History

More than forty years ago, a group of leading psychologists gathered to form the first graduate school centered on the belief that every person is a work in progress and that each of us has the capacity and the responsibility for our own development. These scholars were the founders of the humanistic psychology movement. While the establishment of Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center was a momentous event, its founders understood that for Saybrook to help affect significant change in the world, the institution would need to be willing to change with it.

That was the beginning of a long journey that has seen Saybrook continually adapt in response to challenges of the day. Within the past decade, Saybrook has added residential programs in organizational systems and counseling offered by the Leadership Institute of Seattle (LIOS), and established a new Department of Mind-Body Medicine. What hasn’t changed, however, is the humanistic tradition that helps guide students on journeys of academic and personal growth.

LIOS was founded in 1969 to prepare women and men to take on effective roles as leaders—to assume important roles within organizations or work independently as skilled consultants and counselors. For more than 40 years, LIOS was the premier center in the northwest of innovative leadership development. Its programs have become part of Saybrook University and are offered through the Departments of Leadership and Management and Counseling.

The Department of Mind-Body Medicine builds upon our foundation in pioneering new approaches to health and wellness, and the work of its founding dean, James S. Gordon, M.D.—an early and acclaimed advocate of mind-body and integrative medicine.

Over its history, Saybrook University has grown to meet the needs of society by preparing scholars and practitioners to take leadership roles in inspiring transformational change. Saybrook scholar-practitioners unite “the library and the street” by relating scholarship and research to action and practice in a wide range of professional contexts.

In March 2015 Saybrook University aligned its academic programs into two colleges focused on specific disciplines, with explicit career and professional outcomes:

College of Social Sciences

College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences

For more information on our path to the future, read the Strategic Agenda.