Sofia University Global Conference 
The Sofia University Global Conference will be a three-day online event that unites mental health professionals, researchers, educators, practitioners, and graduate students from all over the world in diverse fields to explore innovative approaches for cultivating mental health and well-being. 

The conference will focus on four interrelated themes, emphasizing the integration of cutting-edge research, holistic education, and transpersonal values and therapies to promote mental health, resilience, and personal growth. The event seeks to create a platform for multidisciplinary dialogue, global collaboration, and developing transformative strategies for mental health care and well-being in the 21st century through keynote speeches, presentations, panel discussions, community conversations, and networking opportunities.
Virtual via Zoom
Date & Time
August 18, 2023, 12:00 PM PDT - August 20, 2023 - 11:00 PM PDT
*Please note that the event times are based in Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).
About Us
Sofia University is a globally conscious leader in education, delivering a transformative,transpersonal learning experience to
undergraduate, graduate, and certificate students that embraces the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, social, and creative aspects of life.

To learn more about Sofia University, the programs we offer, and more, visit our
website below! 
Key Themes
This conference will explore various aspects of mental health and well-being through the lens of transpersonal psychology. The conference will bring together experts, practitioners, and researchers from diverse disciplines to delve into the practical application of transpersonal psychology in mental health settings.
Whole Person Education and Research:

Promoting the Holistic Education Initiatives for Mental Health and Well-being
The theme is focused on examining holistic education initiatives and their role in nurturing well-rounded individuals, focusing on mental health and well-being. We will also investigate consciousness and cognitive neuroscience in the context of whole person education and research. By presenting this theme, we hope to explore the latest research, trends, and best practices in holistic education with a focus on mental health and well-being, to identify innovative strategies for incorporating holistic principles into educational settings, to foster a greater understanding of the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit in the learning process, and to provide practical tools and resources for promoting mental health and well-being in educational settings. 
Transpersonal Psychotherapy and Healing:

Integrating Transpersonal Psychology and Therapeutic Practices for Holistic Well-being
The theme is focused on integrating transpersonal psychology with therapeutic practices to address the physical, emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of well-being, focusing on their impact on mental health by bringing together psychotherapists, psychologists, researchers, and practitioners. The focus is on addressing the physical, emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of well-being, promoting a comprehensive healing approach, encouraging the development of innovative, holistic therapeutic strategies that emphasize the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit.  
Post-Pandemic Narratives and Resiliency Building:

Exploring the Role of First-Person Narratives in Fostering Resiliency and Mental Well-being
The theme is focused to discuss the importance of first-person narratives in the context of the post-pandemic world and their role in fostering resiliency and mental well-being in the face of adversity. The potential of psychedelics in healing, recovery mental health and their ethical implications will also be explored. To provide practical tools and resources for addressing mental health challenges and fostering resilience in individuals and communities. This topic is important for developing strategies for building resilience and coping with the mental health challenges posed by the pandemic.
Transpersonal Values for Growth and Transformation:

Exploring the Role of Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Other Transpersonal Values in Fostering Personal Growth, Transformation, and Mental Well-being
The theme is focused on forgiveness, gratitude, and other transpersonal values as vehicles for personal growth, transformation, and mental well-being. We aim to provide practical tools and resources for integrating transpersonal values into therapeutic practices and personal development, to deepen understanding of transpersonal values' psychological and neurobiological basis and their impact on mental health, and to promote the development of innovative, transpersonal approaches to mental health care and personal growth that emphasize the cultivation of positive emotions and virtues.
Registration Information
All attendees of the Sofia Global Conference are required to register and pay the appropriate registration fees to gain full access to the conference. Upon successful registration, you will receive a confirmation email. The registration deadline is August 16th, 2023.
Keynote Speakers
We are extremely excited to showcase the lineup of impressive keynote speakers.
Dr. Robert Frager
Dr. Robert Frager is a distinguished scholar whose expertise in psychology, spirituality, and personal growth has made a profound impact on the academic and spiritual communities. Dr. Frager earned a Ph.D. in Social Psychology earned from Harvard University. As the founder of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, now Sofia University, he has been at the forefront of integrating psychological principles with spiritual wisdom.His unwavering dedication to integrating body, mind, and spirit has left a lasting legacy that continues to inspire and transform lives. 
Dr. Jorge Ferrer
Jorge N. Ferrer, PhD., is a clinical psychologist, author, and relationship counselor. Formerly a professor of psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, he also served as chair of the Department of East-West Psychology.
Dr. Pier Luigi Lattuada
Founder of Biotransenergetics a new integral transpersonal psychotherapeutic approach, Dr. Pier Luigi is the CEO of the Integral Transpersonal Institute of Milan. He is also director of the Transpersonal Psychotherapy School in Milan, fully recognized by the Ministry of Education University and Research since 2002.
He is President of EUROTAS, Global Transpersonal Network.

