Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ibolya Szuromi completes dissertation in the School of Psychology

Trauma, Attachment, and Disability within the Model of a Complex Adaptive System of Chronic Low Back Pain -- Ibolya Szuromi

This study examined the model of chronic low back pain-related disability from a developmental perspective to uncover factors that may contribute to the development and maintenance of chronic low back pain. This model was conceptualized as part of a complex adaptive system of chronic pain. The literature review integrated recent findings connecting social pain to chronic pain through neuroscience. The study employed a quantitative cross-sectional research design with four independent variables (i.e., adult attachment style, trauma history over the lifespan, current PTSD symptoms, and depression symptoms) and one dependent variable (i.e., chronic low back pain-related disability) and investigated how the independent variables are related to the level of chronic low back pain-related disability. Results indicated that attachment anxiety, PTSD, and depression were individually significant predictors of disability. Significant mediated pathways were found from attachment anxiety to chronic low back-pain disability through depression and attachment avoidance to disability through depression. The findings suggest that the development of chronic low back pain has a direct relationship with psychosocial developmental risk factors and that underlying social pain may be an important vehicle in developing chronic pain.

Key Words: Chronic pain-related disability, neuroscience of pain, social pain, psychosocial trauma, attachment.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fielding student Mark Burton publishes research in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Utilizing peer mentorship to engage high recidivism substance-abusing patients in treatment -- Tracy K, Burton M, Nich C, Rounsaville B.


Background: Often high recidivism substance-using patients have difficulty connecting to outpatient treatment contributing to greater functioning disturbances. Approaches to address this problem frequently are staff extensive.

Objective: This study evaluates the impact of peer mentorship and/or enhanced dual recovery treatment (DRT) on individuals who are inpatients, substance abusing, and have a history of high recidivism. The primary outcome is post-discharge treatment attendance.

Methods: In an inpatient Veterans Administration hospital setting, 96 patients with a history of high recidivism and current and/or past diagnosis of substance use disorders were randomized to either (i) Treatment As Usual (TAU), (ii) TAU + DRT + Mentorship for Addictions Problems to Enhance Engagement to Treatment (MAP-Engage), or (iii) TAU + MAP-Engage.

Results: Overall MAP-Engage was found to be comparable to the DRT + MAP-Engage and both of these conditions were significantly better than TAU alone at increasing adherence to post-discharge substance abuse, medical, and mental health outpatient appointments.

Conclusion/Scientific Significance: MAP-Engage offers an alternative approach to address lack of attendance to outpatient treatment appointments post discharge that is relatively low in staff reliance.

Utilizing peer mentorship to engage high recidivism substance-abusing patients in treatment.
Tracy K, Burton M, Nich C, Rounsaville B. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2011 Nov;37(6):525-31. Epub 2011 Aug 18.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fielding faculty member Jeremy Shapiro publishes paper in Zeitschrift für kritische Theorie

Adorno's Praxis of individuation Through Music Listening -- Jeremy J. Shapiro

Theodor W. Adorno's Anweisungen zum Hören neuer Musik (Guidelines for Listening to Modern Music) contain instructions not only for how to listen but also for how to have experience in general. The psycological, perceptual, and cognitive structures involved are existential structures, i.e. guidelines as to how to be as a modernist or post-modern self. Since listening involves abandoning oneself to the immanent logic of musical works, it is these works that provide the model for how to be. Adorno's work also shows, in contradistinction to some views of Adorno, his commitment to the unity of theory and practice and demonstrates that his musical writing is a completely independent and novel strand of critical theory because of is attempt to articulate the ineffable. However, Adorno's explicit theory of listening ("structural listening") is itself inadequate to Adorno's implicit theory of listening as contained in the practice of his actual musical writings.

