Archives For: May 2012

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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College of Mind-Body Medicine Student Describes Center for Mind-Body Medicine Certification: Introducing Michelle Lamasa-Schrader

Michele Lamasa-Schrader with her Group at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine

[All students in the Saybrook Graduate College of Mind-Body Medicine Complete the CMBM Professional Training Program, the Advanced Training Program, and a supervision sequence guiding them to conduct mind-body skills groups. Each of these elements is included in a required course in the College of Mind-Body Medicine masters’ and doctoral degree programs. The students then have an option to complete additional CMBM supervision on their own, and attend the Advanced Training Program a second time, in order to earn Certification from the Center. Michelle Lamasa-Schrader describes her experience with this certification process].

The journey through the Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s certification program has been an interesting and enriching experience that I will treasure always. While attending the initial training and advanced trainings through the Center, I was inspired and compelled to move in the direction of certification because the skills had been transforming in my own life. The growth that began to happen personally was amazing to me. I found myself looking and feeling better as a result of simply practicing the mind-body skills. I was better able to handle academic rigor, my family life, and work with greater ease, feeling at peace, and balanced much more frequently.

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MBM Student Completes Master’s Project on Combination of Equine Therapy with Mindfulness for Cardiac rehabilitation: Heidi Tobin (Fall 2010 Cohort)



For my master’s project, I decided to research a medical subject that continues to account for the highest numbers of deaths in the American, adult population: heart disease and damaging cardiac events. I wanted to explore the possibility of offering a mind-body experience that has always been very healing and meaningful for me, to those living with injured hearts: interacting, riding, and partnering with equines (horses). This project proposes that two mind-body modalities—equine-assisted therapy and informal mindfulness practice—can work together to complement conventional medical interventions for those engaged in cardiac rehabilitation to decrease physical, emotional, and spiritual stress on the heart. In addition, I developed a plan of treatment using these modalities for stress-reduction in heart patients. I based this treatment protocol on a review of research on equine-assisted therapy and mindfulness practices, interviews with experts on equine therapy and cardiac rehabilitation, and existing programs of therapeutic riding.

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MBM Instructor and Musician Creates Healing Sound Environments for Hospitals: Introducing Susan Mazer, Ph.D.

Susan Mazer with Harp


Susan Mazer is using her artistic talent as a musician and harpist to help transform hospitals into healing environments through the gift of music.  Susan and her husband Dallas founded the C.A.R.E. Channel® (Continuous Ambient Relaxation Environment) nearly 20 years ago.  Their original music is available through television in 700 hospitals across the United States.      

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MBM Student Completes Master’s Project on Acupuncture and Biofeedback for Diabetes: Jennifer Leonard (Fall 2010 Cohort)



Diabetic patients in the United States are increasing in number every year. One often over looked influence on the diabetic condition is stress, whether it is emotional, mental, or physical. Literature published on the subject has brought to light the usefulness of stress management interventions, proving that they positively influence blood glucose levels.  Acupuncture and biofeedback relaxation techniques are among the interventions that have proven efficacious.

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College of Mind-Body Medicine Faculty Member Pursues Optimal Performance: Heather Dermyer, Ph.D.

Imagine working full-time as a Clinical Psychologist, teaching Ethics for Saybrook University’s College of Mind-Body Medicine, and working at the United States Olympic Education Center (USOEC) with Olympic hopeful athletes on the Speed-skating, Weightlifting, Women’s Freestyle Wrestling, and Men’s Greco Roman Wrestling Teams.  Heather Dermyer rarely has a day off, yet she enjoys every minute of her busy and productive life. 
In addition to living a dynamic professional life, Heather is also dedicated to her own self-care.  At age 17 Heather suffered severe physical injuries from an accident that left her unable to walk.  After four and one half years of specialists, procedures, and physical therapy, the medical community told her there was nothing else that they could do for her pain. 

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New MBM Instructor teaches mindfulness in psychotherapy and daily life. Meet Donna Rockwell, PsyD



I take great joy in being a clinical psychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher. There are many links between the capacity to “sit with oneself” as a prerequisite to being able to “sit with another,” something I consider one of the most important elements in psychotherapy, perhaps, even, its essence. "If the therapist can sit with him or herself, and tolerate arising emotion, then," says the client, "maybe I can, too."

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“My Sabbatical Turned into a Life:” Introducing Jerrol Kimmel, Mentor in College of MBM

Jerrol Kimmel in Haiti, with Global Trauma Relief Program


I used to joke that “my sabbatical turned into a life.” In the mid 90‘s, during a difficult passage in my life, I moved to the east coast on a journey to reclaim myself. I was looking for “my people” and “my work.” Someone told me to connect with the Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM). Little did I know that this chance meeting would completely change the direction of my life.  The Center gave me a language for what I was already doing and a structure that brought out my greatest gifts as a teacher/healer.

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