Wholeness-Based Eudaimonia: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study of Nature Reconciling and Flourishing with Adults with Childhood Challenges

Wholeness-Based Eudaimonia: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study of Nature Reconciling and Flourishing with Adults with Childhood Challenges

Dissertation Research Opportunity

(Update, April, 2022: Recruitment is now closed but there will be future research opportunities.)

Hello, Future Co-Researcher. 

Vishwani (Deepa) Ram-Souza, a PhD candidate in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology program at the California Institute of Integral Studies, invites you to consider participating in a study about childhood challenges and wholeness-based eudaimonia. This study aims to explore the lived experiences of adults who have had childhood challenges, have become aware of wholeness (interconnectedness with all the elements of nature including plants, animals, environment, and other human beings) and have practiced becoming one with wholeness. Specifically, the study will interview individuals about their experiences of being in physical contact, mental connection, and spiritual or emotional communion with nature and how this has influenced your human-to-human and human to non-human relationship. Your lived experiences will offer much insight into the phenomena of mysticism (wholeness) and pave the way for future research, policies, theories, and practice on actualization and flourishing. 

To participate in the study you must (1) Be at least of legal adult age of 18 years and older; (2) Have experienced difficulties in childhood, for example parental divorce, physical or sexual adversity, incarceration or mental health issues of a family member, historical struggles, such as racism, oppression, sexism, war, genocide, holocausts, slavery, migration, and indentured servitude. (3) Be involved in a form of wholeness practice (nature contact such as yoga, hiking, surfing, gardening, or nature-exercising like rock climbing; nature connection such as sharing time in nature, painting natural landscapes or non-human beings, or photography; and/or nature communion such as mindfulness meditation, plant medicine traditional rituals, or prayer) within the past five years; (4) Be willing to participate in a tele-interview on Zoom for 60-90 minutes; (5) Be willing to receive and return required documentation via electronic mail; and (6) Be able to articulate your experiences in English. Also, you may be in a therapeutic relationship or have had one where you discussed childhood challenges.  

The study involves several steps. Altogether, the total expected time for the study from beginning to end will be approximately 3 to 4 hours. The five steps follow: 

Step 1: A screening assessment must be completed. Send a note of interest to the researcher to receive a packet of the assessment forms via email. These steps will take approximately 30 minutes or less.   

Step 2: The researcher will send a confirmation email with an Informed Consent form and a poll to select a convenient time slot for the interview. Complete this form as soon as possible and return it to the researcher via email. This step will take 5 to 10 minutes  

Step 3: The researcher will review your responses. If you meet the criteria for the study, you will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link for your interview. Verify that the chosen time and date is convenient. If it is inconvenient, inform the researcher via electronic mail immediately to reschedule the interview.  

Step 4: Download and log into Zoom [https://zoom.us/signup] for the interview at least 10-15 minutes ahead of the scheduled time. The interview will last approximately 60 to 90 minutes. Additionally, a follow-interview opportunity will be made available, should you need time to fill in any missing gaps or offer any further insights. This can be requested by contacting the researcher via electronic mail.   

Step 5: The researcher will transcribe the interview and a copy of it will be emailed to you for verification and correction. This review step should take 15 to 20 minutes. Return the edited transcript to the researcher via email as soon as possible for analysis. 

There will not be monetary compensation for your participation; however, you will be invited to attend the oral presentation of the results. Your information will be treated with utmost confidentiality and respect. You may end your participation any time without penalty or prejudice. If interested in participating in this study, please contact me at: [withheld for privacy] or at the phone number: [withheld for privacy]. Microsoft Forms on OneDrive will be sent to you containing all necessary instructions. Please complete the form and submit electronically. Please ask any questions at any time.   

 Thank you for considering participation in the study. Please send a note of interest to the researcher’s email address.  

Vishwani (Deepa) Ram-Souza, MA, LMFT, PhDc