Dr. Anil Seth
Dr. Anil Seth is a world-renowned neuroscientist, a best-selling author, and a highly sought-after keynote speaker with expertise in the science of consciousness, artificial intelligence, and art-science collaboration.

Dr. Frederic Luskin
Dr Luskin founded and currently serves as Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects.  Dr. Luskin created and taught for 10 years the Happiness class based on Positive Psychology class as well as co-founded the Life Works and Wellness Education programs at Stanford School of Medicine.   He is on faculty for the Stanford School of Business Executive Education program where he teaches an 8-hour series on Mindfulness and Happiness to business executives from all over the world.
Dr. Xiaodong Lin
Dr. Xiaodong Lin is a professor of Cognitive Science in Education and the Founding Director of Education for Persistence and Innovation Center (EPIC,, at Teachers College, Columbia University.   She studies how to motivate students to succeed despite of running into obstacles in their school work and personal life.   A theme that runs throughout her research is how learning about people’s processes of struggling with failures can improve students’ future learning and confidence.  
Dr. Robert Siegler
Robert Siegler is Schiff Foundations Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research focuses on the development of mathematical thinking. Dr. Siegler has published more than 250 articles and chapters, written 13 books, and edited 4 others. The contribution of Dr. Siegler’s research has been recognized in numerous ways. He has been awarded the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, been elected to the National Academy of Education, and been chosen as one of the 40 most distinguished graduates of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He has been the Tisch Distinguished Visiting Professor at Columbia University, the Brotherton Lecturer at the University of Melbourne (Australia), the Astor Lecturer at Oxford University (England), and received an honorary doctorate from University of Leuven (Belgium).
Dr. Benjamin Lovett
Benjamin J. Lovett, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Education in the School Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. He teaches courses on psychological testing and on the legal and ethical framework for school psychology practice. He is a licensed psychologist in New York State and serves as a consultant to schools and testing agencies. He has over 100 publications including his 2015 book, Testing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Research-Based Practice, published by the American Psychological Association press.
Dr. Tanya Luhrmann
Dr. Tanya Marie Luhrmann is the Albert Ray Lang Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University, with a courtesy appointment in Psychology. Her work focuses on the edge of experience: on voices, visions, the world of the supernatural and the world of psychosis. 
Dr. David A. Patterson
P h D
Dr. Patterson is professor emeritus of The University of Tennessee’s College of Social work and emeritus Cooper-Herron Endowed Professor of Mental Health Research and Practice. He is a Brown University Mindfulness Center certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher with a daily meditation practice of more than thirty-two years. Dr. Patterson was also an adjunct professor in the University of Tennessee’s Graduate School of Medicine. He was the founding director to the UTK-College of Social Work’s Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program in advanced clinical practice and leadership.
Dr. Glenn Hartelius 
Glenn's initial career interest was in archaeology, and he participated in his first excavation in Israel-Palestine at age 16. He became an expert in terracotta oil lamps of the Eastern Mediterranean from the Byzantine and Islamic periods, and contributed to a number of scholarly publications on this subject. In 1980 he received his first training as a bodyworker, which was his main profession and embodiment practice until 2007.

