Homosexuality used to be a mental disorder. Shyness still is. So is not being shy.
The Diagnostics and Statistical Manual - the "Bible of Mental Illness" consulted by psychiatrists - is no stranger to controversy. What gets classified as a mental illness differs every decade, and impacts millions of lives.
But a new kind of controversy is surrounding the newest version of the DSM - before it's even been written. A group of prominent psychiatrists, including previous DSM authors, are saying that the new edition is being written under a cloud of secrecy - which is unscientific, inadvisable, and possibly immoral.
Without full disclosure of who's writing what, and why, they say, everything from personal prejudice to conflicts of interest could be codified as "best practice."
"(T)his unprecedented attempt to revise DSM in secrecy indicates a failure to understand that revising a diagnostic manual—as a scientific process—benefits from the very exchange of information that is prohibited by the confidentiality agreement," wrote Dr. Robert Spitzer, who chaired the writing of the DSM II in 1980, in a letter to his colleagues.
The first ever Saybrook/LIOS Spring Program is now scheduled to launch on March 1 of this year.
The is the first program to integrate the resources of Saybrook with the Leadership Institute of Seattle, enhancing the traditional LIOS offerings while remaining focused on the exceptional, always evolving experiential and transformative education that has been the LIOS trademark for almost 40 years.
Program participants will be guided by LIOS’ team of seasoned faculty – all of whom are graduates of LIOS. This unique feature is part of the vitality of LIOS’ programs, as alumni and current students are the best resources for new students. Emphasizing this relationship creates programs that are dynamic and responsive, and a community that is closely knit.
Saybrook is pleased to announce the hiring of its first Dean of Instruction, Eric Fox.
Eric comes to Saybrook from Western Michigan University, where he was an Assistant Professor of Psychology and founded the university's Language, Cognition, and Instructional Technology lab. He has a PhD in Learning & Instructional Technology from Arizona State University, and both his research and his teaching have focused on the use of technology as a pedagogical tool.
"My role at Saybrook is to work with administration, faculty, and students to create the best learning environment that we can," Eric says. "Making sure that faculty are involved in the decision making process and are comfortable with the way we're designing and expanding programs, and that students are satisfied with the way everything works."
An eLearning and Web Design Consultant for nine years, he has a decade of experience developing and supporting technology-based teaching in higher education. He says was Saybrook's history as a leader with distance learning and technology supported education that first interested him in the position.
"Saybrook's history of doing distance and graduate education in innovative ways was very appealing to me," Eric says. "And this is a very exciting time to be part of it Saybrook has a really great vision, some positive new programs, and very interesting initiatives coming into play. The opportunity for me to apply some of my training and work to help keep Saybrook a leader in the field is very exciting."
As millions of older Americans watch their retirement savings get wiped out by the financial crisis, medical experts are warning that the system of geriatric health care is in a crisis all its own - one that money can't solve.
Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon and Associate Professor of Public Heath at Harvard, told the New York Times this week that the number of geriatricians has declined significantly over the last 20 years, while the number of Americans 65 and older is on track to double in the next 20.
The Washington post called this a crisis, noting that seniors make up just 12 percent of the population, but account for 34 percent of all prescriptions and 38 percent of all emergency medical service responses.
Even if we had the money to spend, experts agree, the system of care we've set up - too few doctors who can spend too little time with patients whose conditions are often complicated - won't adequately care for them. We need to do better.
A Humanistic approach to health care, which some practitioners have been applying to small groups, may offer a better approach - and that care is often community-based, focusing on patients' human needs as much as their medical needs.
This year Saybrook is proud to award an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters to Dr. Ethel Tobach, a significant figure in politically engaged psychology and the study of human beings.
A Distinguished Consulting Faculty member at Saybrook, Dr. Tobach is curator emerita of the American Museum of Natural History and has made major contributions to the study of genetics and comparative and evolutionary psychology during her distinguished 50 year career as a researcher. She has been a leader in psychology activist groups seeking constructive public policies, nuclear disarmament, and peace-building - and she was a founder of Psychologists for Social Action (PSA).
The Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters is awarded annually to individuals who have made substantial contributions to the unique mission and purposes of Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center. The degree recognizes outstanding contributions to humanistic psychology or human science, and acknowledges general outstanding contributions to the arts and sciences, which are related to the unique mission and purposes of Saybrook. The honorary degrees also recognize outstanding contributions made directly to Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center.
Dr. Tobach will receive the reward on Monday, Jan. 19, at the Westin Ballroom of the Westin San Francisco International Airport.
The community is invited to a discussion of how we sustain Saybrook's humanistic core
Saybrook’s made great strides in the 21st century: creating new programs, completing the most successful fund-raising campaign in its history, and accomplishing key goals as it moves towards the creation of a full university structure.
But as Saybrook grows in new ways, old questions become more relevant: what is the place of Humanistic thought in the 21st century? How does it apply to disciplines outside of psychology? In what way can Saybrook best articulate and pursue these principles?
All members of the Saybrook community are invited to a community-wide discussion of these issues to be held at this January’s Residential Conference in San Francisco, on Saturday, Jan. 17, from 7:15 - 9 p.m..
This year Saybrook will honor the author of a seminal study on the psychological underpinnings of political beliefs, as well as the world’s foremost authority on Jewish philosopher Martin Buber. Every two years Saybrook, in collaboration with the Rollo May Committee, presents the Rollo May Award for Humanistic Service, recognizing distinguished individuals whose life’s work demonstrates faith in human possibility.
Saybrook University is the world’s premier institution for humanistic studies. It is a unique place of student engaged learning in a rigorous course of study, offering advanced degrees in psychology, mind-body medicine, organizational systems, leadership, and human science. Saybrook’s programs are deeply rooted in the humanistic tradition and a commitment to help students develop as whole people – mind, body, and spirit – in order to achieve their full potential.
Saybrook University is growing to bring together new disciplines and apply its humanistic perspective to a broad spectrum of practical fields.
The University is comprised of three colleges:
Our global community of scholars and practitioners is dedicated to advancing human potential to create a humane and sustainable world.
Our graduates brief the United Nations and the White House; they open neighborhood drug clinics; they teach at major schools around the world; they design new treatments for people suffering from chronic pain; they help third world governments find collaborative solutions to problems; they consult for global businesses and non-profits; they edit major academic journals; they work to make social services more effective and humane; they build programs for the Red Cross; they write books; they give lectures and run workshops; they bring warring cultures together.
With its faculty, graduates, and students, Saybrook University is reinventing health care, recreating business culture, connecting 21st century communities, and supporting marginalized populations.
The Saybrook University Forum is the newsletter and discussion board of this remarkable community of scholars and activists.
Contact us at Forum@saybrook.edu.
A third of American adults are using complementary or alternative medicine to improve their health – treating conditions ranging from back pain and migraines to insomnia.
As the demand for complimentary medicine increases, the demand for well-trained practitioners … and high quality research on effective treatments … will grow too. In fact, they will become necessities.
“Mind-body medicine is a revolutionary twenty-first century approach to health care that includes a wide range of behavioral and lifestyle interventions, on an equal basis with traditional medical interventions," says Saybrook's Mind-Body Medicine program director Donald Moss. "The patient in mind-body medicine is understood as a totality of body, mind, and spirit. Interventions are directed at each of these aspects of the person. The medical conditions linked with human suffering today, in the affluent societies of the developed world, are caused as much by lifestyle, dietary habits, activity level, and life-stress, as they are by such traditional causes of disease as infection, virus, bacteria, and physical trauma.”
According to a report to be published in the upcoming issue of Psychological Bulletin, people who attend church regularly - or at least have internalized a strong commitment to religious values - will have an easier time keeping their New Year's resolutions.
It's not just that it takes self-control to sit through religious services. Even accounting for selection bias, according to this blog post in the New York Times, people who attend services end up with more self-control, even if they didn't start with much.
Further, people with strong religious convictions are better at resisting temptation (if that's what one wants to do with it).
But what's most intriguing, from a Humanistic perspective, is the way in which the study does - and doesn't - correlate "religion" and "spirituality."