The Saybrook Forum


Mind-Body Medicine

Saybrook Instructor Dr. Donna Rockwell Addresses Conference, “Mindfulness and Compassion: The Art and Science of Contemplative Practice”

Donna Rockwell, PsyD


Mindfulness and Compassion: The Art and Science of Contemplative Practice, a conference held at San Francisco State University from June 3-7, 2015, brought together leading scholars, contemplative teachers, and neuroscientists to discuss the intersection of science and Buddhism, and the role of compassion in wellness.

Donna Rockwell, PsyD, Saybrook adjunct faculty member, and co-teacher (with John A. Patterson, MD) of Mindfulness, Meditation and Health in the School of Mind-Body Medicine, and Mindfulness and Spirituality in Clinical Practice in the School of Clinical Psychology attended the conference, presenting her research findings on the role mindfulness training can play in the education of clinical psychologists. Her presentation: If I Only Had the Nerve: Mindfulness and Courage in Psychotherapy: Implications and Applications, was featured in the session: Engagement with Mindfulness Interventions.

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Mind-Body Medicine

Kirwan Rockefeller, in Saybrook's School of Mind-Body Medicine, Introduces the Power of the Creative Imagination

:  "Do you believe you can or you can't   Every action begins first with an imag


“Visualize Confidence: How to Use Guided Imagery to Overcome Self-Doubt”

Kirwan Rockefeller, Ph.D., WIA/TAA Academic Advisor at the University of California, Irvine Extension, is the author of “Visualize Confidence: How to Use Guided Imagery to Overcome Self-Doubt,” and is the co-editor of “Psychology, Spirituality and Healthcare,” Volume 2 of the 3-volume series, “Whole Person Healthcare.”  He is the former editor of The California Psychologist (2007-2012).  Dr. Rockefeller received his PhD from Saybrook University (where he is adjunct faculty); his M.P.A. from the University of Washington, and his B.A. from the University of Richmond, Virginia. He has a Level I Certification from the Academy of Guided Imagery.   Dr. Rockefeller will be providing a series of blogs on utilizing the imagination for personal transformation.

Perhaps you’ve heard the old phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  Have you ever remodeled a room?  Planned a vacation?  Have you ever applied for a new job, asked the boss for a raise, prepared to make a speech in public, or worried about a difficult conversation in the future?  Any activity that requires you to plan ahead all begins with a picture in your mind, or an image.  

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Making Our Mark: New Visual Identity Connects Saybrook’s Holistic Legacy With a Clear Path Forward


A new chapter awaits. Saybrook University is about to undergo a transformation that embraces our humanistic legacy with a bold vision for the future. Working with our Marketing Department at TCS Education System (TCS Ed System), we collaborated on a new visual identity that embraces our core mission, values, and personality. Starting this month, we will begin a gradual rollout of this new visual identity on our current website, Student Gateway, and other materials, culminating with the launch of a new website in Spring 2016.

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Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Saybrook Professors Keynote New Zealand Creativity Challenge

New Zealand Creativity Challenge

Saybrook University faculty members Ruth Richards and Steven Pritzker were keynote speakers at the New Zealand Creativity Challenge on April 17-19, showcasing creativity across multiple fields in Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand.  The theme of the conference was “Creativity Crosses Boundaries,” and was sponsored by The Learning Connexion, a school of creativity and art in Wellington led by Jonathan and Alice Wilson Milne. Almost 300 participants attended the conference.

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Mind-Body Medicine

Saybrook University Doctoral Candidate Tamami Shirai Presents Research on Meditation with a Cardio-Pulmonary Population at the "Mindfulness & Compassion/Art & Science of Con-templative Practice" Conference in San Francisco

Tamami Shirai


Tamami Shirai is a doctoral candidate in the School of Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook University.  On June 5, 2015, Ms. Shirai presented her research on the use of meditation with a cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation population at the conference “Mindfulness & Compassion - The Art & Science of Contemplative Practice” at San Francisco State University. 

Tamami Shirai has been providing a meditation class in the Cardio-Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center (CPR) at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla since 2013. Over 178 patients have joined her class in the past 24 months.  For her conference presentation, Tamami reviewed her archived monthly reports and presented results from an appreciative inquiry study, highlighting patients' descriptions of their "lived experiences" of meditation, based on their experiences in the cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation program. 

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Mind-Body Medicine

Saybrook’s Jim Cahill on Training Attention For Performance and Wellness

Jim Cahill

Saybrook’s MBM MS student Jim Cahill is the creator of a therapy that combines mindfulness and biofeedback to multiple issues, ranging from chronic pain to stress.  Jim’s work is featured in the June edition of the CrossFit Journal in an article on using mindfulness to improve fitness training results, minimize pain, and improve overall health and wellness.

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Saybrook Announces Long-Term Contract with New Hotel for Residential Conferences

Hyatt Regency Hotel in Monterey, California

Robert Schley, Saybrook’s Conference Director, confirms that contracts have now been signed with the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa in Monterey, California, for the residential conferences starting in January 2017 through August 2019. All of Saybrook’s residential conferences, along with the annual graduation ceremony, will then take place at the Hyatt. The conferences will continue to be held at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters each year, in August and January, and will also include the Residential Orientations for new students.

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Mind-Body Medicine

Saybrook University Researcher and Instructor, Luann Fortune, Presents Qualitative Research on Medicalized Aging

Luann Fortune, PhD, Saybrook University


Saybrook’s Luann Fortune, PhD will present her latest research study at the 7th Annual Meeting of the Interdisciplinary Coalition of North American Phenomenologists (ICNAP) on May 22, 2015 at Brock University, St. Catherines, Ontario.  In this phenomenological study, Dr. Fortune explored how one family member with care-taking responsibilities for her elders contributed to a system and cycle of medicalized aging.

In the United States, the aged population will double by year 2050 challenging social and economic structures by the need to care for this generation in their last years.  While medical advances provide technical solutions to extend life, the medicalization of aging is increasingly criticized as defying the natural process and as dehumanizing the last stage of the live cycle.

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Mind-Body Medicine

Erik Peper and Stephen Porges Propose a Physiological Basis for Paralysis as Reaction to Date Rape

Erik Peper (left) and Stephen Porges


Paralysis Can Be a Natural Reaction to Date

Stigma is often associated with inaction during a crisis. Those who freeze in the face of a life-threatening situation often experience feelings of shame and guilt, and they often feel that they are constantly being judged for their inaction. While others may confidently assert that they would have been more “heroic” in that situation, there is a far greater chance that their bodies would have reacted in exactly the same way, freezing as an innate part of self-preservation.

The authors of an article published in the journal Biofeedback describe date rape as a prime example of this type of freeze response. In an article titled “When Not Saying NO Does Not Mean Yes: Psychophysiological Factors Involved in Date Rape,” Stephen Porges and Erik Peper explain how immobilization is a natural neurobiological response to being attacked.

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Saybrook Faculty and Students Engage in Crisis Management Workshop in Renton, Washington

Saybrook Faculty and Students Engage in Crisis Management Workshop

Saybrook University faculty and students led a crisis management workshop at the City Hall of Renton, Washington for city officials and residents on April 29-May 1, 2015. The project was designed as a community outreach project and led to a Certificate in Crisis Management. Saybrook faculty Nancy Southern and Gary Metcalf taught the workshop, along with Dr. Ian Mitroff, Senior Investigator at the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management at the University of California, Berkeley.

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