Glenn earned his PhD in East-West Psychology in 2009, by which time he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA. In 2014 he was invited to the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco to found a new PhD program in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology. The program opened in 2016, focusing on integration of experiential authenticity with the level of academic rigor required to enable students to publish in academic journals and bring a transpersonal influence to the wider field. By the time he left his position in 2021, Glenn had also launched a PhD emphasis in Somatic Psychology, and the program had attracted more than 100 students.
Panel Chairs
We are pleased to introduce you to our Panel Chairs. 
Dr. John Elfers
John Elfers is the Director of the Dissertation Office and Core Faculty at Sofia University. He holds a doctorate in transpersonal psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist.
Dr. Vitor Rodrigues
Vitor Rodrigues, PhD in Psychology, psychotherapist and writer (16 books published). A former President of EUROTAS, Vitor works now mainly in the private sector delivering personal consultations and group trainings in several countries.
Dr. Caifang Zhu
Core faculty and lead faculty of the bilingual PhD program in transpersonal psychology, Sofia University in Palo Alto, California.  Board member and deputy secretary of the International Transpersonal Association.
Dr. Dorote Lucci 
Dr. Lucci is the lead core faculty at Sofia University and Visiting Professor at Universite de Lyon. She unites various disciplines to enhance well being including, mindfulness, transpersonal leadership coaching, conscious business studies and transpersonal psychology. Holding a Ph.D. in Psychology, her innovative approach to mental health is informed by her experience in international business and marketing, adding a unique cross-cultural and social dimension.
We are proud to present you to our Panelists. Please note that this list is not finalized and there will be more panelists to be added!
Dr. Tong Jun
Registered Supervisor of Professional Registration System for Clinical and Counseling Psychology Organizations and Professionals of Chinese Psychological Society.
Dr. Vladimir Maykov
Ph.D., President of the Russian Association of Transpersonal Psychology and Psychotherapy, teacher, author, publisher, and film director
Dr. Arnaud Delorme
Arnaud Delorme, PhD, is a CNRS principal investigator in Toulouse, France, a member faculty at the University of California, San Diego, and a Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences.
Dr. Dale L. Gooden
Dale L. Gooden, DHSc, EJD, MBA, is a highly skilled expert in business administration, informatics, health law and compliance, clinical information systems, and the health sciences. He has served in key roles in academia and healthcare, including a stint as Dissertation Chair at Franklin University's Doctor of Business Administration and Healthcare Administration Program. Dr. Gooden's significant experience in the healthcare sector includes leading major projects in healthcare institutions as a Senior Consultant for Infosys and managing clinical information systems projects for prestigious organizations like Healthcare Partners (Optum), WellPoint, and Kaiser-Permanente. He holds a DHSc degree in Fundamentals of Education, an EJD in Health Law, and an MBA in Health Services Management.
Dr. Giovanni Calabrese
Medical doctor, Transpersonal psychotherapist. As a PhD in Psychiatry I used Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy to study brain metabolism in vivo in many different psychiatric and neurological diseases. As a transpersonal psychotherapist I use qualitative methodology to explore the field of Transpersonal Psychotherapy.

Dr. David Lipschitz
David is engaged in a wide variety of fields of application.  He describes himself primarily as a practitioner:  an affiliate of McKinsey and Company and consult globally with a focus on leadership development, culture change and team functioning.

Ruti Wagaki
Ruti Wagaki is a Registered Craniosacral Therapist (RCST®) and a former Board Member with the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America. She is an experienced bodyworker in private practice since 1996, with an extensive teaching background in the healing arts and as a Qigong Instructor.
Dr. Shijin Sun
Director, Professor, Doctoral Supervisor,
Center for Psychological Research, Fudan University
President, Division of Integrative Psychology, Chinese Association of Social Psychology
Chairman of the supervisory board, Chinese Psychological Society
Dr. Harris Friedman
Retired Professor at University of Florida, Harris Friedman now teaches at several universities. He publishes extensively within transpersonal psychology, and is Senior Editor of the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. He is a clinical and organizational psychologist, and past president of both Association for Transpersonal Psychology and International Transpersonal Association.

