Celebrating the Life, Work, and Contributions of John Rowan, Ph.D.

As we traverse the journey of exploring the personalities that have significantly influenced the field of psychology, we cannot overlook the remarkable contributions of Dr. John Rowan. His profound knowledge and expertise in the discipline of humanistic psychology, transpersonal psychology, and psychotherapy have left indelible imprints in the psychology landscape. This blog post aims to delve into the life, work, and contributions of Dr. John Rowan in recognition of his transformative influences on the psychological sciences.

Early Life and Education

John Rowan was born on March 20, 1925, in London, England. He was a curious child, exhibiting an early interest in the human mind and the different aspects that influence human behavior. His passion led him to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University. However, his thirst for understanding the human mind led him to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology from Sheffield University, laying the foundation of his illustrious career in psychology.

Career and Contributions

Dr. Rowan’s career has been a robust blend of teaching, practicing, and writing, marked by a strong belief in the immense potential of the human spirit. His work has focused on humanistic and transpersonal psychology, along with integrative psychotherapy. He was a keen proponent of the concept of the “self,” emphasizing that self-awareness and self-acceptance are fundamental to psychological well-being.

John Rowan on Transpersonal Psychotherapy

1. Humanistic Psychology

Dr. Rowan was instrumental in popularizing humanistic psychology in the UK. He believed that this branch of psychology, which emphasizes the individual’s inherent drive towards self-actualization and creativity, was a necessary shift away from the deterministic views of psychoanalysis and behaviorism. His work underscored the role of the subjective experience, personal responsibility, and the present moment in psychological healing and growth.

2. Transpersonal Psychology

Transpersonal psychology, a school of psychology that integrates the spiritual and transcendent aspects of the human experience with the framework of modern psychology, was another area where Dr. Rowan made significant contributions. He viewed transpersonal psychology as a bridge between the psychological and the spiritual, offering a holistic approach to understanding human nature. His seminal book, “The Transpersonal: Spirituality in Psychotherapy and Counselling,” is considered a cornerstone text in the field.

3. Integrative Psychotherapy

Dr. Rowan was an advocate of integrative psychotherapy, which draws on multiple theories and approaches to therapy to provide a more holistic and individualized approach to treatment. He co-authored “The Plural Self: Multiplicity in Everyday Life,” which broke new ground in understanding the complexity of the human psyche from an integrative perspective.

Influence and Impact

Dr. Rowan’s contributions to psychology have had a profound and lasting impact. His pioneering work in humanistic, transpersonal, and integrative psychotherapy has not only influenced the practice and teaching of psychotherapy but has also made these approaches more accessible and understandable to the general public. He has been a beacon for therapists worldwide, guiding them towards a more holistic and empathetic understanding of their clients.

1. Influence on Therapists and Counseling

Dr. Rowan’s work has been instrumental in shaping the practice of many therapists and counselors. His emphasis on the therapeutic relationship, personal growth, and the integration of spiritual experiences into psychotherapy has inspired therapists to adopt a more holistic and client-centered approach. His writings, teachings, and supervision have helped numerous therapists expand their understanding of the human psyche and refine their therapeutic skills.

2. Contributions to Psychological Literature

As a prolific writer, Dr. Rowan contributed significantly to psychological literature. His books are not

only foundational texts for students and professionals in the field but have also been instrumental in making complex psychological concepts accessible to the general public. Some of his most influential books include:

These books have undoubtedly left a lasting legacy in the fields of humanistic, transpersonal, and integrative psychotherapy.

3. Training and Supervision

Dr. Rowan’s contributions also extended to the training and supervision of therapists. He was a respected supervisor and mentor, providing guidance and support to numerous therapists during their training and professional development. His emphasis on self-awareness, self-reflection, and personal growth as an essential component of a therapist’s competence has influenced the way many therapists approach their work and their relationships with clients.

Usage of DIY Supplements

DIY capsules as an important factor for a healthy life

John Rowan was a health enthusiast who was devoted to taking care of his body in the most natural way possible. He believed that the key to good health was through the use of DIY supplements. John was highly knowledgeable when it came to natural remedies and spent most of his time researching and experimenting with various herbs, vitamins, and minerals. He was aware of the advantages of taking supplements that were free from chemicals and synthetic ingredients, which he believed were detrimental to the body.

John had a unique philosophy when it came to his health. He was a firm believer in taking control of his own well-being, and that meant creating his own supplements from scratch. He enjoyed the process of sourcing the right ingredients and experimenting with different combinations to find what worked best for his body. John believed that by creating his own supplements, he could ensure that he was getting the exact nutrients that his body needed in the right amounts. John’s faith in DIY supplements was not unfounded.

