ACISTE Board of Directors
Who runs this organization? How are they qualified? What motivates them?
Learn about each of them by clicking on their names
Yolaine M. Stout, BA, CFRM
Yolaine Stout, founding director of ACISTE, has served as President and Executive Director on four non-profit boards since 1990, including the International Association for Near-Death Studies or IANDS. In that capacity, she saw the tremendous need for a greater understanding of the integration process and support system for experiencers. She is author of “Six Major Challenges Faced by Near-Death Experiencers” published in the Journal of Near-Death Studies, co-facilitated the first IANDS retreat for near-death experiencers.
Mrs. Stout has given numerous presentations and radio interviews related to near-death experiences and her own NDE, the result of a suicide attempt in 1982. Mrs. Stout has also produced an upcoming documentary called “Back to Life: Six Challenges Faced by Near-Death Experiencers.” She is an Honors graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her teaching credential. After retiring from a 25 year teaching career, she received her Certificate in Fundraising Management from the Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University.
In addition to her work with ACISTE, Mrs. Stout has been a writer, organizational consultant, strategic planner and life coach. Her passion is to see organizations and individuals reach their highest potential through the power of vision, passion, purpose, collaboration and action. She is married to Scripps scientist, Dr. Charles Stout and has raised three sons.
Laura Suzanne Gordon, PhD
Dr. Gordon’s research is the first near-death-studies or death-and-dying studies project to use the ethnographic method, and a health-education and culture-studies framework, to situate near-death experience (NDE) survivors as the insider-experts on the first-hand experience of dying. Her research was supported by research grants from the University of Maryland and the International Association of Near-Death Studies; and it was recognized with an international graduate research award for cross-cultural scholarship in death and dying by the Association for Death Education and Counseling. She is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE), and a founding member of the National Women’s Studies Association’s International Task Force on Women’s Spiritualities. She is a lecturer in the Departments of Communication and American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Gary Seeman, PhD
Gary is a psychologist who practices in Vancouver, Washington. He became an ACISTE Certified Mental Health Professional in 2012 and was asked to help train ACMHP psychiatrists and psychologists in 2014, when he also joined the Board of Directors. Gary’s interest in spiritually transformative experiences began with a near death-like experience (NDLE) in 1977. He is a long-time meditator and sees STEs and everyday life challenges as integral to ongoing personal development. He takes an ecumenical approach to spirituality, having worked with teachers in several traditions. Gary was an analysand of the late Donald Sandner, M.D., author of Navajo Symbols of Healing and wrote his doctoral dissertation on C.G. Jung’s Seminar on Kundalini Yoga. His website features articles on many psychological subjects, including a subtle energy model of human development that integrates child development research, Jung’s individuation construct, and a practitioner’s understanding of the Hindu chakra system. His doctoral dissertation can also be accessed there. When/if he has spare time, Gary is an avid coffee hobbyist and a member of Team HB on Home-Barista.com.
Sandy is currently a member and forum administrator for ACISTE Experiencer Forum (since 2011) and NDE-Space. She is a co-leader of the TRIAD IANDS Support Group of Winston-Salem as well as a member of IANDS (International Association for Near-Death Studies, Inc.), IANDS of Raleigh, and the Research Triangle IANDS Groups. She is also a member and volunteer on NHNE (NewHeavenNewEarth).
Sandy worked for the school system as a payroll clerk, SIMS manager and substitute teacher. She is an author of two published books about her NDE and other STEs and continues to write. She has volunteered for Hospice and has been a Sunday School Superintendent, teacher, Youth Leader and director of Christmas and Easter Pageants. She is married with two grown children and one grandchild.
Elizabeth Sabet, PCC, ACSLC
Elizabeth Sabet, PCC, ACSLC works as a Certified Professional Transformational/Spiritual Coach in private practice, is the Founder and CEO of The Institute of Transformational and Transpersonal Coaching, and the Co-Founder and current Executive Director of HOPE, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating community dialogue about the inclusion of holistic practices and principles, and providing community activities, support, and education for individuals with spiritual emergence experiences and for anyone who is ready to explore life beyond the boundaries of their enculturated life experiences. HOPE has trained over 140 mental health professionals on a local level in Lubbock, Texas. She is very grateful to be serving as a board member for ACISTE as she has had many STE’s since childhood and is dedicated to supporting experiencers and the mental health professionals that serve them. She has also worked to educate people of all ages and backgrounds about the principles of holism in the fields of integrated health, parenting, community relations, team building, and spiritual development. Elizabeth works with experiencers both nationally and internationally. She is also a long-term meditation practitioner and is currently teaching mediation at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Her background is in administrative law dispute resolution, training, and the management of early childhood programs. She lives in Lubbock, Texas and has raised two beautiful daughters and is a proud grandmother. Her interests are hiking, fishing, cooking, hospitality, and gathering with loved ones.
