Dispatch 135: Robin Dickey, PhD MBM, Win University of Texas HS Center Grant


Robin Dickey, a doctoral candidate in the Saybrook University Mind-Body Medicine program, has just been awarded a grant to fund a faculty wellness initiative at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. Robin will be collaborating with the Office of Faculty Affairs to offer monthly wellness related activities, including education, exercises, mindfulness, guest speakers, etc. 

She will also conduct an appreciative inquiry study with the UT faculty. The appreciative inquiry will include collaborative questioning, pre- and post-participation surveys, and open dialogue with faculty attendees about transformational change potential for the University. This will include exploration into strengths, successes, values, hopes and dreams. We plan to follow the The 5-D Cycle of Appreciative Inquiry: Define, Discover, Dream, Design and Destiny/Delivery to focus on Strategic Planning, Cultural Transformation, Employee Satisfaction, Morale and Retention, and Leadership Development.

The funding for the faculty wellness initiative comes from UT System, an entity that oversees the 14 University of Texas educational institutions throughout the state. She hopes to publish the results of this offering in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health's special edition called Participatory Research in Health Promotion that will be published in November.

Dispatch 134: A Lovely 14th Birthday


A fine day with our boy, Leo Long, who celebrated his 14th today. A lot of birthday well-wishes were sent from far-and-wide, making his day all that more special. 

Tonight we take my wife, Kim Schroeder Long, to the airport so she can bring Rosemary Clooney back to the stage in Key West, Florida at the Red Barn Theatre.

Proud of her and this big step in her career

Dispatch 133: Student Spotlight - J Daniel Gawrys

J Daniel.png

J Daniel Gawrys is an organizational consultant with expertise in change management and process improvement. As a Doctoral student studying Organizational Behavior at Saybrook University, the focus of Daniel’s work includes navigating decision-making, divorcing distractions, and ushering leaders and managers to discovering their path toward greater depth and meaning in their work and life.

Daniel is both an alumnus of Saybrook University (MS Mind-Body Medicine, 2016) and a current student, having returned in 2018 to pursue a PhD in Managing Organizational Systems.

We are thrilled to be able to welcome Daniel back to the university for this next phase of his educational journey, and are proud to announce his recent publication in last month's edition of CalSAE's magazine, The Executive. Read 7 Steps to Successfully Navigate the New Year, and join us in congratulating Daniel on this accomplishment!

Dispatch 132: Saybrook U Announces PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision

Photo Credit:  taylor hernandez  (www.taylormaephotography.org) via UnSplash

Photo Credit: taylor hernandez (www.taylormaephotography.org) via UnSplash

Saybrook University is now taking applications for our new PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision.

 Saybrook University is a private, nonprofit institution that has a deep and rich history in the field of Humanistic Psychology. Founded as the Humanistic Psychology Institute in 1971 by Eleanor Camp Criswell and advanced by the work of Rollo May, Clark Moustakas, and James Bugental, Saybrook  was regionally accredited by WSCUC in 1984 and has since grown to include programs such as Clinical Psychology, Transformative Social Change, Mind-Body Medicine, Psychophysiology, and the department of Counseling.

The doctoral degree program in Counselor Education and Supervision at Saybrook University is intended to prepare students to work as counselor educators, supervisors, and advanced practitioners in academic and clinical settings. Graduates are prepared to contribute to their knowledge base in the field of counseling, through leadership and research skills. The PhD program is aligned with the broader mission of Saybrook University, specifically, to prepare students as advocates in inspiring transformational change in individuals, organizations, and communities, toward a just, humane, and sustainable world.

Our department of Counseling programs are low-residency, online programs. The department includes the upcoming PhD program and a CACREP-accredited MA degree. Students in the PhD CES program will have a unique opportunity to engage in teaching and supervision experiences both online and at our residencies, which will prepare students to take faculty roles in both modalities.

Note that funding opportunities may be available for qualified applicants.

For more information, please feel free to reach out to:

 Jennifer Preston, PhD, NCC, LPC
Counseling Department Chair
CACREP Liaison
PhD Coordinator

Dispatch 131: The Willmarth Hypnosis Interviews


Saybrook University provides a multiplicity of programs ranging from psychology to mind-body medicine. I have been impressed by the various approaches to supporting clients in their path to wellness. Dr. Eric Willmarth, one of our esteemed faculty members, provides our students techniques from biofeedback to hypnosis - techniques that support their healing journey in a holistic, humanistic fashion.

Over several years, he has been compiling interviews on the history and benefits of hypnosis. Here is one of his many videos I am featuring (with more to come). Thank you, Dr. Willmarth, for your scholarly contributions as well as your abiding commitment to supporting the health of individuals and communities via your work in this and other key areas related to mind-body medicine.

