Mind-Body Medicine


MBM PhD Student Applies Hypnosis with Medical and Dental Patients

School of MBM PhD Student Lynne Shaner


From the time she was accepted into the Mind-Body Medicine PhD program, doors began to open a little wider for Lynne Shaner.  She is a mind-body medicine practitioner, working in private practice in Washington, DC.  She has a practice specializing in EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques, or “tapping”), hypnosis, and Reiki.  Her participation in the Saybrook PhD program has deepened her knowledge of the areas she works in, and has opened up an entire range of mind-body skills and techniques, which she now uses regularly with clients.

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Saybrook University announces a fully accredited PhD program in Integrative Mental Health – the only program of its kind in the country.


This new doctoral degree program in Mind-Body Medicine for mental health professionals provides evidence-based training in techniques that hospitals and the public are demanding.

The public increasingly wants to know about all of its mental health care options: not just therapy and drugs, but hypnosis, biofeedback, spiritual practices, nutrition, and more.

Hospitals and clinics are increasingly advertising for mental health professionals who have these skills – but aren’t finding them. There simply isn’t an opportunity for practitioners to get these skills in a way that is rigorous, evidence-based, and accredited.

Saybrook, a fully accredited university which for forty years has had faculty in the vanguard of developing complementary medicine and integrative health care, is meeting this demand with the announcement of its new PhD program in Integrative Mental Health – the only program of its kind.

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New Student Describes her Pathway into Study of Mind-Body Medicine: Helen Paczkowski Andersen

Helen and New Spouse


Students enrolled in the Saybrook University’s School of Mind Body Medicine often tell stories of how they found their way to Saybrook.  Many describe their path as a calling, or as an answer to their quest for finding a new way of working with people, one that addresses the many dimensions of human experience.   Helen’s story is about meeting a fellow Saybrook student, Beth Haggett, who is also the first student to receive a PhD from Saybrook University School of Mind Body Medicine.  While attending a conference facilitated by the Berkana Institute, Helen met Beth, and was moved by Beth’s inspiration to make a difference in the world via her experiences and knowledge gained at Saybrook.  During the three days they spent together, Beth generously guided some of the conference participants in Qi gong and a shaking exercise.  Experiencing these new methods to bring greater mind-body connection as well as hearing about the degree-program at Saybrook planted a seed in Helen’s head, which held fast even as Helen returned home to work and her personal and community commitments. 

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Saybrook Mind-Body Medicine faculty interviewed in Washington Times


There’s a problem, says Dr. Eric Willmarth, when patients get their expectations for recovery set by “a Xanax commercial.”

In much of medicine, it really is “mind over matter.”  The trouble is most doctors and hospitals don’t practice that way.

That’s why Dr. Donald Moss, chair of Saybrook’s School of Mind-Body Medicine, told the Washington Times a story about a patient who had a heart attack, and whose “ejection faction”  (a measure of how well the heart was pumping) was at 60%.  His doctor told him “Your ejection fraction is 60%,” and left.

The patient assumed this meant his heart was functioning at 60% of capacity, and suffered a pronounced decline in his physical health.

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School of Mind-Body Medicine Students Explore Authentic Leadership and Research in January, 2013 San Diego Residential Programs

Ellyn Hutton Participates in Expressive Arts Activity in Leadership Seminar


Residential Conferences are an integral part of the Saybrook University School of Mind-Body Medicine experiential learning model.  The RC’s are a meaningful place for students to connect with the Mind-Body Medicine community and dive deeper into their coursework.  The January 2013 RC in San Diego included two courses, Intermediate Hypnosis MBM 5625 and Coaching for Health and Wellness MBM 5630, and two optional programs, Authentic Leadership: Leading from Within and a Research Seminar

Terri Goslin-Jones PhD, a mentor at Saybrook, facilitated the Authentic Leadership seminar.  During this seminar the participants used creativity, appreciative inquiry, and “witnessing” to create a leadership vision for themselves.  Each participant created a poster or small cards by using magazine photos, yarn, color, and anything that was meaningful for them to represent their exploration towards leading from within.  In addition, the group explored Appreciative Inquiry, which uses powerful questions and focused listening to gain a deeper understanding of oneself and another person.  Below are some reflections from students who attended the seminar. 

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Emerging Role of Mobile-Health Technology Interventions for Wellness and Disease Management

Mobile Phones

Every year millions die from cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, HIV infection, and diabetes. These conditions contribute to 40 % of all deaths in the more developed and affluent countries.  For each of these diseases, healthy behaviors have been identified, which can prevent onset of these diseases. For example, the onset of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes can be prevented by maintaining a healthy body weight. Once these conditions are present,behavioral and lifestyle change are important for managing the course of these illnesses.

