Archives For: March 2010

Saybrook Alumnus Douglas Beckwith, PhD '07 Directs Program in Learning Technology


Rising from the Ashes of First-Year Programs
Douglas Beckwith, Dean and Executive Director, University of Phoenix

In early 2010, the University of Phoenix and Axia College launched an innovative new ‘First Year Sequence’ for all incoming students. This 24-unit sequence of eight courses presents a gradual introduction to the complexity of learning technology. They will learn how this new approach fosters student engagement at the most critical stage of a student’s academic career. Participants will explore the Beckwith Hierarchy of First-Year Needs and discover how it applies to course design and sequencing.

Doug Beckwith is the Dean and Executive Director of Axia College, the Associates degree program at the University of Phoenix. He holds a Ph.D. in Human Sciences from Saybrook where he studied the nature of creativity, particularly in films. The title of his dissertation is Personal Values of Protagonists in Best Pictures and Blockbusters 1996-2005. In addition, he holds a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics with a specialty in teaching English as a Second Language from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a BA in English and JD in law from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. In the various stages of his career, he has been a member of the Association for Training and Development (ASTD), the California Bar Association, and the Writers Guild of America.

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Eric Lindblom, PhD '03 Reports from Concepcion, Chile


On February 27, 2010 an 8.8 earthquake struck southern Chile. I've been to Concepcion, hard hit near the epicenter, that suffered 90% destruction of the center city. More than 500 people died. Chances are I've met some of those people. This is a sad time for me. The toll would have been greater if the country was not prepared. Chile is a very sophisticated country. However, the feel of the country is that the whole thing could slide into the sea at any moment. It feels immanent. In 1960 (9.5 in Valdivia in southern Chile) and in 2010 (Conception in southern Chile) it wasn't just a feeling.

This time Santiago, the capital, felt a 7.5 tremor. That city is well prepared for earthquakes. (As a frame of reference, the recent earthquake in Haiti was 7.0. and the last earthquake to hit Santiago directly was in 1647.) Some building collapsed in Santiago despite the preparedness. In one case, the earthquake caused a serious fire. In another case, a fallen apartment building destroyed fifty cars. Santiago was not affected by the subsequent tsunami (8 ft.) as it is inland.

I've been reading about the aftershocks. Now, that doesn't sound all that serious does it? That is unless the aftershocks are 7.0! It has been weeks of those one after another. That's like a Haiti earthquake every week. It does feel as if the whole place will slip into the ocean someday.

Chile is a very beautiful country. Chile has a kind of very primal quality as if the place was just formed geologically. It is uncanny. Traveling south I saw an active volcano about every twenty miles. They were smoking. I thought, when is one going to erupt, five minutes? Of course, a volcano isn't an earthquake but the result could be very scary anyway.

In terms of Concepcion, what can they lose after a 90% destruction? What else could aftershocks and volcanoes do?

I've been asked about the relief effort. That seemingly innocent question raises an old controversy. Chile has to be very careful of people offering help because there are often (ie: always) strings attached. Why does help have to be political? Particulary the U.S. has been very involved (and well
documented) in the interferrance in Chilean internal affairs even to the extent of trying to disrupt the democratic process in favor of dictatorship.
The Alliance for Progress (1964) was like that and things got worse. Chile has every right to be careful and independently ready for catastrophe. The answer to the question "what can they lose" is soverignty. Chile has found its own answer. Rather than accept relief, Chile chose to prepare independantly for disaster. That is what has happened. The only question, then, was in how fast the Chilean government can respond. So then, relief is welcome in Chile (especially field hospitals) but please don't expect an entirely enthusiastic response because of those anticipated strings all too often attached.

So, Chile is prepared both for disaster and for interferrance. Besides, the whole thing hasn't fallen into the ocean yet and there is still time!


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Saybrook Students Seek Practicums/Internships


Saybrook students, especially in California and in the PsyD Program, are seeking Practicums and/or Internships. Contact if you have can be of assistance.

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The Existential-Humanistic Institute Requests Your Response


Dear EHI Supporter,

Would you be interested in receiving intensive training in E-H Therapy from EHI founders and faculty including Kirk Schneider, Orah Krug, and Nader Shabahangi?

This intensive training would allow you to receive a Certificate in Existential-Humanistic Therapy. The certificate would certify a completion in specific training and coursework required to meet EHI's standard of skill and competency in E-H Therapy.

