Alumni Messenger


Saybrook University Alumna Dr. Leila Kozak Receives Grant from NCI and is Appointed Clinical Champion by the Veterans Administration

Dr. Leila Kozak

Saybrook Psychology Alumna Dr. Leila Kozak (Ph.D. '07) recently received a grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for a project entitled: Palliative Care Provider Online Education in Evidence-Based Complementary Therapies, and was appointed Clinical Champion at Veterans Administration (VA) Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, WA.

The palliative care project will develop and test a series of online continuing education modules to teach palliative care providers about use of evidence-based complementary therapies.  Dr. Kozak and Dr. William Collinge are Co-Principal Investigators for the project. These materials will be tested with a cohort of palliative care providers from institutions such as the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Veteran Administration Health Care System. 

A Clinical Champion is a staff member who has demonstrated knowledge and interest in Patient-Centered Care, including whole person/integrative care, complementary therapies, and psycho-social-spiritual and wellness interventions. Nationally, the VA is moving toward a model of care with a patient-centered focus versus a disease-based model. Person-centered care is also known as personalized, whole-person, or integrative care.  As a step towards implementing this model across all facilities, the VA Office of Patient Centered Care & Cultural Transformation (OPCC&CT) has funded 30 Clinical Champions nationally, whose role is to develop and promote programs that are patient centered and that will advance the vision of personalized/integrative care within VA for all Veterans.  
This position is funded through OPCC&CT at the VA Central Office in Washington, DC, which announced that Dr. Leila Kozak and Dr. David Kearney will represent VA Puget Sound, because of their "experience in providing education and training to clinicians and a demonstrated knowledge and interest in Patient-Centered Care."
Dr. Kozak will serve as a liaison between the Field Implementation Teams (FIT), OPCC&CT, and regional (VISN)  facilities, with a focus on forming close partnerships and with the goal of developing and implementing patient centered care (PCC) initiatives, including:
• Providing consultation and orientation to facilities in PCC principles and practices focused on improving the experience of care as well as the changing model of care delivery.
• Providing on-site facility training and orientation for clinical staff on PCC and clinical practices, such as health coaching and integrative medicine.
• Assisting the OPCC&CT in developing and implementing tools for working with clinical staff.
• Leading committees and groups to further PCC clinical programs that focus on new models of healthcare delivery that include integrative models of care.

Saybrook University Alumnus Dr. Kirk Schneider Appointed to Adjunct Faculty Position at Columbia University

Dr. Kirk Schneider

Saybrook University psychology alumnus and faculty member Dr. Kirk Schneider (Ph.D. '84) has been appointed to an adjunct faculty position at Teachers College, Dept. of Clinical and Counseling Psychology, Columbia University. He will be teaching a summer session on Awakening to Awe: An Existential-Integrative Approach to Therapy, July 2 through August 6, 2012.  

Dr. Schneider also just completed a new book called The Polarized Mind: Why It's Killing Us and What We Can Do About It that is currently under review at a major publisher. The book is an existential exploration of why and how power centers and their leaders have become repeatedly polarized down through history up to present times, which includes concrete steps we can take to address this core human peril.
Dr. Schneider's Doctoral Dissertation at Saybrook, Clients' Perceptions of the Positive and Negative Characteristics of Their Counselors, was chaired by Dr. Jurgen Kremer. Kirk is a former editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, and is the current Vice President of the Existential-Humanistic Institute's Board of Directors.

Sacred Sexuality: A Path to Self-Awareness

Dr. Ellie Zarrabian

Saybrook Psychology Alumna Dr. Ellie Zarrabian (Ph.D. 2010) is a third generation Shamanic Healer and the Founder and Spiritual Director of Centerpeace Foundation - A Holistic Center for Psychotherapy and Spirituality. Dr. Zarrabian incorporates her Shamanic roots from the Sufi/Jewish tradition in Iran with her background in Transpersonal Psychology to help bring health and wellness to individuals, families, and communities.

