Each Ph.D. student in Saybrook’s College of Mind-Body Medicine is required to complete a 100 hour practicum at the culmination of the doctoral coursework. Shawn Tassone, a physician and third year Ph.D. student, coordinated a two-week trip to Brazil through Emma Bragdon, the author of Spiritism and Mental Health. Shawn’s plan was to learn about Spiritism, visit Spiritist Psychiatric Hospitals, and visit John of God, or “Medium Joao,” which the healer prefers. During the trip Shawn was able to witness how Spiritism is practiced in the mainly medication-free psychiatric hospitals in Brazil, and then sit amongst the hundreds of followers with one of the world’s most renowned healers.
The Spiritist approach to mental health highlights the presence of a spirit, or a Discarnate entity, which attaches to the suffering person. It is thought that spirits attach or connect with the suffering individual, but they can communicate with all living beings. The negative energy can also manifest as an ancestral wound from many years ago. The process of breaking free from a discarnate spirit is called a dis-obsession, and Shawn witnessed this process twice during his visit. A dis-obsession takes place around a conference table, with or without the patient, and includes 8-10 mediums. Each volunteer medium has a different gift. Some are clairvoyant; they “see” beyond the present moment. Others are “clairaudience;” they receive messages from another realm. Others practice “psychography,” the practice of writing what is communicated. During the session the mediums communicate with the spirits, who in turn work through the mediums changing how they influence the suffering person’s life. The intention is to have the spirit dissociate from the living person, so he or she can return to a life free and dis-obsessed.
Well before the Arab Spring and the current direct democracy movement, Clay Shirky not only argued that social media represented the “greatest increase in human expressive capability in history,” but that it would radically empower individuals at the expense of their own governments. In response, a more skeptical Evgeny Morozov cautioned that there was a flip side to this ‘good news’ story – i.e., both the internet and social media can just as readily enhance the legitimacy of authoritarian regimes (and stifle political change) than not. Well, given the dual nature that social media has, and given our incorrigible optimism here at the International Relations and Security Network, today we would like to burnish further the pro-empowerment case. In particular, we would like to look at Gene Sharp’s legendary handbook of non-violent resistance,From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation, but from a social media perspective.
Marisa Iacobucci has been managing the symptoms of Fibromyalgia (FM) for 16 years. Because of her personal struggles with FM, she was hesitant to facilitate a Mind Body Skills (MBS) group for people with FM. Marisa did not want to hear about the progression of symptoms because she feared she would think to herself, “…is this the next thing I am going to get in the progression of this illness?” Participating in the Professional Training Program and Advanced Training Program from the Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM), a core component in her master’s degree coursework, made an impact on her own FM symptoms, and that realization led her to want to help others with FM.
Marisa researched and experimented with alternative modalities and their effects because she wanted to know personally how these modalities could help her. This experimentation inspired her to share her knowledge with others and help them find new ways to cope with and lessen the symptoms of FM.
Marisa made a commitment to facilitate a Mind-Body Skills group for people with FM for her Master’s Thesis. As a facilitator and group member, Marisa knew that some of her own concerns about FM were sure to surface. The awareness of her own vulnerability, coupled by the fact that she was interested in becoming certified by the CMBM, led Marisa to enter the certification process while completing her thesis. Completing a Master’s Thesis and Certification from the CMBM was a beautiful coupling, because it included weekly supervision phone calls with a senior CMBM staff member. The supervision calls helped her manage her own feelings about FM during the process of leading a group.
As part of its mission to educate key audiences about peacebuilding and conflict management, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in February activated a virtual Global Peacebuilding Center, providing younger audiences and educators with substantial peacebuilding resources and activities.
The website––www.buildingpeace.org––is the digital arm of USIP’s onsite Global Peacebuilding Center, a public education space which extends USIP’s educational work to new audiences through multimedia exhibits and educational programs.
The new website features educational materials, a Virtual Passport experience, and many ways for young people to learn about the work of USIP and the importance of peacebuilding.
No time is more appropriate than now to build the culture of peace. No social responsibility is greater nor task more significant than that of securing peace on our planet on a sustainable foundation. Today's world with its complexities and challenges is becoming increasingly more interdependent and interconnected. The sheer magnitude of it requires all of us to work together.By Anwarul K. Chowdhury
Recognition of the human right to peace by the international community, particularly the United Nations, will surely generate the inspiration in creating the much-needed culture of peace in each one of us.
Nearly thirteen years ago in 1998, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, a group of civil society organizations launched a global campaign for the recognition by all of the human right to peace. They declared, "We are convinced that after this century with its horrible wars, barbarism and crimes against humanity and human rights, it is high time for the 'Human Right to Peace' ".
They elaborated by underscoring that "the right to live is not applied in times of war – this contradiction and the undermining of the universality of human rights must be ended by the recognition of the human right to peace". They called upon all "to prevent violence, intolerance and injustice in our countries and societies in order to overcome the cult of war and to build a Culture of Peace".
