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Alumnus Richard Oelberger, PhD '06 Publishes Book on Kabbalah

10/24/2009
Alumnus Richard Oelberger Published Qualitative Kabbalah: The Value of Living a Spiritual System Available at Amazon According to Richard, Qualitative kabbalah is dedicated to the incorporation of health and healing, spiritual psychology, and the practical aspects of the mythical study of kabbalah. It offers a comparative perspective on the utilization of spiritual techniques and applications...

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Alumni Messenger

Alumnus Stephan Beyer, PhD '05 Releases New Book on Shamanism

10/22/2009
The University of New Mexico Press has published, Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon, by Saybrook alumnus Stephan Beyer, PhD '05 A fascinating first-hand account of initiation into the magic and mysteries of ayahuasca—one of the most potent shamanistic hallucinogens on the planet. "It is scholarly and quite compellingly written. Treated as an...

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Alumni Messenger

East Coasting with Alison and Ed: Saybrook's Board of Trustees Chair and the VP of Institutional Advancement Connect with Right Coast Alumni

10/22/2009
Saybrook University Board Chair, Alison Bonds Shapiro, and the Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Ed Patuto, recently completed a trip to five East Coast cites: Richmond, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; New York; and Norwalk and Westport, Connecticut. The goal of this trip was to connect with alumni in the area and to promote Saybrook’s new College of Mind Body Medicine. In...

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Alumni Messenger

Alumnus Larry Honig, PhD '07 Works on Proposal to Study the Quantitative and Qualitative Effects of Meditation and Neurofeedback

10/21/2009
Alumnus Larry Honig, PhD ’07 completed his Post-Doctoral Residency in Counseling and Consulting Services in Tucson, AZ, and received his Psychology License in April of ‘09. Larry is developing a private practice in psychotherapy and Low Energy Neurofeedback (LENS); works part-time at Sierra Tucson doing psychological and neuropsychological testing; and does LENS at Mindworks...

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Alumni Messenger

Alumna Jacqueline Wilcoxson, PhD '05, Co-Advisor for Concert to Benefit Needy Children in Brazil

10/19/2009
Inspired 4 Change and the National Society for Leadership are planning a concert/fundraiser in Southern CA to aid students who will be going to Brazil to help the community of needy children. Click here for more info: http://fla.vor.us/wafform.aspx?_act=eventview&_pky=65521 You can help by attending the concert or sending a donation. Tickets: Adults $7; children 12 and under, $3 Thank you...

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Alumni Messenger

Alumna Janet Piedilato, PhD '99 Reviews Celebration of Jung's Red Book Publication

10/13/2009
On Wednesday October 7, 2009 the long awaited publication of Red Book by W. W. Norton was celebrated by a series of events in NYC that commenced with the opening of an exhibit displaying the original C.G Jung masterpiece. There are no words to do justice to either work; the original or the newly published. For while the original Red Book in place beneath a glass cube in the lower level...

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University

An interview with Interim President Bob Schmitt

10/13/2009

“Higher education is changing radically,” says Bob Schmitt, Saybrook’s new interim president.  “There are people who say that in 20 years, you won’t recognize higher education, that’s how much it will change.  I think Saybrook, with its humanistic values and experience with distance learning, has a compelling role to play in this new environment as a stimulator and a leader.  I think, if we take up this challenge, it has a greater role to play.”

The former president of the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology (ITP), a hospice chaplin, and a counselor, Schmitt says his biggest goal is a “smooth transition” from Lorne Buchman’s presidency to the next permanent president.  He and the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees are in the process of determining his specific goals and priorities for his time here - which he estimates at anywhere from three to nine months. Schmitt added that his top priority these first few weeks is getting to know people and the present needs of the school.  He emphasized that he wants to be accessible and encourages members of the Saybrook community to contact him.

Schmitt spoke with the Saybrook Forum on his first day at Saybrook.  An edited transcript of that interview is below.

Saybrook Forum (Forum):  You sat on the board of the APA’s Division for Humanistic Psychology for a number of years.  What was your impression of Saybrook back then?