Sandra D. Farahani
Sandra D. Farahani acts as the Treasurer for ACISTE. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Intern and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor who works with trauma victims at a mental health hospital. In addition to her work with trauma survivors, Sandra is training her horses for equine therapy. Her goal is to eventually include her horses in therapy sessions that focus on spiritual/life transformations, especially with troubled youth.
Katrina Michelle, PhD, LCSW, ACMHP
Katrina Michelle, PhD, LCSW, ACMHP, is a holistic psychotherapist based in New York City. Informed by her doctoral research on “spiritual resistance” at Sofia University in Palo Alto, California, and her own ineffable experiences, Katrina supports people in embracing and integrating the multifaceted human experience. By practicing conscious engagement in her daily life and relationships, and through academic research, and peer education, Katrina strives to evolve mainstream systems so they acknowledge, honor, and include the spiritual component of human development. Katrina fully believes that a mainstream culture that reflects and supports this integrative model will catalyze our collective highest potential.
Advisory Board Members
P.M.H. Atwater, LHD
P. M. H. Atwater, is one of the original researchers in the field of near-death studies, having begun her work on 1978. She has written ten books on her findings, the last one due out January 2011 from Hampton Roads, a final wrap-up of her work and the completion of her theoretical model, “Brain Shift/Spirit Shift.” Some of her findings have been verified in clinical studies, among them the prospective study done in Holland and published in Lancet medical journal, 12-15-01. Her, The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences, brings the field up-to-date and was featured in the online version of Newsweek Magazine. Recognized with “Outstanding Service Award” from International Association For Near-Death Studies, and “Lifetime Achievement Award” from National Association of Transpersonal Hypnotherapists, Dr. Atwater is also a generational researcher and has examined evolutionary changes in the human family (refer to Beyond the Indigo Children and its sequel). A three-time experiencer of near-death states, she is also a rune caster, astrologer, numerologist, prayer chaplain, wife, mother, grandmother.
Mr. David Bennett is a public speaker on television and radio and gives lectures across the nation. He is an author and leader of the Upstate New York IANDS. He facilitates a sharing group for Spiritually Transformative Experiencers (STErs) and writes a regular column about STE issues for the central NY newspaper “Metaphysical Times.” David co-hosted a popular talk radio show series on Voice of America’s Seventh Wave network called Spiritual Simplicity that reached more than 115 million listeners. The show covered a diverse range of topics including Metaphysics and Near-Death Experiences.
David Bennett had three transformative experiences; in 1983 he drowned and had a NDE while the Chief Engineer of the ocean research vessel Aloha. He experienced an STE in 1994 when he was the Manager of Dialysis Programs at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, NY. The third experience occurred November 2000, when David was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer that metastasized into his spine causing its collapse. Now in remission and retired David’s passion includes working with experiencers and cancer survivors integrate their STEs along with writing his memoirs.
Paul Bernstein, PhD
Dr. Bernstein served on the Board of Directors of the International Association for Near-Death Studies and was Editor-in-Chief of that organization’s quarterly periodical Vital Signs www.iands.org/vital_signs/vs_articles/. He was Research Associate at Harvard psychiatrist John Mack’s Center for Psychology and Social Change, and currently is co-director of the Clinical Manual on Extraordinary Experiences produced by the Paris-based Institute for Research on Extraordinary Experiences (www.inrees.com/en/index.php).
Dr. Bernstein has personally explored spiritually transformative experiences through meditation, training in mediumship, the Findhorn spiritual community, est, the Silva program, yoga, Tai Chi, transpersonal psychology, and dolphin-interaction programs.
