Consciousness, Spirituality, and Integrative Health Specialization

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Consciousness, Spirituality, & Integrative Health Modalities

The School of Psychology & Interdisciplinary Inquiry offers both master's degree and doctoral psychology students an option to declare a Specialization in Consciousness, Spirituality, and Integrative Health (CSIH). Students may select many paths through this Specialization based upon their interests. While a Specialization is not required for the degree, it will be listed on your transcript if you complete the requirements.

The CSIH Specialization takes an integrated (mind, body, and spirit) approach to understanding individual, cultural, and transcultural perspectives to wellness. The integrated study of consciousness, spirituality, and health offers ways of understanding people’s inner worlds as accessed through such methods as depth psychology, self-regulation, inner healing, mental imaging, the arts, dream work, and contemplative practice.

The study of consciousness as it relates to people’s outer world is approached through methods ranging from psychophysiology and other empirical investigations, ethnography, and historiography to explorations of work and community life, interpersonal relationships, spiritual beliefs, and social action. Given the diverse array of course offerings, students are able to create a Specialization path that suits their particular interests and career goals.

The study of spirituality supports students who want to pursue work in areas such as pastoral care, spiritual guidance, and life coaching, or who want to integrate understanding of the spiritual dimension of human life into another profession. Faculty work with students to focus their studies in ways that best meet their academic, professional, and personal goals.

This Specialization allows students to focus on the study of complementary approaches to healing and stress management that have not been regarded as standard within mainstream medical and psychological care, including conditioning of immune functioning (psychoneuroimmunology), traditional Chinese medicine, shamanism, Ayurvedic (East Indian) medicine, and Native American medicine.

Additional alternative health practices relevant to psychological and physical health that are studied include the ethical application of meditation, nutrition, energy medicine (e.g., therapeutic touch, healing touch, and energy channeling), hospice work and chaplaincy, and many others. Mind/body therapies like these are being integrated rapidly into health care settings, from imagery, hypnosis, biofeedback, meditation, mindfulness, and health coaching, to expressive therapies such as music, dance, art, and indigenous ceremonies. Students may also explore spirituality, including its role in physical and psychological health, personal relationships, organizational functioning, and communities. 

Although not intended as preparation for licensure, studies in this Specialization can be applied to the work of psychologists and other licensed mental health professionals. Studies can also be applied to peace work, pastoral care, spiritual counseling, conflict resolution, education, consulting, and organizational work.

CSIH Faculty:

  Robert Schmitt, Ph.D. (Co-Director)
  Eric Willmarth, Ph.D. (Co-Director)
  Julie Beischel, Ph.D.
  Abbe Blum, Ph.D.
  Leslie Allan Combs, Ph.D.
  Marie DiCowden, Ph.D.
  Patrick Faggianelli, Ph.D.
  Stanley Krippner, Ph.D.
  Jacquie Lewis, Ph.D.
  Ann Masai, Ph.D.
  Ruth Richards, Ph.D., M.D.
  Donald Rothberg, Ph.D.
  Marina Smirnova, Ph.D.
  David Smith, Ph.D.
  Allyson Washburn, Ph.D.
  Ian Wickramasekera II, Psy.D.
  Kevin Willmarth, Psy.D.

 

To find out whether the Consciousness, Spirituality, & Integrative Health Specialization is right for you, please email admissions@saybrook.edu or call 800.825.4480.