Alumni Messenger


Alumnus Marcelo Mercante, PhD '06 Publishes New Book on the Healing Process of the Barquinha, a Brazilian Ayahuasca Religious System



How conscious spiritual experiences influence healing process? This question guided the investigation of the spontaneous mental imagery (mirações) of people under treatment in a Brazilian religion that uses the psychoactive beverage Ayahuasca (locally called Daime) as a sacrament. It was investigated the healing techniques implemented during rituals, concepts of healing and sickness, and the relationship between mirações and healing process. Sickness was considered to have a spiritual source, and healing to be accomplished when one puts oneself into a hypothetical ?current of healing energy? felt during ceremonies. The experience of mirações was considered to be the source of healing, mediating and making conscious a coherent and workable whole that encompassed the ritual, the Daime, the processes of self-transformation/knowledge/exploration, physiological condition, and factors in a spiritual space ? a non-physical although very objective space one believed to be shared by participants in the ceremonies, and where mirações were believed to occur. This book builds a bridge between Consciousness Studies and Anthropology, and it is recommended for people interested in those areas.

This book is now available at



Alumna Linda Riebel, PhD '81 Releases New Book on Environment and Challenges Alumni


Linda Riebel, PhD '81 Publishes The Earth-Friendly Food Chain and challenges alumni to deepen their commitment to consciousness and life - see below.

After decades devoting my life to individual healing and growth, I found my interests shifting toward collective change - social transformation, in Saybrook language. Retired from the practice of psychotherapy, I now work for the survival of ecosystems, animals, and humans. It is folly to deny that we have brought life as we know it on our planet to the brink of collapse. While I am baffled by the delays and obstructions made by people who oppose even the most obviously necessary actions, as a psychologist I try to understand their defensiveness. (However, I still don't understand why the disappearance of glaciers doesn't get their attention).

Like clinicians dealing with an addict nearing the point of no return, we don't have the luxury to simply contemplate the spectacle, or to take time just to design and debate perfect solutions. Urgent action is needed. Here's what I personally am DOING: speaking, volunteering, and publishing about food and the environment. (Did you know that industrial agriculture causes more environmental damage than cars?) My book */The Earth-Friendly Food Chain/* came out this year (available at,, and I speak at schools and public events, and condense news of important developments (both warnings and signs of progress) in my website's blog.

Now I am addressing my fellow Saybrook graduates, making my plea to deepen your consciousness and commitment to life in your daily actions. You can help the earth with your food choices, three times a

Linda Riebel, Ph.D. '81 (925) 945 1785
The Earth-Friendly Food Chain, available at /
or Amazon.

Adjunct Faculty, Saybrook University, San Francisco / /
Board Member, SaveNature.Org / /
Board Member, Sustainable Lafayette / /

Special Webcast Opportunity - Appreciative Leadership: Turning Creative Potential into Positive Power


Appreciative Leadership: Turning Creative Potential into Positive Power

You are invited to participate in a special webcast of the Saybrook University Dialogues Appreciative Leadership event on Wednesday, April 21, 1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m (Pacific).

Led by Saybrook Organizational Systems faculty Diana Whitney, PhD, Dennis Jaffe, PhD, and Nancy Southern, EdD, this workshop will explore the intersection of three emerging fields: appreciative inquiry, positive psychology, and the strengths movement. Dr. Whitney will also provide an overview of the research and ideas in her newest book Appreciative Leadership: Focus on What Works to Drive Winning Performance and Build a Thriving Organization (McGraw Hill, July 2010), and will share five appreciative leadership strategies for turning creative potential into positive power.

