Mind-Body Medicine


Integrative Wellness Coaching: Meeting a Need and Closing a Gap


By Carrie Phelps, PhD

Medical practitioners and allied health professionals—specializing in integrative medicine and health sciences—are joining together to create innovative wellness programs that holistically address individual health and well-being (e.g., integrative healthcare, mind-body skills groups, mindfulness-based group coaching). The success of these programs has begun to set the standard for whole-person health professional practices. One such professional practice that is gaining momentum and capturing national attention is Integrative Wellness Coaching. Embedded in the science and philosophy of integrative medicine and the principles and methods of wellness coaching, integrative wellness coaching offers a comprehensive, holistic, and effective approach to lifestyle-related change and transformation.

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The Patient Experience Under ACA


“When doctors and other health care providers can work together to coordinate patient care, patients receive higher quality care and we all see lower costs.” - Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Amanda walks slowly behind me down the long hall from the waiting room to my office.  “Watch you step,” I tell her when we get to the small rise, “Take your time.”  Phrases I repeat many times a day.  Most of my patients, baby boomers, have joint problems.  This is the first time I am seeing Amanda.  I work in behavioral health, every patient is like a present to me, a mysterious gift, what will I find when I unwrap their layers?  The labels they wear, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, don’t provide any clarity to who they are.  Some are playful.  Some are fashionistas.  Some are guarded.  Amanda sits in the chair opposite me.  The chair is strategically placed, near me but not too near, to give the appropriate amount of psychological space.  Not blocking the doorway in case I need to make an egress. 

Amanda hugs a spiral notebook to her chest.  “What brings you here to see me?” I ask.  She looks at me, clearly distressed.  “I don’t know where to start,” she says.  Slowly we unpack her story.  In her notebook are phone numbers to doctors, appointments, notes about her symptoms: chest pain, stomach pain, chronic join pain, problems with her vision, and urinary incontinence. Amanda is in care for her depression and alcoholism.  She is overwhelmed and confused by her multiple medical problems.   She has achieved one of the proposed solutions for her problems; she has a primary care provider she is connected with.    For these problems she has been referred to cardiology, pulmonology, ophthalmology, and chronic pain.  No one has really addressed her incontinence.  She’s had CT scans, stress tests, and eye exams.  The end result?  She doesn’t know the results of her tests despite several visits, and she still doesn’t understand what is going on with her or the cause of her symptoms. 

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Doctoral student Allison Winters to present on Integrative Healthcare and the Arts in Military settings


Allison Winters, MA, MS, BC-DMT, LCAT, RYT, and a doctoral student at Saybrook's School of Mind-Body Medicine, will be speaking on a panel on  Research Innovations on Integrative Care in Military Health Settings and Applications for the Arts this Friday, Feb. 27, at the National Center for Complementary and Integative Health in Bethesda, MD.  

The presentation is part of the National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military this Friday.

The panel will focus on integrative health and wellness and its use with military populations and veterans.  Allison is a dance/movement therapist and leads a program specifically designed to support veterans in a residential facility in Livermore, California.

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Using integrative health techniques to fight the effects of cancer: sample cases


Lynne Shaner, PhD  is a graduate from Saybrook University’s School of Mind-Body Medicine.  She has a private practice in the Washington, DC area.

“Lisa,” a woman in her forties, had ongoing metastasizing flares, though her cancer was in remission on this day at Hope Connections, a community cancer center in the Washington, DC area.   Her pain was significant, and was located in her chest, at the cancer site.  In a group setting for the monthly workshop that I lead, we used a particular acupressure/talk technique known as EFT, in which she tapped on the various points as directed and verbalized her situation in very general terms. Usually, the pain goes down dramatically. But nothing had changed. We were both disappointed. But when I asked “Does the pain have a face?” she immediately named her daughter. She had a clear image of her daughter ----a picture in her mind’s eye, as well as a list of the emotional results of the daughter’s current behavior (fear, frustration, anger). We went through the technique again, this time including her daughter’s name and each of the different emotions. This time, the pain decreased significantly, down from a level 6 to a 2. We continued to focus, and the pain was eliminated.

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Watch a CBS News story on an innovative treatment program for cancer survivors created by a Saybrook Mind-Body Medicine student!


Experts project there will be 18 million cancer survivors in the U.S. by 2022. Cancer patients often report feeling lost and abandoned at the conclusion of active treatment.  Even though treatment has ended, the impact of cancer on their lives has not.

Members of the Saybrook community have been pioneers in developing treatments for them – including faculty members and alumna like Dr. Jeanne Achterberg (who pioneered integrative techniques to combat the effects of cancer), Dr. Lyn Freeman (who received National Institute of Health grants to test integrative health techniques for cancer survivors, and make them available to patients), and now PhD student Francinne Lawrence, who has created a new model of holistic treatment for cancer survivors..

