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Saybrook Dean bringing support to children suffering from PTSD in Gaza

06/27/2011

James Gordon James Gordon, M.D., Dean of Saybrook University’s College of Mind-Body Medicine, has announced that he will launch a training effort for over 300 health and mental health professionals, community leaders, and educators in Gaza City. 

This training in Mind-Body Medicine techniques is designed to help address the overwhelming mental health needs of children in the Palestinian territories. 

The trainings will be provided by the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, which Dr. Gordon founded and directs. 

The training program focuses on psychological self-care, community building, and spiritual renewal.  Participants will bring what they learn personally and professionally back to the communities they serve to create a sustainable system of psychological self-care and support, and to help alleviate the posttraumatic stress disorder, stress, depression and anxiety that plague Gaza’s children and youth.

During this visit, Dr. Gordon and his CMBM team will meet with their local Israeli and Palestinian leadership teams, including CMBM-trained clinicians and educators, and visit some of the 160 ongoing groups practicing self-care techniques of mind-body medicine.

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Does our "work self" need therapy too?

06/20/2011

Anybody who's had to work for a living knows that we have a "work self" that is noticeably different from who we are outside of work. 

Maybe we're more guarded, or more serious;  maybe there are important parts of our lives we don't talk about. 

At Rethinking Complexity, Dennis Rebelo has an interesting post asking about the stories we tell ourselves about who we are at the office.  It's a great piece, work a read.  It also raises the question:  how do we integrate our work selves with who we are the rest of the time?  Do we like it's a seperate person?  Or a costuem?  Or a side of ourselves? 

How do we navigate our professional obligations while maintaining personal integrity?

If you have some thoughts or advice, leave them in the comments section below.

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Neuroscience is starting to sound suspiciously like the 21st century's version of phrenology

06/17/2011

Phrenology1 You know a scientific field has turned into a scientific fad when it says it’s changed EVERYTHING. 

Real scientific breakthroughs of that scope don’t have to announce themselves.  Fake ones do, because evolutionary psychology never produced a lightbulb and “artificial intelligence” never built a car.  They certainly made advances, they contributed, but the wild claims that they would change everything about human society were the lonely mating call of scientists out on a limb.

If your ears are open, you can hear neurobiology making that same sound. 

In this month’s Atlantic, neuroscientist David Eagleman is crowing about the way his field is going to forever change the criminal justice system. Apparently it has proven … or is on the verge of proving … or probably will eventually prove … or could in theory at some point arguably argue … that there is no free will, only differences in biology. 

Eventually, at some point, probably, possibly, maybe … let’s hypothesize … this will have a huge impact on the way we assign blame in criminal cases.

The fact that it hasn’t done so yet is merely an accident of timing.  Science, Eagleman tells us, will come through:  We’ll get those flying cars eventually.  We always have. 

The trouble is that the case he builds is based on two premises – one of which is indisputably true, and one of which is horrifically wrong. 

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What's the "true self?" 21st century experts disagree

06/15/2011

Polonius “To thine own self be true.”

Great advice, Shakespeare, but could you help us a bit with that first part?  What’s a “True self?”

“Experimental philosopher” Joshua Knobe recently wrote a New York Times blog in which he suggested that the true self is whatever one is ideologically disposed to believe it is:  conservatives think it’s the rational self which tames the impulses, liberals think it’s the romantic impulses that chafe at rationality.

A blog in The Economist, meanwhile, responded that the “true self” is in fact an illusory product of evolution:  it’s adaptive if we have “selves” that others can trust, therefore we create the image of selves:

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Taking collaboration to the fourth dimension

06/07/2011

We used to know what "collaboration" meant.  But in the 21st century we can collaborate "in person," or through chat, or video chat, or through email, or "waves," or 3D avatars in a virtual environment.

Are they all the same thing?  Or does the new technology for collaboration mean new kinds of collaboration? 

Organizational Systems PhD student Jan Spencer has looked at the issue, and has an answer.

Let us know what you think.  Has technology changed the way you work with others?  Is it for the better?

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The power of place -- in Cuba

06/02/2011

800px-Necropolis_colon_habana Saybrook OS PhD student Aimee Juarez recently returned from a trip to Cuba -- and has thoughts about how "place" impacts "consciousness."

Read Part 1

Read part 2

 

How have specific places affected you?  Do you think differently in certain spots?  Tell us about it in the comments section below. 

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How should we feel about killing a monster?

06/02/2011

At the LIOS blog, David Franklin wants to know if celebrating is an appropriate response to the death of Osama bin Laden. 

Do we give ourselves a pat on the back, or do we recognize that we have to take our moral obligation to be better just as seriously in victory? 

Read the post, and tell us what you think.

 

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A widening gender gap -- for therapists

05/24/2011

Is it too hard to find a male therapist? 

A recent article in the New York Times suggested that only one in five new Masters Degrees in therapy are awarded to men … and that this means patients who are seeking a male perspective, or are more comfortable confiding to a man, are out of luck. 

Says the times:

Some college psychology programs cannot even attract male applicants, much less students. And at many therapists’ conferences, attendees with salt-and-pepper beards wander the hallways as lonely as peaceniks at a gun fair.

The result, many therapists argue, is that the profession is at risk of losing its appeal for a large group of sufferers — most of them men — who would like to receive therapy but prefer to start with a male therapist.

Is this a real shift?  Or, more to the point, is it a real problem?

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Bread or church? Where does civilization come from?

05/24/2011

Greek_temple_ruins The story I got in high school is that agriculture was the magic potion that eventually turned “cave men” into “urban man.”  We got together and created a civilization because we wanted to eat. 

The needs of our new farms with their domesticated animals and seasonal crops kept pushing us to bigger and bigger feats of civilization:  the idea is that a culture evolves on its stomach.

But an article in National Geographic says maybe the high school text books got it wrong. It's not "food" - it's "spirituality."

The oldest human architectural structure ever discovered – over 11 thousand years old – turns out to be a temple -- and it turns out that our ancestors were building temples before they were making farms.  

At a time when human beings were living in nomadic tribes, they were also carving massive stone pillars to provide a better place to worship. 

Was it our sense of the sacred – and our need to relate to an awe-inspiring universe – that really inspired civilization?

According to National Geographic, many archeologists say the evidence suggests that’s the case.

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Grief doesn't just go away -- it's something you have to work through

05/16/2011

450px-Rome_WWStory_angel_in_grief We’re used to tragedy.  Car accidents, cancer diagnoses, unexplained deaths – they happen every day.  

But are we any good at grieving? 

In an article in Natural News, Dr. Larry Malerba explores the correlation between unresolved grief and chronic illnesses. Entitled, Could Grief Be Causing Your Chronic Illness, Dr. Malerba looks at grief from a psychophysiological perspective exploring the grieving process as a normative human experience that has ravaging maladaptive physical and psychological effects if cut short. While complex, the grieving process over a tragic event or death is found to be most successful with individuals who possess a strong degree of psychological maturity, solid support systems, a sense of spirituality, and congruent emotional and cultural perspectives toward the grieving process. Conversely, Dr. Malerba asserts than unfinished or unprocessed grief has ravaging effects—often leading to a variety of chronic physical illnesses; namely: depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal issues, migraines—to name a few.

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