The Collected Works of John R. Suler, PhD



John Suler's Bio and Vita

John Suler is a psychologist, writer, and photographer specializing in interdisciplinary approaches to self-insight and personal growth in the age of technology. During his forty years of research, teaching, and clinical practice, his work focussed on the four topic areas indicated below. The pdf documents collected here are organized according to these topics. Best viewing is on a tablet or computer using Acrobat Reader.


| Cyberpsychology | Images and Photography | East/West Psychology | Teaching Psychology |



~ Cyberpsychology ~

Psychology of Cyberspace book cover

The Psychology of Cyberspace was the first textbook about the psychology of online behavior. Created in 1996 by John Suler, a founder of the field of cyberpsychology, it was revised and expanded over the next ten years to cover a wide range of topics, including individuals, groups, psychotherapy, and research in cyberspace. It also contains the first in-depth discussion of the well-know "online disinhibition effect." This comprehensive anthology is a glimpse into the first stage of internet psychology and its foundational principles. Some of its articles were revised for journal publication as listed in the references below (8mb pdf).

Psychology of Cyberspace book cover

Psychology of the Digital Age: Humans Become Electric, published by Cambridge University Press, builds on The Psychology of Cyberspace and from Suler's two decades of participant-observation field research in diverse online environments. It explores the enhancing of wellbeing in the digital age, communication via text and photographs, conflicting attitudes toward social media, artificial intelligence, media transitions and overload, an expanded version of the online disinhibition effect, and a new conceptual framework – the Eight Dimensions of Cyberpsychology Architecture – which serves as a valuable tool for understanding digital realms. The focus is on the individual, shedding light on our conscious as well as subconscious reactions to online experiences, and on our intrinsic human need to self-actualize. Sample chapters are provided in the reference list below. Also available on Amazon. The slide show with audio narration by John Suler for each of the chapters is also available (see Teaching Section below).

image for the video The Birth of Cyberpsychology
The Birth of Cyberpsychology is a video presenting concepts and illustrative images that portray the origins of cyberpsychology and the wide range of topics essential to that discipline, all to the tune of Strauss's Blue Danube and with echoes of 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is intended as a captivating, and at times humorous, overview of this new area of psychology.
cover image for a collection of images about psychology and technology

Images about Science and Technology is a collection of images that portray a variety of issues concerning the psychology of social media, the internet, and technology. Some of the images are humorous, some illustrate concepts from Psychology of the Digital Age: Humans Become Electric by John Suler. They have served well in teaching courses related to cyberpsychology. They are also examples of how to use visual elements to portray psychological concepts (47mb pdf).

Suler, J. (2016). Psychoanalytic cyberpsychology. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 13(1) (pdf)

Suler, J. (2016). The uncanny in the digital age. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, doi: 10.1002/aps.1479 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2016). The Eight Dimensions of Cyberpsychology Architecture: Overview of a Transdisciplinary Model of Digital Environments and Experiences (pdf)

Suler, J. (2016). Cyberpsychology Architecture. Chapter 1 in Psychology of the Digital Age: Humans Become Electric, Cambridge University Press (pdf)

Suler, J. (2016). The Disinhibited Self. Chapter 4 in Psychology of the Digital Age: Humans Become Electric, Cambridge University Press (pdf)

Suler, J. (2016). Electric Therapeutics. Chapter 15 in Psychology of the Digital Age: Humans Become Electric, Cambridge University Press (pdf)

Suler, J. (2015). The ambivalence of the digital natives. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 12(2), 175-180 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2011). Interpersonal guidelines for texting. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 7, 358-361 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2010). Myths about online psychotherapy. Cross Currents: The Journal of Addiction and Mental Health, 13, 3 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2009). The psychotherapeutics of online photosharing. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 6, 339-344 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2008). Image, action, word: Interpersonal dynamics in a photo-sharing community. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 11, 555-560 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2008). Cybertherapeutic theory and techniques. In Psychological Aspects of Cyberspace: Theory, Research, Applications (A. Barak, editor), pp. 102-128. Cambridge University Press (pdf)

Barak, A., Boniel-Nissim, M., & Suler, J. (2008). Fostering Empowerment in online support groups. Computers in Human Behavior. 24, 1867-1883 (pdf)

Barak, A., & Suler, J. (2008). Reflections on the Psychology and Social Science of Cyberspace. In Psychological Aspects of Cyberspace: Theory, Research, Applications (A. Barak, editor), pp 1-12. Cambridge University Press (pdf)

