Saybrook University Shines at National Wellness Conference
This year, a number of Saybrook University faculty, students, and alumni participated in the National Wellness conference, presenting on everything from coaching to the multicultural approaches to wellness.
The National Wellness Conference is a major event annually in the worlds of health promotion, health coaching, nurse coaching, and wellness education. This year's conference took place in Minneapolis, from June 23 to 26, 2014. The conference theme was Reshaping the Wellness Landscape: The Next Five Years. Keynote presentations were made by several major figures in the wellness world, including Mary Jo Kreitzer. the founder and director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality and Healing, Michael Arloski, a leader in the world of wellness coaching, and David L. Katz, the founder and director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center.
Carrie Phelps, a June 2014 graduate from the MBM doctoral program, taught several sessions in the Coaching Academy. Carrie also conducted a breakout session in the main conference program with Donald Moss, the Chair of the School of Mind-Body Medicine, on "Heart Rate Variability: A Tool for Health Coaching, Health Promotion, and Wellness Education." Carrie Phelps serves on the Board of Directors for the National Wellness Institute, which sponsored the conference.
Char Conlin, another June MBM graduate, served as a "master coach" in the coaching academy, in the speed coaching session. Char also conducted a breakout session in the main conference program with Carrie Phelps, on "Intrinsic Connection: How to Cultivate Lasting Motivation and Sustained Health Outcomes in Coaching Clients." Char Conlin and Carrie Phelps are partners in a wellness consulting firm, also called Intrinsic Connection.
Deborah Wilcox, a School of Mind-Body Medicine instructor, participated in an Expert Panel on "Wellness in the Next Five Years," and facilitated several conference sessions on multicultural competencies in wellness and social justice.
Kim Kies, a 2013 PhD Saybrook graduate in Human Science, conducted a session on "How Inner Awareness Practices Support health Behavior Change." This session summarized her doctoral dissertation, in which she explored the transformative effects of several meditative/spiritual practices that build inner awareness.
Two Saybrook School of Mind-Body Medicine students presented their research in the conference Poster Showcase: Ruthann Russo, a current PhD student, presented a case study examining why employees in a Fortune 100 company chose to participate or not in a mind-body skills based workplace wellness program. Her research highlighted a number of important variables influencing employee participation. Molly Lahn, a May 2014 graduate in the MBM doctoral program, submitted a poster based on her doctoral dissertation. (Donald Moss represented her poster at the conference, since she was unable to attend). Lahn trained 18 rehabilitation professionals in a 4-week stress resilience intervention featuring a paced breathing technique, and examined the effects on compassion and physiology (heart rate variability). Her study has relevance for reducing burnout and "compassion fatigue" for health professionals.
On Wednesday evening, a number of Saybrook students, faculty, and alumni gathered for a Saybrook dinner at Pizza Luce, a popular venue near the conference site, hosted by Donald Moss. Those in attendance included several MBM students and alumni -- Ann Lowrie, Char Conlin, Carrie Phelps, Leah Taylor, Natasha Pantti-Duhlberg, and Molly Lahn, and two psychology graduates -- Janet Rasmussen and Janaka Hanvey.