Mind-Body Medicine


A Tribute to a Dissertation Chair: Honoring Constance T. Fischer



The relationship between graduate students and University faculty is often a complex and rich one. The dissertation chair plays an especially pivotal role in the final stages of the PhD student’s career and in the launching of his or her career.  On June 3, I had the opportunity to attend the retirement party for Constance T. Fischer, my own dissertation chair at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. I will share some observations about Connie Fischer’s  contributions to our understanding of human behavior and just touch on her contributions to my career.

Continue Reading

Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, Pioneer in Consciousness-Based Health Care, to Provide August 2012 Commencement Address for College of MBM

Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, MBM Graduation Speaker


Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, PhD, will provide the commencement address for the College of Mind-Body Medicine in San Diego on August 14 at 7:30 PM.  Saybrook students, faculty, and their friends and families are invited to attend the commencement program.

Continue Reading

MBM Doctoral Student Beth Haggett Sheers Sheep and Participates in Master Class for Psychotherapists in France



[Linda Finlay, PhD, is a British scholar in reflexive and hermeneutical phenomenological research method. She is serving as a dissertation coach for Beth Haggett’s doctoral dissertation.]
Here is a photo of my day sheep-shearing in Normandy, France, with my mentor/research coach Linda Finlay. Had a blast shearing and worming the 70 plus sheep. The farmhouse was built in the year 1600. I am here for a Master Class of Psychotherapists from France, Brazil, Italy, Denmark and the UK. It was a Gestalt training/supervision/theory course, intensive and experiential lead by Dr. Ken and Joanna Evans. I did an experiential "Parent Interview" and was picked up and held by this wonderful group of brothers and sisters from across the world, who showed me such great love and acceptance! 

Continue Reading

College of MBM Instructor is Passionate about the Power of Nutrition to Transform Health: Introducing Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN, CHN



Liz Lipski is passionate about the power of nutrition to transform health. Her interest in nutrition began with herbal medicine.  Although she enjoyed teaching about the medicinal value of herbs, including how to make herbal tinctures, it occurred to her that although herbs can be used to restore and maintain health, food and nutrition are the foundation for health.  This realization led her to pursue a PhD in nutrition from the Union Institute.

Continue Reading

MBM Student Leads Medical Students in Shamanic Quest, and Makes Presentation about the Experience to Society of Scientific Exploration Meeting: Shawn Tassone, MD

World Institute of Scientific Exploration


Attending professional conferences is a great way to learn new information, strengthen skills in a chosen area, and network with other like-minded individuals.  Presenting original work is an entirely different experience.  Saybrook students are part of a pioneering movement to bring a humanistic experience to health care.  Therefore, presenting their research-based scientific ideas to colleagues is sure to become part of their path in chosen areas of interest.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.      

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading