Nate Koser, an instructor in Eastern Mennonite University’s (EMU) masters in counseling program and a doctoral candidate at Saybrook University, was chosen as the 2012 Rollo May scholarship winner by Saybrook.
To be a candidate for the scholarship, Koser had to complete a 25-page essay on the relationship between his work and its connection to Rollo May, an existential psychologist and co-founder of Saybrook Graduate School.
“I drew from a number of different cases,” said Koser. “The essay wove together direct clinical work with qualifying essays and what happens in a relationship between a therapist and client.”
As a practicing psychoanalyst, Koser said, “Psychoanalysis has been historically categorized by most people as belonging only to the white, upper-class community. I want to subvert this presumption by bringing psychoanalysis to the underrepresented and reach people that it hasn’t in the past – not just in academics but also in clinical work. Psychoanalysis is a radical approach that applies to each unique subject.”
“I did not grow up Mennonite, but what resonated with me is the focus on relationships and community that is found in the Mennonite faith.”
Teresa Haase, director of the MA in counseling program at EMU, said the award “positions Nate to be a respected contributor to the field of Existential/Humanistic psychology and it also reflects the intention we have as a counselor training program to embrace the Existential/Humanistic way of working and being in the world.”
A student of Jacques Lacan and Sigmund Freud, Koser said winning the award is a significant professional accomplishment, but its meaning has changed over time.
“Initially, I felt that receiving this award would provide me with some sort of authorization, as if winning it would provide a kind of credential,” said Koser, who also works for Aporia Counseling & Psychotherapy, PLLC. “However, because I am unable to refuse analyzing such things, the award has provided me with yet another opportunity to learn something about myself, my motivations, and my desire. This seems much more important to me than any kind of credential.”