"Adorno's Praxis of Individuation Through Music Listening" has been published in Zeitschrift für kritische Theorie (XVII:32-33, 2011) and Música em Perspectiva (III: 2, 2010). The paper itself can be accessed at

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Jennifer Fairchild completes dissertation in the School of Psychology

The Role of Distress in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder among Combat Veterans

This study investigated the role of non-specific distress in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among combat veterans who sustained traumatic brain injury. Specifically, Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) profiles and Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) scores were reviewed in light of veterans classified according to symptoms of PTSD. Results revealed that veterans endorsing PTSD symptomatology experience significantly more distress as indicated by elevations on the following PAI clinical scales: somatic complaints, anxiety, anxiety-related disorders, depression, paranoia, schizophrenia, and borderline features. Two of the schizophrenia subscales (i.e., social detachment and thought disorders) were also examined and found to be significantly elevated. The CES-D was utilized in an effort to evaluate distress and depression differences in veterans with PTSD symptoms compared to those without PTSD, but with elevated anxiety. This analysis revealed a slightly greater overlap in veterans endorsing PTSD symptoms.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fielding student Claudia Hinojosa co-authors article in Psychiatry

Subjective and Objective Measures of Parent-Child Relationship Dysfunction, Child Separation distress, and Joint Attention

The literature suggests an adverse impact of maternal stress related to interpersonal violence on parent-child interaction. The current study investigated associations between a mother's self-reported parent-child relationship dysfunction and what she does in response to her child's cues. It also examined whether maternal perception of parent-child dysfunctional interaction and child behavior when stressed by separation, along with maternal behavior in response to child distress, predicted impaired joint attention (JA) during play. Participant mothers (n = 74) and their children ages 12-48 months were recruited from community pediatrics clinics and completed two videotaped visits. After correlations, multiple linear regression was applied to find the best model fit that would predict outcomes of interest. We found that both maternal subjective report of self-reported parent-child relationship dysfunction and observed child separation distress together predicted atypical maternal behavior. Self-reported parent-child relationship dysfunction, observed atypical maternal behavior, and child separation distress combined significantly predicted less time spent in joint attention during play. Maternal posttraumatic stress predicted less maternal availability after separation stress. Clinicians should thus carefully assess and listen to parents' communication of disturbances in their relationship with their young child. Left untreated, parent-child relationship dysfunction may well lead to impairment in learning and social-emotional development.

Schecter, D. S., Wilhelm, E., Hinojosa, C., Scholfield-Kleinman, K. Turner, J. B., McCaw, J. Zeanah, C. H.,& Myers, M. M.(2010). Subjective and Objective Measures of Parent-Child Relationship Dysfunction, Child Separation distress, and Joint Attention. Psychiatry, 73, 130-144.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fielding student Dorianne Cotter-Lockard will co-facilitate a symposium at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting

Meditation as a leadership practice
Meditating Leadership

Facilitator: Richard Jackson Major; CERGAM, Institute d’Administration des Entreprises d’Aix-en-Provence;
Facilitator: Dorianne Cotter-Lockard; Fielding Graduate Institute;
Panelist: Andre L Delbecq; Santa Clara U.;
Panelist: Stuart Lord; Naropa U.;
Panelist: Jean Robert Ouimet; To God Go Foundation;

“Leadership is expected to ensure increasingly high levels of performance while dealing daily with continuously intensifying organizational complexity and disruption. To meet this expectation - and develop the ability to foster inclusive and engaging work environments-, leaders are required to step back on both events and on their own thinking process and emotional reactions. In the proposed panel symposium, three senior “meditating” leaders will describe their meditation practices and how these have influenced their attitude and capabilities at work. They will compare personal practices and observations of how these practices have impacted the organizations with which they have worked. The panelists will aim to provoke the audience to reflect on how organizations might benefit from meditative leaders. Academics and practitioners concerned by workplace and leadership performance will gain awareness of real life techniques and practices that increase managerial and organizational performance.”