My colleagues and I are developing a certificate program in conjunction with Saybrook University, a distance learning graduate psychology school. The curriculum includes an academic exploration of existential and humanistic psychology and an in depth study of two of its founders, Rollo May and James Bugental. The year-long curriculum additionally provides participants with extensive experiential training from the nationally recognized and highly trained faculty of EHI. Schneider and Krug's recently published textbook from APA, "Existential-Humanistic Therapy," will be a core resource for the experiential training piece. The certificate program is open to full or half-time students at Saybrook or at other graduate psychology schools, or to licensed professionals who seek to enhance their clinical skills.

Saybrook students would not incur any additional costs to participate in our certificate program. The non-Saybrook students would pay a tuition to EHI for the year-long training which includes training at the 2 and a 1/2 day EHI conference, a four-day training intensive, and a two day training workshop. In addition, on-going, year long case-consultation groups would be available for those participants from the Bay Area. Non-Saybrook students could take the required four academic courses from Saybrook as non-matriculting students. This would allow them the freedom of distance learning. Saybrook will "bundle" this coursework, thus lowering the fees, and provide credit toward a doctoral degree should a participant later decide to enroll in one of Saybrook's doctoral psychology programs. Non-Saybrook students could alternately choose to take equivalent coursework and/or create an independent study course(s) from a graduate psychology program to which they are affiliated or one closer to home.

We would very much appreciate your feedback, "YES" or "NO" and of course any additional comments you might like to add regarding our certificate program proposal. Your comments will aid us in putting together the best possible certificate program for you. Please click on the link below to be taken to the survey webpage.

With warm regards,
Orah Krug,
Training Director, EHI

Click here to take survey

Pacific Institute
432 Ivy Street
San Francisco, California 94102

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The Center for Mind-Body Medicine Offers Reduced Rate for the June Food as Medicine Program


The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) will provide a discount for Saybrook Alumni at the upcoming Food As Medicine (FAM) Program in Washington, DC (June 10-13, 2010)

Saybrook Alumni can attend for only $750.

Click Here to see the Conference Announcement.

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Photos From Saybrook's Dr. Marie Fonrose in Haiti!

Marie (on bottom right) with Haiti Children
Marie with Medical Staff in Pignon, Haiti
Haiti Boy
Haiti Girl

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An Update From Saybrook Alumna Marie Fonrose in Haiti


Update from Marie in Haiti.

God is Good, all the time!

This past Friday I was a guest on the Pignon's radio station (102.5) discussing the earthquake's psychological impact on the people, especially children. Many cities listen to this station and we received many calls from across the city and Port-au-Prince about the issues that people face post the earthquake. We ran out of time and we were not able to take every caller. This week Pastor Mioche Rock and I will do another session to give people a chance to process and to answer their questions.

Today, I spent the first half of the day at a school (K-12) visiting
classes and educating people on what to expect and how to help others
move on. We talked with the teachers and administrators on various
symptoms they may see in the classroom from the earthquake victims.
Tomorrow morning I will go back to the school to meet with a group of
adults from Port-au-Prince to get a sense of where they are since
January 12 and to answer their questions on mental health. This
afternoon will be spent in the hospital with patients and we (Pastor
Rock and I) will do some community visits as well.

I attended Pastor Rock's church yesterday for worship. I was impressed with the youths there. Since the earthquake they have been
volunteering their time to cook a hot lunch for the patients in the
hospital so I commended them for this effort. In hospitals in Haiti,
the family is responsible for cooking and bringing the food to the
patient. We know that a lot of people are in this town without their
family so the youths are providing a great service. What won my heart
with them was the small donation I made to the group; they were so
grateful, one would have thought I gave them a $1000. Everywhere you
turn, there is a prayer meeting going on despite their suffering. Keep us in your thoughts!

Until then,

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Alumnus Michael Mayer, PhD '77 Presents on "Ask the Experts"


Saybrook Alumnus Michael Mayer, PhD '77 co-presents with Maggie Phillips as part of her “Ask the Experts” teleseminar series on Wednesday, March 17, from 9 am – 10:30 AM Pacific time. The topic is Qigong and Bodymind Healing: An Integrated Approach for Stress and Pain.