Survivorship is a recognized phase of treatment along the cancer control continuum and is a new directive for accreditation by the Commission on Cancer. At THRIVE – a program created and run by Lawrence for the Mary Bird Perkins, Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, in Louisiana - individuals are considered cancer survivors from the moment of diagnosis.

The integrative program was recently featured on a local newscast.  Watch it here

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School of Mind-Body Medicine Chair Donald Moss will attend APA Council of Representatives Session Dealing with Torture, the Assessment of Trauma, Aid to the Dying, and other Critical Issues

APA Council of Representatives

The American Psychological Association (APA) will meet this month to determine the organization's stances on key issues facing not just psychologists, but our nation:  on the use of torture, on how trauma is assessed, on how we support those who are dying. 

Don Moss, the Chair of Saybrook's School of Mind-Body Medicine, will be part of the select group determining these stances.  He is a new member of the APA Council of representatives.  He represents Division 30, the Society for Psychological Hypnosis.  He is also a past-president of this APA Division.

The American Psychological Association (APA) remains the largest professional association representing psychologists worldwide, dedicated to advancing "the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives."  The APA Council of Representatives is the legislative body of APA and has full power and authority over the affairs and funds of the association within the limitations set by the certificate of incorporation and the Bylaws, including the power to review, upon its own initiative, the actions of any board, committee, division or affiliated organization

The Council is composed of representatives of APA's divisions, representatives of state, provincial and territorial psychological associations (SPTAs) and the members of the Board of Directors.

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Dr. Jose Baltazar, Recent Graduate of Saybrook University’s School of Mind-Body Medicine, Applies Mind-Body Skills Groups for Stress Reduction and Wellbeing

Jose Baltazar, PhD, Graduate of School of Mind-Body Medicine

Jose Baltazar is a Fall 2014 graduate in Saybrook University’s PhD program in Mind-Body Medicine, in the Healthcare Practice specialization.  His dissertation was a mixed-methods research study applying Mind-Body Skills groups with college employees, which showed significant stress reduction and improvements in health and wellness.  The Mind-Body Skills groups implemented a model developed by James S. Gordon, director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine.

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Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy—A Little Girl’s Journey to Wellness

Director of MS Degree in INtegrative and Functional Nutrition


     “I can run real fast and do a big poopy now,” said five-year old Lily, in the best thank you card Mary Beth Augustine ever received.

This case narrative was provided by Mary Beth Augustine, RDN, CDN, FAND, the Director of the Saybrook University Masters in Integrative and Functional Nutrition program.  The child’s name was change to protect her anonymity.

Lily was in preschool when Mary Beth Augustine met her and her parents at her initial nutrition consultation. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at three years of age, every day was a painful battle for Lily and her parents. Dressing, bathing, walking, getting in and out of a car seat, the normal activities of daily living, were all worsened by Lily’s cries of pain and her resistance to moving her swollen joints. Worse yet was the impact on her gross motor skills, speech, and social skills, as Lily preferred to sit quietly at a preschool table instead of running, interacting, and playing with her peers.

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Ellyn Hutton, Saybrook University Certificate Graduate, Offers Holistic Programs for Pregnant Women and Others Online and Onsite

Ellyn Stanek Hutton, BSN, RN

Ellyn Stanek Hutton, BSN, RN, is a practicing Certified Holistic Nurse. She completed her studies in Saybrook’s School of Mind-Body Medicine Certificate Program and is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge with others.  Her coursework in the Saybrook Certificate program included the health coaching course, an introduction to biofeedback, and the three part School of Mind-Body Medicine course sequence in using mind-body skills groups, based on the model developed by James S. Gordon, MD, of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine.

As a yoga teacher and massage therapist, she has a unique interest in working with those in chronic pain.  She is creating a yoga teacher training program for pregnancy as well as an inpatient yoga, massage, and meditation program for high-risk pregnancies.

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Dr. Donald Moss, Head of Saybrook’s School of Mind-Body Medicine, to Chair Symposium on Chronic Illness at Biofeedback Conference

Drs. Erik Peper, Angele McGrady, and Donald Moss


On Friday March 13, Donald Moss will chair a symposium at the annual meeting of AAPB, in Austin, Texas, featuring presentations on “Mind-Body Approaches to Challenging and Chronic Cases.”  (AAPB is the Association for Biofeedback and Applied Psychophysiology, an international association promoting evidence based applications of biofeedback, neurofeedback, and self-regulation therapies).

Every day, human beings present in healthcare clinics with multiple conditions, chronic illnesses, and conditions that challenge the patient and the care team.  Biomedicine has limited solutions for chronic and complex conditions. Patients also vary greatly in their readiness to take an active role in their care.

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