His publications include “Intuition” (in the book Endophysics, Time, Quantum, and the Subjective),“Life’s Three Stages: Infancy, Ego, and Transcendence” (in the Journal of the International Association of Spiritual Psychiatry), and ”Physicist Uses NDEs to Clarify the Nature of Time” (in Vital Signs). He received degrees in the natural and social sciences from Stanford and the University of Michigan, and taught at the University of California (Irvine) and Boston College. With other scientists his ongoing work is to help expand science’s understanding of the relationships between consciousness and matter; between ‘subjective’ experience and ‘objective’ events.
Rev. Beverly Brodsky
Beverly Brodsky’s near-death experience ( NDE), which happened 40 years ago, revealed everything that currently matters in her life…and the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) gave her a voice to end 18 years of silence. Her account is the concluding one in Dr. Kenneth Ring’s book Lessons from the Light (2006 -paperback reprint), as the most complete in his collection. She is also featured in Arvin Gibson’s They Saw Beyond Death (2006), PMH Atwater’s The New Children and Near-Death Experiences (2003), Kevin Williams’ Nothing Better than Death (2002) and also Atwater’s Children of the New Millenium (1999). She has run support and education groups for near-death and similar experiences on both coasts for 20 years. She was President of Delaware Valley Near-Death Studies and a founding Board member of the American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE).
A Vassar graduate, retired Federal analyst, near-death and other extraordinary experience researcher, Science of Mind and Spirit minister, and acclaimed international speaker, Beverly is fascinated by the overwhelming evidence for the survival of consciousness after death. She was profiled in McCall’s; the BBC documentary The Human Body; did the first NDE program on Israeli public radio and Chinese Satellite television, as well as four other films, numerous live and internet appearances. She has been featured in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Women for the past four years, as well as in Who’s Who in the World. She is working on her first book.
Nancy Evans Bush, MA
President Emerita of the International Association for Near-Death Studies, Nancy Evans Bush has been studying near-death experiences since 1982. She did the first study of experiences in children, was co-investigator and author of the breakthrough 1992 study of distressing NDEs, published in Psychiatry; and has presented subsequent work in journal articles and conferences. She wrote the chapter about these experiences for The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation (2009, Praeger) and has presented on them widely. A near-death experiencer herself, she is committed to discovering as much as can be known about these events, especially those that are distressing, and finding ways to help experiencers come to terms with them. A former teacher of junior high school English, medical school research associate, and business writer, she holds a BA in English from the University at Albany – SUNY and a master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry from St. Joseph College in Connecticut.
Pauline DeLozier, PhD
Dr. DeLozier is a clinical psychologist and marriage and family therapist with 35 years of clinical experience. Her adult, adolescent, child and family practice has included work in medical offices, schools and both general and psychiatric hospitals.
She holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles; is a summa cum laude graduate of California State University and is the recipient of numerous academic and professional honors, including California State Graduate Fellowships. Dr. DeLozier also has over 30 years of concurrent experience and training in spiritual and alternative healing practices, including holistic approaches to mental health.
Her dedication to understanding and assisting others, from both traditional and holistic views of human nature, followed her own two near-death experiences, the first at age 11 and the second at age 29. The implications of each experience was profoundly life-changing, both personally and for her life’s work. Her experience has included membership in the International Association for Near-Death Studies and serving as co-chair of a West Coast IANDS conference.
Dr. DeLozier is an international speaker, author and consultant on attachment, separation and loss, child abuse and recovery, professional ethics, near-death studies and integrative mental health. In addition, she has engaged in international professional studies and training in psychology in Europe, Russia, Canada and China. Her current work includes writing, speaking, seminars and consultation regarding changing consciousness and how these profound changes impact our lives both individually and collectively.
Dr. DeLozier has spent two specific years of training in cultural diversity. Her background also includes 14 years of management experience as Chief of Staff and Regional Department Head for major healthcare corporations.
In addition, Dr. DeLozier has served on the pro bono faculty of the University of California at San Diego Medical School and currently serves as faculty advisor for the medical school’s Holistic and Integrative Medicine Group.
