Saybrook University student Monisha Rios tells us about her experiences as a U.S. veteran, concerns with the mental health industry, and how Saybrook has helped her.
Tell us about what life was life before Saybrook:
The foundation for my work was laid by my personal experiences in seeking services from the VA. It all began in 1998. I was freshly discharged from the Army and fully equipped with advice from one of my drill sergeants. She told me to go straight to the VA for counseling as soon as I got out, since going to mental health on active duty was certain death for your career. I did as instructed but was turned away because, according to the staff member I spoke with, despite my having been sexually harassed and assaulted multiple times, I had not been penetrably raped, so therefore I did not “deserve” to ask for help. To make matters worse, they told me I was not eligible for any care because I was discharged before 24 months, even though my service was honorable. The Army told me I was a veteran deserving of care, why was the VA disagreeing? The only way I could get care at that point was if I had been medically discharged or attained a disability rating. Since I had been conveniently denied a medical board evaluation prior to discharge there was only one choice. On I went through the ridiculous claims process.
Kirwan Rockefeller on Imagery: Don't Dismiss the First Thoughts that Come to Your Mind as Silly or Impossible.07/30/2015
Kirwan Rockefeller, Ph.D., WIA/TAA Academic Advisor at the University of California, Irvine Extension, is the author of “Visualize Confidence: How to Use Guided Imagery to Overcome Self-Doubt,” and is the co-editor of “Psychology, Spirituality and Healthcare,” Volume 2 of the 3-volume series, “Whole Person Healthcare.” Dr. Rockefeller will be providing a series of blogs on utilizing the imagination for personal transformation.
As Oprah says, "Even the wildest dreams have to start someplace. Allow yourself the time and space to let your mind wander and your imagination fly. You must be a believer before you can be an achiever."
Saybrook Instructor Elena Gillespie, PhD, Publishes The Anatomy of Death, a Book on Transpersonal Experiences of Death and Dying07/27/2015
Dr. Elena Gillespie, researcher and faculty member with Saybrook University, has trained with a psychic-shaman in Michigan for many years, and is a certified Medium in the Spiritualist Church, in addition to being a Reiki master since 1988. She had a private practice in Michigan, focusing primarily on working with patients with cancer, and in palliative care, when some of those patients were close to transition into death. Dr. Gillespie’s dissertation was a phenomenological-hermeneutic analysis of her transpersonal experiences with these subjects. Her book is based on her dissertation called The Anatomy of Death: Notes From a Healer’s Casebook.
Veronica Lac is a United Kingdom-licensed psychotherapist who specializes in Gestalt psychotherapy, but her journey with Saybrook University has been much more than Ph.D. coursework in psychology. It has been the merging of passions that most people would not first combine in thought: existential-humanistic psychotherapy and horses.
Four current Saybrook psychology students accompanied faculty members Louis Hoffman, Ph.D. and Mark Yang, Psy.D., on a week-long trip to China in late April where they helped the faculty members to teach psychology students from all over that country. Kristen Beau Howard, Anne Hsu, Monica Mansilla, and Jenna Noah all made the long trip then shared a conference call interview in May to relate their experiences.
Kirwan Rockefeller, in Saybrook's School of Mind-Body Medicine, on Learning to Quiet the Inner Critic07/12/2015
Blog # 2 on the Power of the Creative Imagination.
Learn to quiet the Inner Critic. Yes, you know that inner voice very well – that nagging voice that tells you you’re not enough, you’re too old, too young, too fat, too thin, too tall, too short, you're male or you're female, or plain and simple "Who do you think you are?!" You can’t ______ ...."
The Inner Critic usually develops in our childhood, originally as a protective mechanism. The I.C. starts out wanting to make sure we look both ways before crossing the street, or not touching a hot stove. And, let me be absolutely clear about this: I'm not blaming Mom or Dad. The I.C. can come from anyplace; being horrible at kickball on the playground, feeling vulnerable, scared, frightened, or not up to snuff according to society, organized religion, or any authority figure that terrorize our tender minds. Sadly, at some point the I.C. spirals out of control and we give up. Kaput. A wet blanket smothers the fire in our bellies. And as we believe the I.C. is telling us the truth, we sink further into the bottom of an ice cream container at 2 AM.
