Mind-Body Medicine


MBM Students Bring Some “Positive Deviance” to the 2013 National Wellness Conference

Char Conlin and Carrie Phelps

According to a conference presentation made by two Saybrook Mind-Body Medicine students, traditional health programs resemble "quick-fix" solutions, rather than leading to sustained change and long-term health improvements.

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Saybrook Faculty Member Conducts Research Project on Work Motivation and Retention in Nursing

May D. Moller, DNP. and Devorah Curtis, PhD

The health care profession is famous for burn-out - but also for the selfless dedication of its practitioners.  Why is it that some well-meaning practitioners to happily devote their lives to serving others, while equally well-meaning heal care providers succumb to the stress and hardships they face?

That's the question underlying research now being undertaken by Saybrook faculty member Dr. Devorah Curtis, along with colleague Dr. Mary Moller as they prepare a pilot study to identify work motivation and commitment factors that impact staff and faculty nurse retention.

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School of Mind-Body Medicine PhD Candidate, Carrie Phelps, brings Mind-Body Medicine to the 2013 National Wellness Conference

Carrie Phelps (Left) with Colleagues at National Wellness Conference


Carrie Phelps is a PhD student in the Healthcare Systems specialization in Saybrook's School of Mind-Body Medicine. (Carrie Phelps is seen on the left above with colleagues at the National Wellness Conference).  Carrie has been attending and speaking at the National Wellness Conference for the past 16 years. This year's Conference was especially rewarding for her as she presented with her friend, Saybrook colleague, and business partner Char Conlin.  Char and Carrie conducted a breakout session called Contrary to Popular Practice: Building Wellness Programs for the 21st Century to a packed house. The presentation was based on the information revealed in Carrie’s and Char’s pilot study, which focused on the examination of the characteristics and attributes of a traditional health promotion program within an organizational system (in order to gain a deeper understanding of what works and what doesn’t work within traditional health promotion programming).

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New MBM PhD Address National Wellness Conference on Food Addiction and Physician Biases toward Obese Patients

 Dr. LaVera Forbes at School of Mind-Body Medicine Graduation


LaVera J. Forbes, PhD, is one of the first two PhD graduates of the School of Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook University. On May 13, 2013 she passed her dissertation conference, based on her dissertation on: Food Addiction: An Overlooked Cause of Persistent Overweight and Obesity.  On July 17, she presented her Saybrook dissertation research at the National Wellness Conference (NWC) in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  The NWC is one of the most prominent North American conferences on wellness, health promotion, and health and wellness coaching.  Dr. Forbes spoke on the topic of food addiction and physician weight bias.  Her session educated participants on the recent theoretical advancements that explain some aspects of modern obesity, helped them identify the symptoms of food addiction and signs of physician weight bias. She gave participants a variety of new tools and resources for incorporating the concepts into their own lives or wellness programs.

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Saybrook Student and Faculty Presentations at ICNAP Phenomenology Conference

Students Angela Small and Cliff Smyth, Faculty Member Luann Fortune


ICNAP is the snappy acronym for the Interdisciplinary Coalition of North American Phenomenologists. This diverse group of scholars from philosophy, psychology, literature, technology, communications, health sciences, and other fields, met at the end of May for their fifth annual conference in Mahwah, New Jersey. ICNAP was held at Ramapo College of New Jersey, a small liberal arts college near New York City.  Approximately 70 people attended the conference.  The modest number of people allowed newcomers to introduce themselves to luminaries in the field, and the modest size of the campus allowed informal conversations between conference sessions.

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Two School of Mind-Body Medicine Instructors Pursue Research on Coaching and Self-Determination

Drs. Devorah Curtis and Lisa Kelly


Dr. Devorah Curtis and Dr. Lisa Kelly’s article, Effect of a Quality of Life Coaching Intervention on Psychological Courage and Self-Determination, was featured recently in the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital’s e-newsletter.  McLean Hospital is an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.  This citation is evidence of the growing interest in and acknowledgement of the importance of rigorous research demonstrating the efficacy of life coaching interventions in fostering self-determination. According to self-determination theory, human wellbeing is dependent upon meeting three basic human psychological needs: autonomy, relatedness and competence.  Dr. Curtis (2011) found in her research that by meeting these three psychological needs, psychological courage increases leading to more intrinsically motivated value-based actions.

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Pathways with Heart: Reflections on Professional Identity and Mind Body Medicine: June 27 Videoconference with Dr. John Patterson

Integrative Physician Dr. John Patterson

School of Mind-Body Medicine faculty member John Patterson will speak on Mindfulness on June 27 (5:30 PM Pacific) in Videoconference.

“Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question ... Does this path have a heart?  If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other   doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.”  The Teachings of Don Juan, Carlos Casteneda

Faculty and students in Saybrook’s School of Mind Body Medicine are participating in a transformational process that is expanding the biomedical model that has dominated health care, medicine and mental health for the last century. There have been many trail blazers of mind body medicine’s philosophy, knowledge and procedures, many of whom have been associated with Saybrook from its inception. As we follow these professional paths with gratitude, we will modify, refine and extend them. We will develop pedagogical, research and clinical approaches that draw from these historic roots and speak to today’s needs and challenges.

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Saybrook University Mind-Body Medicine Doctoral Student, Patricia McKeen, Operates Albuquerque New Awakenings Counseling Clinic

Patricia McKeen


Prior to starting her studies at Saybrook, School of Mind Body Medicine, Patricia had been searching for a program that would expand her knowledge of mind-body medicine and help her to continue to integrate what she was already championing at the New Awakenings Counseling Clinic.  Patricia owns and operates New Awakenings located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The clinic serves approximately 700 people per month and of that figure 98% are mandated by the court system to be in treatment.  Patricia finds that while initially the clients do not want to be in treatment, or at New Awakenings, something shifts after about 90 days and then clients want to stay.  In fact, according to client satisfaction surveys 80-90% of respondents express that they want to continue to engage in services offered at New Awakenings, and of the 80-90% that want to stay, about 60% remain past their mandated treatment date, a testament to the influence of a client-centered practice that works with many different dimension of person.

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Recent Mind-Body Medicine School Graduate LaVera Forbes Advances Awareness of Food Addiction and Weight Bias

LaVera Forbes

LaVera Forbes recently completed her PhD in Mind Body Medicine, and has been actively creating her new professional identity.  One of the ways she has accomplished this is presenting the research she conducted at Saybrook on the topic of obesity and food addiction at professional conferences. Her proposals have been accepted for the following conferences, and she awaits decisions for several others:  The National Wellness Conference, the International Conference and Exhibition on Obesity and Weight Management, and the Health, Wellness, and Society Conference.

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Learning Opportunities: MBM Founding Dean, James S. Gordon, to Speak on Meditation May 29

James S. Gordon

James S. Gordon, MD, was the founding Dean of the School of Mind-Body Medicine and a major influence in shaping the curriculum and courses of the School.  On May 29 at 5:30 PM Pacific time he will present a videoconference for the Saybrook Mind-Body Medicine community on his lifelong and still evolving relationship with meditation.

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