Ph.D in Clinical Psychology
Meditation & Psychology
Meditation and Psychology Emphasis
Ph.D. Program, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology
Palo Alto University
Mindfulness and meditation have become increasingly popular elements in health and mental health care. Previous research indicates that these interventions are acceptable, safe, and effective for a broad range of clinical and demographic populations. The Meditation and Psychology Emphasis at PGSP involves clinical and research training concerning the interplay of mind-body factors in health and well-being. Students and faculty conduct psychoeducational programs, clinical interventions, professional training, and research concerning the applications of mind-body therapies, especially meditation, for mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. Students gain training and experience in psychoeducational and skills-based interventions, based on mind-body and cognitive-behavioral principles, for the enhancement of positive coping and the prevention and alleviation of stress symptoms and stress-related disorders. Clinical training is focused on interventions that have empirical support. In addition, students are encouraged to use mindfulness and meditation for their own self-care and to enhance their ability to be mindful therapists.
Students in the Meditation and Psychology Emphasis complete the requirements for generalist training in our APA-accredited Ph.D. program. In addition, they complete a minimum of one year of clinical practicum elective training (for 3 units) and a dissertation on a topic broadly related to mind-body and resiliency factors in health, well-being, and disorder.
Students in the Meditation and Psychology emphasis take 1 – 3 years of related practicum training. In these practica, students can work with children and adults in hospital, clinic, and community-based settings and in the Inner Resources Center, a specialty clinic of PGSP’s Kurt and Barbara Gronowski Psychology Clinic.
Recent practicum experiences include teaching meditation to:
- Parkinson’s Disease family caregivers
- Homeless persons with HIV/AIDS
- Pediatric chronic pain patients in a university hospital
- College students who want to cope better with stress
- Methadone patients
- Women on parole in transitional housing
- Homeless teenagers in transitional housing
- Clients of the Inner Resources Center at PGSP’s Gronowski Psychology Clinic
- Health and mental health professionals who want to use meditation for self- and patient care
Practicum Course Sequence
Second and 3rd year students will participate in this practicum in addition to their required practicum experience; 4th year students participate as advanced practicum students.
2nd and 3rd Year Students: F250 Practicum Elective: Psychoeducational Groups
4th Year Students: F231 Practicum 4A – F233 Practicum 4C: Psychoeducational Groups
Hours in this practicum elective can be reported on the APPIC Application for Psychology Internship. The minimum number of hours completed in this practicum elective are: Clinical training/didactics: 33 hrs., Group Supervision: 66 hrs., Group Therapy: 24-32 hrs. (for 1 group/quarter. Students can conduct 2 groups in both Winter and Spring quarters and accrue 48-64 hours). Some students also conduct work that is reportable as “Outreach” on the APPI, provided that they have conducted supervised outreach work to develop psychoeducational programs at new sites.
Students in the Meditation and Psychology Emphasis conduct dissertation research related to the influence of mind-body factors on health, disorder, and resiliency. Dissertations can address meditation and mindfulness directly, for example, clinical trials of meditation or psychometric studies of mindfulness measures would be relevant dissertation topics. Research can also address basic mechanisms and outcomes of mind-body factors. As such, dissertation research in the Emphasis can address a broad range of variables that are related to coping, health, resiliency, and adjustment. For example, research topics can address the internal resources that we bring to bear on challenges and stressors, including spirituality, religious participation, hypnotizability, posttraumatic growth, coping, and resiliency because any of these variables may serve as mechanisms or outcomes of meditation and mindfulness. Dissertation topics must be approved by the Emphasis faculty.
Any PAU dissertation chair can supervise dissertation work relevant to the Meditation and Psychology Emphasis, though Emphasis faculty are available to serve as dissertation chairs and committee members. Most of the dissertation training takes place in the research advisors’ lab. Emphasis faculty are available for research consultation with dissertation chairs and students. Emphasis faculty also conduct specialty research trainings for dissertation students on an as-needed basis. Students from any Research Group who are completing the Meditation and Psychology Emphasis are invited to attend. Some recent topics of specialty research trainings include: clinical trials design and statistical analyses and recruitment of ethnically diverse research participants. Students can participate in their faculty advisors’ ongoing research or develop independent research projects for their dissertations.
Recent Meditation-Related Publications (those with student/trainee coauthors marked by *)
*Bekke-Hansen, S., Pedersen, C. G., Thastum, M., Thygesen, K., Christensen, S., Waelde, L. C., Zacharia, R. (2010). Faith and use of complementary and alternative medicine among heart attack patients in a secular society. Manuscript submitted for publication.
