Alumni Messenger


Siren Song: The Life and Works of Dr. Stanley Krippner

Stanley Krippner


by Nadine Vaughan, Ph.D.

It is 1975. I arrive at the threshold of the rest of my life with excitement. I am about to meet the folks who make Saybrook the “go to” place for a doctorate in humanistic psychology. Then called The Humanist Psychology Institute (HPI), it is already the stuff of urban legend. I remember the comments of friends, and laugh out loud. “Really? You can write your dissertation on that?” Now I will see the faces of these courageous academicians.

I drive up to New Jersey and enter the meeting room, knowing something amazing is about to happen. It does. This is when I meet Dr. Stanley Krippner. Off in a corner, looking nothing like Freud, James, or Skinner, Stanley sports a colorful jacket of indigenous design and a smile that twinkles each time he hears a student make an outrageous claim concerning paranormal events. Tasked with educating these searching souls, Krippner’s eyes lower as he carefully chooses just the right words. Students wait; miners ready to collect the gems he produces from the recesses of his great mind. Stanley’s brow slightly furrows as he weighs the ramifications of his words; his steady voice becomes a loving friend. Although I do not yet know how, this early trek into the unknown pads my own path into the nature of consciousness and changes my life.

Fast forward to Saturday, August 4, 2012. Following weeks of excited emails proclaiming “Stanley is attending the APA conference in Orlando, and he is turning 80!”, I startle at how much time has passed since my first meeting with him 37 years ago. It feels like the blink of an eye with life-times in between. I arrange to attend, wondering what I might offer this remarkable man on this uncommon occasion. He has done so much for the world. Does the world know?  I decide to honor my mentor, my colleague, and friend with a filmed retrospective of his life and works. Nothing fancy. Heartfelt.

With Stan’s permission, I invite my filmmaking partner to the occasion. An International group of well-wishers arrive to celebrate Stan’s Birthday in style. Many travel from far places. We record interviews with Stan and other fascinating folks. Told from the perspectives of people personally touched by his efforts, the retrospective begins and ends on the night of Stan’s party. It weaves into its tapestry, archival footage and published works. I name it “Siren Song: The Life and Works of Dr. Stanley Krippner”. We would like to have it ready for Stan’s Mill Valley party this fall or an award presentation soon after. Realistically, our plan is to finalize editing by this year’s end, and make it available for purchase in 2013.  A gift from my heart, only modest production costs will be retrieved. After that, all proceeds go to Stan. Happy Birthday, Stan.


Book Review: Post-traumatic stress disorder. Krippner & Davies



Book Review:

Krippner, S., Pitchford, D. B., & Davies, J. (2012). Post-traumatic stress disorder. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood.

Reviewed by Selene Kumin Vega, Ph.D. (Psychology), 2009

Trauma is often associated with violence, either from war, personal attacks, or abuse, but it can just as easily be a result of unpredictable and seriously disruptive forces of nature (hurricanes, earthquakes, or floods, for example).  Traumatic events may be the extreme end of the spectrum of experiences of change that occur throughout our lives.  Although the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is relatively recent (it was developed in the late 1970s as veterans returned home from Vietnam, often with emotional difficulties), the phenomenon of symptoms occurring following exposure to an extremely difficult events has been described in religious texts, literature, and diaries and memoirs.

The experience of a traumatic event does not necessarily lead to post traumatic stress disorder.  Just as “stress” is a name for what we might experience in response to challenging situations outside of ourselves, the word “trauma” describes the wound or injury inflicted by an external event or situation.  How each individual responds to those events and situations determines the intensity of the trauma experienced.  As Krippner, Pitchford, and Davies emphasize,

How people experience their wounding brought on by a traumatizing event is strongly related to their person temperament, personal history (especially any prior traumas), context (the setting or environment,) and the subjective impact of the event—in other words, how they attribute meaning to what has happened. (p. 2)

The authors make the point that PTSD symptoms may be present even without what would usually be considered a traumatizing event. The continuum of distress from what we might call stress to what we understand as trauma includes responses to work-related and marital conflicts on one end, and war, violent abuse and attacks, and natural disasters on the other.  The factors involved in “predisposing, activating, and maintaining” (p. 133) the symptoms of PTSD are complex and non-linear.

Krippner, Pitchford, and Davies have written this contribution to the Biographies of Disease series to provide a foundation for understanding PTSD. Rather than a treatment manual, this is an overview, covering differential diagnosis, the wide variety of manifestations of this complex phenomenon, PTSD in children and adolescents, the neuroscience underlying the symptoms, and the varied treatments available.  The book achieves this goal, though it would have benefited from proofreading and editing.  The first few chapters were somewhat repetitive, and there were a few slips where a different name was used to refer to one of the four case history subjects. The chapter on treatment approaches is fairly comprehensive and helpful at illustrating the wide variety of healing modalities used to address PTSD, though I was surprised to find no mention of body-oriented and somatic psychotherapy techniques such as Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing. 

