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School of Mind-Body Medicine Student, Sarah Ness, Completes Doctoral Dissertation on Burnout and Spiritual Engagement in Trauma Workers

11/10/2013
Dr. Sarah Ness, new PhD graduate of Saybrook School of Mind-Body Medicine

Sarah Ness recently completed her PhD in Mind-Body Medicine with her dissertation research on burnout and spiritual engagement in trauma workers. As a trauma worker herself, Sarah has spent the last eight years working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault at a crisis shelter in Charlotte, North Carolina. She knows the intensity of trauma work, and she is passionate about finding ways to maintain the health and well-being of trauma workers to ensure sustainable quality of care and effective services for trauma survivors. 

In her dissertation study titled "Transcending Burnout: A Mixed Methods Study on Spiritual Engagement and Holistic Health Effects of Trauma Work," Sarah comprehensively examined the work-related stress and burnout symptoms in trauma workers and the role of spiritual engagement as a protective/restorative factor. With 310 participants from across the country, data was collected via on-line surveys using burnout and spirituality scales as well as qualitative questions on work-related stress and spiritual engagement.

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Recent Mind-Body Medicine School Graduate LaVera Forbes Advances Awareness of Food Addiction and Weight Bias

05/29/2013
LaVera Forbes

LaVera Forbes recently completed her PhD in Mind Body Medicine, and has been actively creating her new professional identity.  One of the ways she has accomplished this is presenting the research she conducted at Saybrook on the topic of obesity and food addiction at professional conferences. Her proposals have been accepted for the following conferences, and she awaits decisions for several others:  The National Wellness Conference, the International Conference and Exhibition on Obesity and Weight Management, and the Health, Wellness, and Society Conference.

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Peter Amato, PhD Student in Saybrook University's School of Mind-Body Medicine, Operates Integrative Healing Centers in Pennsylvania and St. Maarten

04/09/2013
Peter Amato in St. Maarten

Peter Amato operates two integrative wellness centers, both named Inner Harmony. The first is in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania and the second is on the island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean. The Scranton center is situated on the campus of the Regional Hospital of Scranton (formerly Mercy Hospital).   Both centers provide holistic healthcare, based on a model of healing mind, body, and spirit.

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Saybrook University Graduates First PhD in Mind-Body Medicine: Beth Haggett

01/15/2013
Beth Haggett and Daughter Michaela

Over 30 years ago, as a 19 year old girl, Beth Haggett told her husband that someday she wanted to earn a PhD in Psychoneuroimmunology. When she first heard that Saybrook University was developing a PhD program in Mind-Body Medicine, she jumped at the opportunity and  became the first to apply for the new program.

On December 28, 2012, Beth defended her doctoral dissertation, and became the first student to complete the new PhD. Her degree is a “PhD in Mind-Body Medicine with a specialization in Health Care Systems.”  She achieved her goal within the time frame that she set for herself of three and one half years. Most importantly, because of her mind-body learning, and the self-care that was a component in her mind-body medicine education, her own mental, emotional, and physical health have improved dramatically in the course of her education. Beth’s husband and adult children have also benefitted greatly from applying mind-body skills to their lives.

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Recent MBM Grad Addresses Compassion Fatigue: Practical Applications for Nursing Professionals. Introducing Betsy Murphy

10/13/2012
Betsy Murphy, Alone and Teaching a Class of Seniors

Nurses are on the front line of care for the ill, wounded, and traumatized individuals and are called upon to deliver compassionate care to their clients. Empathy and compassion are essential qualities for successful healing environments, vital for both the providers and receivers of health-promoting interactions.

Betsy Murphy is a certified holistic nurse who is interested in exploring mind body methods to help preserve compassion in nurses.  Her professional and personal practice of mindfulness meditation and yoga, along with Saybrook’s training in mind-body skills, guided her in the development of a 16-hour experiential education program to alleviate compassion fatigue in nursing professionals. This education program comprised her masters’ project, and she graduated with an MS in Mind-Body Medicine in August 2012.

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Jerrol Kimmel Combines Career in Integrative Health Care with Mentoring College of MBM Students

09/20/2012
College of MBM Mentor Jerrol Kimmel

Jerrol Kimmel, RN, MA, sees her position as a mentor for the Saybrook Mind-Body Medicine program as the culmination of her work as a mind-body specialist since the mid-1980’s. 

