Meditation & Psychology Emphasis

The best way to learn about Palo Alto University is to meet with us. Schedule a Virtual Meeting
Ready to take the next step? Apply Online

The Meditation and Psychology emphasis will not be enrolling students for the 21-22 academic year. 

 

Understanding the Interplay of Mind-Body Factors

Coping. Resiliency. Adjustment. Mindfulness and meditation have become increasingly popular elements in health and mental health care. Empirical research shows that these interventions are acceptable, safe, and effective for a broad range of clinical and demographic populations.

The Meditation and Psychology Emphasis in the PhD Clinical Psychology program 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.

 

Meditation & Psychology Emphasis Objectives

You will gain training and experience in psychoeducational and skills-based interventions, based on proven mind-body and cognitive-behavioral principles. The end goal is helping clients achieve positive coping mechanisms, and preventing/alleviating stress symptoms and stress-related disorders.

Clinical training is focused on empirically-supported interventions, with particular attention on Inner Resources for Stress, a manualized program of mindfulness, meditation, and mantra.

In addition, you will be encouraged to use mindfulness and meditation for your own self-care and to enhance your ability to be a mindful therapist.

Students in the Meditation and Psychology Emphasis complete the requirements for generalist training in the APA-accredited PhD program. In addition, they complete a minimum of one year of clinical practicum elective training and a dissertation on a topic broadly related to mind-body and resiliency factors in health, well-being, and growth.

Emphasis Requirements

Clinical TrainingToggle Accordion

Your clinical training will include 1-3 years of related practicum training. In these practica, you will work with children and adults in hospital, clinic, and community-based settings, and in the Inner Resources Center, a specialty clinic of the Kurt and Barbara Gronowski Center.

Recent practicum experiences include teaching meditation to:

  • Persons with serious mental illness in community mental health settings
  • Older adults in community settings
  • College students who want to cope better with stress
  • Clients of the Gronowski Clinic
  • Persons with substance use disorders in community mental health settings
  • Unemployed, low SES adults
  • Bereaved parents
  • Health and mental health professionals who want to use meditation for self- and patient care

 

Learn more about the Gronowski Clinic Visit Our Inner Resource Center

Practicum Course SequenceToggle Accordion

During your second and third year, you will participate in this practicum as a supplemental practicum taken in addition to their required practicum experience; 4th year students participate as advanced practicum students.

  • 2nd to 4th Year Students: PRAC815 02 Supplemental Practicum Elective: Psychoeducational Groups
  • 3rd and 4th Year Students: PRAC815 03 Supplemental Practicum Elective: Psychoeducational Groups

Advanced 4th-year students in the practicum can get supervised experience conducting clinical training and supervision.

Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Center (APPIC) HoursToggle Accordion

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 hours
  • Group Supervision: 66 hours
  • Group Therapy: 16-32 hours (for 1 group/quarter; students can conduct two 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.

Apply to APPIC here

Supervision TrainingToggle Accordion

Students in their second and third year of this practicum may apply to become a student supervisor. Student supervisors meet once a week with the clinical supervisor for one-hour supervision in addition to the two-hour group supervision. Student supervisors work with beginning students to support them in ways such as:

  • Providing guidance on establishing new groups
  • Reviewing, editing, and grading progress notes
  • Grading daily practice logs
  • Advising student on proper use of the protocol or specific modifications that may be made for certain populations
  • Providing guidance on proper presentation methods, and
  • Providing supervision during the group meetings alongside the clinical supervisor

In addition to working with beginning students, student supervisors help with updating Inner Resources materials and procedures and organizing online course web interface for every student.

Meditation & Psychology Emphasis Webinar
Affiliated Faculty
Palo Alto University Logo
Christine Blasey, PhD,

Professor

Palo Alto University Logo
Helena Young, PhD

Clinical Psychologist, PTSD Clinical Team, VA Palo Alto Health Care System.

The Elton C. & Joan R. Waelde Meditation and Psychology Fellowship
The Elton C. & Joan R. Waelde Meditation and Psychology Fellowship

This fellowship is awarded to recognize Meditation and Psychology Emphasis students who have demonstrated excellence in research and clinical applications of meditation and mindfulness.

Research Training

Dissertation TopicsToggle Accordion

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 humans 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.

Dissertation TrainingToggle Accordion

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. Christine Blasey, Ph.D., a biostatistician, is available to meet with students to consult on experimental and clinical trials design and data analysis. 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.

