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Obituary: Clark Moustakas

Obituary: Clark Moustakas

We pass this news on to you…

“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of Clark Moustakas, esteemed co-founder of the Michigan School of Professional Psychology, brilliant scholar and transformative spirit. Clark passed away Wednesday, October 10, 2012, at his home in Farmington Hills, Michigan leaving behind a rich and remarkable legacy.

We, at MiSPP, will honor his memory by being true to the values he held dear and the ideas he promoted throughout his life. They live within the walls of our school and in the beauty of our surroundings.

For those of us who have been mentored and inspired by his radiant presence in our lives, Clark will remain within us. He will serve as our North Star, our guide, to ever search for the light, the creative, the good, in every human being.

While Clark would want us to celebrate his life in our own unique and personal manner, we will also pay tribute to him as a community in a special way in the near future.

A fund will be established to continue Clark’s contributions to humanistic psychology and qualitative research.. Donations may be sent to MiSPP, 26811 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills, MI 48334.

In the spirit of the Firebrand,

Diane Blau


Michigan School of Professional Psychology



From David Cain:

“Clark Moustakas was one of our best and brightest and probably the most creative. I recall taking workshops from him on loneliness and psychotherapy with children and recall that Clark was superb at creating extraordinary learning experiences. In one workshop, he helped participants identify some core values. Mine was “emergence.” After the workshop, I asked Clark to sign one of his books. Clark wrote in my book “”We share what is emergent and a commitment to what lives.” Not only did he remember what I shared as my learning, he joined me in it. It was gratifying to feel heard and affirmed as I’m sure others did as well.

Clark was both the gentlest and the toughest man I have ever met. Gentle in manner and tough in his convictions. His legacy is one of the most outstanding in the field of humanistic psychology and psychotherapy, His contributions to the field of qualitative research are seminal. Clark was also a champion of providing for generations of graduate students to have access to humanistc-existential opportunities for education and training. He was, in his own words, a firebrand, unafraid to stand up for what he felt was right and to provoke action when necessary.

I have had the good fortune to have met most of the founders and leaders of humanistic psychology. Had I the opportunity to pick only a few to learn from and with, Dr. Clark Moustakas would be one of those few extraordinary and inspiring individuals. His book Being-In. Being-For, Being-With” is one I often return to as I strive for continuing personal and professional development. Dr. Moustakas, I’m pretty sure that I speak for many in expressing my deep gratitude for all you have given and for showing us how to live our convictions.”


According to the Michigan School of Professional Psychology


Dr. Moustakas was President Emeritus and a co-founder of the Center for Humanistic Studies (CHS), now the Michigan School of Professional Psychology. Originally as a faculty member at the Merrill-Palmer Institute in Detroit, he was joined in visioning and creating CHS as the first graduate school in the Midwest offering a Master’s degree in Humanistic & Clinical Psychology.

A contemporary of Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, he was a leader in the field of humanistic and clinical psychology. He was at the forefront of establishing the Association for Humanistic Psychology and the Journal for Humanistic Psychology.

Throughout his leadership and Presidency at CHS, his main focus was the integration of philosophy, research and psychology in the education and training of humanistic clinical psychologists. He is the author of 40 books and numerous articles on humanistic psychology, philosophy, education and human science research. Some of his most prominent books include: Loneliness; Creativity and Love: Awakening Meanings in Life; Phenomenological Research Methods; Existential Psychotherapy and The Interpretation of Dreams; Being-In, Being-For, Being-With and Relationship Play Therapy are valuable additions to research and clinical literature. His works are printed worldwide, in 10 different languages, including Loneliness (2008) in Lithuania.

Dr. Moustakas’ contributions to the field of humanistic psychology are an international legacy.


Dr Moustakas has been an inspiration to many at the University of West Georgia Psychology, and his presence and contributions will be missed.

For more information on Dr Clark Moustakas see his wikipedia page.


  1. One of the most impressive scholars I have ever known.

  2. I had the great fortune in my final year social work prac (the one I had to do after not doing so well in the previous prac that should have been my final prac)to be given a copy of ‘Lonliness’ (or was it ‘Lonliness and Love’)by my supervisor. The values and outlook of Clarke E Moustakas’s work, thus stood by me through my whole career; in cases where ‘struggle’ and ‘self doubt’occur. Clarke E Moustakas’s poignant writing has sustained this Australian Social Woker through many a struggle. I feel privileged to say these few words in celebration of a wonderful life.

  3. I met Dr. Moustakas by his book in the course of doctoral dissertation some 15 years ago.
    I read his book over and over again . Almost every words and every sentences in the book are meaningful and thought provoking.
    It gave me inspirations and practical guidances.
    It even gave me way of viewing life’s problems and life’s wisdom.
    Even though you passed, Your book will still stay with us and tell us how to find life’s truth and how to live.
    I thank you very much for your having been with us as such.

  4. I got to know Clark Moustakas in 1960 when I attended the Merrill-Palmer Institute. The most wonderful school of my life. I felt
    so special in his presence and I felt hear and affirmed. Such a
    wonderful person and teacher. I still have some of his papers.

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