Jerrol began her career in community mental health and the healing arts in 1975 with a BA in psychology from UC Berkeley. In 1983 she completed a nursing program in order to integrate Western Medicine with holistic practices.  With the intention of complementing her passion of integrative health with additional academic rigor she received her Masterʼs degree in Integrative Health Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA.  Jerrol has maintained a private practice since 1980 incorporating massage therapy, mind-body techniques and other holistic modalities in assisting her clients in attaining physical, emotional and spiritual health.  She is a faculty member of the Center for Mind-Body Medicineʼs professional training programs and is also part of the Centerʼs Global Trauma Relief team providing training for health and mental professionals in Israel, Gaza and Haiti.

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Embodied Practice for Health and Wellbeing: A Healing Retreat for Mental Health Professionals Experiencing Burnout and Compassion Fatigue: Introducing Kari M. Allen-Hammer

08/01/2012
College of MBM MS Student Kari Allen-Hammer

Mental health professionals often work in stressful environments, and are exposed regularly to human suffering.  As a result, they risk emotional and physical exhaustion that can lead to burnout syndrome and compassion fatigue.  

For her Master’s project, Kari M. Allen-Hammer described the problems of burnout syndrome and compassion fatigue as experienced by some mental health professionals, examined the research that supports the use of mind-body medicine practices for reducing the emotional stress that can lead to burnout and compassion fatigue, and formulated an original 16-hour urban retreat program designed to guide mental health professionals to embody states of heightened awareness of their mental, physical and spiritual needs.

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College of Mind-Body Medicine Student Produces Manual for Group-Based Mind-Body Skills Approach for Enhancing Sexual Wellness: Introducing Alexzandria Baker

07/18/2012
Alexzandria Baker

 

 
Sexual dysfunction is highly prevalent in today’s society, impacting 31% of men and 43% of women, according to one study conducted by Laumann, Paik, and Rosen (1999). Sexual dysfunction is more common in persons with poor physical and emotional health and is closely associated with negative experiences in sexual relationships and overall well-being. With the advent of new drug therapies and surgical options for the treatment of sexual dysfunction, sexual health is becoming increasingly medicalized, resulting in the lack of adult sexuality education available outside of the medical setting and a pathology-based approach to “treating” sexual concerns. Given the multidimensional context of sexual wellness, however, the allopathic approach seems to be severely inadequate. In addition, the medical community charged with providing treatment seems unprepared and undereducated for the task thus opening the potential for prescribing ineffective or extreme treatments for symptom reduction rather than addressing root causes or offering patient-centered approaches.
 

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College of Mind-Body Medicine Student Describes Center for Mind-Body Medicine Certification: Introducing Michelle Lamasa-Schrader

05/29/2012
Michele Lamasa-Schrader with her Group at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine

[All students in the Saybrook Graduate College of Mind-Body Medicine Complete the CMBM Professional Training Program, the Advanced Training Program, and a supervision sequence guiding them to conduct mind-body skills groups. Each of these elements is included in a required course in the College of Mind-Body Medicine masters’ and doctoral degree programs. The students then have an option to complete additional CMBM supervision on their own, and attend the Advanced Training Program a second time, in order to earn Certification from the Center. Michelle Lamasa-Schrader describes her experience with this certification process].

The journey through the Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s certification program has been an interesting and enriching experience that I will treasure always. While attending the initial training and advanced trainings through the Center, I was inspired and compelled to move in the direction of certification because the skills had been transforming in my own life. The growth that began to happen personally was amazing to me. I found myself looking and feeling better as a result of simply practicing the mind-body skills. I was better able to handle academic rigor, my family life, and work with greater ease, feeling at peace, and balanced much more frequently.

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College of Mind-Body Medicine Faculty Member Pursues Optimal Performance: Heather Dermyer, Ph.D.

05/15/2012
 
Imagine working full-time as a Clinical Psychologist, teaching Ethics for Saybrook University’s College of Mind-Body Medicine, and working at the United States Olympic Education Center (USOEC) with Olympic hopeful athletes on the Speed-skating, Weightlifting, Women’s Freestyle Wrestling, and Men’s Greco Roman Wrestling Teams.  Heather Dermyer rarely has a day off, yet she enjoys every minute of her busy and productive life. 
 
In addition to living a dynamic professional life, Heather is also dedicated to her own self-care.  At age 17 Heather suffered severe physical injuries from an accident that left her unable to walk.  After four and one half years of specialists, procedures, and physical therapy, the medical community told her there was nothing else that they could do for her pain. 

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