Suler, J. (2005). eQuest: Case study of a comprehensive online program for self-study and personal growth. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 8, 379-386 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2004). Computer and cyberspace addiction. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 1, 359-362 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (2004). The psychology of text relationships. In: Kraus, R., Zack, J., Stricker, G. (eds.), Online counseling: a handbook for mental health professionals, pp 19-50. London: Elsevier Academic Press (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (2004). The online disinhibition effect. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 7, 321-326 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (2004). In-class and online: Using discussion boards in teaching. CyberPsychology and Behavior 7, 397-403 (pdf)

Fenichel, M., Suler, J., Azy Barak, Zelvin, E., Jones, G., Munro, K., Meunier, V., & Walker- Schmucker, W. (2002). Myths and Realities of Online Clinical Work. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 481-497 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (2002). The future of online clinical work. Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 4, 265-270 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (2002). Identity Management in Cyberspace. Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 4, 455-460 (pdf)

ISMHO Clinical Case Study Group - J. Suler, lead author (2001). Assessing a person's suitability for online therapy. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 4, 675-680 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (2001). Psychotherapy and clinical work in cyberspace. Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 3, 95-97 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (2001). Online clinical case study and peer supervision groups. Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 3 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (2001). The online clinical case study group: An e-mail model. CyberPsychology and behavior, 4, 711-722  (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (2001). The psychology of avatars and graphical space in multimedia chat communities. In Chat Communication, Michael Beiswenger (Ed.), pp. 305-344. Ibidem, Stuttgart, Germany (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (2000). Psychotherapy in cyberspace: A 5-dimension model of online and computer-mediated psychotherapy. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 3, 151-160 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (2000). Exploring psychoanalysis on the web. Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 2,  205-208 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1999) To get what you need: Healthy and pathological Internet use. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 2, 385-394 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1999). Internet mailing lists. Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 1, 199-201 (pdf)

Suler, J. (1999). Publishing Online. Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 1, 373-376 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1999). The Palace. New Observations: Cultures of Cyberspace, 120, 10 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. and Phillips, W. (1998). The Bad Boys of Cyberspace: Deviant Behavior in Multimedia Chat Communities. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 1, 275-294 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1997). From ASCII to Holodecks: Psychology of an Online Multimedia Community. Presenation at the Convention of the American Psychological Association, Chicago (pdf)




~ Images and Photography ~
Book cover for Perception and Imaging: Photography as a Way of Seeing by John Suler and Richard Zakia
Perception and Imaging: Photography as a Way of Seeing addresses critical questions about the psychology of photography. When you look at an image, what do you see, think, and feel? How do you want your audience to react when they view your work? John Suler and Richard Zakia present their insights into the principles of perception, memory, color, time, space, shapes, illusion, subliminals, rhetoric, personality style, photo critique, and photography in the age of the internet. Unlike any other work, this textbook provides an extensive understanding of how photography relates to art, design, advertising, psychology, and philosophy, as well as what makes photography unique among the image-making disciplines. Photography is not simply a mastering of technique and composition, but as a way of truly seeing. This book was published by Routledge. Also available on Amazon.
Book cover of the manual for Perception and Imaging: Photography as a Way of Seeing by John Suler and Richard Zakia
The Exercise Manual for Perception and Imaging: Photography as a Way of Seeing contains activities for perceiving and creating images that correspond to each of the chapters in the book, including such exercises as detecting subliminal features of commercial ads, experimenting with camera angles, tests of visual memory, perceiving symbolism, designing a conceptual photograph, creating movement in an image, taking a decisive moment photo, using color for emotional effect, identifying microexpressions, and breaking rules (95 mb pdf).
Photographic Psychology-Image and Psyche
Photographic Psychology: Image and Psyche is a psychological exploration into how people create, share, and react to images in the age of the internet and digital photography. The major sections of the book are devoted to the role of sensation and perception in photography, the psychology of composition, creative captures and post-processing, sharing images online and in-person, and constructing images that portray concepts in human psychology (66mb pdf).
John Suler's lecture on the decisive moment at the International Center of Photography
Suler's lecture at the International Center of Photography focussed on what is often considered the most critical concept in photography: The Decisive Moment. He describes how his research has identified the essential ingredients of this type of photograph, including the capture of a unique fleeting moment, the sensing of visual coalescence, the anticipation of closure, losing and creating oneself, and the portrayal of “little human moments” that point to the universal struggles and triumphs of the human condition. The slide show that accompanied his lecture can be downloaded (13mb ppt). His article on this topic appears in Photographic Psychology: Image and Psyche.
Photographic Psychology: Forces that Shape the Psyche
Suler's exhibition Photographic Psychology: Forces that Shape the Psyche at the Rider University Art Gallery addressed a fundamental question about human nature: What forces, both inside and outside of us, shape our sense of identity and self? The photographs in the exhibition portrayed a variety of these forces. Attenders were encouraged to think about how the forces illustrated by these images might apply to their own lives. Suler also used the exhibition as an opportunity to conduct research on photographic psychology (39mb pdf).

