Faculty News

Saybrook Mind-Body Medicine Instructor Martha Menard Publishes Mixed Methods Study on Quality of Education in Massage Therapy

MBM Instructor Martha Menard

Mixed-methods research combines the best features of qualitative and quantitative research method in a single study.  Healthcare offers many fruitful opportunities for applying mixed methods, and Saybrook University's School of Mind-Body Medicine has promoted mixed methods for its doctoral students' research.

A recently published study by Saybrook University School of Mind-body Medicine faculty member Martha Menard, PhD, LMT, illustrates how mixed methods can be applied to topics in healthcare. The study is a national evaluation of the current quality of education in massage therapy, and was funded by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation. Multiple data sources included quantitative educational outcomes from the National Center for Education Statistics, such as tuition costs, graduation rates, job placement rates, median loan amounts, and loan repayment rates, with a qualitatively developed survey of educators from multiple healthcare disciplines. The survey question and answer choices were based on individual and focus group interviews, and  included several open-ended questions.

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Two School of Mind-Body Medicine Instructors Pursue Research on Coaching and Self-Determination

Drs. Devorah Curtis and Lisa Kelly


Dr. Devorah Curtis and Dr. Lisa Kelly’s article, Effect of a Quality of Life Coaching Intervention on Psychological Courage and Self-Determination, was featured recently in the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital’s e-newsletter.  McLean Hospital is an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.  This citation is evidence of the growing interest in and acknowledgement of the importance of rigorous research demonstrating the efficacy of life coaching interventions in fostering self-determination. According to self-determination theory, human wellbeing is dependent upon meeting three basic human psychological needs: autonomy, relatedness and competence.  Dr. Curtis (2011) found in her research that by meeting these three psychological needs, psychological courage increases leading to more intrinsically motivated value-based actions.

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Chair of Saybrook Mind-Body Medicine School Publishes Book on Pathways to Illness, Pathways to Health

Pathways to Illness Book Cover


Dr. Donald Moss is chair of the Saybrook University School of Mind-Body Medicine. Moss and a co-author Angele McGrady recently published a book on the lifestyle factors that contribute to illness and the approaches that human beings can take to restore their health. The book, Pathways to Illness, Pathways to Health, was published by Springer in March 2013. The message of this new book is summarized here.

The face of illness has changed, and human beings are eager for new approaches to pursue health and wellness.  Increasing numbers of people seek out advice for health problems at the health food store, or visit Reiki energy healers, massage therapists, naturopaths, and other alternative medicine practitioners, instead of conventional medical care. 

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Saybrook Mind-Body Medicine faculty interviewed in Washington Times


There’s a problem, says Dr. Eric Willmarth, when patients get their expectations for recovery set by “a Xanax commercial.”

In much of medicine, it really is “mind over matter.”  The trouble is most doctors and hospitals don’t practice that way.

That’s why Dr. Donald Moss, chair of Saybrook’s School of Mind-Body Medicine, told the Washington Times a story about a patient who had a heart attack, and whose “ejection faction”  (a measure of how well the heart was pumping) was at 60%.  His doctor told him “Your ejection fraction is 60%,” and left.

The patient assumed this meant his heart was functioning at 60% of capacity, and suffered a pronounced decline in his physical health.

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College of MBM Mentor and Faculty Member Applies Expressive Arts Approach to Workplace: Introducing Terri Goslin-Jones, PhD

Terri Goslin-Jones, PhD, surrounded by expressive arts material.

Recently Terri Goslin-Jones, PhD, a Saybrook University graduate, agreed to serve as a mentor for students in the College of Mind-Body Medicine. Terri’s main reason for becoming a mentor is to give back to other people, who are on a personal quest to nurture and develop their unique desire to change their part of the world. 

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MBM Instructor Participates in Trauma Relief Project in Post-Earthquake Haiti: Lynda Richtsmeier Cyr, Ph.D.

Lynda Richtsmeier Cyr in Haiti Tent City with Children

Earlier in her career as a child psychologist, Lynda never imagined that she would participate in international trauma relief.  Although she felt compassion for people suffering around the world, she was the mother of young children and had a career as a hospital psychologist that made it difficult to be away from her responsibilities.  Hearing the news of the earthquake in Haiti, and the devastation that ensued, was a turning point for Lynda.  Coincidentally, she had reached a place in her career where she had space for something new.  Her children are older, and being away from home for short periods of time seemed reasonable.

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What it takes to age - consciously and positively


America is getting grayer - but are we aging better?

In a time when we live longer lives, what does it mean to live them well? 

Saybrook Mind-Body Medicine faculty member Connie Corley is a leader in the movements of "Conscious" and "Positive" aging - and says she's seen a "dramatic transformation from asking 'what's wrong?' as we grow older to 'what's possible?'."  It's a change that could impact us all, for the better.

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Highlights of the AAPB (Biofeedback and Neurofeedback) Meeting in Baltimore


The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) is the original biofeedback society, which was founded by a group of humanistic psychologists and lab scientists at the Surfrider Inn in Santa Monica, California in 1969. The group began as the Biofeedback Research Society of America and later was known as the Biofeedback Society of America.  AAPB has two professional journals, and provides webinars and workshops on biofeedback, neurofeedback, and stress management interventions.

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In Memoriam: Jeanne Achterberg, PhD


It makes me so sad to hear of Jeanne Achterberg’s death. She was such a wonderful, generous, courageous spirit. I remember meeting her 35 years ago and being stunned by the intelligence and audacity of her research on imagery and cancer. When NIH opened its office of Alternative Medicine, Larry Dossey and I worked closely with Jeanne on developing the state of the art paper on Mind-Body Medicine; actually Jeanne did far more of the work with such skill and grace than either Larry or I. And then there were the times that Jeanne came to Macedonia and Kosovo with me and my team from the Center for Mind-Body Medicine-ready at a moment’s notice to put her gifts in the service of people who desperately needed and deeply appreciated her skill and commitment.

It’s been such a joy too to be with Jeanne at Saybrook, to see the intelligence and commitment she brought to her work with students, to feel us once again moving ahead together. I keep her spirit with me and feel her passion and love.

James S. Gordon, M.D.
Read my Blog about CMBM's work in Haiti

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In Memorium: Jeanne Achterberg


It is with deep sadness that I announce that Jeanne Achterberg died Wednesday afternoon, March 7, 2012, of metastatic breast cancer.

Jeanne Achterberg was a pioneer in mind-body medicine and complementary medicine. Early in her career, Jeannie collaborated with O. Carl Simonton, studying the quality of imagery in cancer patients. She was able to show that features in the imagery predicted the course of the illness. Since that time, she has championed the role of imagery in healing, the role of the mind and spirit in healing, and the shamanic role of the healer.

Jeannie went on to serve in the Office of Alternative Medicine, co-chairing the panel on mind-body interventions. The OAM grew into NCCAM, the home of complementary and alternative medicine within NIH. She is also a past president of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology.

Jeannie has contributed much to mind-body medicine: Her books, Bridges of the Body-Mind, Imagery in Healing, Woman as Healer, Rituals of Healing, Imagery and Disease, and Lightning at the Gate, remain best sellers. Jeannie has also given us a personal example of courage in the face of illness. Her book, Lightning at the Gate, narrated her own journey with illness.

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