Michelle LaMasa-Schrader is a student in the dissertation stage of her PhD in the Saybrook University School of Mind-Body Medicine Healthcare Practice specialization. This program has been instrumental in advancing her professional and personal growth. During the past three years, she has served the Saybrook student community as a member of the Student Academic Review Board committee, a Teaching Fellow, and most recently as a mentor for incoming PhD students to support and guide them in their journey toward PhD. She regards this service as an honor, and as a blessing in her own personal development.
As part of the required Saybrook curriculum, she flew to Washington, D. C., three years ago, to attend the Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s Professional Training Program (PTP). All School of Mind-Body Medicine master’s and doctoral students complete this training as a component in their first year class, Mind-Body Medicine Overview. This training program introduced Michelle to James Gordon’s model for a mind-body skills group, a model that has been used in the Center’s humanitarian work with traumatized populations in Kosovo, Gaza, Israel, Haiti, and elsewhere. That training experience profoundly changed Michelle’s life. The tools that she learned were transformational. They allowed her to better manage the stress of graduate school, and to balance school, work, and family life in an effective and healthy way.
The next leg of the journey for her was to complete the Center’s Advanced Training Program (ATP). After completing this training, she ran a mind-body skills group in her home community, and received weekly telephone supervision from experienced trainers who are faculty both for the Center and Saybrook University.
The experience of conducting her own group lit a fire for her, to continue teaching and providing others with mind-body skills. Almost two years ago, she became a certified facilitator of mind-body skills groups through the Center for Mind-Body Medicine. The experience enabled her to deepen and hone her own skills while continuing to facilitate groups and teach others the tools to manage stress in their own life.
Michelle LaMasa-Schrader believes whole-heartedly in the Mission of the CMBM and wants to continue aligning herself with the Center. She applied for the Center’s internship program this year and was one of five interns accepted into the program. She will attend PTP this October 5-9 and intern with one of the Center’s senior faculty members, together conducting a mind-body skills group with attendees. This is an exciting opportunity for her, and her hope is one day to become a full faculty member, and work in the Center’s Global Trauma Relief program, and in the Cancer Guides Program. Michelle has incorporated these tools into her private practice, has continued facilitating mind-body skills groups, and has presented several workshops following the Center model. Her hope is to continue honing her skills and to witness and guide others in their quest toward health and wellness.