Suler, J. (2015). From self-portraits to selfies. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 12(2), 175-180 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2013). Conceptual photography. In the 4th edition of Perception and Imaging: Photography as a Way of Seeing by Richard Zakia. Focal Press, pp. 102-114 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2013). Image therapeutics. In the 4th edition of Perception and Imaging: Photography as a Way of Seeing by Richard Zakia. Focal Press, pp. 288-290 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2013). Inside the psyche. In the 4th edition of Perception and Imaging: Photography as a Way of Seeing by Richard Zakia. Focal Press, pp. 264-265 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2013). Mindfulness in photography. In the 4th edition of Perception and Imaging: Photography as a Way of Seeing by Richard Zakia. Focal Press, pp. 277-281 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2013). Negative space. In the 4th edition of Perception and Imaging: Photography as a Way of Seeing by Richard Zakia. Focal Press, pp. 18-23 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2013). Up close and personal: Photography displays in a physical space. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 10, 181-187 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2013). The varieties of self-portrait experiences. In Photographic Psychology: Image and Psyche, True Center Publishing, 1-20 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2012). The decisive moment. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 9, 372-375 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2011). The impact of image streams. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 9, 84-88 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2011). Illustrating ideas with digital images: Insights from contemporary digital photography. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 8, 103-111 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2009). The psychotherapeutics of online photosharing. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 6, 339-344 (pdf)

Suler, J. (2008). Image, action, word: Interpersonal dynamics in a photo-sharing community. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 11, 555-560 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1996). Mental imagery in the organization and transformation of the self. Psychoanalytic Review, 83, 655-672 (pdf)

Rizziello, J., & Suler, J.R. (1992). A computer program for the block figure imagery test: A preliminary report. Journal of Mental Imagery, 16, 205–210 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1990). Images of  self in Zen meditation. Journal of Mental Imagery, 14, 197–204 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1989). Mental imagery in psychoanalytic treatment. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 6, 343-366 (pdf)

Suler, J.R., & Katkin, E.S. (1988). Mental imagery of fear-related stimuli. Journal of Mental Imagery, 12, 115-124 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. & Rizziello, J. (1987). Imagery and verbal processes in creativity. Journal of Creative Behavior, 21, 1-6 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1985). Imagery ability and the experience of affect by free associative imagery. Journal of Mental Imagery, 9, 101-110 (pdf)




~ East/West Psychology ~
Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Eastern Thought
Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Eastern Thought explores the convergence of psychoanalytic self psychology and object relations theory with the philosophies of Zen Buddhism and Taoism. What role does paradox play in psychological transformations? How can the eastern emphasis on attaining "no-self" be reconciled with the western emphasis on achieving an integrated self? The book also inquires into pragmatic questions concerning the nature of psychological change and the practice of psychotherapy, including the Taoist I Ching as a framework for understanding the therapeutic process, and martial arts philosophy as a guideline for clinical work. This book was published by SUNY Press. Also available on Amazon.
John Suler's Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors
Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors is a collection of classic Zen and Taoist stories that are intended to enlighten us about the human condition and life itself, sometimes in humorous and unpredictable ways. Comments from readers demonstrate the wide variety of ways we might interpret the meanings of these stories (16mb pdf).
What is this thing called self?
What is this thing called Self? was a conference presentation in which John Suler talked about the different ways to think about this concept known as "self." With a mixture of theory, Zen stories, and humor, Suler opens the door to the mystery of identity (7mb pdf).