Describing her upcoming workshop, Sacred Sexuality: Uncovering, Discovering and Reclaiming Sexuality and the Sacred, Dr. Zarrabian suggests that Sexual energy is found in all areas of life including the way in which we express ourselves and our truth. She emphasizes that whether we are in the bedroom or the boardroom, our sexual/ sensual energy dictates how open, receptive, giving, creative, and connected we are with ourselves and others, and that many of us go through life without really having much awareness about this powerful and often wounded aspect of the self.  
According to Dr. Zarrabian, the focus of this workshop with be on cultivating awareness of how we work with our individual sexual/sensual energy. Participants will look at how they hold sexual trauma in the body, and how they express it. Once insight is gained, attendees will practice letting go of trauma and replacing that energy with life affirming and sustainable sexual/sensual energy that can be shared between partners. This workshop will be the first in a series.
Dr. Zarrabian's doctoral dissertation at Saybrook University was titled, The Usefulness of Meditation in the Alleviation of Self Reported Depressive Symptoms Among Women, which was chaired by the late, esteemed Dr. Jeanne Achterberg. As a result of personal experience, Ellie is also interested in the overlap between mental illness and mystical states, an interest informed by her work with schizophrenic youth at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA).
Ellie currently works in private practice in Los Angeles, CA; holds Shamanic Healing Circles cross culturally; and teaches workshops and classes on Everyday Shamanism, Peaceful Parenting, and Peaceful Partnering
Her upcoming workshop, Sacred Sexuality: Uncovering, Discovering and Reclaiming Sexuality and the Sacred, will be held on Saturday, June 30th, 2012 from 9 AM to 12 Noon, Pacific Time. See the calendar at 
To contact Dr. Zarrabian about this workshop, and her psychotherapy and shamanic healing practices, visit her Centerpeace Foundation web page at or call Ellie at 310-498-3573. Dr. Zarrabian resides in Los Angeles.

Saybrook University Psychology Alumna Dr. Linda Riebel Receives Two Publication Awards

Dr. Linda Riebel

The Saybrook Alumni Association is excited to announce that Saybook University Psychology Alumna Dr. Linda Riebel (Ph.D. 1981) recently received two publication awards. Her book on sustainability and food, The Green Foodprint: Food Choices for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet (2011, Print and Pixel Books) was a finalist in two categories for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She also won her category for the white paper, Endangered Species: Policy Recommendations (2012, commissioned by Animals and Society Institute) in the Green Book Festival.

Dr. Riebel has been an adjunct faculty member at Saybrook University since 1993; was a licensed psychologist in private practice in Berkeley and San Francisco, CA from 1982 to 2007; and was the Associate Director of the Bay Area Depression and Anxiety Treatment Center from 1994 to 2007. She is an experienced educator, writer, psychologist, and speaker, with specializations in environmental work and ecological psychology. 
Dr. Riebel's doctoral dissertation was chaired by one of Humanistic Psychology's early founders, James F.T. Bugental, and was titled, The Concept of Paradox as a Construct in Psychotherapy. Other committee members were two noted humanists, Rollo May and Richard Farson.
Some of Linda's many publications are: 
2012. Endangered Species: Policy Recommendations. White paper commissioned by Animals and Society Institute
2011. The Green Foodprint: Food Choices for Healthy People and Planet.  Lafayette, CA: Print and Pixel Books
Dr. Riebel invites you to her Book Launch Party in Layayette, CA on Sunday, July 22. 
Contact for details.

Is there Help if You are not Pathologically Angry, but Still Lose It from Time to Time?

Dr. Steven Wolf

The brain can be trained to identify and redirect anger impulses before they are automatically expressed, according to Saybrook University Psychology Alumnus Dr. Steven Wolf.  Steven is so confident individuals can learn to redirect anger impulses in a positive way that he guarantees success for those who complete his three stage training program.

