The Spiritual Gift of “Hanging Out”

In the pub club recently we were chatting about the value of informal gatherings with faculty members and students in which various topics, including integration, are discussed. This brought up the observation first made by Randy Sorenson, the late and beloved professor of psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology, that integration is “caught not taught.” What I have understood this to mean is that integration is lived and modeled in real relationships in which we share our experiences in sorting out various topics and circumstances in psychology. It is this lived experienced, modeling, and transparency in relationship that best conveys integration to students, in contrast to lectures on the topic of integration, which is often the focus of faculty members.As I mentioned, this discussion took place in just such a context in which some faculty, a doctoral student, and our distinguished visiting professor, Gary Collins, met informally just to talk about integration and in doing so shared with each other our experiences and opinions on a range of topics. Gary often says he has the “spiritual gift of hanging out,” and I can see why he would say that. Much of what he says he enjoys doing today – “hanging out” – may be just what is needed for “catching” integration.

What does catching integration mean to you? How have you seen it in practice? How have you benefited from informal times with faculty or other mentors?