Alumni Spotlight: Stephanie Williams, PhD

As a PAU student, Stephanie Williams was concerned about treatment options for ethnic minority youth in juvenile detention. As part of her supplemental practicum training in the Meditation and Psychology area of emphasis, she adapted the Inner Resources meditation and mindfulness protocol for use with detained youth. She collaboratively conducted a nonrandomized controlled trial of this intervention for detained Black and Latino adolescents—and received the APA Div. 41 American Psychology-Law Society Minority Affairs Committee Diversity Research Award for her project!

Dr. Williams is currently a Staff Psychologist and the practicum training coordinator in the California Department of State Hospitals, where she still offers meditation and mindfulness trainings. She is committed to improving culturally appropriate mental health services for ethnic minorities in forensic settings.

Research Publications & Presentations

Treatment ManualsToggle Accordion

  • Waelde, L. C. (2014). Inner Resources for Stress (3rd ed.)
  • Waelde, L. C. (2011). Inner Resources Therapist Training Manual (3rd ed.)
  • Waelde, L. C. (2011). Inner Resources for Veterans Therapist Training Manual
  • Waelde, L. C. (2011). Inner Resources for Veterans Participant Manual (2nd ed.)
  • Waelde, L. C. (2011). Inner Resources for Teens: A Six-Week Program for Coping with Chronic Pain
  • Waelde, L. C. (2009). Inner Resources: A Four Week Program for Active Duty Military and Veterans
  • Waelde, L. C. (2003). Inner Resources for Caregivers: A Psychotherapeutic Program of Meditation (2nd ed.)
  • Waelde, L. C. (1999). Inner Resources: A Psychotherapeutic Program of Yoga and Meditation

Meditation-Related PublicationsToggle Accordion

Asterisk (*) indicates publications with student/trainee coauthors.

  • *Waelde, L. C., Thompson, J. M., Robinson, A., & Iwanicki, S. (2016). Trauma therapists’ clinical applications, training, and personal practice of mindfulness and meditation. Mindfulness. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12671-016-0497-9
  • *Waelde, L. C., & Thompson, J. (in press). Traditional and secular views of psychotherapeutic applications of mindfulness and meditation.  In M. West (Ed.), The psychology of meditation. New York, NY, US: Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press
  • *Thompson, J. M., Waelde, L. C., & Spiegel, D. (in press). Hypnosis and mindfulness: Experiential and neurophysiological relationships. In A. Raz & M. Lifshitz (Eds.), Hypnosis and meditation: Towards an integrative science of conscious planes. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press
  • Hechanova, M. R. M., Waelde, L. C., Docena, P. S., Alampay, L. P., Alianan, A. S., Flores, M. J. B., Ramos, P. A. P., & Melgar, M. I. E. (2015). The development and initial evaluation of Katatagan: A resilience intervention for Filipino disaster survivors. Philippine Journal of Psychology, 48, 105-131.
  • Hechanova, M. R. M., Ramos, P. A. P., & Waelde, L. C. (2015). Group-based mindfulness-informed psychological first aid after Typhoon Haiyan. Disaster Prevention and Management, 24, 610-618. doi: 10.1108/DPM-01-2015-0015
  • Waelde, L. C. (2015). Mindfulness and meditation for trauma-related dissociation. In V. Follette, J. Briere, J. Hopper, D. Rozelle, & D. Rome (Eds.). Mindfulness-oriented interventions for trauma: Integrating contemplative practices (pp. 301-313). New York, N.Y.: Guilford Press
  • *Bekke-Hansen, S., Pedersen, C. G., Thygesen, K., Christensen, S., Waelde, L. C., Zacharia, R. (2014). The role of religious faith, spirituality and existential considerations among heart patients in a secular society: Relation to depressive symptoms six months post acute coronary syndrome. Journal of Health Psychology, 19,740-753.doi: 10.1177/1359105313479625
  • Murray-Swank, N. A., & Waelde, L. C. (2013). Spirituality, religion, and sexual trauma: Integrating research, theory, and clinical practice. In K. I. Pargament, A. Mahoney, E. P. Shafranske (Eds.), APA handbook of psychology, religion, and spirituality (Vol 2): An applied psychology of religion and spirituality (pp. 335-354). Washington, DC US: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/14046-017
  • *Bekke-Hansen, S., Pedersen, C., Thygesen, K., Christensen, S., Waelde, L. C., & Zachariae, R. (2012). Faith and use of complementary and alternative medicine among heart attack patients in a secular society. Complementary Therapies In Medicine, 20, 306-315. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2012.03.003
  • *Estupinian, G., & Waelde, L. C. (2011). The impact of spirituality on posttraumatic stress disorder and depression among military personnel. Counselling and Spirituality, 30, 91-106
  • *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
  • *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., 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
  • 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

Meditation-Related PresentationsToggle Accordion

Asterisk (*) indicates presentations with student/trainee coauthors.