*Estupinian, G., & Waelde, L. C. (in press). The impact of spirituality on posttraumatic stress disorder and depression among military personnel. Counselling and Spirituality.
Murray-Swank, N. A., & Waelde, L. C. (in press). Spirituality, religion, and sexual trauma. In K. I. Pargament, A. Mahoney, & E. Shafranske (Eds.). APA Handbook of psychology, religion, and spirituality. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Spiegel, D., White, M., & Waelde, L. (2010). Hypnosis, mindfulness meditation, and brain imaging. In D. Barrett, (Ed.), Hypnosis and hypnotherapy Vol. 1: Neuroscience, personality, and cultural factors(pp. 37-52). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.
*Waelde, L. C., Uddo, M., Marquett, R., Ropelato, M., Freightman, S., Pardo, A., Salazar, J. (2008). A pilot study of meditation for mental health workers following Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 21, 497-500.
*Butler, L. D., Waelde, L. C., Hastings, A., Chen, X., Symons, B., Marshall, J., Kaufman, A., Nagy, T. F., Blasey, C. M., Seibert, E. O., Spiegel, D. (2008). Meditation with yoga, group therapy with hypnosis, and psychoeducation for long-term depressed mood: A randomized pilot trial. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 64, 806-820.
Waelde, L. C. (2008). Meditation. In G. Reyes, J. D. Elhai, & J. D. Ford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of psychological trauma. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
Waelde, L. C. (2004). Dissociation and meditation. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, 5(2), 147-162.
Waelde, L. C., Thompson, L., & Gallagher-Thompson, D. (2004). A pilot study of a yoga and meditation intervention for dementia caregiver stress. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 60, 677-687.
Recent Meditation-Related Presentations (those with student/trainee coauthors marked by *)
*Delorefice, A., Pan, I., & Waelde, L. C. (2011, August). Ethnic differences in responses to meditation among mental health workers following Hurricane Katrina. Poster session to be presented at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.
*Estupinian, G., & Waelde, L. C. (2011, August). The impact of spirituality on posttraumatic stress disorder and depression among military personnel. Poster session to be presented at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.
*Kukreja, S., & Waelde, L. C. (2011, August). Posttraumatic growth among OEF/OIF era military personnel. Poster session to be presented at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.
*Ropelato, M., & Waelde, L. C. (2010, August). Religious coping in race-related posttraumatic stress disorder. Poster session presented at the 118th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, San Diego, CA.
*Canuso, A., Waelde, L. C., McLay, R., Rusher, M., Johnson, C., & Johnston, S. (2010, May). Meditation as a treatment modality in active duty service members participating in residential substance abuse rehabilitation. Paper session presented at the 163rd Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, New Orleans, LA.
*Waelde, L. C., Uddo, M., Estupinian, G., Mortensen., M. J., Kukreja, S., Spannring, J., & Zief, A. (2008, November). Meditation homework adherence in PTSD treatment. Poster presented at the 24th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Chicago, IL.
*Waelde, L. C., Marquett, R., Ropelato, M., Freightman, S., Pardo, A., Salazar, J., & Uddo., M. (2007, August). Meditation for mental health workers following Hurricane Katrina. Poster presented at the 115th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, August, 2007, San Francisco, CA.
*Kukreja, S., Carr, M., Estupinian, G., Mortensen, M. J., Penner, A., Gallagher-Thompson, D., & Waelde, L. C. (2007, August). Meditation homework adherence among family dementia caregivers. Poster presented at the 115th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, August, 2007, San Francisco, CA.
Lynn C. Waelde, Ph.D., Professor, Director of the Meditation and Psychology Emphasis
Joyce Chu. Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Director of the Diversity and Community Mental Health Area of Emphasis. Dr. Chu is a specialist in the areas of Asian American diversity issues and community outreach.
Peter Goldblum, Ph.D., MPH, Professor, Director of CLEAR and Director of the LGBTQ Area of Emphasis. Dr. Goldblum specializes in LGBTQ diversity issues and the uses of mindfulness for self and client care.
Wendy Packman, J.D., Ph.D., Professor Director Joint J.D.-Ph.D. Program. Dr. Packman specializes in the design and evaluation of interventions for medically ill children and their siblings.
Helena Young, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, PTSD Clinical Team, VA Palo Alto Health Care System. Dr. Young is a specialist in applications of meditation and mindfulness to veteran PTSD.
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
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