Search Terms: Leadership , Management , Meditation

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fielding students Silvina Bamrungpong and Drew Foley will present research at The Study of Myth Symposium: A Generative Space for Conversation, Vision, and Deepening the Study of Myth at Pacifica University

1001 Transmedia Stories: Creating and Navigating Stories in the Digital Age -- Silvina Bamrungpong and Drew Foley

The digital age has brought us new platforms of storytelling for education and creative life. To realize the rich potential of these storytelling forms requires that we view them not as isolated fragments but as stories in motion that connect across traditional and digital boundaries. The researchers will engage participants in an exploration of creating and navigating stories in the digital age.

Symposium link:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fielding graduate Luann Fortune presents paper at the Interdisciplinary Coalition for North American Phenomenologists Annual Meeting

Embodiment in Multiple Disciplines: A Model for Phenomenology and Interdisciplinary Study -- Luann Fortune

Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Interdisciplinary Coalition for North American Phenomenologists (ICNAP). Shirlington, VA, May, 2011.

Luann Fortune, LMT, NCBTMB, MA, PhD is part-time faculty in Saybrook’s College of Mind-Body Medicine. Luann is a teacher, scholar, and licensed massage therapist and bodywork instructor. Luann has an extensive management background in the private sector, and is currently the principal in a private practice delivering wellness consultation, educational services, and massage therapy to businesses and the community in the greater Washington, DC area. Dr. Fortune’s research focuses on the holistic aspects of massage and alternative wellness practices, as well as somatic awareness and embodiment techniques for scholarship, research, and practice. Her writings and publications span multiple disciplines, and promote translational value in scholarship and practice.

In 2009, Fielding Graduate University introduced a doctoral course titled Embodiment of Knowledge. Participants used phenomenology as a transdisciplinary platform for critique and conversation of multidisciplinary literature. The original course design leveraged the range and synergy of embodiment readings. Supported by tenets from phenomenology, the students embodied new knowledge by challenging disciplinary boundaries. Multidisciplinary conversations developed progressively and dynamically, ultimately transcending established limitations to create new knowledge. The structure used for this course can be applied to other topics, and constitutes an approach for interdisciplinary teaching and inquiry that has pedagogical application for lower as well as higher education.

Key Words: education model, multidisciplinary, Mode 2 knowledge, pedagogy, somatics, transdisciplinary

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fielding graduate Maxine Junge coauthors Graphic Facilitation and Art Therapy: Imagery and Metaphor in Organizational Development

Graphic Facilitation and Art Therapy: Imagery and Metaphor in Organizational Development -- Michelle Winkel (Author), Maxine Borowsky Junge (Author), Charles N., Ph.D. Seashore (Foreword)

This new book is a refreshing break from the "same old, same old" management consulting paradigms. The author, an artist and art therapist by training, has transformed her skills in those arenas for use in Management consulting, with great success. By creating large wall-sized murals the author applies imagery and metaphors to help organizations she works with conceptualize, understand and solve, their business problems. The case studies are fascinating as they walk step by step through the application of these techniques with 5 completely different type of clients. This book offers interesting lessons and new tools which I am already beginning to apply to my own consulting work.

Maxine Borowsky Junge, PhD, LCSW, ATR-BC, HLM is considered a pioneer of the art therapy profession. She formally began in 1972, at Immaculate Heart College in Hollywood, CA teaching in the first art therapy Masters program west of the Mississippi. Unlike the tradition in the Northeast where art therapists were usually adjunctive members of an inpatient psychiatry team, with her mentor Helen Landgarten, Max trained clinical art therapists to carry the responsibility of the whole case and who could work in outpatient settings with a variety of populations and problems.

Max is Professor Emerita at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles where she taught for 21 years and was Chair of the Department of Marital and Family Therapy (Clinical Art Therapy.) She has also been a professor at Goddard College in Vermont and Antioch University, Seattle, WA where she taught, psychology, counseling, organizational development and art therapy in the years after her retirement from Loyola Marymount.

