Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology and Thought

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.


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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 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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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 .

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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.

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