Dispatch 130: A Powerful Quote from a Powerful Influence (Carl Rogers)

Carl Rogers remains one of the important scholars in Humanistic Psychology and philosophy. He was also instrumental in Saybrook’s founding and perpetuation. As I reflect on his legacy, I (still) find inspirational this quote from his most noted scholarly work, “On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy”.

I believe it will have become evident why, for me, adjectives such as happy, contented, blissful, enjoyable, do not seem quite appropriate to any general description of this process I have called the good life, even though the person in this process would experience each one of these at the appropriate times. But adjectives which seem more generally fitting are adjectives such as enriching, exciting, rewarding, challenging, meaningful. This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-fainthearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one's potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life. Yet the deeply exciting thing about human beings is that when the individual is inwardly free, he chooses as the good life this process of becoming.” 
― Carl R. Rogers, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy

Dispatch 129: Coaching is Powerful Magic (Dr. Beth Haggett - SU Faculty Member)


Coaching is Powerful Magic by Beth Haggett, MSW, LCSW, Ph.D.

Beth teaches as an adjunct faculty member for Saybrook University in the Integrative Wellness Coaching Master's and Certificate program in The College of Mind-Body Medicine. She also trains coaches using her own curriculum to help support change management strategies internal to Customer Support Organizations.

Master Personal & Executive Coach

I am always a little concerned when I speak of coaching being powerful magic that I will sound a bit too “Woo Woo” to some. So, let me explain my thinking. First of all, I think “Woo Woo” refers to thing that we sense or feel but often cannot see so things of this nature are difficult to measure or prove. That being said, although it can be hard to measure the magic of the intangibles of coaching, there are outcomes from the coaching relationship that are quite tangible.

 Read more here...

Dispatch 128: In Memoriam


Some time ago, I had the honor of serving for President Teresa Goodwin at The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was an incredible mentor and colleague; a visionary who was able to bring life to the college from the ground up laying the foundation for what this institution is today.

Along the way, she introduced me to her dear husband, Dick, who was always right there by her side. He was full of life, humor, and a deep love for his wife who he always expressed such deep pride for including the hard work she did in helping bring the college to life.

Dick passed away a couple of days ago at 81 years of age. In his passing, today I remember his 30-year marriage to Terry, his life of service, and his dedication to the communities in which he lived and worked.

Indeed, a life well-lived, Dick Goodwin. Rest in peace.

If you would like to join me, please consider a gift in his honor at Food for the Poor by going to this link.

Dispatch 127: Beautiful Monterey

I was able to break away for a long walk earlier last week while at the residential conference. I can’t help but share these beautiful photos from the shoreline. Painfully beautiful…

Dispatch 126: Today Marks Official Launch of the Eleanor Criswell Scholarship

Photo Credit: Stephen Weiss ( http://www.stephenweissphotography.com )

Photo Credit: Stephen Weiss (http://www.stephenweissphotography.com)

Dear Saybrook Community and Friends of the University:

I write today to formally launch the formation of the The Dr. Eleanor Criswell Humanistic Psychology Institute-Saybrook University Founder’s Scholarship, and to ask you to join me in supporting the future of humanistic scholarship and practice at Saybrook University.

By way of this announcement, we launch a campaign to seed this newly endowed fund with $25,000. Once that threshold is reached, Saybrook will begin awarding annual scholarships to incoming and continuing students who demonstrate a deep passion for, and commitment to, the principles of humanistic psychology and philosophy, as evidenced through their work as scholar-practitioners. Consider making a gift today to help us reach this goal (please select Dr. Eleanor Criswell Founder's Scholarship in the drop-down menu).

Dr. Eleanor Criswell is a leader in the fields of humanistic psychology and holistic health, and was the founding director/president of the Humanistic Psychology Institute, which later became Saybrook University. Recipients of the Dr. Eleanor Criswell Founder’s Scholarship must demonstrate a deep passion for the principles of humanistic philosophy in their scholarship application, along with an articulated commitment to championing these principles in their current or intended course of study at Saybrook, as well as in their future goals.

Recipients will be selected by a committee of faculty, administration, and community members, which will be assembled in collaboration with Dr. Criswell, or her designee.

Make A Gift Today

Nathan Long, President
Saybrook University

Dispatch 125: Evening Reflections


The beauty of Monterey, the power of community, and the opportunity to connect with so many wonderful souls all contributed to a truly amazing experience these last few days. As I listen to one of my favorite classical pieces (Adagio Cantabile from Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata #8 - https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=pEYdyXwMn2U&feature=share) I am reflecting on the beauty of all that life offers professionally and personally.

Leo and I are on to playing a (rousing) game of Parcheesi. Tomorrow is dedicated to some self-care and catch-up on other work matters followed by a Mediterranean meal with close friends.