Graduating from Scripps in art in 1959, Dr. Junge spent a year traveling around Europe on a motorcycle and married in London. When she returned to Los Angeles, she became employed by Hughes Aircraft as a Technical Editor and Typist for $1.93 an hour. She was educated in the graduate Painting Department at UCLA and, in 1973, received a Masters of Social Welfare from U.S.C (University of Southern California). Innately. a systems thinker, she earned a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from the Fielding Institute in 1992. Max is a Registered and Board Certified art therapist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and she received the HLM-- the highest award in art therapy from her peers of the American Art Therapy Association. She is a feminist and social justice advocate who trained at the Highlander Research and Education Center, in New Market, Tennessee, since 1932 a focus of social change in America.

Dr. Junge has published six books. Her first, in 1994, is A History of Art Therapy in the United States. The Modern History of Art Therapy in the United States (2010), a whole new work, is her fifth book and along with her first, is the only history in book form of the innovative and fascinating mental health profession of art therapy. It is used in art therapy education programs across the country. Her other books are Architects of art therapy, memoirs and life stories, (2006), about the founders and pioneers of art therapy, Mourning, memory and life itself, essays of an art therapist (2008), containing her favorite published essays about the psychology of art updated along with new material including an analysis of art therapy as a women’s profession. Creative realities, the search for meanings (1998), describes a phenomenological study of visual artists and writers. This research establishes an important alternative theory of creativity to the usual unitary ones and hypothesizes that creativity is born out of differing personality worldviews manifested and illuminated in artwork. Max’s newest book, Graphic Facilitation and Art Therapy: Imagery and Metaphor in Organizational Development will be published next month. She has presented her work nationally and internationally, including conferences and workshops in Japan, Korea and the U.K.

Dr. Junge’s clinical practice of art psychotherapy has been at Cedars-Sinai Hospital—Thalians Community Mental Health Center, Ross-Loos Department of Psychiatry, National Council of Jewish Women and the AIDS medical practice of Dr. Michael Scolaro, all in Los Angeles. She has maintained a private practice since 1973 in clinical work and organizational consulting. She continues with consultation and supervision. Max’s main interest has been family therapy and family art therapy.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fielding student Beckey Sukovaty publishes chapter in Philosophical Inquiries into Pregnancy, Childbirth & Mothering: Maternal Subjects

On Stepmothers as Hybrid Beings & World Travelers: Toward a New Model for Care-full Ethics -- Beckey Sukovaty

Sukovaty maintains that the roles and relationships stepmothers occupy are undertheorized, underappreciated, and often misunderstood; in the stepmothering role and relations, we find...a home for a new model of an ethics of care. Fueled by the inspiration she finds in Mara Lugones' work on "world"-traveling, loving perception, and responsible playfulness and in Simone de Beauvoir's concept of joy...Sukovaty argues that stepmothers, rather than being seen as evil interlopers, should be acknowledged as occupying an advantageous position from which to develop the sort of loving perception that can significantly contribute to a child's flourishing.... Informed by theorizing about stepmothers, an ethics of care can be more easily extended to encompass voluntarily assumed caring relationships.... Drawing on Eva Feder Kittay's work on "distributed mothering," Sukovaty pushes for an ethics of care that emphasizes equality, justice, interdependence, and lived various kinds of relationships of various degrees of intimacy.

Philosophical Inquiries into Pregnancy, Childbirth & Mothering: Maternal Subjects. Sheila Lintott & Maureen Sander-Staudt, eds. New York: Routledge, 2012.

Philosophical inquiry into pregnancy, childbirth, and mothering is a growing area of interest to academic philosophers. This volume brings together a diverse group of philosophers to speak about topics in this reemerging area of philosophical inquiry, taking up new themes, such as maternal aesthetics, and pursuing old ones in new ways, such as investigating stepmothering as it might inform and ground an ethics of care. The theoretical foci of the book include feminist, existential, ethical, aesthetic, phenomenological, social and political theories. These perspectives are then employed to consider many dimensions of pregnancy, childbirth, and mothering, which are of central importance to human existence, but are only rarely discussed in philosophical cannons. Topics include pregnancy and embodiment, breast-feeding, representations -- or the lack thereof -- of pregnant and birthing women, adoption, and post-partum motherhood.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fielding graduate Randy Simon presents research poster at Fielding's Winter Session 2012