Benefits of natural supplements

Natural supplements are free from preservatives, additives, and synthetic ingredients that are usually found in commercial products. This meant that they were safer and more effective than the supplements produced by the pharmaceutical industry. John’s approach to his health was holistic and focused on the root cause of the problem rather than just treating the symptoms. John’s unwavering dedication to his health was not without challenges.

There were times when he struggled to source the right ingredients, and at times, he found himself experimenting with supplements that did not work as expected. However, he never gave up on his quest to find the perfect formula, and his perseverance paid off. John’s supplements were not only effective, but they were also cost-effective, which meant that he could save money and invest in other aspects of his health.

John’s belief in DIY supplements was not only limited to his personal use. He was a firm advocate of natural remedies and believed that this was the way forward for the health industry. He shared his knowledge with friends and family, and even wrote articles on the benefits of DIY supplements. His passion for health and well-being was infectious, and he inspired many others to take control of their own health.

In conclusion, John Rowan was a man who was passionate about his health and well-being. His unwavering belief in DIY supplements and natural remedies was a testament to his dedication to holistic health. His approach to his health was inspiring, and he was a beacon of hope for those who were looking for natural alternatives to commercial products. John’s legacy will live on, and his contribution to the health industry will always be remembered.

Personal Life and Legacy

Dr. John Rowan was not only a prominent figure in the world of psychology but also a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He was known for his kindness, humility, and genuine care for others. His personal life was a reflection of his professional beliefs, with a focus on self-awareness, personal growth, and the integration of the spiritual and the psychological.

Dr. Rowan’s legacy continues to be felt through the impact of his work on therapists, counselors, and clients worldwide. His dedication to promoting a holistic understanding of the human psyche has made a lasting impression on the field of psychology, and his work will continue to inspire and influence generations of therapists, counselors, and psychologists for years to come.


In celebrating the life, work, and contributions of Dr. John Rowan, we recognize his unwavering commitment to enhancing the understanding of the human psyche and promoting psychological well-being. His influence on humanistic, transpersonal, and integrative psychotherapy has been transformative, paving the way for more holistic and empathetic approaches to therapy. Through his teachings, writings, and personal example, Dr. Rowan has left an indelible mark on the field of psychology, inspiring countless therapists and touching the lives of countless individuals in their journey towards self-discovery and personal growth.

As we continue to explore and appreciate the contributions of pioneers like Dr. John Rowan, let us remember the importance of continually expanding our understanding of human nature and seeking new ways to promote healing and growth. In honoring his legacy, we commit ourselves to the pursuit of knowledge, empathy, and the unyielding belief in the potential of the human spirit.

John Rowan’s Guide to Humanistic Psychology

Humanistic psychology is a branch of psychology that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s as a response to the limitations of behaviorism and psychoanalysis. It emphasizes the unique qualities of human beings, such as creativity, free will, and self-awareness, and seeks to understand the subjective experiences of individuals.

Humanistic psychology is characterized by a focus on personal growth and self-actualization, empathy and compassion, and the importance of the therapeutic relationship between the client and therapist. It also places a strong emphasis on the present moment and the here-and-now, rather than dwelling on past events or focusing solely on future goals.

Some of the key figures in humanistic psychology include Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Rollo May. Maslow developed a hierarchy of needs, which suggests that individuals must satisfy basic physiological and safety needs before they can focus on higher-level needs such as self-esteem and self-actualization. Rogers emphasized the importance of empathy, unconditional positive regard, and authenticity in the therapeutic relationship.

May focused on the role of anxiety, freedom, and responsibility in human experience. Overall, humanistic psychology is concerned with the unique qualities of human beings and seeks to promote personal growth, self-awareness, and happiness. It has influenced many areas of psychology and has been particularly influential in the field of psychotherapy.

Introduction: The Humanistic Approach

John Rowan, Ph.D., was a renowned British psychologist, author, and counselor who made considerable contributions to the field of humanistic psychology. His work was based on the premise that people are fundamentally good, and they have an inherent capacity for personal growth and self-actualization. He believed in the transformative power of human potential and strived to foster a sense of individual agency, self-responsibility, and authenticity in his clients. His methods were characterized by empathy, respect, and unconditional positive regard, principles that are central to the humanistic approach.

Theory in Humanistic Psychology

Rowan’s theory in humanistic psychology focused on the idea of the ‘Self’. He proposed that an individual’s self could be divided into three primary parts: the lower self (the Child), the middle self (the Adult), and the upper self (the Parent). Rowan proposed that our mental health and well-being depend on the balance and integration of these three selves.

Figure 1 (Four Positions In Personal Development)

In his model of personal development, Rowan identified four key positions: security, identity, belonging, and self-esteem. He argued that an individual’s progression through these stages determines their personal growth and development.

Individual and Group Work

Rowan extensively utilized both individual and group counseling methods. He believed that while individual work helps in self-exploration and understanding, group work provides the opportunity for interpersonal learning and can foster a sense of belonging and acceptance.

