PhD Mind-Body Medicine: Integrative Mental Health Specialization

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Infusing Mental Health Care with Compassion and Joy

Integrative Mental Health (IMH) is a new specialization for PhD students in the School of Mind-Body Medicine. This specialization educates licensed or licensable mental health professionals in an integrative whole-person approach to mental health care via academic education, the acquisition of mind-body and self-regulation skills, and the practice of self-care.

Academic studies in the IMH specialization integrate complementary therapies including mind-body approaches, nutrition, somatic therapies, the wisdom of world healing traditions, and a review of current psycho-neuroimmunology and neuroscience research. The goal of this specialization is to revitalize the mental health field with energy, spirit, compassion, and joy. 

The IMH specialization is designed for individuals who are already licensed mental health practitioners, or who have a licensable degree in a mental health profession. The course work supplements traditional mental health education by introducing alternative paradigms for understanding mental and emotional disorders. Students learn a core of evidence-based  complementary therapies, including the use of integrative nutrition, health coaching, guided imagery, somatic therapies, and mindfulness approaches.

You will be able to select additional coursework in areas such as clinical hypnosis, biofeedback, narrative medicine, and integrative psychotherapy. You'll also be introduced to the contributions of whole medical systems, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine. Course descriptions can be found in the Saybrook University Catalog.

All students in the IMH specialization also complete a clinical practicum in integrative mental health, and a dissertation applying qualitative or quantitative research methods to health related problems.