Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology and Thought

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 

Continue Reading

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.


Continue Reading

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


Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.


Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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). 

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Share this


Don't miss a thing - follow Saybrook on social media

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube Google Plus