Perhaps the most inspiring part of the book is the last chapter, focusing on the post-traumatic strengths that may develop through the process of journeying through PTSD. The authors make the point that for a surprising number of PTSD survivors, finding their way through their difficult response to a traumatic event can lead to going beyond their former baseline normal state of being. These people find strength and meaning that had not been part of their lives before their traumatic experience.  In the process of healing, they were able to “mine the gold” of their experience and grow, returning to the world with gifts of newfound strength, compassion, courage, and resilience. 

Hardcover: 177 pages
Publisher: Greenwood (March 9, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0313386684
ISBN-13: 978-0313386688
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches

Higher Ed Watch - a look at student loan debt

Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo


The issues around the student debt crises continue to be a focus of this column. For this installment I thought to share some of the latest information being brought to us by a new website known as,

Student loan default continues to be a key concern for many. According to Andrew Martin reporting for the New York Times one in every six student loan borrowers is now in default. Default is defined as having fallen behind at least 12 months with payments. The federal government has in place a flexible payment program that in theory is supposed to prevent the borrower from default by way of low payments. These payments are so low that they are quoted as being affordable even for those who have lost their job. I couldn’t find any way to find out as to whether this program works. However, embedded in HR 4170, The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 there is a statement about discretionary income levels and how much a person has to repay is calculated according to income that is over 150% above the poverty limit.

Robert Applebaum introduced the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 to the US House of Representatives on March 8, 2012.  Total outstanding student loan debt in America is tipping toward $1 Trillion this year.  Since 1980 the average 4-year college tuition increased by 827%. Since 1999, student loan debt increased by 511%. We have a real problem here.

Student loan debt is the latest financial crises facing America and Americans. Many economists predict we will have another economic downturn of severe proportions if nothing is done. This is being referred to as the “student loan bubble.”

Here are some of the questions that were asked about the act:

Does HR 4170 cover private student loans? Yes.

How is discretionary income calculated? Discretionary income is defined as the borrower’s, and the borrower’s spouse’s (if applicable), adjusted gross income exceeding 150% of the poverty line applicable to the borrower’s family size as determined under section 673(2) of the Community Services Block Grant Act (422 U.S.C. 9902(2).

Would the forgiven debt be treated as taxable income? No.

What happens if the student borrower is unemployed or becomes unemployed? The borrower would still qualify for enrollment in the program if they become unemployed or are unemployed. For borrowers who would owe zero dollars based on their discretionary income, the Department of Education would make a case-by- case assessment of the appropriate minimum monthly payment. This minimum monthly payment, even if calculated at zero dollars, would be applied towards debt forgiveness.

Would there be caps on the maximum amount of forgiveness available? Yes and no. Under the bill, there would be no caps on the maximum amount of forgiveness available for borrowers who are currently in repayment or in school. For new borrowers, the bill imposes a debt forgiveness cap of $45,520 as incentive to students to make sound financial decisions and to encourage colleges and universities to lower the cost of their tuition.

How would HR 4170 impact interest rates on student loans? The bill would cap interest rates on federal loans at 3.4%

Would a borrower still be eligible to enroll if his or her loans are in default? Yes. Unlike the federal government’s program of Income Based Repayment (IBR), there is no requirement for the borrower to be current on his or her loans to qualify for enrollment in the new 10/10 program.

What if a borrower already paid the equivalent of 10% of discretionary income for at least 10 years? Under the terms of this bill, those who have already paid the equivalent of at least 10% of their discretionary income over the prior 10 years totaling 120 payments would immediately qualify for forgiveness upon passage of the bill.

How are married couples incomes calculated for purposes of this plan? For married couples that file their income taxes jointly, loan payments would be calculated according to household income. Loan payments for married couples filing separately would be based on the individual borrower’s income.

As a parent who took out a Parent Plus Loan, how would this bill help the parent? The parent would be eligible to enroll in the program.

Would this bill restore bankruptcy protections for student loan debt? No. However, Rep, Hansen Clarke will be introducing a “Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights” in the coming weeks which, if signed into law, would restore bankruptcy and other consumer protections for student loan debt. The “Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights” would also propose a host of much-needed reforms to the student lending system.

Let’s hang on and see what ends up taking place. There is no doubt about this being a very serious issue.

Be well and take care.

Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo, PhD
To read the full bill please go to this site:

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.


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


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!

Saybrook University Alumnus and Faculty Member Dr. Bob Flax Named to World Federalist Movement's Governing Body

Dr. Bob Flax

Saybrook Psychology Alumnus Dr. Bob Flax (Ph.D. '92), also a faculty member and Chief Research Coordinator at Saybrook University's Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies, has been named to the governing body of the World Federalist Movement. The announcement was made at the WFM’s 26th annual conference in July. Founded in 1947 to support the efforts of the United Nations, the WFM is a worldwide organization dedicated to promoting peace and the global rule of law: it is the primary sponsor of the International Criminal Court and the U.N.’s “Responsibility to Protect” initiative, among other major global efforts.

The Vice-President of the Democratic World Federalists, Flax’s interest in global law and governance grew out of his work as a senior clinical psychologist for the California Department of Corrections, treating individuals, couples, families, and groups. He expanded his focus to include larger systems and studied organizational development and conflict resolution, and has worked to test these approaches in a wide range of settings, including businesses, non-profits, intentional communities, and the California State Prison system. Dr. Flax finally arrived at the next logical step – the way we work together as citizens of the world.