  • Waelde, L. C. (2015, June). Mindfulness, meditation, and mantra: Results from clinical trials of in Inner Resources. In L. C. Waelde (Chair). Exploring the meaning of mindfulness across a range of clinical applications. Panel session presented at the Mindfulness & Compassion: The Art and Science of Contemplative Practice conference, San Francisco, CA.
  • Waelde, L. C. (2015, June). Mindfulness, meditation, and mantra: Results from clinical trials of in Inner Resources. In L. C. Waelde (Chair). Exploring the meaning of mindfulness across a range of clinical applications. Panel session presented at the Mindfulness & Compassion: The Art and Science of Contemplative Practice conference, San Francisco, CA.
  • *Jiang, H., White, M., Greicius, M., Waelde, L., & Spiegel, D. (2014, December). Brain activity and connectivity underlying hypnosis. Poster session presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Phoenix, AZ.
  • Hechanova-Alampay, R., Perfecto Ramos, P. A., & Waelde, L. C. (2014, November). A pilot study of a psychological first aid workshop to enhance disaster knowledge and coping self-efficacy among Filipino disaster responders following Typhoon Haiyan. Poster session presented at the 30th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Miami, FL.
  • Perfecto Ramos, P. A., Hechanova-Alampay, R., & Waelde, L. C. (2014, November). Cultural rationale for the Philippine adaptation of psychological first aid. Poster session presented at the 30th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Miami, FL.
  • Ramos, P.A., Landoy, B., Kintanar, N., Hechanova, R.A., & Waelde, L. (2014, August) Responders’ experiences of a group-based type of PFA. Paper presented in the 51st National Convention of the Psychological Association of the Philippines. Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.
  • Waelde, L. C. (August, 2013). Mindfulness and trauma and the Four Question Framework. In L. C. Waelde (Chair) Implementation, evaluation, and integration of the Four Question Framework for peacebuilding. Invited symposium conducted at the 121st Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, HI.
  • Golianu, B., & Waelde, L. C. (2013, June). Mindfulness meditation for pediatric chronic pain: Effects and precautions. Poster session presented at the 9th International Symposium on Pediatric Pain, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • *Parkins, M. M. Williams, S. N., & Waelde, L. C. (2013, August).Nonrandomized controlled study of Inner Resources meditation with detained juveniles. Poster session presented at the 121stAnnual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, HI.
  • *Thompson, J. T., Iwanicki, S., & Waelde, L. C. (2012, November). Uses of mindfulness and meditation in trauma therapy: A therapist survey. Poster session presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies, Los Angeles, CA.
  • *Delorefice, A., Pan, I., & Waelde, L. C. (2011, August). Ethnic differences in responses to meditation among mental health workers following Hurricane Katrina. Poster session presented at the 119thAnnual 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 presented at the 119thAnnual 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 presented at the 119thAnnual 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 118thAnnual 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 163rdAnnual 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.
How Can a Graduate Degree Advance Your Career in Counseling Inforgraphic
Mindfulness and Meditation Student Organization (MMSO)

The Palo Alto University Meditation and Mindfulness group is a student organization focused on cultivating mindfulness and promoting conversations and debates about mindfulness and meditation in our personal lives and clinic practice.

Learn More All PAU-Affiliated Student Organizations

PSYCAS offers an online centralized application portal for you to apply to master’s and doctoral programs across the discipline of psychology.

Apply on PSYCAS

PAU’s doctoral programs have been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA)

Learn More about APA Accreditation

Questions? 
Contact Admissions.

Jessica Wilson
Senior Admissions Counselor
(800)-818-6136

admissions@paloaltou.edu


PSYCAS offers an online centralized application portal for you to apply to master’s and doctoral programs across the discipline of psychology.
Apply on PSYCAS
Contact Financial Aid for Assistance