Saybrook long time leader at APA


The recent news that Saybrook facultly, students, and alumni have won significant honors from the American Psychological Association's Division 32 is actually no surprise.  Saybrook has a long history of significant impact on the APA - especially Division 32.  Here's a partial look at some of Saybrook's history with the APA's division on Humanistic Psychology:


  • Lisa Vallejos (Existential, Humanistic, and Transpersonal Psychology Ph.D. student) served as a student representative on the Division 32 Executive Board 2013/2014. 
  • Helena Choi Soholm (Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student) was the student representative on the Executive Board 2012/2013. 
  • Abraham Lopez (Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student) has served on the Division 32 Diversity Task Force since 2012
  • Maria Tahany (Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student) has served on the Division 32 conference planning committee.
  • While a student, Xuefu Wang and his institute, the Zhi Mian Institute, received the Charlotte and Karl Buhler Award in 2013. 
  • A number of Saybrook students have won the Division 32 Sidney Jourard Student paper award.

Continue Reading

Saybrook Students and Faculty in Existential/Humanistic Psychology take honors


This past month has seen members of Saybrook’s community win numerous awards and honors, demonstrating the University’s continued dominance in the fields of Existential and Humanistic psychology.

Ed Medelowitz, a long-time member of Saybrook’s faculty, has been selected to receive the Rollo May Award of the Society for Humanistic Psychology. 

Previous Saybrook winners of this prestigious honor include faculty members Art Bohart (2007);  Kirk Schneider (2004);  and Amadeo Giorgi (2004), among others. 

Meanwhile new faculty member Paul Wong has been selected to receive the prestigious Carl Rogers Award from the Society of Humanistic Psychology (APA Division 32)..  

Continue Reading

In a time of crisis, black psychologists develop new ways to help their communities heal


The psychological impact of the recent killings of young black men by police is devastating to Americans of conscience, but particularly for many members of African-American communities around the country.  How can they cope with the added fear, stress, and sense of persecution these verdicts create?

A new coalition between the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) and the Community Healing Network (CHN) offer an answer.  It’s called “The Emotional Emancipation Circle Movement.”

According to Dr. Theopia Jackson, a professor of clinical psychology at Saybrook University in Oakland, California, and co-chair of the ABPsi’s national Education & Training Committee, the Emotional Emancipation Circle curriculum is a community focused therapeutic effort – one in which members of a community are taught how to heal one another.  Ordinary men and women in Black communities come to facilitated sessions in cities around America.  After receiving counseling and training in how to address the psychological damage caused by what the curriculum calls “the lie of black inferiority,” they leave able to lead sessions in their own communities to support its psychological health.

Continue Reading

Migraine and tension headaches can be treated with biofeedback based behavioral interventions


by Richard Sherman, PhD

About 4 of 5 of people who have tension and migraine headaches which did not start with trauma can reduce their headache frequency, intensity, and duration by an average of about 80% (with many having no remaining headache activity for at least 10 years) by using biofeedback based behavioral interventions.

“Tension” headaches originating from muscles kept too tense for too long anywhere in the head and neck -especially including the jaws. People who have muscle related pain usually cannot tell how tense their painful muscles are as well as people without muscle related pain. The inability to accurately relate actual levels of muscle tension to sensations from the muscles leads to muscles being kept tenser than necessary for longer than necessary given the task at hand. Muscles kept only five percent tenser than necessary for less than a half hour longer than necessary leads to pain which can be sustained for an entire day.

Biofeedback devices record tension in the muscles generating the pain and show those levels to the patient. The patient learns to associate actual levels of tension with sensations from the muscles so muscles are kept appropriately relaxed. Most people learn to recognize their levels of tension and to automatically keep them at appropriate levels. This eliminates or vastly reduces head area pain from this source. People who successfully learn this skill and apply it eliminate or vastly reduce the intensity, duration, and frequency of their tension headaches.

Continue Reading

Saybrook student develops new applications for Jungian archetypes


“Jungian Archetypes,” symbolic images that are consistent across cultures, have been a source of fascination to the public ever since they were first proposed in the early part of the 20th century.

But outside of Jungian psychology, few fields have found ways to use the concept on a practical level.

A Saybrook university student may be changing that.

Grace Kolman, a PhD student in Psychology at Saybrook University, has recently proposed a new approach to Jung’s archetypes – one that validates Jung’s work by integrating recent studies of neuroscience and evolutionary psychology – and offers practical applications for youth and adults recovering from trauma, or hoping to grow as human beings.

Continue Reading

Advancing our understanding of Phantom Limb Pain


by Richard Sherman, PhD

There is a very sad cycle in the health care community in which each generation of health care providers discovers that phantom pain is a real problem, thinks they can treat it and then finds out they can’t. The vast majority of providers working with amputees today never knew about the hard lessons learned during past wars when it finally became apparent that phantom pain was a truly debilitating problem with few or no effective treatments.

Continue Reading

Student Spotlight: Jessica Weinbrenner

Photo courtesy of USMC.

For first or second semester students, finding your way around the Residential Conference (RC) can be both exciting and overwhelming. We sat down with PhD student Jessica Weinbrenner at the January 2014 RC to discuss her intriguing background in mixed martial arts, the Marines and her second semester at Saybrook.

Continue Reading

Faculty and Student Presentations and Achievements


PhD faculty Orah Krug and Kirk Schneider presented a workshop in E-H Therapy last month at the Division 32 Conference experiential training course as part of the existential humanistic institute certificate program. PhD Psychology student, Juanita Ratner shares her essay on the program in the EHTP Newsletter.

Continue Reading

Message from the Chair of the School


The Annual Conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32 of the APA) was hosted by Sofia University in Palo Alto, March 13th-16th.  Of the nearly 200 participants, a significant number were Saybrook CP Faculty, Alumni, and students from the PsyD, PhD and MFT-PCC Programs.  Faculty Member Carol Humphreys, PhD, served as Co-Chair of the Conference and we all owe her a debt of gratitude for creating such a welcoming space for community, sharing, and learning.

Continue Reading

Alumni Spotlight: Kirk Schneider


Some Thoughts on an Integrative Humanistic Psychology

Kirk J. Schneider, Ph.D.

From AHP Perspective June/July 2005, p. 8

Humanistic psychology needs to move toward serious cultural and professional integration. By this I mean that in order for humanistic psychology to survive, let alone thrive, it needs to be much more proactive. It needs to reach across many more chasms of cultural and professional divides, if it is to live up to its founding impulse to re-vision and reenergize mainstream American psychology.

Continue Reading