Maggie has written a recent book called Reversing Chronic Pain, which features a multi-modal approach to reversing the effects of persistent pain. She also has created a multi-media, online self-treatment program at and has released a pain CD program through To learn more about Maggie, please go to, where you will discover how she uses a combination of breathing, mindfulness, hypnosis, Somatic Experiencing and Energy Psychology to help clients obtain rapid, lasting results.

Dr. Mayer will be contributing information from his last two books, Energy Psychology: Self-Healing Practices for Bodymind Health and Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy: Ancient Pathways to Modern Health.

Michael's specialty is in self-healing methods derived from Western psychology, energy psychology, qigong, tai chi and other ancient healing practices. For more information on this teleseminar, please see his website:

Please register now at: The teleseminar package includes:

• Access to this event by telephone or internet connection
• A one hour, intensive presentation followed by 30 minutes of live questions and answers
• Unlimited 30 day replay whether you attend live or not so you don’t miss a moment if you have a schedule conflict
• A study guide to help you organize your learning

Michael Mayer, Ph.D. Saybrook '77
Director- The Bodymind Healing Center
2029 Durant Ave - Suite 202
Berkeley, Ca 94704

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Saybrook Alumni and Faculty Present at the First East-West (International) Existential Psychology Conference in Nanjing


Several Saybrook Community Members will be presenting at the First East-West (International) Existential Psychology Conference in Nanjing, including: Dr. Kirk Schneider, Saybrook Alumnus and Faculty Member (delivering the opening keynote); Dr. Susan Gordon, Saybrook Alumna; Dr. Ed Mendelowitz, Saybrook Faculty; and former Saybrook instructor, Dr. Ilene Serlin. See also the Beijing workshop where Dr. Schneider will be presenting on existential psychology and on his book with Rollo May, Psychology of Existence.

or go to:

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The Chair of the Board of Trustees Announces Appointment of Saybrook University's New President


Dear Saybrook Community,

I am delighted to announce that the Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the appointment of Mark Schulman, PhD, as President of Saybrook University.

Mark, who will begin his term July 1, 2010, has a distinguished career and an outstanding record of accomplishment in higher education. The Board chose him from a number of excellent candidates because of his unique qualifications to lead Saybrook in fulfilling its mission as a humanistic university serving the needs of today’s world.

Mark currently serves as President of Goddard College (Vermont and Washington) and has held this position since 2003. Under Mark’s leadership Goddard flourished as a low residency educational model dedicated to “progressive education for creative minds.” While supporting and nourishing Goddard’s core values Mark tripled the endowment, substantially increased enrollment, significantly strengthened the school’s financial position, and raised its national stature and reputation.

Prior to joining Goddard, Mark served in a variety of academic leadership positions that included: President and Professor of Humanities at Antioch University Southern California; and Academic Vice President, Dean of the College, and Associate Professor at Pacific Oaks College (California and Washington). He has held faculty positions at the New School for Social Research (New York), City College of New York, Saint Mary’s College of California, and others.

Mark received his PhD in Communications from the Union Institute and has consulted and published extensively on higher education and communications strategies and issues. Prior to his July 1, start date, he will also join us at the June Residential Conference, Alumni Homecoming, and commencement for the Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies.

Mark, Bob Schmitt, our interim president, and the Board will work together to ensure that the present momentum of growth and development continues without interruption or shift in direction.

Mark asked that I share the following statement from him with all of you.

I am delighted to be joining Saybrook at this important and exciting moment in its history. Saybrook and I share an ethos and values that will make it a great time for the institution in all its constituencies – faculty, staff, students, Board, alumni, and friends – to continue our momentum as a leader in education that profoundly changes all of us and changes the world.

Please join me in welcoming Mark to Saybrook.

Alison Shapiro

Chair of the Board of Trustees

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Saybrook Alumna and Board of Trustees Member Renee Levi, PhD '03 Co-Directs Power of Place Initiative


Leadership Development at The Banff Centre, along with The Fetzer Institute’s Powers of Place Initiative, would like to invite you to participate in an intimate forum on Place-Based Leadership, which will explore the role of place in transformative leadership theory and practice.

The forum will be held at The Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta, Canada from May 9 -12, 2010.

To See Invitation Click Here.