Men’s Views of Work-Life Balance: A Phenomenological Study -- Randy Simon, Ph.D., Alumna, School of Psychology, 2011

This study focused upon men’s experiences in integrating life roles, in order to facilitate a broader conceptualization of work-life balance as a continuing process of incorporating various life domains—one that affects all adults, despite its conceptual emergence as a predominantly female issue. Research to date appears to have neglected the views of men in this regard, with twice the number of work-family studies targeting women than men noted in a 2007 review of the organizational behavior literature (Casper, Eby, Bordeaux, Lockwood, & Lambert, 2007).

The work of Moustakas (1994) and Wertz (1983) was drawn upon in employing a phenomenological research methodology that produced an in-depth description of the meanings associated with work-life balance for men today. In addition to exploring experiences and decisions, individual identity, work history, family roles, and outside interests, questions were posed to foster the sharing of information about priorities, stressors, and vision for the “perfect” balance in life activities. Interviews were conducted with ten mid-career men with caregiving responsibilities to elicit detailed information about the way in which they experience work-life balance.

All interviewees consider both family and work to be high priorities. A psychological structure emerged that reflected an underlying need by many to integrate family into work and work into family in order to function within time limitations. These limits often forced continual decisions about trade-offs and produced an overlay of stress and overload. The way in which men make choices about issues of balance is based upon their value systems, at both the individual and couple levels. Values and the finite nature of time are therefore central components of the structure of work-life balance experiences. In addition, a significant new finding is that all of the men in this study expressed a keen desire for validation by others regarding their efforts and lifestyle. Insight was gained into the overall male experience of balancing work and non-work domains, filling a large gap in the literature and highlighting aspects that have previously been ignored.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fielding graduate Summer Nipomnick presents research at conferences in 2012

Fingeret MC, Nipomnick SW, Guindani M. Body Image Screening for Cancer Patients Undergoing Reconstructive Surgery. Poster session presented at the 9th Annual Conference of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society, Miami FL, 02/2012.

Fingeret MC, Nipomnick SW, Hanasono M, Skoraki R, & Weber R. Toward an Understanding of Body Image Adaptation Following Surgical Treatment for Head and Neck Cancer. Poster session presented at the Cancer Survivorship Research Retreat, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. 01/2012.

Nipomnick SW, Baumann D, Crosby M, Hanasono M, Guindani M, & Fingeret MC. Body Image Screening for Cancer Patients Undergoing Reconstructive Surgery. Poster session presented at the Cancer Survivorship Research Retreat, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. 01/2012.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Michelle Still Mehta completes dissertation in the School of Human and Organizational Development

Work, Self, and Military Life: The Experiences of US Air Force Wives -- Michelle Still Mehta

This study explores the experiences of U.S. Air Force wives who wish to pursue their own employment while frequently relocating with their military husbands. Previous research has shown that military wives face significant obstacles to maintaining employment, evidenced by lower earnings, and higher rates of unemployment and underemployment compared to the general U.S. female population. While other studies have documented these employment challenges, few researchers have examined the personal experiences of the women who live with them. Through the use of 21 narrative interviews, this research focuses on military wives’ thoughts and feelings about their work-related desires, and the impact to self.

The findings from this study are grouped into thoughts and feelings across three domains: working, not working, and being a military spouse. Participants were unanimous in associating positive thoughts and feelings with working and negative thoughts and feelings with not working. Furthermore, participants expressed ambivalence about their military lifestyle of frequent relocation, and identified both positive and negative aspects of this reality.

As a result of the data produced in this study, a model of fit is proposed with respect to work, self, and military life. A high degree of fit facilitates a military wife’s ability to preserve her whole self, while lack of fit results in the need to change one’s work or self to adapt, and in some cases result in feelings of despair, depression, and loss of self. This process is influenced by multi-layered gendered roles inherent in marriage, motherhood, and the military.

KEY WORDS: military wife, military spouse, employment, work, self, gender roles