Both objectives still remain elusive, unattained – human right to peace has not yet been fully, formally and directly recognized as well as efforts needed for advancing the culture of peace remain sidelined in the UN system.
College of Mind-BodyMedicine: Dr. Julie Staples Conducts Research on Mind-Body Skills Project in Gaza02/28/2012
Conducting and reporting high quality research is an essential part of the advancement of mind body medicine in health care. Julie Staples has worked as the Research Director at The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) since 1996. The rising credibility of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is due in part to high quality studies being reported in a way that the medical profession recognizes. The medical profession uses the Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) to evaluate the efficacy of most interventions. Reporting results of CAM interventions using recognized research methods improves the validity and credibility of the studies, and opens the lines of communication with colleagues.
Julie and her colleagues at the CMBM have recently received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval to conduct three Randomized Clinical Trials in Gaza. The studies aim to evaluate the efficacy of mind-body skills groups for children, adolescents and adults with posttraumatic stress disorder. Previous research in Gaza studied the effects of mind-body skills groups for approximately 500 adults and 500 children. Among these, about 17% of the adults and 26% of the children had symptoms of PTSD. Using pre- and post- test measurements, the studies demonstrated improvement in PTSD symptoms and depression in both adults and children, as well as decreased hopelessness in children and improved quality of life in adults. The new studies will further advance the data gathered in the pilot studies with a more rigorous study design.
©UNESCO/Mustafa R. M. Daras
Under human rights law, governments everywhere are obliged to facilitate the right to education, according to a recent UN report. They must also secure sustainable investment in education. Prepared by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, the report also addresses education in contexts affected by conflict and disaster.
The right to education is also at the heart of an ongoing consultation of UNESCO Member States. Launched in September 2011, it concerns the implementation of the Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education (2006-2011).
An exhibition of graphic, brightly-coloured posters illustrating the right to education will be launched on 8 December in the context of the partnership between UNESCO and the NGO “Posters4tomorrow”. A video of the posters is on YouTube.
Education as a human right and teaching and learning about human rights are two aspects of UNESCO’s rights-based work in education. Knowledge of rights and freedoms ensures respect for the rights of all. Human rights education creates a “human rights-friendly” environment. It aims to develop learners’ competencies to apply a rights-based approach to everyday issues for a sustainable and peaceful future.
Sure a dog is man's best friend. But what does that mean on a practical level? Does the human and animal (HA) bond be used for the greater good?
Angeline Siegel is so fascinated by this subject matter that she felt compelled to study Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook, with the intention of relating her degree to both humans and animals. Her master’s project title was “A Veterinarian’s Guide to Mind-Body Medicine: Creating Greater Health and Well-Being in the Human-Animal Bond.”
Angeline worked with holistic veterinarian Michael Bartholomew for a two-week practicum in November, 2010 in South Salem, New York at the Smith Ridge Veterinary Center. That opportunity gave her the time and experience to define the audience she is working with, and to look at how veterinarians can influence the health of the human animal bond. Then for her master’s project, she used Saybrook University faculty member Jeannie Achterberg as her committee chair, and Dr. Bartholomew as a committee member. Dr. Achterberg is widely known for her research and publications on the use of imagery for healing, but also has a long-standing interest in the bond between humans and animals.
Angeline has a private practice called the Zen of Fido, www.zenoffido.com, and specializes in holistic medicine for the human-canine relationship. The following is an example of how she is using mind body medicine at her practice.
On Saturday, March 10, 2012, from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM CST, join an ongoing Jungian studies seminar and meet Saybrook faculty and students. The great psychiatrist Carl Jung believed that we must start with a deep understanding of ourselves if we want to make a lasting impact on our community and the world.
Honor your vocation and enrich your personal and professional life with a doctorate degree, master’s degree, or a professional certificate offered by Saybrook University’s highly original Jungian studies program. Held in partnership with The Jung Center of Houston, this innovative educational collaboration immerses students in the original thinking and writing of C.G. Jung, with a core focus on the twenty volumes of his Collected Works and contemporary Jungian and post Jungian scholarship, such as The Red Book.
Representatives from Saybrook University will be on hand to answer questions about admissions, financial aid, degree planning and beyond. To learn more and register, please RSVP HERE.
How does one learn nonviolent resistance? The same way that Martin Luther King Jr. did—by study, reading and interrogating seasoned tutors. King would eventually become the person most responsible for advancing and popularizing Gandhi’s ideas in the United States, by persuading black Americans to adapt the strategies used against British imperialism in India to their own struggles. Yet he was not the first to bring this knowledge from the subcontinent.
By the 1930s and 1940s, via ocean voyages and propeller airplanes, a constant flow of prominent black leaders were traveling to India. College presidents, professors, pastors and journalists journeyed to India to meet Gandhi and study how to forge mass struggle with nonviolent means. Returning to the United States, they wrote articles, preached, lectured and passed key documents from hand to hand for study by other black leaders.