Be well!

Dispatch 124: Post-RC Visit with Alumna Dr. Kaffia (Belle) Jones


One of the many joys of being a university president is the ability to meet our alumni. Following the Spring 2019 Residential Conference in Monterey, I headed over a short distance to see one of our recent alumna, Dr. Kaffia (Belle) Jones. On top of being a graduate of Saybrook University, she is also a veteran having served as a Brigadier General in the United States armed forces.

We visited for nearly three hours. During that time, she walked me through how she began her practice, put her office together (Dr. Jones furnished her entire office for a fraction of the cost). As you can see here, her office is inviting and she has created an environment that feels safe and is actually part of the therapeutic process. She also provided me insights into her therapeutic process, including an overview of the assessment tools she uses to support her patients during their sessions.

We ended our time together with her sharing some amazing stories of her family as well as her adventures as an entrepreneur.

Someone asked me the other day why I love my job. I can easily say it is because of our amazing students and alumni. Indeed, Dr. Jones represents that sentiment perfectly. Thank you, Dr. Jones, for all you have done for our country and what you do for your patients.

Dispatch 123: Day Seven of the Saybrook RC 2019

Photos Day 7 Collage.jpg

While some of our programs have one more day to go, most of us return home to families, friends, and loved ones. It’s been a great week filled with expanded minds, growing hearts, courageous conversations, and building/maintaining friendships.

Thank you Katie Horton for taking time to speak about yourself and your Saybrook experience! Check out her video here.

Lastly, thank you, Saybrook University Community, for a truly powerful week in which we empowered one another to make positive social change among ourselves, in our organizations, and our communities.

Dispatch 122: Day Six of the Saybrook Residential Conference


Today was yet another day of rich activities and classes. These pictures capture the work going on in a range of classes and social activities across the various programs. We also held to important town halls hearing questions and comments from students, faculty, and staff. After each town hall, I had the opportunity to meet with students to identify solutions and action plans.

I was also pleased to get a minute with Dr. Tom Hayashi, Department Chair of Leadership and Management. Take a look!

Dispatch 121: Day Five of the Saybrook Residential Conference 2019 (Charm City)


Another full day of learning and excitement was had by all of our Saybrook U students. The day culminated in our feature event for the Residential Conference: the screening of Charm City (short-listed for an Academy Award nomination and screening on PBS in the not-too-distant future).

This powerful film - timed to be shown on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - depicted the lives of Baltimore residents, politicians, and law enforcement personnel all of whom were working to find a way to reduce the violence plaguing their community. Heartbreak, love, and desire to advance social change were all poignant themes that emerged.

We were fortunate to have Dr. Sahar Driver (faculty member in TSC’s Social Impact Specialization) and the film’s director, Marilyn Ness, join us for Q and A following the film. Great community dialog and visioning for how we can empower each other and our communities to nurture change despite the significant odds.

Dispatch 120: Martin Luther King, Jr. and African American Peace Leaders of the 20th Century

18 years ago I had the privilege of collaborating with my doctoral advisor, Dr. Marvin Berlowitz, and African American History scholar and mentor, Dr. Eric Jackson, on a project designed to bring to life documents written by African American peace leaders of the twentieth century. While some were well-known, a majority either had generally not been seen since their original publication or had been transcribed and boxed away. 

The process of securing rights to many of these powerful pieces at times proved incredibly difficult given the consolidation and elimination of many publishing houses across the country. We struggled with attorneys, got bounced around publishing house bureaucracies, and often discovered when we thought we had it all “in the bag” another round of permissions was needed. 

In the end, the struggle to get these documents was well worth the end result of bringing out voices of men and women who - through non-violence - wielded the weapons of peace and the written word to advance basic human rights and civil rights. 

To this day, one of the most powerful pieces in the book is Dr. Martin Luther King’s “A Time to Break the Silence”. While this was one of the easier documents to obtain as it was one of his more famous speeches, it served as a vital concluding source for our book showing the historical arc as relates to peace and justice among numerous African American leaders. His speech was important on so many levels, including his full-on critique of the Vietnam War. Though there were many who were speaking out against the conflict, King’s speech became central to raising greater consciousness linking class, race, and the machinations of war. His powerful observation in which he pointed out that our government was essentially sacrificing poor families to guarantee liberties in (Vietnam) while not solving for the lack of freedoms in "Southeast Georgia and Harlem" brought a truth to power that only Dr. King could deliver given his national prominence. 

When I first read these words, I was transformed by his clarity, his steady determination to shed a bright light on the hypocrisy of fighting a war that was predicated on advancing freedom halfway around the world while our country could not - in many cases would not - ensure basic liberties for all of its citizens. As King noted: "A time comes when silence is betrayal…we are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation, for those it calls (the) enemy.”