Steven Wolf, Ph.D. (Saybrook, 1986) is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles, and is a Level V Diplomate with the National Anger Management Association. In 2009, Steve founded the Wolf Training Institute to train and certify practitioners to teach Taming Your Anger/Emotional Intelligence (TYA), a program which qualifies the trainee for Certification by the National Anger Management Association.
Taming Your Anger is a simple program based on principles of Cognitive Behavioral Psychology and Mindfulness Meditation. Steve’s primary focus is to train licensed therapists and other mental health workers to teach the program in schools, to military veterans, in alcohol and drug rehab programs, and in their private therapy practices. His long term goal is to see TYA taught as basic curriculum in modern educational settings. 
Dr. Wolf first conceived of TYA while working as a co-occurring disorders therapist with men coming directly from prison or from the streets. He was approached by numerous two strikers who said, “Hey Doc, can you help me control my anger? If I lose my temper again, I’m could go to jail for the rest of my life.” The traditional anger management curriculum Steve had been certified to teach was not providing these men with the skills they needed to control their behavior, so he developed TYA, which is comprised of four basic tools necessary for success. These four tools are included in most, known, anger-management programs, but the key to TYA’s success is that it relies on repetition to train the brain to develop new, alternative, neurological patterns to change behavior.
Dr. Wolf's many accomplishments include: directing New York City’s first Therapeutic Community Drug Program at Rikers Island Prison; directing a Day Treatment Center in Litchfield, Connecticut as a volunteer with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department; co-creating Project Turnaround, an Acupuncture Detox program on L.A.’s skid row; co-creating an alternative middle school in Topanga California; co-authoring Romancing the Shadow: A guide to Soul Work for a Vital Authentic Life (Ballantine, 1997, translated into six languages); and developing The Village Circle  Project: Leaderless Groups for Self-exploration, working with men coming directly from prison, jail, and the street. He also authored Taming Your Anger and EQ-101 Building Blocks of Emotional Intelligence, workbooks, C.D.s, and workshops.   
Steve has taught the Taming Your Anger program to men on parole and probation, to women in the LA Women’s Prison, to at-risk teens on probation, to doctors, lawyers, CEOs, producers, and to families in his private practice. He teaches the program via the internet, webcasts, webinars, telephone conference calls, or in person in his private therapy office.
Dr. Wolf will be offering a free webinar on Tuesday, June 12 at 7:30 PM PST.
For further information email Steven at or go to .

Saybrook Alumna Dr. Dana Klisanin Receives Media Psychology Award

Dr. Dana Klisanin

The Saybrook Alumni Association is pleased to announce that Saybrook Psychology Alumna Dr. Dana Klisanin (Ph.D. 2003) received the Division 46, Early Career Scientific Contribution to Media Psychology award, one of only three awards presented this year by the Media Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Klisanin is the founder of Evolutionary Guidance Media R&D, Inc., a research
organization focused on exploring the social and psychological impact of new media on individuals and society, particularly its ability to promote pro-social aims and facilitate the emergence of planetary consciousness. Dana has also pioneered research in the area of digital altruism, exploring the idea that people conscientiously and repetitively engaging in this behavior are harbingers of a new incarnation of the hero archetype she describes as the cyberhero.
Dr. Klisanin received her M.A. in Psychology in 2000 and her Ph.D. in Psychology in 2003, both from Saybrook University. Her doctoral dissertation was chaired by Bela Banathy, Sr. and was titled, Designing Media with Intent: Evolutionary Guidance Media for the Creation of Planetary Consciousness.
The Division 46 awards will be presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, August 2-5, 2012.

A Journey to the Self in Assisi with Saybrook University Alumna Dr. Phyllis Clay

Phyllis Clay

Saybrook University Psychology Alumna, and founder and executive director of Synthesis International, Inc.  Dr. Phyllis Clay (Ph.D. 2011) will be offering a 4-day Journey to the Self at Casa Maria Immacolata in Assisi, Italy. Dr. Clay, a psychosynthesis guide and teacher, has also apprenticed with Don Oscar Miro Quesada, Peruvian curandero and master ceremonialist. Phyllis graduated from Saybrook University in 2011. Her dissertation was chaired by the late Dr. Jeanne Achterberg and was titled Understanding The Experiences Of Individuals Who Believe They Are Mentored By Someone Who Is No Longer Living.

In this workshop in June, participants will build upon ancient Inca cosmology and Roberto Assagioli’s map of human consciousness as they deeply explore the multiple levels of their own lives. This personal (and collective) journey will draw on the landscape of Assisi, as well as the lives and experiences of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, to assist in this inner exploration. This rich multi-layering will provide opportunities for self-reflection and discovery. Using journaling, other expressive arts, and reflective conversation, participants will tell their own lives to themselves and to each other (as they choose) and will discover their Selves in the process.
A Journey to the Self
in the Landscape of Francis and Clare 
Assisi, Italy – 17-21 June 2012 
Facilitator and Journey Guide: Phyllis L. Clay, Ph.D.          
The workshop will begin at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, June 17, and will conclude at breakfast on Thursday, June 21. 
Registration: $1225
The registration fee for the Journey includes facilitation, all materials (with the exception of your personal journal), double occupancy lodging in lovely Casa Maria Immacolata [June 17-20], local transportation from our lodging to distant Journey sites, all breakfasts, three lunches, and all dinners. One lunch will be on your own. Limited single lodging may be available – inquire when registering.
To request registration materials or answers to your questions, please contact Phyllis  Clay: 
(816-935-1532 or 

Saybrook Alumnus Dr. Rick Gilbert's New Publication Reveals the Secret to Effective Executive Presentations


According to an article in CNBC's Bullish On Books, written by Saybrook Psychology Alumnus Dr. Rick Gilbert, more than two thirds of middle level managers don’t know how to  present information at top-level meetings. They end up "shooting themselves in the foot." In his new book, Speaking Up: Surviving Executive Presentations, Dr. Gilbert describes how presentations done well can help the presenter "become a star and the company become more productive." 