Bob Schmitt (Schmitt):  “I was intrigued by it and liked it.  I thought that ITP and Saybrook were sister schools.  I’d hoped that we would collaborate in as many ways as possible.  At one point I was part of a discussion about a merger between the two schools.  What I was especially intrigued about with Saybrook, then and now, is how well it handles distance education.   I think that distance education is the real wave of the future.  Not that everybody’s going to do it, but it’s going to impact all forms of education, and Saybrook’s ahead of the curve in terms of understanding how to make it work.”

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University

How to love your work more than your paycheck

10/13/2009

Are we falling into a trap of believing that our work, and indeed, our lives, should always be fascinating and all-consuming? Are we somehow lacking if we’re bored at times or buried under routine tasks or failing to challenge ourselves at every turn?

So asks New York Times writer Alina Tugend, in a recent article asking what it means to “be passionate” about your job, and whether it’s a faire tale of the modern work world:  nice to imagine, but not really possible.

Keima Sheriff can speak to that.  An Organizational Systems student at Saybrook, she founded the Institute for Balance Restoration (IBR), a consulting company that builds stronger organizations by building stronger, and more passionate, individuals.  Keima also just got an experience in practicing what she preaches, when she became interim CEO of a Pennsylvania non-profit.

Cookman Alternative Learning Community is a small, alternative school that helps kids the educational system has given up on get an education and graduate into a better future.  It was also no exception to the freeze on government payments when the state of Pennsylvania couldn’t agree on a budget.
Suddenly left with an organization whose employees she couldn’t pay, Keima called a staff meeting in July.

“I gathered the staff together and said ‘my gut is telling me that even if the state comes up with a budget by October, we won’t have money by December to start paying you,’” she recalls.  “‘But we have these kids, and we know that if we send them anywhere else they will not graduate on time.  So, guys, what do you want to do?”

The Cookman employees decided that they would all get other jobs, and then donate their labor as full time volunteers until the state passed a budget that could pay them to come back again. 

Why?  Because they cared for the kids, and they loved what they did.

“So my staff have gotten other jobs and then, based on their availability, we’ve cobbled together a schedule that they can use to run the organization,” Keima says.  “I have a teacher who comes in after five, one who has to leave at 3, one who can only come in three days a week … and they love their work so much that they’re doing this, for these kids.” 

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University

Awakening to Awe - and keeping it in your life

10/13/2009

Most of us have had an experience so surprising, so moving, so profound, that it changed our lives in an instant.

Perhaps falling in love for the first time, or seeing a child born, or looking up at the night sky and really understanding how immense it all is.  This feeling, we’ve told ourselves, is the real essence of life.

Then we’ve gotten on with our lives, and all but forgotten about it.

How is this possible?  How is it that we let these moments go so easily, instead of putting them at the center of our lives?

“That’s the $64 million question,” says Saybrook psychology faculty member Kirk Schneider.  Memory is always fleeting, the present is always distracting, but he thinks there are other factors at work.  “Our society, industrialization in general, puts a premium on control, efficiency, and expedience, and these are helpful in meeting people’s needs.  But at the extreme … and I think we’ve moved into the extreme… it becomes debilitating to a fuller experience of life.  I think our quick fix model of living has alienated us from awe, even made us fearful of it.”

That becomes “a vicious cycle,” he says.  “Experiencing awe requires profound reflection, pausing, searching, and sensing, all the things we’re not given time to do, which means that even when we experience awe, it’s harder to stay with.”

Schneider’s recent book, Awakening to Awe:  Personal Stories of Profound Transformation, is a guide to help recapture the ability to experience, and stay with, awe. 

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Alumni Messenger

Tenure-Track Faculty Positions Open at Universithy of West Georgia's Humanistic Psychology Department

10/13/2009
The Department of Psychology at the University of West Georgia announces at least one tenure-track faculty position to commence Fall 2010. The department houses dynamic undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degree programs, and engages an integrative approach with roots in humanistic, existential/phenomenological, transpersonal, depth, critical, and feminist psychologies. We emphasize human...

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