15 years ago, when the book was published, YouTube was not yet an idea. Now, with this technology, we have the words as articulated directly by Martin Luther King. If you have an opportunity today or sometime this week, I urge you to take time to listen to this powerful speech given by a man who truly was this country’s moral conscience. 

(Reposted from Dispatch 40)

Dispatch 119: Day Four of the Saybrook RC 2019 - From Biofeedback to Cultural Complex to Students Leading the Way


In between meetings, I was able to make my way into a couple of sessions, including one hosted by Dr. Jerry Devore who was speaking on biofeedback techniques. In just a one half hour, I learned about Martin Rossmann’s book “Guided Imagery for Self-Healing”, the Ignatian Approach, the technique of Sustained Selective Attention, and much more. My reading list for this Spring just doubled in size!

At noon for this year’s Diversity Luncheon, our Saybrook U community had the honor of hearing Dr. Karen Naifeh, a Jungian analyst, speak about the Jungian construct of the shadow and cultural complex in her presentation titled “Encountering the Other: The White Shadow”. As always with these experiences, the speaker really stretched those in the room to think how our daily work can be used to both raise consciousness and change society. Powerful.

In between sessions, I was able to snag the busy Drake Spaeth to provide a brief overview of his role and a perspective on Humanistic Psychology. Dr. Spaeth, while relatively new to Saybrook, has been a long-time admirer of Saybrook U. His passionate articulation of who we are is indeed inspirational. Take a look when you have a moment.

During dinner, students across the university convened to discuss the formation of a new student government. Observing students in action who deeply care about their university was awe-inspiring. The attendance at the event was incredible.

The day ended with what was described as an incredibly powerful student-faculty panel presentation on the recent TCS Education System study abroad trip to South Africa. Many stories of cross-cultural learning, relationships, and increased understanding from the perspective of the participants made this session truly impactful.

Another terrific day at the Saybrook RC.

Dispatch 118: Day Three of the Spring 2019 Residential Conference (with videos)


Today marked the official start of Saybrook University’s Spring 2019 Residential Conference. Continuing students joined their new colleagues for departmental gatherings, symposia, courses, meals, networking, and fellowship. You will also see pictured below students meeting with faculty advisors/mentors on various topics ranging from thesis/dissertation guidance to program planning.

One of the highlights to the day was the Creativity Studies luncheon facilitated by faculty member Terri Goslin-Jones. The theme of the luncheon Muse and Memes showcased the research currently underway by various students including the use of art and music as therapeutic interventions. We were also treated to the talents of Ms. Jannelle Means who hails from Nashville, Tennessee, who began her presentation with “A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin. As a musician myself, I really enjoyed her take on how she has helped advance a group called Soul Vibes Collective to build community among musicians fostering an additional creative outlet outside of their day gigs.

I was pleased that Ray Bailey, our online support specialist, gave us an overview of who he is, what he does, and why he loves Saybrook University. Ray’s energy, commitment to serving students and faculty, and his drive to help Saybrook humanize the virtual experience all are reasons were fortunate to have him here with our team.

We ended the day with lovely tributes to Dr. Louis Hoffman and Charles Piazza. Student and faculty tributes were quite moving offering powerful tributes to two great contributors to the Saybrook mission and legacy.

In all, it was a terrific start and looking forward to more activities over the coming days.


Dispatch 117: Day Two of the Spring 2019 Saybrook RC


Day two of the Residential Orientation (and the last day before the official Residential Conference begins) concludes.


Today was a terrifically informative day filled with faculty meetings, student services orientation, Canvas (our Learning Management System) and Institutional Review Board training, meals, networking, and socializing. Given the intensity of the last day-and-a-half, the students I have had the privilege of speaking with seem upbeat and ready to dive into the official residential experience.

I also found myself lucky to run into a few of our returning students pictured here.

We kick off tomorrow with a range of activities including the Creativity Studies Luncheon. Looking forward to seeing some cutting-edge research-in-action!


Dispatch 116: Day One of the Spring 2019 RC


From the opening meal and session to program planning meetings (I loved Dr. Smikle’s admonition - the goal is not PhD someday, it’s PhD - Done”) to hearing students’ stories of how finding Saybrook has been transformational - I am inspired.

I was impressed by several students I met today, including the young woman from Los Angeles who sees herself using her degree to make positive changes in communities that need support after being long ignored; and the gentleman from Seattle who seeks to use his degree to transform corporate practices from profit-centered to human-centered. I am inspired.

And of course, our faculty and staff have been working to make this experience one that centers on a rigorous graduate experience centered on the unique qualities each of our students bring to our university.

It’s been a terrific, uplifting, and inspirational first day of #SaybrookRC.

Onward to Day 2!