INTERVIEW | Dr. John Rowan on Transpersonal Psychology, Trance & Spirituality

Figure 2 (Rules Of Encounter Groups)

In his encounter groups, Rowan created a set of rules aimed at fostering an environment of trust, respect, and emotional safety. These rules emphasized active participation, genuine expression of feelings, and respect for others’ experiences.

Couple Therapy or Counselling

Rowan also specialized in couple therapy, where he applied his humanistic approach to help couples explore their relationship dynamics, communicate more effectively, and foster a deeper understanding and empathy for each other.

Family Therapy or Counselling

In family counseling, Rowan used a systemic approach to address family dynamics and conflicts. He believed that individual behavior must be understood in the context of the family system, and he focused on improving communication, promoting understanding, and resolving conflicts within the family unit.

The Person-Centered Approach

Rowan was greatly influenced by the work of Carl Rogers and his person-centered approach. He believed that the therapist’s role is not to direct or advise the client, but to create a supportive, empathetic, and non-judgmental environment that facilitates the client’s self-exploration and personal growth.

Gestalt Therapy

Rowan was also a proponent of Gestalt therapy, an experiential form of psychotherapy that emphasizes personal responsibility and living in the present moment. He used Gestalt techniques, such as role-playing and the empty chair technique, to help clients resolve unfinished business and integrate their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

The Experiential Approach

The experiential approach was central to Rowan’s work. He believed that deep, transformative change comes from direct experience rather than intellectual understanding. He encouraged clients to engage with their emotions, body sensations, and present-moment experiences to foster self-awareness and personal growth.


Rowan championed the concept of ‘encounter’ – a direct, authentic, and experiential meeting with oneself or others. He believed that encounter can foster deep understanding, empathy, and transformation.


Co-counselling, a method where two people take turns to be the counselor and the client, was another approach Rowan advocated for. He believed that co-counselling promotes mutual understanding,

empathy, and personal growth, as both participants get the opportunity to explore their thoughts and feelings and offer empathetic support to each other.

Psychodrama and Other Drama Approaches

Rowan also utilized psychodrama and other drama-based approaches in his work. He found that role-play and enactment can be powerful tools for self-expression, self-exploration, and healing. These methods allow clients to enact their experiences, conflicts, and fantasies, which can lead to increased self-awareness and resolution of emotional issues.

Transactional Analysis

Rowan incorporated Transactional Analysis (TA) into his therapeutic work. TA is a psychoanalytic theory and method of therapy wherein social transactions are analyzed to determine the ego state of the client, whether it be parent-like, child-like, or adult-like. Rowan used TA to help clients understand their interpersonal interactions and to promote healthier communication patterns.

Body Work

Rowan emphasized the importance of the body in psychological health and therapy. He integrated bodywork, including breathing exercises, movement, and touch, into his therapeutic practice to help clients reconnect with their bodies, release held tensions, and express emotions that may be difficult to put into words.

Primal Integration

Primal Integration, an approach that encourages revisiting and integrating early life experiences, was another cornerstone of Rowan’s work. He believed that unresolved issues from our early life can significantly impact our present life, and by revisiting these experiences, we can heal and grow.

Transpersonal Psychology

Rowan was a pioneer in transpersonal psychology, an approach that integrates spiritual experiences into the psychological framework. He believed in the existence of a higher, spiritual dimension of human experience and emphasized its importance in personal development and mental health.

Dream Work

Rowan incorporated dream analysis into his therapeutic practice. He believed that dreams are a rich source of insight into our subconscious and can provide valuable information about our inner conflicts, desires, and fears. He used dream work to help clients understand their unconscious dynamics and foster personal growth.

Feminist Therapy

In his practice, Rowan applied feminist therapy principles to challenge gender-related stereotypes and biases. He believed in the importance of addressing gender inequality and its impact on mental health. Rowan promoted equality, empowerment, and respect for individual experiences, regardless of gender.

Humanistic Education

Rowan was a strong advocate for humanistic education, which focuses on the development of the whole person, including intellectual, emotional, social, and moral aspects. He believed that education should foster creativity, critical thinking, and empathy, and should empower students to reach their full potential.

Humanistic Management

In the context of management, Rowan applied the principles of humanistic psychology to foster a work environment that values individual autonomy, creativity, and well-being. He advocated for participatory decision-making, respect for diversity, and a balanced approach to work and personal life.

Transpersonal Management

Taking his humanistic management approach further, Rowan introduced the concept of transpersonal management. He believed that leadership and management should not only address the practical aspects of work but also the spiritual and existential needs of employees.

Humanistic Research

Rowan believed in the importance of research in humanistic psychology. He advocated for qualitative research methods that focus on the lived experiences of individuals and respect the complexity and uniqueness of human experiences.