The Saybrook Forum



Bread or church? Where does civilization come from?


Greek_temple_ruins The story I got in high school is that agriculture was the magic potion that eventually turned “cave men” into “urban man.”  We got together and created a civilization because we wanted to eat. 

The needs of our new farms with their domesticated animals and seasonal crops kept pushing us to bigger and bigger feats of civilization:  the idea is that a culture evolves on its stomach.

But an article in National Geographic says maybe the high school text books got it wrong. It's not "food" - it's "spirituality."

The oldest human architectural structure ever discovered – over 11 thousand years old – turns out to be a temple -- and it turns out that our ancestors were building temples before they were making farms.  

At a time when human beings were living in nomadic tribes, they were also carving massive stone pillars to provide a better place to worship. 

Was it our sense of the sacred – and our need to relate to an awe-inspiring universe – that really inspired civilization?

According to National Geographic, many archeologists say the evidence suggests that’s the case.

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Alumni Messenger

Alumnus Carl M. Hild, PhD, OS, ’07 Voted by Peers to Receive the 2010-2011 Alaska Pacific University Faculty Merit Award for Research, Scholarship, and Creativity

Alumnus Carl M. Hild, PhD, Organizational Systems ’07 was voted from among his peers to receive the 2010-2011 Alaska Pacific University Faculty Merit Award for Research, Scholarship, and Creativity. He has also been notified by the Academic Dean that she will be appointing him to serve as the Chair of the Business Administration Department for the 2011-2012 academic year.

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Alumni Messenger

Saybrook Alumnus and Faculty Member Bob Flax, Ph.D.. '92 Elected to Board of Directors of the Democratic World Federalists

Saybrook Alumnus and Faculty Member Bob Flax, Ph.D., '92 Elected to Board of Directors of the Democratic World Federalists Bob Flax, Ph.D. was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Democratic World Federalists, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco ( The DWF is one of a number of organizations around the world that is dedicated to establishing a...

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Alumni Messenger

Adjunct Professor Position Open at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology

Teaching Position Open Adjunct Professor Position, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, 1069 East Meadow Cir., Palo Alto, CA 94303 Residential PhD in Transpersonal Psychology, Year 1, Spring, Cognitive & Affective (3.0 units) (on campus course) This course provides a comprehensive survey of the theories and empirical research evidence of cognitive and affective psychology. Additionally...

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Welcome to the LIOS Graduate College Blog


Ferry Sunrise

Welcome to a new venue where this dynamic and unique community that we call LIOS can be explored and discovered.  

In true LIOS fashion, we will see what emerges out of the distinct corners of our community.  As an institution that has been around for over 40 years, we have the ability to tap a wide variety of voices, ideas and insights.

"For in community one learns that self is not an adequate measure of reality; we can begin to know the fullness of truth only through multiple visions." - Parker Palmer

We look forward to sharing with you research, articles, musings and learnings that will create that 'fullness of truth' -at least in regards to what it means to be part of the LIOS educational community. 

There is also a standing invitation for you to join in the conversation.  Isn't it in the dialogue between us that the learning happens?

If you would like to contribute to this blog, please contact Jennifer Herron at

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Alumni Messenger

Saybrook Faculty Member Ruth Richards Speaks on Perfection of Wisdom at International Theosophical Conference in August 2011

International Theosophical Conference Julian, CA August 11th-14th (This is NOT the Theosophical conference (in July) that HH The Dalai Lama will be attending!) Ruth Richards, MD, PhD - Saybrook Faculty Perfection of Wisdom: Resonance in Voice of the Silence, the New Physics, and the Prajnaparamita Sutra As part of session, Theosophy and Health. (Friends, this is health, Big Time! - Ruth...

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Grief doesn't just go away -- it's something you have to work through


450px-Rome_WWStory_angel_in_grief We’re used to tragedy.  Car accidents, cancer diagnoses, unexplained deaths – they happen every day.  

But are we any good at grieving? 

In an article in Natural News, Dr. Larry Malerba explores the correlation between unresolved grief and chronic illnesses. Entitled, Could Grief Be Causing Your Chronic Illness, Dr. Malerba looks at grief from a psychophysiological perspective exploring the grieving process as a normative human experience that has ravaging maladaptive physical and psychological effects if cut short. While complex, the grieving process over a tragic event or death is found to be most successful with individuals who possess a strong degree of psychological maturity, solid support systems, a sense of spirituality, and congruent emotional and cultural perspectives toward the grieving process. Conversely, Dr. Malerba asserts than unfinished or unprocessed grief has ravaging effects—often leading to a variety of chronic physical illnesses; namely: depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal issues, migraines—to name a few.

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Redesigning substance abuse treatment for the 21st century


Methamphetamine_pills The face of substance abuse and addiction is rapidly changing.

“Legal highs” are becoming increasingly common, with the same dangerous side effects as illicit street drugs, reports the Wall Street Journal. Last year alone, the number of recognized legal psychoactive substances doubled in Europe. Powders, pills, salts-- you name it and they are being invented under the radar and sold, clandestinely, on the internet.

It’s the latest development in a perilous up hill battle for lawmakers, addiction specialists, and public health officials. With legal substances composed of chemical compounds similar to marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy, the same addictive battle rages for those that use.   The complexity of addiction recovery for mental health professionals who treat them, however, is more complex.

With the changes in addictive substances and overall substance abuse on the rise the field of addiction recovery must rise to the occasion to adapt and meet the needs of the community through effective measures … measures that will fail unless they are imbued with the values of humanistic psychology.

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Alumni Messenger

Saybrook Alumna Ann Williams, PhD '05 Co-Authors Feature Article in the FPB News Calling for Changing How Research is Done

Saybrook Alumna Ann Williams, PhD '05 Co-Authors Feature Article in the FPB (The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing)News Calling for Changing How Research is Done Practicing and Implementing Changes Through CWRU's Federally-Funded FIND Lab The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University

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Psychology and Humanistic Studies

Our programs


Every individual has a unique role and influence in the world that can be realized through their life’s work.

Saybrook’s College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies helps you find your passion, prepare for your career, and engage with the world to make it a better place. 

The premier graduate university for education in humanistic psychology;  a cutting edge pioneer in the study of organizational systems;  and the only American university offer accredited degrees in Human Science (the European tradition of social sciences) – Saybrook’s College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies (PHS) offers a truly unique opportunity to advance one’s life’s work through humanistic study, scholarship, and activism.

PHS degrees are offered in low-residency programs, allowing students to study while remaining in their careers and without relocating.  Students are required to attend a small number of Residential Conference each year for workshops, seminars, training, and intensives – and otherwise can complete coursework online. 

PHS offers the following degrees:


In Psychology:


In Organizational Systems:


In Human Science



Students in any PHS program have the option of choosing a concentration in one of the following areas:



Saybrook offers 11 certificates to non-degree students and to degree students seeking to enhance their education.

To earn a certificate, students need to complete four 3-credt certificate courses, one 3-credit practicum course, and a 1-credit integrative paper that ties course study and research together. Students will earn 16 units by completing a certificate. When appropriate, Saybrook students can transfer credits earned through a certificate towards their degree program.

Saybrook offers certification in the following areas:


For more information about Saybrook’s Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies, visit, or contact an admissions specialist.  


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