Suler, J. (2013). Mindfulness in photography. In the 4th edition of Perception and Imaging: Photography as a Way of Seeing by Richard Zakia. Focal Press, pp. 277-281 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1995). In search of self: Psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism. Psychoanalytic Review, 82, 407-426 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1991). The T'ai Chi Images: A model of psychotherapeutic change. Psychologia: An International Journal of Psychology in the Orient, 34, 18–27 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1990). Images of  self in Zen meditation. Journal of Mental Imagery, 14, 197–204 (pdf)

Suler, J. (1998). What is this thing called self? Presentation at the 1998 conference on Psychotherapy, Spirituality, and the Evolution of the mind, Santa Monica (webpage)

Suler, J.R. (1989). Paradox in psychological transformations: The Zen koan and psychotherapy. Psychologia: An International Journal of Psychology in the Orient, 32, 221-229 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1985). Meditation and somatic arousal: A comment on Holmes review. American Psychologist, 40, 717 (pdf)




~ Teaching Psychology ~
John Suler's Teaching Clinical Psychology
Teaching Psychology: Concepts and Techniques for Experiential Learning is a comprehensive collection of resources for teaching courses in psychology, especially on topics related to mental health, psychotherapy, and personal insight and growth. It includes a wide variety of in-class exercises, longer projects, and essays on unique teaching approaches (22mb pdf).
Madman-Strange Adventures of a Psychology Intern
Madman: Strange Adventures of a Psychology Intern is a novel designed for use in teaching courses about psychotherapy, abnormal psychology, and mental health. Based on real life experiences, Madman immerses the reader into the world of a psychology intern working on the psychiatric unit of a modern teaching hospital. Madman is availabe on Amazon. An instructor manual is also available in pdf format.
eQuest an online program for personal growth
eQuest is a semester-long educational program in which students conduct online research and participate in a variety of online actitivities in order to understand and perhaps resolve some issue that is perosnally important to them in their lives. Students at Rider University undertook eQuest as independent study projects.
Slide show with narration for Psychology of the Digital Age
The slide shows with audio narration for Psychology of the Digital Age are powerpoints for each of the chapters in the book. John Suler narrates. These slides are in a compressed file for download (254 mb).
Group Dynamics: A deep dive into an interpersonal learning environment
Group Dynamics: A Deep Dive into an Interpersonal Learning Environment describes the concepts and techniques in teaching a comprehensive course where insight into oneself and others is promoted by students participating in an interpersonal learning group. This monograph includes examples of student activities, group photos, and group posters (125 mb pdf).

Manuals for instructors and students:

Working and Playing with Dreams

Instructor Manual for Psychology of the Digital Age

Qualitative Research Methodology for Photographic Psychology

Student Manual for Group Dynamics

Graduate School and Careers in Applied Mental Health Psychology

Instructor Manual for Madman: Strange Adventures of a Psychology Intern

Administering and Taking a Psychological Test Battery

Suler, J. (2005). eQuest: Case study of a comprehensive online program for self-study and personal growth. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 8, 379-386 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (2004). In-class and online: Using discussion boards in teaching. CyberPsychology and Behavior 7, 397-403 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1990). Wandering in search of a sign: A contemporary version of the Vision Quest. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 30, 73-88 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. & Genovese, D. (1988). Psychodynamics of the vision quest. Voices: The Art and Science of Psychotherapy, 24, 83–90 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1987). Computer-simulated psychotherapy as an aid in teaching clinical psychology. Teaching of Psychology, 14, 37-39 (pdf)



Other Articles

Suler, J.R. (1991). Book review of Clinical Empathy, by D. Berger. NY: Jason Aronson, 1987. In Psychoanalytic Psychology, 8, 122–127 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1990). Book review of Theories of the unconscious and theories of the self, R. Stern (Ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press, 1987. In Psychoanalytic Psychology, 7, 157-160 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1988). Book review of Progress in self psychology, vol. 2, Arnold Goldberg (Ed.). New York: Guilford Press, 1986. In Psychoanalytic Psychology, 5, 219-222 (pdf)

Suler, J.R., & Bartholemew, E. (1986). Ideology in Overeaters Anonymous. Social Policy, 16, 48–53 (invited paper) (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1985). Developing ideological mottos for the rehabilitation of chronic psychiatric patients. Journal of Rehabilitation, 51, 61-63 (pdf)

Finnegan, D., & Suler, J.R. (1985). Psychological factors associated with improved health behaviors in post-coronary patients. Journal of Psychology, 119, 87–90 (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1984). The role of ideology in self-help groups. Social Policy, 14, 29-36 (invited paper) (pdf)

Suler, J.R. (1980). Primary process thinking and creativity. Psychological Bulletin, 88, 144-165 (pdf)