Saybrook Instructor Dr. Lynne Shaner Publishes Article on Meditation in Journal of Humanistic Psychology07/08/2015
When she began to think about what to research for her dissertation, Lynne Shaner, PhD, wanted to study human transformation. According to her dissertation chair the topic was too big and too vague. Still, it was a starting point. As she continued to think about what she felt mattered most to her, in terms of integrative practices and human transformation, she kept coming back to the topic of meditation. “It is such a foundational technique, and it is so transformative. I am a long-term meditator myself, so I know this personally. I also figured that not only was the topic important, but that there would be a lot of research that I could sift through and build upon,” said Dr. Shaner recently, as she discussed the recent publication of ”Calm Abiding: the Lived Experience of the Practice of Long-Term Meditation.” It was published online in July by the Journal of Humanistic Psychology..
Saybrook Instructor Dr. Donna Rockwell Addresses Conference, “Mindfulness and Compassion: The Art and Science of Contemplative Practice”07/08/2015
Mindfulness and Compassion: The Art and Science of Contemplative Practice, a conference held at San Francisco State University from June 3-7, 2015, brought together leading scholars, contemplative teachers, and neuroscientists to discuss the intersection of science and Buddhism, and the role of compassion in wellness.
Donna Rockwell, PsyD, Saybrook adjunct faculty member, and co-teacher (with John A. Patterson, MD) of Mindfulness, Meditation and Health in the School of Mind-Body Medicine, and Mindfulness and Spirituality in Clinical Practice in the School of Clinical Psychology attended the conference, presenting her research findings on the role mindfulness training can play in the education of clinical psychologists. Her presentation: If I Only Had the Nerve: Mindfulness and Courage in Psychotherapy: Implications and Applications, was featured in the session: Engagement with Mindfulness Interventions.
Kirwan Rockefeller, in Saybrook's School of Mind-Body Medicine, Introduces the Power of the Creative Imagination07/03/2015
“Visualize Confidence: How to Use Guided Imagery to Overcome Self-Doubt”
Kirwan Rockefeller, Ph.D., WIA/TAA Academic Advisor at the University of California, Irvine Extension, is the author of “Visualize Confidence: How to Use Guided Imagery to Overcome Self-Doubt,” and is the co-editor of “Psychology, Spirituality and Healthcare,” Volume 2 of the 3-volume series, “Whole Person Healthcare.” He is the former editor of The California Psychologist (2007-2012). Dr. Rockefeller received his PhD from Saybrook University (where he is adjunct faculty); his M.P.A. from the University of Washington, and his B.A. from the University of Richmond, Virginia. He has a Level I Certification from the Academy of Guided Imagery. www.kirwanrockefellerphd.com Dr. Rockefeller will be providing a series of blogs on utilizing the imagination for personal transformation.
Perhaps you’ve heard the old phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Have you ever remodeled a room? Planned a vacation? Have you ever applied for a new job, asked the boss for a raise, prepared to make a speech in public, or worried about a difficult conversation in the future? Any activity that requires you to plan ahead all begins with a picture in your mind, or an image.
A new chapter awaits. Saybrook University is about to undergo a transformation that embraces our humanistic legacy with a bold vision for the future. Working with our Marketing Department at TCS Education System (TCS Ed System), we collaborated on a new visual identity that embraces our core mission, values, and personality. Starting this month, we will begin a gradual rollout of this new visual identity on our current website, Student Gateway, and other materials, culminating with the launch of a new website in Spring 2016.
Saybrook University faculty members Ruth Richards and Steven Pritzker were keynote speakers at the New Zealand Creativity Challenge on April 17-19, showcasing creativity across multiple fields in Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand. The theme of the conference was “Creativity Crosses Boundaries,” and was sponsored by The Learning Connexion, a school of creativity and art in Wellington led by Jonathan and Alice Wilson Milne. Almost 300 participants attended the conference.