Shiuya Sara Liuh, Ph. D. a licensed psychotherapist, and Jungian analyst. She is the founder of Shiuhli Memorial Foundation & Shiuhli counseling center, which offers seminars and training programs in various psychotherapies in Taiwan. She is vice-president of Taiwan Society of Analytic Psychology, and director of Jungian analysis training program.
She has a private practice in Taipei and teaches in China, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Her research interests are related with creativity, symbol, images-creation and cultural archetypes in Jungian psychology. Her recent publication “Intuitive Painting and Individuation” will be published in Psy-Garden publisher, Taipei, 2023

Dr. Mary Kay Chess
Mary Kay Chess is an instructor in NWCPHP's Public Health Management Certificate program. She brings 30+ years of experience in healthcare leadership in multi-state urban and rural systems to NWCPHP’s learning community. While serving as the COO for a 3-state healthcare system, she began to explore systems thinking, complexity and leadership. During this exploration, Mary Kay completed her PhD in the area of transformational learning and change. Leveraging her healthcare practice, she began exploring areas for student-focused learning and has over 12 years of experience in teaching leadership and personal development and innovative engagement in systems.
Marion Boon
Born in the Netherlands, multilingual teacher, therapist and trainer in Holographic Regression Therapy. Innovator in the field, founder of IPARRT practice and travelling teacher for TASSO international programs.
 For over two decades she has been teaching in various schools in Europe, USA and India, presented at conferences and brought post graduate specialties for large groups of mainly TASSO students and graduates. She is a co-founder of EARTh Association and the WCRT world congresses, specialties developed in IPARRT practice (‘the Amazing ART’), and coaching and counselling techniques designed in MENSICS® institute, reach many layers in society and are available for professionals only.
Dr. Robert Wood
Robert Wood earned a PhD in Psychology with a concentration in Transpersonal Psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, the predecessor of Sofia. He also has a Juris Doctorate degree, and Master’s degrees in Economics, Business Administration and Transpersonal Psychology. He currently teaches courses in Archetypes and Ecopsychology while serving as Chair of Transpersonal Studies at Sofia University.
Dr. Marilyn Schlitz
Dr. Schlitz is an acclaimed social scientist, award-winning author, and charismatic public speaker. She has conducted clinical, laboratory and field-based research into consciousness, human transformation, and healing. Her books include Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life; Consciousness and Healing: Integral Approaches to Mind Body Medicine; and Death Makes Life Possible (and companion film by same title). Having taught at Stanford, Harvard, and Trinity University, she is currently Professor of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University, CEO/President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. 
Dr. Kelly Yi 
Dr. Kelly Yi completed his doctoral training from the clinical psychology program at Sofia University in Palo Alto, CA. He is currently Associate Chair of the psychology doctoral Program at The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University, and also is a clinical supervisor at Stanford/The Pacific Graduate School of Psychology’s evidence-based university clinic. Dr. Yi studied the psychology of religion and comparative religious/spiritual experiences as an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara, and in graduate school conducted original doctoral research on long-term mindfulness training and well being, examining the experiences of long-term practitioners and teachers.
Dr. Anne Ya-Ju Hsu
Anne Ya-Ju Hsu is a transcultural mother-scholar-practitioner. She is an internationally trained and licensed clinical psychologist in Taiwan, China, and Colorado with a Existential-Humanistic orientation. She founded True Colors Psychology Group Clinic in Taiwan and YJ Psychology Ltd., her private practice in Denver. She also supervises doctoral learners and is the lead professor for Sofia’s Overseas Masters of Transpersonal Psychology Program.
Dr. Jerri Lynn Hogg
Dr. Jerri Lynn Hogg is a media psychologist, researcher, global speaker on artificial intelligence, award-winning educator, and published author.  As the 2015 President of the American Psychological Association’s Society for Media Psychology and Technology, the past director of the Media Psychology program at Fielding Graduate University, co-creator of certificates in Brand Psychology, Audience Engagement, and Positive Media, and Sofia University’s Innovation and Technology Thought Leader, she works with companies, leaders, parents, and students to understand how media and technology influence their lives and how to develop best use strategies. 
Submission Guidelines
This section provides details on the submission types and the process of submitting your work to the conference. It offers guidance to aid you throughout the process, starting from submitting an abstract to preparing your presentation for the conference.
*All presenters must register for the conference prior to making a submission.
Important Dates
Submission Deadline: Extended to Thursday, July 20th, 2023
Decision Notifications and Scheduling Information: end of July 2023
Open for graduate students and professionals
The conference allows two types of submissions:
• Individual or Group Paper Presentation
• Poster Presentation
Presentations will be done virtually.
Individual or Group Paper
The format allows one or multiple presenters to deliver an oral presentation of their research, covering topics such as research findings, applied professional work, unique adaptations, or special issues linked to the four conference themes. 