Bob lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a key faculty member in Saybrook’s program in Social Transformation, which offers a body of practical knowledge to support students who want to connect the library to the street in pursuit of meaningful social change.

Dr. Flax's Saybrook Doctoral Dissertation was titled, From Beginner to Master: Changes in the Ways of Being, Perceiving, and Practicing of Psychotherapists as They Acquire and Develop Clinical Skill, and was chaired by Dr. Tony Stigliano.

Saybrook University Alumna Dr. Kirby Rosplock Completes International Study on Family Wealth

Dr. Kirby Rosplock

Saybrook University Organizational Systems Alumna Dr. Kirby Rosplock (Ph.D. '07) recently completed an international study exploring the relationship of the family office to the family business titled, The Sustaining the Family Enterprise Study.  Dr. Rosplock, Dr. Dianne H.B. Welsh at University of North Carolina Greensboro, Dr. Juan Roure at IESE Business School at the University of Navarra in Barcelona, Spain, and Prof. Juan Luis Segurado at IESE Business School at the University of Navarra in Barcelona, Spain have been working on this multi-phased study since 2008.

The Sustaining the Family Enterprise Study engaged 93 family members from around the globe whose combined wealth exceeds $20 Billion. The study explored the perceived impact of governance practices and process, along with entrepreneurial orientation, and their impact on sustainability of the family’s enterprise, according to Dr. Rosplock. Kirby is the Director of Research and Development in the Innovation and Learning Center at GenSpring Family Offices in Jupiter, FL.

The study is the first of its kind and provides new insights into the importance of how families make decisions and establish process in order to build continuity and cohesion. Further, findings on entrepreneurial orientation reveal that families take more risk and are more entrepreneurial with their operating business than with wealth management practices in their family office.  

Dr. Rosplock also spoke in San Francisco in April of 2012 about the growing influence of women on global wealth. Kirby is a director of her family's fourth-generation, traditionally male business. Kirby's Saybrook dissertation was titled, Women and Wealth: Women's Interest, Attitudes and Involvement With Their Wealth, which was chaired by Dr. Dennis Jaffe.

For  a copy of The Sustaining the Family Enterprise Study, or for further information, contact:

Kirby Rosplock, PhD                 

413 Meadowlark Ln.

Jupiter, FL 33458  

Cell: 414-491-6506    Email:



Saybrook Alumnus Dr. Sil Machado Appointed to Core Faculty at the Sanville Institute

Dr. Sil Machado

The Saybrook Alumni Association and Saybrook University are proud to announce that Psychology Alumnus Dr. Sil Machado was recently appointed to the Core Faculty at the Sanville Institute for Clinical Social Work and Psychotherapy in Berkeley, CA.

Established in 1974, the Sanville Institute offers a PhD in clinical social work and a two-year certificate program in psychodynamic psychotherapy to masters-level licensed and pre-licensed clinicians. The Institute promotes clinical scholarship that integrates theory and practice. Largely focusing on contemporary psychodynamic theory and practice, the program is a dispersed model of learning for working professionals who seek the challenge of doctoral studies within a program that allows for individualized interests and perspectives. 
Dr. Machado received his Ph.D. from Saybrook in 2011. His dissertation titled, Gay Men And The Poetics Of Facing Negative Parental Reactions To The Disclosure Of Gay Identity, was chaired by Dr. Willson Williams.

Saybrook University Alumna Dr. Hilarie Cash Asks, Should Internet Obsession be Considered an Addiction Disorder?

Dr. Hilarie Cash

Saybrook University Psychology Alumna Dr. Hilarie Cash (Ph.D. '89) co-founded reSTART: Internet Addiction Recovery Program, the first and only residential treatment program for adults suffering from Internet and Video Game Addiction ( Dr. Cash began her pioneering work in this new field in the mid 90's, and by 1999 she co-founded an outpatient clinic called Internet/Computer Addiction Services in Redmond, WA (home of Microsoft). In 2008, Hilarie co-authored a book now being released in its second edition called Video Games and Your Kids: How Parents Stay in Control. These ongoing endeavors have brought Dr. Cash recognition as one of the nation's leading experts in the growing field of Internet Addiction. 

Dr. Cash began her counseling career in Hawaii, where she specialized in Women's Issues. When she moved to the Seattle area with her family, and started a new practice, she found more and more clients presenting with problems related to some aspect of the Internet. She was intrigued, but found that few therapists were paying attention to the things she was noticing. Her curiosity, concern, and clinical experience led her to develop a growing understanding of, and expertise in, this intriguing subject.
Today, there is a growing world wide recognition of problems associated with overuse of digital technology. S. Korea and China have named it their #1 public health threat. The US has been slow to recognize the problem as a legitimate mental health concern, and Internet Addiction Disorder is not likely to be listed in the new DSM-V. However, there has been progress with the addition of a new DSM category for non-substance addictions. With time and the accumulation of research, it is likely to be added to the roster of behavioral addictions that are finally being recognized, in the same way that gambling is today.