Alumni Messenger


Saybrook Alumna Myrna Araneta Honored with Award of Distinction


Saybrook University and the Saybrook Alumni Association are pleased to announce that Organizational Systems Alumna Dr. Myrna Araneta was awarded the 14th Annual Women of Distinction Award in Education by the Southern Nevada Division of The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). Founded in 1975, NAWBO is known as the voice of America's 10.6 million women-owned businesses.

The award celebrates Dr. Araneta’s commitment and advocacy for improving opportunities and advancement of women through the education of individuals, groups, and companies, with a focus on impacting the systems that help level the playing field for women and minorities. She was recognized as a role model for her peers, for leading by example, and for breaking new ground as an agent for transformational change in organizational systems.

Dr. Araneta was also honored with Certificates of Commendation by United States Senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller; United States Congresspersons Shelley Berkley and Joe Heck, D.O.; and the Governor of the State of Nevada, Brian Sandoval.
Dr. Araneta, Founder & Principal Consultant of A Consulting Group Network®, describes her role in organizations as one of “providing value-added partnerships with individuals, groups, and organizations in their pathways to change and transformation, resulting in clarity of insights and effective execution of solutions.” Myrna earned her Doctorate in Organizational Systems at Saybrook University in August of 2009, completing her dissertation, Sustained Personal Transformation During Midlife, with Dr. John Adams as Dissertation Chair.
In 2011, Dr. Araneta published Inspiring Lives: Personal Stories of Sustained Transformation, an inspirational exposition filled with insights about the process of change that can lead to personal transformation.
With a total of 25 years in various roles as leader, manager, and internal consultant in organizational development and effectiveness, Dr. Araneta currently consults as a leadership and business organizational systems coach, and conducts in-depth workshops on Integrated Life Redesign and the use of Labyrinths and Mazes in charting pathways to transformation.
The award was presented at a special celebration at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 20, 2012.

Can a Psychotic Break be the Doorway to Personal Growth and Transformation?


In his new book, Rethinking Madness, Saybrook Psychology Alumnus Dr. Paris Williams points out that recent domestic and international research suggests that full, medication-free recovery from schizophrenia and other related psychotic disorders may actually be the most likely outcome, given the right conditions.

Dr. Williams received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Saybrook University in May of 2011. His dissertation, A Multiple Case Study Exploring Personal Paradigm Shifts Throughout The Psychotic Process From Onset To Full Recovery, was chaired by Dr. Doris Bersing. In his research, and in Rethinking Madness, Dr. Williams suggests that “many individuals who recover do not simply return to their pre-psychotic condition, but actually undergo a profound positive transformation resulting in a sense of wellbeing and ability to meet their needs that far exceeds that which existed prior to their psychosis.”

In Rethinking Madness, Dr. Williams elucidates an altogether new vision of madness that integrates Eastern and Western understandings of the mind in order to make sense of his research findings that revealed full and lasting recoveries from schizophrenia and other closely related psychotic disorders by his research subjects.

Rethinking Madness is currently available at,, and other online retailers, and will be available at bookstores and libraries everywhere over the next few months.

Click Here for more about Rethinking Madness.


Saybrook Alumnus Dr. Daniel Pitchford (Ph.D. '09) and Alumna Dr. Jeannine Davies (Ph.D. '10) Publish Book w/Dr. Stan Krippner


Biographies of Disease: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by Dr. Stan Krippner, Dr. Daniel Pitchford (Ph.D. '09), and Dr. Jeannine Davies (Ph.D. '10)


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a comprehensive and thoughtful examination of the nature, causes, and treatment of PTSD. Drawing on the vast experience of its team of authors, the book details the insidious nature and history of PTSD, from the internal and external factors that cause this form of suffering to the ways it manifests itself psychologically and socially. The most cutting-edge research on treatment, intervention, and prevention is thoroughly discussed, as are the spiritual and psychological strengths that can emerge when one progresses beyond the label of "disorder."

The book begins with a historical review of the topic. Subsequent chapters offer in-depth exploration of the significant foundations, function, impacts, and treatments associated with PTSD. Each chapter incorporates case studies to bring the information to life and ensure an appreciation of the myriad social, psychological, and biological experiences surrounding PTSD.

Available at

Los Angeles Times Article References Saybrook Alumnus Dr. Bart Billings' (Ph.D. '74)


Bart Billings, Ph.D. '74    Saybrook University

A fog of drugs and war    By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times

More than 110,000 active-duty Army troops last year took antidepressants, sedatives, and other prescription medications. Some see a link to aberrant behavior.

In a drunk driving and auto theft case last year, Air Force pilot Patrick Burke was found not guilty "by reason of lack of mental responsibility" -- a result of the prescription drugs he'd taken.