The forum, Place-Based Leadership, will be an opportunity to come together to explore how our surroundings – place, space, and environment – can work with us as leaders to inspire and revitalize our organizations and communities. Although much has been discovered and shared about transformational leadership practice, place – the container in which we bring people together to do their work – has been largely overlooked. By connecting people like you in study, and in dialogue, enriched through an intimate experience of place, in glorious Banff and the Bow River Valley, we intend to deepen our understanding of leadership and collective wisdom by including the more invisible dimensions that contribute to transformation.

Our intention is that what we learn together during this May, 2010 forum, will be the basis for future programs and curricula that can help us as human beings reestablish our profound relationship with place for the benefit and future of both.

Faculty and staff from Leadership Development at The Banff Centre will join with Renee Levi and Michael Jones, of the Powers of Place Initiative, to seed the dialogue with new ideas and practices, and to facilitate the two and one half days we will have together. We will begin at dinner on Sunday, May 9th and end after breakfast on Wednesday, May 12th. As The Banff Centre is located in Canada, the fee for the retreat is $1500 CAD (approximately $1428 USD), and includes three nights’ accommodation at The Banff Centre, meals and instructional materials.

We hope you can join us for this unique experience. Please respond to Katrina Donald at The Banff Centre,, to register for the forum. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact:
Michael Jones
Renee Levi
Sheryl Erickson

You can visit our websites for more information about the sponsoring organizations, and

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Alumnus David Whitsitt, PhD '08 and Three Saybrook Doctoral Students Present at The International Human Science Research Conference in August


Alumnus David Whitsitt, PhD '08 and Three Saybrook Doctoral Students Erica Shane Hamilton, Miyuki Tomura, and Christine Thomas Present the Symposium
Giving Voice to Experience: Health and Sigma, Student Contributions to Qualitative Research

The International Human Science Research Conference
Seattle University
August 4-8, 2010

Abstract: This symposium will showcase the power of qualitative research to express the human experience of living with illness or stigma, as well as the experience of the treatment process. The symposium includes four students/recent graduates of Saybrook University, and the research ranges in method from phenomenology, to grounded theory, to mixed methods.

The first presentation applies grounded theory and mixed methods to understand the psychosocial and existential stresses in the lives of women with CPP as well as some of their coping mechanisms. The researcher combined qualitative interviews with innovative web-based daily tracking strategies to sample the daily experiences of pain and life stress of the participants.

The second presentation used a phenomenological methodology to explore the lived experiences of three couples, where one of the partners has undergone coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG). The study highlighted the impact of meanings or beliefs, coping styles, and marital quality on the couples’ experiences of bypass surgery.

The third presentation is a descriptive phenomenological study of a prostitute’s lived experience of stigma. The researcher used a semi-structured interview method and Smith and Osborn’s (2003) interpretive phenomenological analysis, to disclose ten central themes in the initial prostitute’s experience. Additional interviews are now in progress with five additional prostitutes to delineate common themes across subjects.

The fourth paper is a mixed method study exploring the experience of living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the experience of undergoing an alternative therapy for the disorder. The researcher will use a case study approach integrating qualitative interview data with presentation of psychophysiological changes in treatment.

Each of the presenters will provide a rationale for choosing the specific methodological approach, and will highlight strengths of this qualitative method or mixed methods approach for the problem under investigation.

Moderator: Donald Moss, PhD, Chair, College of Mind-Body Medicine, Saybrook University

Presenter 1: Erica Shane Hamilton, doctoral candidate
Title: Interview Combined with Daily Tracking Questionnaires: Gaining Insight into the Stresses and Coping Efforts of Women with Chronic Pelvic Pain

Presenter 2: David Whitsitt, PhD
Title: Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: The Experiences of Three Couples

Presenter 3: Miyuki Tomura, doctoral candidate
Title: A Prostitute’s Lived Experience of Stigma

Presenter 4: Christine Thomas, doctoral candidate
Title: Heart Rate Variability Training for Women with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Case Study Research

Discussant: Steen Halling, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Seattle University

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Saybrook Alumni Haiti Fund Raises More Than $1500


Saybrook Alumni Haiti Fund Raises More Than $1500 in Support of Alumna Marie Fonrose's Mission

On February 19th Marie left for Haiti. In little over a week she has begun her work as a psychologist at a hospital in Pignon; has visited an orphanage and held group therapy; has been on the radio with local clergy educating the public about mental health issues in Haiti; and has visited an elementary school to speak with teachers and administrators!

See several Alumni Message Board entries below to hear from Marie in her own words.

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