Archives For: August 2012

Saybrook University Alumnus Dr. George Aiken Appointed Clinical Director at Community Support Network in Sonoma County, CA

Dr. George Aiken

Saybrook University psychology alumnus Dr. George Aiken has been appointed Clinical Director at the non-profit agency Community Support Network (CSN) in Sonoma County, CA, a consortium of 11 facilities serving the mentally ill. Dr. Aiken (M.A. ’01, Ph.D. ’06), the former Director of Alumni Relations at Saybrook University, will guide and direct CSN’s clinical staff and will facilitate staff training. He will also serve as the subject matter expert with respect to CSN’s clinical practices, representing CSN in its contractual relationships with Sonoma County Behavioral Health.

A therapist since 1985, Dr. Aiken is currently a CA Licensed Psychologist in private practice in Santa Rosa, CA. His master’s thesis at Saybrook was titled The Effect of Transcendent Experiences on Personality and Consciousness: An Existential-Humanistic and Transpersonal Perspective, which was chaired by Dr. Eugene Taylor.  His doctoral dissertation was titled The Potential Effect of Mindfulness Meditation on the Cultivation of Empathy in Psychotherapy: A Qualitative Inquiry, which was chaired by Dr. Art Bohart.


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Saybrook University Psychology Alumnus Dr. Ken Bausch Releases Body Wisdom in Dialogue: Rediscovering the Voice of the Goddess

Dr. Ken Bausch


by Jerry Kurtyka, M.A. (OS), Saybrook 2002

Body Wisdom in Dialogue is a guide book for understanding the feelings that enable and sustain heartfelt discussions as collective conversations, an ancient art which has been continued within tribal cultures.  It is the second AGORAS publication by Thomas Flanagan and Ken Bausch, Ph.D. Saybrook 1998, and follows last year’s book, A Democratic Approach to Sustainable Futures.  In one way, Body Wisdom might have come first as it presents the underlying theory (or is it theology?) for the Structured Dialogic Design – SDD - process described in the earlier book.

Body Wisdom addresses how we surface ideas that are embodied below the level of our conscious knowing and then sort out the wheat from the chafe, primarily in a collective context.  The authors state that such ideas are known through body wisdom, the repository of inner feelings that can speak to our mind in a conscious way (p. 32).  For a collective, these ideas might relate to what are sometimes called wicked problems that resist analysis because there are so many entangled issues and unintended consequences which can potentially result from tackling the problem prematurely.  On the other hand, SDD and body wisdom techniques are probably not the best approach to deal with emergencies that require immediate, expert action to avert further disaster (I am recalling the Fukishima nuclear disaster response last year, though SDD would likely be an excellent way to develop contingency plans for such an event).

One technique to elicit unconscious ideas is the use of a trigger question. Trigger questions play an important role to surface the unmanifested ideas from their embodied, unconscious state.  The authors give the example of a new cohort of participants for an Indigenous leadership development program who are asked upon entering the program, “Where did you get your Medicine?”  This type of existential question is designed to elicit self-disclosure and common group experiences, leading to more cohesion as the cohort evolves.  One could imagine asking President Obama about his controversial healthcare program – “How will this be our healing?” – and then listening closely to his answer!

The authors cite the Greek myth of Psyche (mind) and Aphrodite to illustrate the dynamic tension between the unformed yet salient new idea and the current embodied wisdom and practice (Aphrodite), especially as these play out in an organizational context.  New ideas exist initially like Psyche, nebulous and still emergent, unproven and undefined, but also pushing at us in some way to find expression.  Aphrodite, then, is the current paradigm: its attractiveness; business model; culture; technology; known markets; profits and revenues; respectability (she is a goddess, after all).  It is against and with Aphrodite that Psyche must prove herself, but first she has to know herself and to this end is given a set of trials.

So it is with salient ideas; we have to first know them before we can prove them to ourselves and others. This is where body wisdom comes in; it helps us to discern when we need to engage an important problem (p. 132).   Not necessarily how to engage, which is more in the domain of our rational mental process and which can be assisted by SDD.  Thus, the two domains of body/goddess andmind/reason find each other in a common purpose, as the authors describe. 

Publication Date:     Feb 25 2012
ISBN/EAN13:        0984526633 / 9780984526635
Page Count:        170
Binding Type:        US Trade Paper
Trim Size:        5.25" x 8"
Language:        English
Color:            Black and White
Related Categories:    Psychology / Social Psychology


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Saybrook University Alumna Dr. Terilyn Jones-Henderson Embodies Humanistic Ideals in Her Work

Dr. Terilyn Jones-Henderson

Dr. Terilyn Jones-Henderson: A Profile

By Pat Brawley, Ph.D. Saybrook University '97

Dr. Terilyn Jones-Henderson, Saybrook Psychology Graduate, Ph.D. ’06, embodies the Humanistic approach both in her work with foster and adoptive youth and in her personal life with her family of five. Her compassionate work emphasizes the foundational belief that each child has personal freedom in directing his/her own future, a large capacity for achieving personal growth, a considerable amount of intrinsic worth, and an enormous potential for self-fulfillment. She carries this belief into her work with foster children evidenced by her incorporation of a strength-based approach to identify and stabilize their healthy re-unifications with their parents and families.
Dr. Henderson is the Clinical Program Director and Administrator of  Families for Children, Inc. a treatment foster care, adoptions, and mental health agency co-founded with her husband in Los Angeles County.  The non-profit agency offers a comprehensive program of applicant recruitment, parent training, pre- and post-foster care and adoption support services incorporating humanistic values and in-home Mental Health Services. Every foster care applicant is required to have an approved adoptive home study, which has resulted in a more efficient and high quality adoption process. 
This humanistic approach is also evident in the annual 4-day Youth Empowerment Workshop held in Big Bear, California. This workshop transports about 40-60 youth from group homes, probation, and foster care to the mountains for four days of resilience training, life skills, team-building, high and low ropes courses, and confidential rap sessions. The workshop uses Adventure-Based Counseling and is well known in Los Angeles County. Dr. Henderson is co-Director of the workshop and provides counseling to participating youth.
While accruing her 3000 hours as a Registered Psychologist, Dr. Henderson began to utilize her personal experience and knowledge of natural remedies to address various play therapy issues experienced by her child clients such as aggression, bed-wetting, etc.  This focus on natural and herbal remedies resulted in a shift towards a belief in natural healing as the key to ameliorating daily problems. To expand her knowledge, Terilyn is currently enrolled in a Phytotherapy (Herbalist) program where she is acquiring a deeper  knowledge of natural remedies and therapeutic tinctures, such as Lavender to address children’s hyperactivity and sleep problems. She believes these remedies can be a complementary approach to children’s mental health/emotional problems.
Throughout her professional career, Dr Henderson has added skills and degrees that support her mission. She holds a Gerontology degree from USC, and a Masters degree in Counseling from Cal State LA.  Her passion, experience, and creative approach to uniting children and families makes a real difference in their life stories.
Dr Jones-Henderson is also writing a book that chronicles her personal experience twenty-nine years ago of pre-planning, providing an optimal prenatal environment, and documenting the resulting effects on her three children’s educational achievement, temperament, intelligence, secure attachment, and life success.  Terilyn attributes her love of life, spirit and continuing growth in a humanistic worldview to her educational experience at Saybrook!

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