TIME: 1:30 PM- 2:45 PM (Pacific time)

To access the webcast, please click here:

Sigrid Badinelli
Vice President, Marketing and Strategic Development
Saybrook University
747 Front Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111-1920
tel: 415-394-5017
fax: 415-433-9271

Alumna Marie Fonrose Journal - Full Length Version


February 19, 2010 marked my first glimpse of Port-au-Prince, which was ravaged by the January 12th earthquake. This trip was made possible through contributions made from Hope Christian Church and Saybrook Alumni Association. I noticed right away that things were changed. For example, we had to line up and be bused to another compound to go through immigration. What was the same, however, was the welcoming music played by the airport musicians. Many Haitians looked forward to the sounds of tambourines and island songs as confirmation that they have landed in their country, “Haiti cheri” (beloved Haiti). I searched for my suitcases and checked out of the airport. As the car drove away from the airport into my hometown, Petion-Ville, I started seeing the crumbled buildings, houses, schools, and apartments. So many people remained under the rubble leaving their loved ones to grieve without a body or to assume that that they are dead. In conversation with the earthquake victims, there are still many people hoping that their loved ones were not home and had stepped out to run an errand—what devastation. Many are paying others to dig for their loved ones two months later in other to give them a proper send off. It is culturally important to grieve and bury a loved one before closing the chapter even with just bones. The reality is that some will have to settle for a simple memorial service since their loved ones have been dumped into a mass grave.

This earthquake has humbled so many. Haiti was often divided into classes, but after the earthquake, all classes vanished. I met a woman on the plane who shared with me how she used to scold her servant for bathing outside of the house. Now she, too, was bathing outside behind some sheets out of fear for an aftershock. Those who separated themselves from others have become one under a tent. People have become neighbors in the real sense of the word. The suffering has caused everyone to reunite as one. For some of us who lives outside of Haiti, Haitian-Americans, it has caused us to be more grateful and to count our blessings, and not to complain. All humor aside, faith is one of most domineering element in this event. I can say with certainty that the people will move forward because of their spiritual belief. Ninety five percent of Haitians I came in contact with were able to say that God is in control of their life. Children and adults alike say things like “God gives and takes, may His name be glorified”. Even those who are in bed suffering, those who are on the verge of an amputation, or those who lost everything and are sleeping on the streets—the common denominator is the same.

On this journey, I was able to work with two organizations, Promise for Haiti (Pignon, Haiti) and Hope for Haiti Foundation (Zorange, Haiti). In addition, I was able to spend some time in Port-au-Prince circulating through various communities of Petion-Ville, Delmas, and Bossier. I spent 5 weeks in Haiti and serviced approximately 600 people through groups, individual, family counseling, and classroom presentations. In addition, Pastor Rock provided me with an opportunity to speak to the earthquake victims via radio (102.5, Bethesda radio) on the impact of the earthquake. The calls that came in during the segment showed how desperate people were for mental health services. I was unable to take callers after the hour, but many callers were asking for another session. I used these weeks not only to counsel people but to educate and introduce them to mental health.

On a psychological level people are not faring too well which is understandable under the circumstances. The youths are showing some serious signs of PTSD and they are concern about their future. They are experiencing anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia, amenorrhea, fatigue, stomach aches, hallucinations, and nightmares. On an educational level, some are questioning whether or not they will be able to go back to school and learn; when will the nightmares stop? Is it normal to feel this way? These are the questions echoed by high school and university students. Many have developed a hypersensitivity to noise. Some of them jump at the slightest movement or sound; children tell me that they are unable to hear the helicopter and it scares them; some feel that the house is shaken at least 6 times a day. At a nearby school, the teacher hit the eraser on the board and all the children took off running. Many children and adolescents are unable to sleep under a roof or even sit inside a home for longer than five minutes.

What do they look for and need? They seek answers and a quiet place. It is hard to find a quiet place; many of them are living in crowded camps, homes with other families, and orphanages with many others so finding a quiet corner seems impossible. They need reassurance that psychological services will be available to them until they can adjust to a routine. In working with them, I find that they need to remain busy throughout the day with some sort of activity whether it is sports, helping the little ones, drawing and painting or volunteering in church. Teaching them techniques for relaxation and meditation is necessary. Explaining to them what is taking place and why it is happening seemed to work well, especially with the adolescents. Although many of the children began to attend school, the adult victims have too much time on their hands. They talked about the sleepless nights and the long days, which seemed longer than before without much to do. They complained about the fact that the supplies or food are only distributed in some places and some people are receiving too much while others are starving. They have also voiced that the goods are being sold to those who can afforded it. Many continue to get sick because the tents they created do not help them on the rainy days. Some are terrified of the city while others want to go back feeling that is the only way to get serve. Bringing the word of God into the sessions provide the anchor that they need. Teaching them to be a source of support and comfort to each other via group counseling (Lakou), letting them know that the things there are experiencing are not unique. Other cases will necessitate much more work; cases like fear of the roof. These individuals will need to be desensitize, which cannot be done in a few weeks.

