A Journey of Transformation Through Learning
Author: Nicholas Theo
On November 3, 2018, Dagmar Suissa, MSc presented A Journey of Transformation through Learning at the Beyond the Brain conference in London, UK. Ms Suissa’s research originated from her observation that there was limited research on how transformation occurs through academic online learning. Additionally, as Ms Suissa experienced her own inner transformational process as she went through Alef Trust’s MSc course in consciousness, spirituality and transpersonal psychology, she wondered if her fellow students in the MSc programme were also experiencing a similar transformation.
The research was carried out using intuitive inquiry, a methodology building on both intellectual rigour of human science research and intuitive ways of knowing. Seven participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview, five of them also engaged in drawing a mandala symbolically capturing their learning journeys, which further enriched the insights.
The results of Suissa’s research determined that a student’s own receptivity to inner transformation was a necessary factor. A student who was open to challenging their inner beliefs and world view had a higher chance of experiencing this inner transformation. Therefore, course content was not solely responsible for transforming a student. Nonetheless, associated with that finding, course length did have an impact on how or whether a student went through the transformational process. Adequate space of time was needed to permit space for the transformation to occur.
Upon reflection of her own inner transformation after completing the MSc course, Suissa shared, “My most cherished gain is my transformed self. I have a more expanded understanding of myself. I feel more connected to others, more authentic, more compassionate, forgiving and patient, more embodied and more mature in general. I lost and gained some relationships for the very same reasons. I have acquired a lot of knowledge on the way as well, which is part of my professional transformation.”
Since graduating, Ms Suissa thought that the MSc programme put her on track to fulfill transformative learning as her life’s calling. Suissa applies these transformative skills through the courses she teaches at university, and through the transformational programmes she creates and facilitates for organisations as well as individual transformation work with her clients. Suissa commented,”… it is not just the knowledge that I apply. I also apply ‘myself.’ It feels like my own being and my own transformative experience in itself have a transformative impact on others.”
Dagmar Suissa is an educator, facilitator and transformational coach: www.dagmarsuissa.com.
Dagmar Suissa, MA, MSc
Dagmar is an organisational development consultant, transformational coach, facilitator and lecturer at Charles University in Prague. She holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Université René Descartes in Paris and a master’s degree in consciousness, spirituality and transpersonal psychology from the Alef Trust. She spent over 15 years in various HR leadership roles in businesses such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, mBank, Marks and Spencer or Alma Media. During these years she particularly enjoyed leading HR projects revolving around cultural change or talent and leadership development. After completing her MSc. with the Alef Trust, she started to integrate transpersonal perspectives into organisational development. In particular, she advocates for a transformative learning approach to leadership and organisational development in general. She is currently dedicated to working with organisations, focusing especially on nurturing and developing transformational capacities in their leaders and people professionals. You can learn more about Dagmar on her web site at http://dagmarsuissa.com.