I take great joy in being a clinical psychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher. There are many links between the capacity to “sit with oneself” as a prerequisite to being able to “sit with another,” something I consider one of the most important elements in psychotherapy, perhaps, even, its essence. "If the therapist can sit with him or herself, and tolerate arising emotion, then," says the client, "maybe I can, too."
I used to joke that “my sabbatical turned into a life.” In the mid 90‘s, during a difficult passage in my life, I moved to the east coast on a journey to reclaim myself. I was looking for “my people” and “my work.” Someone told me to connect with the Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM). Little did I know that this chance meeting would completely change the direction of my life. The Center gave me a language for what I was already doing and a structure that brought out my greatest gifts as a teacher/healer.
Integrative Medicine in Scranton Pennsylvania and on the Island of St. Maarten: Meet MBM Student Peter Amato04/28/2012
Peter Amato is passionate about the healing potential of integrative medicine, and takes an active role in the ongoing transformation of health care. His passion is evident at his integrative wellness centers, Inner Harmony. The original center is located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Peter’s hometown. The other center is located on the beautiful island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean, Peter’s part-time home. In addition to running two integrative healthcare facilities, Peter has recently expanded his work to collaborate with the Integrative Life Centers in Nashville, Tennessee (www.integrativelifecenter.com), and has authored a book, Soul Silence, a spiritually focused way to navigate recovery. Deepak Chopra's gracious endorsement graces the cover.
Does the name David Eisenberg sound familiar? David Eisenberg’s landmark 1993 study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1993, put complementary and alternative medicine on the radar screen for most health professionals. Eisenberg of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School and colleagues conducted a national telephone survey of 1539 homes, and surveyed the use of alternative therapies and alternative practitioners. The Eisenberg et al. (1993) study showed that 34 % of respondents used at least one unconventional therapy in 1990, and one third of these persons saw a provider of unconventional therapy. They saw the providers for an average of 19 visits, and paid an average of $27.60 per visit. A majority used unconventional therapy for chronic conditions, and the most frequent disorders involved were back problems (36 percent), anxiety (28 percent), headaches (27 percent), chronic pain (26 percent), and cancer or tumors (24 percent). Another important finding by Eisenberg was that 72 % of those using unconventional therapy did not disclose this information to their medical doctor.
The College of Mind-Body Medicine opened in August 2009, with a master’s degree and three PhD specializations (mind-body medicine practice, health care systems, and research). In addition, the College offered a 16 credit Certificate in Mind-Body Medicine, for busy professionals who were not able to dedicate the time for a degree program. This certificate included a nine credit sequence of foundation courses that include training with the Center for Mind-Body medicine. This is the same training that the Center uses in its humanitarian outreach programs in Kosovo, Gaza, Israel, Katrina areas, and Haiti.
Information on this original Certificate in Mind-Body Medicine is available on the College of MBM website at: http://www.saybrook.edu/mbm/academicprograms/programs
At this time in May 2012, the College is introducing three new Certificates in additional mind-body practice areas. They include:
A Certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching
A Certificate in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback
A Certificate in Clinical and Applied Hypnosis
Mind-Body Medicine student creates “super-foods” based nutrition programs improving childrens’ health in San Diego: Ruthi Solari04/21/2012
Ruthi Solari is a master’s student in the College of Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook University, and the creator of SuperFood Drive (www.superfooddrive.org), a 501(c) 3 non-profit located in San Diego, California. Ruthi found the inspiration to create SuperFood Drive while attending the Center for Mind Body Medicine’s Food as Medicine (FAM) conference in 2009. The inspiration for super foods, or nutrient dense foods, came from reading Steven Pratt’s book, “SuperFoods Rx.” Dr. Pratt’s book opened her eyes to the health benefits of specific nutrient dense super foods such as beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Ruthi’s goal is to improve the nutritional status of people that use food banks by providing ‘super foods.’ Upon returning home from the FAM conference, Ruthi taught herself how to start a non-profit. In June, 2009, SuperFood Drive was incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect coming to Tucson to participate at the University of Arizona’s Toward a Science of Consciousness Conference. The first day of attending the conference was however quite enlightening. The very first message I got from attending my first plenary, titled “War of the Worldviews,” was this: “When you open your mouth here to make statements of any sort, you better be able to back up what you are talking about.” Not necessarily a bad thing, since we are in the business of science and not science fiction.
Speakers were Deepak Chopra (“Primary Consciousness Versus Materialism”), physicist Leonard Mlodinow (“The Scientific Worldview”), Menas Kafatos (“What do Physics and Metaphysics Have to Say about Consciousness, Future Science, and the Emergence of Holism”), and Susan Blackmore (“War of the Worldviews”).
Chopra was of course very passionate about his message of “consciousness” while another speaker, Blackmore wanted to declare from the get go that: “Consciousness is an illusion,” while the physicist, Mlodinow took the middle of the road. Four very interesting 25 minute talks, followed by an even more interesting panel discussion, during which the speakers “were at each others’ throats,” all under the umbrella of scientific discovery and progress. It was great to see that it is okay to be passionate about your “specialty” and despite major philosophical and scientific disagreements, all can remain friends.
I wanted to take a few minutes to share with you all my experience here in New York City at Hope Lodge. I have been in New York this week taking care of my cousin Michaelene who is part of a clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for stage 4 cancer patients. This experience has been deeply meaningful, at so many levels - spiritually, emotionally, physically and relationally - for me. It has rekindled my passion for the work that we do - and also has reconnected me to the essence of my own calling to serve others.
Last night I facilitated a guided imagery session for residents here at Hope Lodge - all of whom have advanced stages of cancer. I scrambled all day Monday to get approval from the staff here to present last night. They were hesitant because they like to plan things way in advance and were skeptical about anyone actually attending the session with just one day's notice. I told them if one person came it would be fine - but that I wanted them to make 12 copies of the Imagery protocol handout I made. The volunteer coordinator gave me an indulgent smile - but made the copies anyway saying "Sometimes no one comes to these events..." I smiled back and said, "People will come..." I knew a few would come because I had been connecting with individuals in the kitchen and lounge and around the building - chatting and drawing angel cards for them.
The Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis is an international organization of mental health and health professionals dedicated to the highest level of scientific inquiry and the conscientious application of hypnosis in the clinical setting.