Long term, the international community must establish mental health centers where the people can continue to come for support and to feel free to talk about their progress or lack thereof. Students who are attending school should have access to a counselor in the school. Play therapy should be part of these plans for the little ones. Many of them would not freely talk with me but would start a conversation once playing started. They would say things like, you know I saw a car flip over with the people, or you know I am scared of dead bodies, or I am afraid to sleep alone. Developing a relationship with Haitians is key if you want them to talk to you.

Otherwise, you will be seen as a stranger. The puppet, big bird, was a hit for me with the little ones. The children are not used to going to a counselor, psychologist, or social worker’s office for a conversation. Many of them are unaware of what these people do. It has to be explained to them in children’s language and put into action. A mental health worker should be placed in every school to help children deal with the post earthquake emotions or stress. The educators must attend professional development on the symptoms in order for them to be effective; they should also develop a referral system. In addition, the entire country will need an introduction on educating children with a handicap. Haiti is not used to provide children who are disabled with accommodation. These children were often put away. Now they are face with so many children, over 10000 amputees, who will not have a future unless the country is educated on the issue and design a plan to include them in the formula. Many of these amputees are developing low self-esteem; there are feeling inferior to their peers. Some are being told that their dreams are over; they will not marry or attend college/university. Others feel that the stares are too much to bear. These conversations must occur prior to the rebuilding and restructuring of schools.

National Health Service Offers Student Loan Repayment Program


National Health Service Corps (NHSC)/State Loan Repayment Program Information

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC)/State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), administered by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, has received a grant for $2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to repay outstanding government and commercial loans for expenses incurred during undergraduate or graduate education.

Up to $85,000 in funding is available on a first-come, first-serve basis for qualified primary healthcare providers who commit to a three-year service obligation at a public or private non-profit facility that is located in a Health Professional Shortage Area. Each facility is required to pay a matching grant, meaning that $42,500 is paid by the State, and $42,500 is paid by the facility.

This special NHSC/SLRP cycle ends on September 29, 2010 or when funds are expended, whichever comes first. You must be fully licensed, working full-time (40 hours per week) in order to apply for this program, and interns are not eligible. Qualifying primary care professionals include:

œ Licensed Mental or Behavioral Health Professionals: Clinical or Counseling Psychologists, Clinical Social Workers, Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, or Psychiatric Nurse Specialists
œ Allopathic or Osteopathic Physicians specializing in Family Medicine, General Pediatrics, General Internal Medicine, General Psychiatry, Gerontology, or Obstetrics and Gynecology
œ Primary Care Nurse Practitioners
œ Primary Care Physician Assistants
œ Certified Nurse Mid-Wives
œ Dentists
œ Dental Hygienists

Please note that you can only commit to one service obligation at a time and must complete any existing service obligations prior to accepting a new contract for this program. You can find additional program information at: Please review the website and online application.

Please contact Kristen Meza at or at (916) 326-3745 if you have any questions regarding the program or the application process. She can also help you determine whether or not your facility will qualify for the program if you send her the name and address of the site.

Alumna Selene Vega, PhD '10 To Host Workshop in Santa Cruz, CA


Selene Vega, PhD '10 will host a workshop entitled: Opening to our Depths: Self Relations Supervision with Dvorah Simon, Ph.D
Skyote Mountain, Santa Cruz, CA
April 15-18, 2010 (*CE)
Reg. & Info:

Jung's Red Book - Lecture and Viewing - Los Angeles April 23


Prophecy, Divine Madness, and Psychology

A Public Lecture by Dr. Sonu Shamdasani
Red Book Editor and co-translator; General Editor of the Philemon Foundation; & Philemon Professor of Jung History at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London

Friday, April 23, 7:30-9:30 PM
UCLA Schoenberg Hall

Ticket Information - See Below

Dr. Shamdasani is the editor of The Red Book and Philemon Professor of Jung History at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London. Philemon is one of the prominent figures in The Red Book, Jung's inner wise old man. The Philemon Foundation, a non-profit that supports the publication of all of C.G. Jung's unpublished writings, is named after him. We honor him and are guided by him. Check us out at And see the real The Red Book at the Hammer-UCLA Museum in Los Angeles in April, along with a series of dialogues on the book.

