qualitative and quantitative support for the practical application of themes/principles from contemporary existential-humanistic psychology (e.g., negotiating dialectics and confronting paradoxes in lived experience; meaning-making; cultivating intentionality, resilience, psychological flexibility, and sustainable transformative change) in the domains of (a) love and intimate relationships, (b) work and career development, (c) the processes of therapy and education, (d) cross-cultural encounters, and (e) lifespan development. In addition, I provide trainings/workshops both at Millersville and in the community on topics including (a) the Personal Hero Identification Technique (an innovative therapeutic strategy I developed that practically applies the emerging heroism science literature), (b) mindfulness-based practices, (c) the cultivation of the helper-as-person, and (d) existential-humanistic approaches to therapy, to healing trauma, to working with impoverished clients, to treatment planning, and to mental health outcome measurement in the managed care era.
Service: I currently serve as president of the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology (Section 3 of Division 5 of the American Psychological Association [APA]), as treasurer and co-editor of the newsletter for the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32 of APA), and on the editorial boards for the Journal of Humanistic Psychology and the Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Criminology. At Millersville, I am a mentor in the Safe Zone (sexual/gender diversity) and exploratory advising programs. Furthermore, I am a licensed psychologist with over 15 years of clinical experience in numerous settings (including community mental health, hospitals, schools and colleges, and corrections) in four states. I currently practice at Samaritan Counseling Center in Lancaster.
Inspiration: My worldview, as both a psychologist and a person, has been greatly influenced by the following writings: The New-Old (Mike Arons); The Search for Authenticity and Psychotherapy and Process (Jim Bugental); The Phenomenology of Learning and Becoming (Eugene DeRobertis); The Human Elements of Psychotherapy (David Elkins); Identity and the Life Cycle (Erik Erikson); The Doctor and the Soul and Man’s Search for Meaning (Viktor Frankl); The Sane Society and To Have or to Be? (Erich Fromm); Our Inner Conflicts and Neurosis and Human Growth (Karen Horney); Modern Man in Search of a Soul (Carl Jung); The Evolving Self (Robert Kegan); Freedom from the Known (J. Krishnamurti); The Politics of Experience (R. D. Laing); Motivation and Personality and Toward a Psychology of Being (Abraham Maslow); Psychology and the Human Dilemma, Freedom and Destiny, and The Courage to Create (Rollo May); Loneliness (Clark Moustakas); Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert Pirsig); Everyday Creativity and the Healthy Mind (Ruth Richards); Letters to a Young Poet (R. M. Rilke); The Paradoxical Self, The Polarized Mind, and The Spirituality of Awe (Kirk Schneider); The Wisdom of Insecurity and The Book (Alan Watts); and Sex, Ecology, Spirituality and Integral Psychology (Ken Wilber).
Passions: Listening to and creating music, gardening, traveling, and being with my wife and our two young children.
Bland, A. M., & Verber, M. A. (Upcoming - Postponed due to COVID-19). There are no straight lines in nature—or in therapy: The lightning bolt metaphor for realistically conceptualizing therapeutic progress [APA-approved CE workshop]. 13th Annual Conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology, New Orleans, LA.
Guz-Montgomery, J., Lankford, A., Creed, R., Rios-Santos, K., Purrington, W., Latourrette, C., Bargdill, R., & Bland, A. M. (2020, July). Eco-martyrs, self-actualization, and misconceptions of Maslow [paper presentation]. Division 32 hospitality suite at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Virtual.
Bland, A. M. (2019, June). Ethical conundrums in mental health case studies: A mixed-methods exploration [paper presentation]. 6th Annual Conference of the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology, Boston, MA.
Bland, A. M. (2018, May). The assumptions behind mental health outcome instruments: A latent thematic analysis. In L. B. Silverstein (Chair), Using qualitative research to re-envision evidence-based practice [symposium]. 5th Annual Conference of the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology, Pittsburgh, PA.
Bland, A. M. (2018, May). Thematic analyses of the relevance of Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning for promoting identity integration and intentionality in emerging adults [paper presentation]. 5th Annual Conference of the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology, Pittsburgh, PA.
Bland, A. M. (2017, October). Assessment meets automation: A humanistic psychologist’s response to computerized intellectual testing [paper presentation]. University of West Georgia Psychology 50th Anniversary Reunion and Conference, Carrollton, GA.
Bland, A. M. (2020). Existential givens in the COVID-19 crisis. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 60(5), 710-724.
Bland, A. M. (2020). The existential obituary writing technique for emerging adults: Thematic and content analyses. The Humanistic Psychologist. Advance online publication.
DeRobertis, E. M., & Bland, A. M. (2020). From personal threat to cross-cultural learning: An eidetic investigation. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, 51(1), 1-15.
Bland, A. M., & Arons, S. M. (Eds.). (2020). The new-old: Recollections, reflections, and reconnoiterings of Mike Arons. University Professors Press.
DeRobertis, E. M., & Bland, A. M. (2020). Lifespan human development and “the humanistic perspective”: A contribution toward inclusion. The Humanistic Psychologist, 48(1), 3-27.
Bland, A. M. (2020, January). Review of the book Integrated care for the traumatized: A whole person approach, by Serlin, Krippner, & Rockefeller (Eds.). Independent Practitioner, 40(1), 17-25. Invited contribution.
Bland, A. (2019, October). The crisis of creativity, and The Courage to Create revisited. The Samaritan Connection, 30, 10.
Bland, A. M. (2019). The Personal Hero Technique: A therapeutic strategy that promotes self-transformation and interdependence. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 59(4), 634-657.
Bland, A. M., & DeRobertis, E. M. (2019). The humanistic perspective. In V. Zeigler-Hill & T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of personality and individual differences. Springer. Invited contribution.
Bland, A. M., & McQueen, K. S. (2018). The distribution of Chapman’s Love Languages in couples: An exploratory cluster analysis. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 7(2), 103-126.
Bland, A. M., & DeRobertis, E. M. (2018). Humanistic psychology. In D. S. Dunn (Ed.), Oxford bibliographies in psychology. Oxford University Press. Invited contribution.
Bland, A. M., & McQueen, K. S. (2018). Unemployment and marital quality in Great Recession America: An exploratory canonical correlation. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Advance online publication.
DeRobertis, E. M., & Bland, A. M. (2018). Tapping the humanistic potential of Self-Determination Theory: Awakening to paradox. The Humanistic Psychologist, 46(2), 105-128.
Bland, A. M. (2018). Facilitating and assessing personal growth in helper development using Hart’s (2014) Four Virtues. The Humanistic Psychologist, 46(1), 6-29.
Bland, A. M., & DeRobertis, E. M. (2017). Maslow’s unacknowledged contributions to developmental psychology. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Advance online publication. Invited contribution to a special issue.
Bland, A. (2016, December). Beyond SMART goals: A humanistic approach to treatment planning that satisfies managed care requirements. Society for Humanistic Psychology Newsletter.
Bland, A. M., & Roberts-Pittman, B. J. (2014). Existential and chaos theory: “Calling” for adaptability in career decision-making. Journal of Career Development, 41(5),382-401.
Bland, A. M. (2014). Corrective experiences in corrections counseling. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Criminology, 6(1),46-74.
Bland, A. M. (2013). A vision of holistic counseling: Applying humanistic-existential principles in the therapeutic relationship. Journal of Holistic Psychology, 2, 277-282 & 334-337.
Bland, A. M. (2010). The enneagram: A review of the empirical and transformational literature. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education, and Development, 49(1), 16-31.