James F. T. Bugental

James Bugental, Ph.D., A.B.P.P., Professor Emeritus, International Institute for Humanistic Studies, died age 92, September 18, 2008, at home in Petaluma, California, with his wife, Elizabeth Bugental, Ph.D. and family at his side.

About Jim Bugental

Photo of Jim Bugental

Jim Bugental, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.:

  • Received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1948
  • Was named a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in 1955
  • Professor Emeritus, International Institute for Humanistic Studies.
  • Former professor of psychology at University of California at Los Angeles, Georgia Tech University, Saybrook, Emeritus Clinical Faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine, and a Rockefeller Scholar at the California Institute of Integral Studies
  • First President of Association of Humanistic Psychology, Division 32 of American Psychology Association
  • First recipient of Rollo May Award, given by Division 32, Humanistic Psychology
  • Author of over 60 articles and chapters on Existential-Humanistic psychology and psychotherapy
  • Author of seven books beginning with Search for Authenticity and most recent, Psychotherapy Isn't What You Think. Other books include: Psychotherapy and Process, Intimate Journeys, The Art of Psychotherapy and editor of two versions of the Handbook of Humanistic Psychology. His books have been translated into many languages and used widely in undergraduate and graduate schools of psychology and psychotherapy

Jim's influence in the field of psychology and psychotherapy reaches far and wide. His teachings to psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage family therapists, clinical social workers have always been focused on the present moment of psychotherapy, on experiencing the actual moment with the client. His attuned presence to the authenticity of the moment with himself and his clients was and will remain one of his greatest gifts to psychotherapy through the many therapists he has trained nationally and internationally.

I was honored to be a student of Jim's close to three decades and a teacher with him for half that time. He is and was an authentic teacher, embracing all the great potentials and limitations of being human. He was an essential part of forming the International Institute for Humanistic Studies (I.I.H.S.) dedicated to developing compassion, hope, courage, resilience and tolerance in each human being. We are honored to post below reflections, musings, and poems, by some of his students from I.I.H.S. and others near and dear to Jim, on this page.

May we each dive deep and soar high with our relationships with ourselves and each other,

Myrtle Heery, Ph.D.
Director I.I.H.S.

Reflections on James F.T. Bugental, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.

By Myrtle Heery, Ph.D., Director, I.I.H.S.

Close to three decades in a teacher-student relationship with Jim Bugental, I found myself saying goodbye to him on Thursday, September 18, 2008 for the last time. Good-byes are full of hellos for me. Hello to my own death which accompanies me daily. Hello to internal conversations I have inside myself with those I love so dearly, as I am sure I will with Jim.

And so it is, my dear mentor Jim, you have taught me so well to live now, to embrace what is, to be all I can be, to laugh, to cry, to search, to embrace the warmth of the sun and the dampness in living and dying. And now life is asking you to die physically, you who have lived so fully authentically. Now you face the last great journey embracing all that is new without your body. As you have lived fully in your physical body, I am certain you will pass into the mystery of being fully without your physical body.

I look forward to our continued teaching relationship as you go into the unknown trails with all those loved ones who have gone before you.

May you travel with the certainty and love you have lived in your physical being and may you soar high, as high as the birds in the sky, and may you reach down often to each and all of us and point with your sweet elbow to the moon, to embracing the wonder of living and dying. In gratitude to you, travel with certainty. I look forward to hearing from you.

Jim Bugental Scholarship Fund

International Institute for Humanistic Studies (I.I.H.S.) has established the Jim Bugental Scholarship Fund for students, interns, therapists, in financial need and demonstrate a passion for learning and using Existential-Humanistic psychotherapy. This fund is for the various trainings offered through I.I.H.S. including the two year training program, Unearthing the Moment. I.I.H.S. is a 501c(3) educational organization, I.D. #77-0591145.
Donations are tax deductible.

To donate, please open our contribution form by clicking on the Contribution Form link below, and print and mail the completed form with a check to the address on the form.
Contribution Form

Please click on the link below to read tributes to Jim Bugental from some of his students and colleagues.

Tributes to Jim Bugental