In The Red Book are Jung's dreams, visions, active imaginations and layers of commentary that are accessible to all of us. It is written in calligraphic writing with 60 original gauche paintings, much like a medieval illustrated manuscript. From this material, Jung developed his theories on typology, archetypes, collective unconscious, active imagination, religious function of the psyche, Self and more. He spent the rest of his life trying to make sense of it. When you read it, you are pulled down as a companion and witness to his struggle to find his lost soul and regain his life. This is what many of us have experienced in our own lives. It is rich and real--as real as anything you will ever experience. It is no wonder the book it red--it is the burning hot fire that brings with it the light of consciousness.

Limited Seating. Advance ticket purchase strongly recommended.
Doors open at 6:30.

$50 General Admission (non-reserved seating)

Reserved seating available to those supporting the work of The Philemon Foundation by purchase of a tax-deductible Philemon donor/patron events package of $1,000 or $5,000.

Register Online for Tickets or call: 805-969 3626, EXT. 103.

All proceeds benefit the Philemon Foundation.

Saybrook Community Conference-Call Gathering with Our New President Dr. Mark Schulman


Saybrook University’s Board of Trustees Chair, Alison Bonds Shapiro, would like to invite you to join the Saybrook Community for a conversation with our new president, Dr. Mark Schulman.

Tuesday, May 11, 3 PM EDT, 12 Noon Pacific

Mark is excited to have this chance to get to know you and to talk with you about his enthusiastic support for Saybrook’s vision.

The Board of Trustees has asked Saybrook’s Alumni Director George Aiken to make arrangements for this event. Should you be able to attend, George will forward conference-call contact information.

We sincerely hope you will take this chance to get to know our new president. We feel certain you too will share our excitement about Mark’s leadership and for Saybrook’s exciting new ventures.


Alison Bonds Shapiro
Chair, Saybrook University Board of Trustees

RSVP or call 415-394-5968 to receive Conference-Call Connection Information

Huston Smith to Speak on Fundamentalism in America Today - Berkeley, CA


Huston Smith speak on: Fundamentalism in America Today
Sunday, April 18, 2010 3:00 - 5:00 pm
Berkeley Buddhist Monastery
2304 McKinley Ave.
(one block below Martin Luther King Jr. Way; cross street: Bancroft Way)
Berkeley, CA 94703

What is fundamentalism, and what is the state of fundamentalism in American society today?
Professor Huston Smith, an internationally renowned
author and teacher in the field of world religions, will express his views on the subject.

Read more about him:

AHIMSA Berkeley events take place at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery.
There is parking next to the Monastery. We are
located a short walk from the Downtown Berkeley BART station.
All of our programs are free of charge to the public.
Phone: 510.527.2935 or email:

For more information please visit our AHIMSA Web site:

The 2010/2011 Alumni Scholarship is in Need of Additional Funds


The Third Annual Alumni Scholarship Fund is in need of additional funding. If you are in a position to help, please consider making a donation to this fund, which is currently $1100 short. Whatever amount you can give, large or small, will help.

The Alumni Scholarship Fund was designed to assist outstanding students who are at the Essay or Dissertation level of their academic work, and who are in financial need. The hope is to give these students a significant financial boost so that they may have a respite from monetary concerns and can focus on completion of their doctoral work.

The program has been very successful. Last year's winners are in the final stages of their work. According to her dissertation chair, Erica Hamilton is making outstanding progress on the dissertation. Erica says that this scholarship helped her meet unexpected expenses and that it made a huge difference in my capacity to complete this study. This scholarship allowed Les Ernst to focus full time on his doctoral work for the first time since he has been at Saybrook. In his own words, It feels very good to be progressing in my program now! I appreciate the help from the Saybrook Alumni Association in making this possible. I will continue to work hard to produce a dissertation that will hopefully make a contribution to the field. Thank You !!!!

Again, whatever you give will be helpful. Go Here and click on Saybrook Alumni Scholarship Fund to make a donation.

Thank You