After receiving a PhD in Psychology from Saybrook University in 1977, Dr. Gilbert worked for several  Silicon Valley technology companies, and eventually went on to start his own speech communication training company in 1985. His book Speaking Up: Surviving Executive Presentations explores the little known but critical skills necessary for middle level managers to succeed when giving top level presentations.
In 2011, Dr. Gilbert also published his Saybrook dissertation Jazz, Rock and Roll, and the Revolution in Psychotherapy, 1950-1975.
Click Here to read more from the CNBC article.


Saybrook Alumnus Dr. Steven Kull Releases Results of New Public Opinion Study


Saybrook University Psychology Alumnus and Director of The Program for Public Consultation Dr. Steven Kull releases results of a new study in a public presentation, What Kind of Defense Budget Would the American Public Make?

Thursday, May 10, 2012                                                                                                         10:00-11:30 am

The Stimson Center       1111 19th Street, NW      12th Floor

In this presentation and in cooperation with other colleagues,  Dr. Kull will dicuss what average Americans would do if they were informed about the level and purposes of U.S. defense spending and had a chance to weigh the arguments that experts make. They will address the following questions: would the public boost overall funding, or cut it; would they spend more on air power or sea power; and how much would they say the US should spend on nuclear arms, on major ground forces, and on special forces? 

Most polls simply ask whether defense spending should be cut or not. But three organizations, ­ the Program for Public Consultation (PPC), the Stimson Center, and the Center for Public Integrity ­ collaborated on a more useful survey. They provided a representative sample of the American public neutral information about how funds are currently being spent, and exposed them to the various arguments made by advocates in the contemporary debate on whether defense should be cut. The respondents then said what they wished to spend in key areas.

The results of this innovative survey are now in, and Dr. Kull and his colleagues invite you to attend a presentation that will shed new light on the linkages ­ and gaps ­ between decisions being made in Washington and what average Americans want. The results will also make clear which arguments in favor of or opposed to current defense spending have the most resonance with members of the public. Please call 202-232-7500 for additional information.

Dr. Kull received his Ph.D. at Saybrook University in 1980. The chair of his dissertation was Dr. Stan Krippner. Dr. Kull is a political psychologist, is director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), which manages, and is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM), University of Maryland. He is also director of the Program for Public Consultation, which develops methods for governments to consult their publics on policy decisions. Dr. Kull has played a central role in the BBC World Service global poll, and regularly gives briefings to the US Congress, the State Department, the UN, and the European Commission. He appears frequently in the international media and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He recently completed a four-year study of the Muslim public, summarized in his newest book Feeling Betrayed: The Roots of Muslim Anger at America (Brookings).

* The Program for Public Consultation is a joint program of the Center for PolicyAttitudes and the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland


Saybrook Human Science Alumna Dr. K. Kevyne Baar Awarded New York University Outstanding Teaching Award


Saybrook University and the Saybrook Alumni Association are pleased to announce that Saybrook Human Science Alumna Dr. K. Kevyne Baar was awarded the New York University College of Arts and Science (CAS) Outstanding Teaching Award. The Dean wrote, "I am delighted to be able to congratulate you on winning [this award] in recognition of your excellence in undergraduate teaching."

Each year, New York University’s College of Arts and Science recognizes faculty for their outstanding contribution to learning in the classroom. This award goes to adjunct faculty who teach in any of the numerous departments that make up CAS. Professor Baar was nominated by students in her class, Women, the Entertainment Industry, and the Blacklist Era.  The criterion for this award includes teaching effectiveness, leadership in undergraduate education, and contribution to student advisement and mentoring.

Doctor Baar received her Ph.D. from Saybrook University in Human Science in 2006. Her dissertation was titled Investigating Broadway: The House Committee on Un American Activities Meets Members of the New York Theatre Community at the Foley Square Courthouse, August 15 18, 1955, which was chaired by Dr.Steven Pritzker.