Each individual paper presentation is allocated a 15-minute time or 30-minute time slot. Diverse and innovative perspectives are highly encouraged for submissions. 

We also welcome group presentation submissions, consisting of a chair and three to four presenters. The group demographics need to be diversified in terms of gender, affiliation of institution of the group members.
Individual or Group Paper Presentation

• Presentation title 
• Abstract describing the presentation (250-word maximum): The abstract      must follow American Psychological Association style guidelines 
• Keywords
• Theme designation (choose from 4 themes)
• 3 current citations 
• Level of intended audience (i.e., introductory, intermediate, and/or                  advanced) 
• Author Information: Maximum of 8 co-authors may be included.
• Presenter information
Poster presenters will have the opportunity to highlight aspects of their research by using illustrative materials such as tables, graphs, photographs, and large-print text. 

Poster presenters will be assigned to a Poster Q&A Zoom session where they will have the opportunity to answer questions and discuss their research with interested attendees. 

Data-based posters (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods), which require a graph or chart of data, will receive preference. The reviewers will also consider conceptual, clinical, intuitive and other transpersonal approaches. We are open to creative, artistic and experiential activities and expression.
Poster Presentation

• Poster title
• Abstract describing the poster (250-word maximum). The abstract must follow American Psychological Association style guidelines
• Keywords
• Theme designation (choose from 4 themes)
• 3 current citations
• Level of intended audience (i.e., introductory, intermediate, and/or                  advanced)
• Author Information: Maximum of 8 co-authors may be included.
• Presenter information
*All presenters must register for the conference prior to making a submission.
Schedule Overview
We have released the full program book and schedule! 
You can find more information about the conference, speakers, and events that will take place during this 3-day event. 
News and Updates
August 16, 2023
Embracing Embodied Wisdom: A Deep Dive into Heart, Mind, and Body Interconnection - Event Recap
On Sunday, July 23rd, at the Sofia University Costa Mesa Campus, a compelling panel discussion laid the foundation for our annual Global Conference on Advancing Mental Health. The discussion was anchored around the triad of transpersonal psychology - the mind, the spirit, and the body. The panelists, each a luminary in their field, ventured to decode the enigmatic concept of Embodied Wisdom, creating a tapestry of ideas that resonated with the depth and breadth of human experience. 

Watch our video and read our recap below!
July 18, 2023
Sofia University Global Mental Health Conference - Submissions Q&A Recap
Guided by Dr. Dorote Lucci, Co-Chair of the Conference, and Dr. Simone Dimatteo, Director of Sofia Virtual Writing Lab, the session elucidated the submission guidelines and the differences between presentations and posters. This thorough understanding empowered participants to embark on the submission process confidently. 

If you missed our event or would like to review the questions that were answered, click on our link below!
June 15, 2023
Welcome Message from Co-Chairs, Dr. Caifang Zhu and Dr. Dorote Lucci
Dear Participants,

Welcome to the Sofia University Global Conference on Advancing Mental Health: Enlightened Minds, Compassionate Hearts, and Embodied Wisdom. As co-chairs of this groundbreaking event, we are both excited and humbled by the opportunity to address such a dedicated community of professionals, students, and individuals passionate about improving mental health globally.
Contact Us
Want to find out more information or questions about the conference?

Fill out our form here, or reach out to
[email protected] and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

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