Dr Alexander De Foe

Consciousness researcher


Philosophical orientation

My personal background spans a number of areas not limited to psychology — in my work I also incorporate my knowledge of philosophy and cybernetics to develop a multidimensional approach to the human mind. My main roles as an academic involve teaching and research in cognitive science. The main three values that underpin my work are: (a) The open exploration of mind (b) intellectual freedom and (c) collaborative self-growth.

1. Open consciousness exploration

William James' doctrine to pursue the broad spectrum of states of consciousness has somewhat been lost in modern psychology and counselling degrees. An open dialogue around the consciousness issue is inclusive of all facets of mind - such as anomalistic phenomena and altered states. For the most part studies into these aspects of consciousness has either been marginalised or ignored in research programs. However an open exploration of consciousness is essential to build a 'whole picture' of the human mind.

2. Academic freedom as a pillar of knowledge

We live in an age in which all information seems readily accessible within seconds of a web search. Higher knowledge and wisdom takes time to cultivate though. The time to think and reflect on the nature of truth is often substituted by the postmodern ideal of 'outcome' in the modern word. Conversely most of the meaningful discoveries that have come about over the past centuries have been developed via diligent exploration of knowledge rather than goals centred on financial or meritorious outcomes.

Transformative learning experiences

We live in a society in which we have practically unlimited access to information and facts - but conversely deeper insight and understanding are often lacking in our schooling and even tertiary sector. The traditions of academia and sciences lead back to a time when the individual was transformed through their pursuit of higher knowledge. To recreate such virtues in our personal and professional lives is essential to return to the basis of true learning -- learning for personal transformation.

3. Contributionism for human potential

At the risk of making this page more political than I intended: The third value I aim to bring to my work centres on the relational and transactional nature of knowledge. My perspective is that human potential is best cultivated in a collaborative rather than competitive context. To give examples – In our modern world major corporations hold 99% of the power and resources that inform critical decisions. This creates a disempowered human race where the majority of people have little impact in the world they are living in. Even protests and committees are often 'for show' rather than drivers of real tangible transformation towards our highest potentials. Many social and political systems value capitalising on one's individual rather than group strengths. This attitude dissuades co-creation and drawing upon our relationships rather than objective metrics for success. Yet it is indeed a genuine attitude of co-creation which allows us to authentically pave the world we wish to see in front of us tomorrow.

You can read more about this approach of learning through the 'relational field' on the Education page on this website.

Experience and mini resume

Public discourse

Outside of academia I have been involved in conferences and interviews via several platforms. I have written for The Conversation where I am a Top 10 author on the topic of VR. I have also presented on radio at SBS and online stations / YouTube channels. I used to run a YouTube channel on transpersonal psychology which had accumulated > 1 mil video views that I have since retired due to draconian over-policing of yt and the broader social web.

Academic posts held

  • Lecturer
    RMIT University

    Lecturer in cognitive and developmental psychology

  • 2016-2019
    Industry Fellow
    RMIT University

    Postdoctoral psychology fellow and associate lecturer

  • 2015-2016
    Australian College of Applied Psychology

    Academic teacher into undergraduate and postgraduate counselling degrees

  • 2011-2014
    Assistant Lecturer + Tutor
    Monash University

    Lecturer and tutor in undergraduate psychology programs and pathways education

Research excellence

My research on consciousness and perception has been published in leading international psychology journals

Some of my major work in the area of parapsychology has been awarded international recognition via the 'Parapsychological Association' Research Endowment in the United States and 'Society for Psychical Research' Survival Fund in the United Kingdom

Curriculum design

I have taught over 25 subjects ranging from psychological science to counselling skills as well as academic skills development

I also have experience as coordinator and convener of undergraduate programs in psychology / counselling / transpersonal psychotherapy

My goal has been to strengthen higher education by introducing modern research and philosophically-grounded practice in these topics

Writing for impact

I have worked on textbook chapters and multimedia for major educational outlets such as Routledge and various international publishers

I have produced video series as well as interactive content/material and research snapshots on the topics of developmental and cognitive psychology

Graduate education

  • PhD in Psychology from Monash University in 2016 on factors associated with perceptual disruption in whole body illusions — available via Monash ePub repository
  • Postgraduate diploma in psychological research at Monash University in 2011 — dissertation document available via Monash ePub repository
  • Master in Counselling from Monash University in 2010 specialising in cognitive techniques

Other training

  • Narrative Practice Level 1 — Dulwich Centre
  • Grad Cert in Male Family Violence Counselling — Men's Referral Service
  • Cert IV in Training and Assessment
  • Mediation and Dispute Resolution Cert
  • NLP Coach