By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
April 7, 2012, 3:24 p.m.
SEATTLE — U.S. Air Force pilot Patrick Burke's day started in the cockpit of a B-1 bomber near the Persian Gulf and proceeded across nine time zones as he ferried the aircraft home to South Dakota.

Every four hours during the 19-hour flight, Burke swallowed a tablet of Dexedrine, the prescribed amphetamine known as "go pills." After landing, he went out for dinner and drinks with a fellow crewman. They were driving back to Ellsworth Air Force Base when Burke began striking his friend in the head.

"Jack Bauer told me this was going to happen — you guys are trying to kidnap me!" he yelled, as if he were a character in the TV show "24."

When the woman giving them a lift pulled the car over, Burke leaped on her and wrestled her to the ground. "Me and my platoon are looking for terrorists," he told her before grabbing her keys, driving away and crashing into a guardrail.

Burke was charged with auto theft, drunk driving and two counts of assault. But in October, a court-martial judge found the young lieutenant not guilty "by reason of lack of mental responsibility" — the almost unprecedented equivalent, at least in modern-day military courts, of an insanity acquittal.

Four military psychiatrists concluded that Burke suffered from "polysubstance-induced delirium" brought on by alcohol, lack of sleep and the 40 milligrams of Dexedrine he was issued by the Air Force.

In a small but growing number of cases across the nation, lawyers are blaming the U.S. military's heavy use of psychotropic drugs for their clients' aberrant behavior and related health problems. Such defenses have rarely gained traction in military or civilian courtrooms, but Burke's case provides the first important indication that military psychiatrists and court-martial judges are not blind to what can happen when troops go to work medicated.

To See the Complete Los Angeles Times Article Click Here

For more information on the 20th Annual International Military and Civilian Combat Stress Conference Click Here

Saybrook Alumnus Dr. Robert E. McCarthy (Ph.D. '03) Appointed to Serve on American Association of Integrative Medicine Accreditation Commission


Saybrook University and the Saybrook Alumni Association are pleased to announce that Saybrook Psychology Alumnus Dr. Robert McCarthy was recently appointed to serve on the American Association of Integrative Medicine Accreditation Commission.

The American Association of Integrative Medicine Accreditation Commission is an interdsiciplinary Board of integrative healthcare professionals that accredit other educational and clinical programs throughout the country that provide either formal trarining programs or direct clinical services to patients in integrative medicine of healthcare.

Robert also presently serves on the National Executive Advisory Boards of the American Psychotherapy Association, American Association of Integrative Medicine, and National Board of Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists.

He graduated from Saybrook in 2003 with a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Psychology (Clinical Inquiry). 

Applications Now Being Accepted for New Certificate Program in Existential-Humanistic Therapy!


The Existential Humanistic Institute (EHI) is pleased to announce a new and unprecedented program leading to a Certificate in the Foundations of Existential-Humanistic Practice.

This certificate program, a combination of distance and residential learning, will provide students with: a foundational competency in E-H therapeutic principles and skills—a competency that researcher Bruce Wampold suggests could be a basis for all effective therapy. Moreover, by offering a mentoring experience, the EHI faculty encourages the development of “the whole person,” appreciating that “psychotherapy is an art as much as a science,” as James Bugental posited.

The faculty, among them, Orah Krug, PhD, Kirk Schneider, PhD, and Nader Shabahangi, PhD are all acknowledged experts in their field—having taught and written widely on the subject of E-H theory and practice. Drs. Schneider and Krug are also faculty members of Saybrook University and are co-authors of the APA text, Existential-Humanistic Therapy (2010).

The unique learning format affords U.S. and international students an opportunity to enroll. EHI is currently accepting applications, which can be found at

For more information, please visit our website, or contact the director of the certificate programs, Dr. Orah Krug at

Saybrook Alumnus Dr. Timothy Storlie (Ph.D. '12) Publishes New Book


Timothy Storlie, Ph.D. '12  Just published, The University Student's Concise Guide on How to Major in Living Your Life (and have more fun, get better grades, stay healthy, and earn money while doing it).

Click Here for the link.

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Announcing The 2nd Annual Conference on Earth-Based, Nature-Centered, Polytheistic & Indigenous Faiths September 8, 2012, SF, CA


The 2nd Annual Conference on Earth-Based, Nature-Centered, Polytheistic & Indigenous Faiths

Date: Saturday, September 8, 2012 from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM (PT) Location: 1187 Franklin St San Francisco (1st UU Church of SF)

Papers, presentations, & workshop queries:

Some scholarships are available. A ritual theatre group has applied to create a labyrinth on site.

Saybrook Alumna Dr. Virginia Nemetz (Ph.D. '02) Releases New Publication Stone Child's Mother


Virginia Nemetz, Ph.D. '02 Publishes:

Stone Child's Mother: A Jungian Narrative Reflection on the Mother Archetype

Click Here for Link.