Efforts to increase healthy behaviors and minimize health risk behaviors (such as smoking) become increasingly important in enhancing health in this context. Mobile technology such as texting and smart phones offer platforms for innovative approaches to health enhancement and disease management.

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School of Mind-Body Medicine to Feature Videoconference with James Lake, MD, Leader in Integrative Mental Health Movement

Dr. James Lake


On February 12, 2013, James Lake will make a presentation for the School of Mind-Body Medicine:    “The Promise of Integrative Mental Health”

James Lake, MD, is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the integrative mental health movement. Integrative mental health is a comprehensive whole-person approach to mental health care providing an alternative to the mainstream biomedical and pharmaceutical approach to mental health treatment. The addition of evidence-based behavioral, nutritional, and spiritual/transpersonal interventions can supplement and sometimes replace medication regimens for individuals with acute and chronic mental health disorders.

Dr. Lake is the author of several books:  Integrative Mental Health Care: A Therapist’s Handbook (2009), Complimentary and Alternative Treatments in Mental Health (2007), of Integrative Mental Health Care (2006), and Chinese Medical Psychiatry (2001).

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Saybrook University Psychology Student Completes Dissertation on Biofeedback and Yoga for Undergraduate Stress Management

Carla Benejam in her Apothecary Garden


Carla Benejam lives in Salinas, California with one of her three sons and a big tabby cat. When not teaching courses in biology, life science, or psychology at Cal State University Monterey Bay, she spends many days in her apothecary garden, growing and tending herbs and seasonal veggies. Carla has been teaching for ten years and before that owned a rather eclectic used book store in Monterey. She has an affinity for languages and has studied German, French, Spanish and Indonesian, and a little Italian. Travels have taken her to Sumatra (to see young orangutans in the wild), Fiji, Moscow, Singapore and the Malay Peninsula, Britain, France, Spain, Alaska and Hawaii, Nepal, India, and Tibet.

Carla has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley in Physical Anthropology, and a master's degree from San Jose State College in Evolutionary Biology. On December 27, 2013, she defended her dissertation and completed her doctorate in Psychology from Saybrook University in San Francisco. She is currently preparing a program of biofeedback for stress relief for college students to be implemented at her university, and is also pursuing life as a garden wise woman. Although a Psychology student, the three individuals guiding her dissertation were all faculty from Saybrook’s School of Mind-Body Medicine, chair Donald Moss, and committee members Eric Willmarth and Eliza Bigham.

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Saybrook University Graduates First PhD in Mind-Body Medicine: Beth Haggett

Beth Haggett and Daughter Michaela

Over 30 years ago, as a 19 year old girl, Beth Haggett told her husband that someday she wanted to earn a PhD in Psychoneuroimmunology. When she first heard that Saybrook University was developing a PhD program in Mind-Body Medicine, she jumped at the opportunity and  became the first to apply for the new program.

On December 28, 2012, Beth defended her doctoral dissertation, and became the first student to complete the new PhD. Her degree is a “PhD in Mind-Body Medicine with a specialization in Health Care Systems.”  She achieved her goal within the time frame that she set for herself of three and one half years. Most importantly, because of her mind-body learning, and the self-care that was a component in her mind-body medicine education, her own mental, emotional, and physical health have improved dramatically in the course of her education. Beth’s husband and adult children have also benefitted greatly from applying mind-body skills to their lives.

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Jim Cahill, New Student in Saybrook’s School of Mind-Body Medicine, to Appear on Radio Broadcast on the Use of Biofeedback in Pain Treatment

Jim Cahill, BCB


Jim Cahill is a new student enrolled to begin the master’s program in Saybrook University’s School of Mind-Body Medicine, in January 2013.  Jim Cahill is a certified biofeedback practitioner, and is the developer of Mindfulness-Based Biofeedback Therapy(tm), combining ancient Indo-Tibetan self-regulation techniques with modern biofeedback. He was on the Board of Directors of the Biofeedback Society of California, edited the magazine California Biofeedback, and practices at both Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine and Scripps-XiMED in La Jolla, California.

Jim will appear at 8 PM Eastern time on Saturday December 22, in a radio interview with Dr. Paul Christo, a prominent pain specialist and past Director of the Blaustein Pain Treatment Center and the Multidisciplinary Pain Fellowship Training Program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Christo hosts the Aches and Gains radio show on WBAL (1090 AM).

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