Cheryl Fracasso, PhD
Cheryl Fracasso, Ph.D. holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Saybrook University, a Masters degree from Walden University, and a Bachelors degree from the University of Washington. She serves as Coordinator for Eternea (www.eternea.org) which is a new organization formed by NDE pioneer John Audette and Eben Alexander. She also serves as Faculty at University of Phoenix, and is an Editorial/Advisory Board Member for the NeuroQuantology journal, and Associate Managing Editor for the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, and served as Research Assistant for Stanley Krippner for four years during her time at Saybrook. She has published two continuing education training modules for psychologists with HealthForumOnline with co-author Harris Friedman in the fields of near-death experiences and energy medicine, and several articles in the field of near-death experiences. Her interests are in the fields of near-death experiences, spiritually transformative experiences, energy medicine, humanistic, existential, and transpersonal psychology, as well as electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
Bruce Greyson, MD
Bruce Greyson, M.D., was one of the founders of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS), and served for many years on the Board of Directors, as IANDS’ President, Director of Research, and for 25 years, Editor of the Journal of Near-Death Studies. Bruce graduated from Cornell University with a major in psychology, received his medical degree from the SUNY Upstate Medical College, and completed his psychiatric residency at the University of Virginia. He practiced and taught psychiatry at the University of Michigan and the University of Connecticut, where he was Clinical Chief of Psychiatry, before returning to the University of Virginia 15 years ago, where he is now the Chester F. Carlson Professor of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences and Director of the Division of Perceptual Studies.
Bruce’s near-death research for the past three decades has focused on the aftereffects of spiritual experiences, and has resulted in more than 70 presentations to national and international scientific conferences, more than 100 publications in academic medical and psychological journals, and several research grants and awards. He is the co-author of Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century (2007), and co-editor of The Near-Death Experience: Problems, Prospects, Perspectives (1984) and of The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation (2009).
Janice Miner Holden, EdD
After earning her doctorate in counselor education in 1988, Jan Holden came from Illinois to join the counseling program faculty at the University of North Texas in Denton, just north of Dallas/Fort Worth, where she now is professor of counseling and chair of the Department of Counseling and Higher Education. Her primary specialization is the transpersonal perspective in counseling, which addresses the counseling implications of experiences that transcend the usual limits of space and/or time, and their associated developmental potential. In particular, she has researched near-death experiences (NDEs), with over 30 journal articles, chapters, and presentations on the topic. Since 2000, Jan has served six years on the Board of Directors of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS), three of those years as the Association’s President; first-authored Near-Death Experiences: Index to the Periodical Literature through 2005, anonline research tool available at the IANDS web site; authored Near-Death Experiences, Part 1: Recognizing a Pleasurable Near-Death Experience, an online continuing education program available at the IANDS Website; lead-edited The Handbook of Near-Death Experience: Thirty Years of Investigation (2009, Praeger), in which leading researchers in the field of near-death studies provided comprehensive, critical reviews of all NDE-related research through 2005; and serves currently as the editor of the Journal of Near-Death Studies. Jan leads a monthly support and interest group in Lewisville, a suburb north of Dallas, for people who have had near-death and/or other transpersonal experiences or who have personal or professional interest in such experiences. Jan is a Texas Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor, Texas Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and National Certified Counselor.
Ron Jones, MA, PhD
Dr. Jones is an Ordained Transpersonal Counselor who set up and directed a number of service organizations over his career, that continue to provide community support, including a yoga meditation center in San Jose, California, and the Transpersonal Counseling Center at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California, where he also taught. Other programs include the Suicide and Crisis Service and the 24 hour Emergency Services (co-director of latter), both of Santa Clara County in San Jose, California. He served as a Program Coordinator for nearly 10 years at De Anza College in Cupertino California, where he now resides. Dr. Jones has been on the yoga meditation path for 40 years and has offered Transpersonal Counseling, Jungian oriented dream work, dream seminars, and spiritually oriented weekend workshops over those years. He also taught meditation for 16 years at West Valley College in the San Jose area. Other service includes training members of the Russian and Georgian business communities in mediation techniques as well as helping to developing an environmental impact report for both the Bureau of Reclamation and the California Public Utilities Commission.
Dr. Jones is currently writing a book comparing the experience of the Light of Consciousness in both meditation and near death experiences. He is a member of IANDS and a contributor to the NDE Space network. He is working on a workshop series entitled As The Self. He lives in Cupertino, California with his wife, a Psychotherapist and NDE survivor, and his cat Mika.
Stanley Krippner, Ph.D
Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Saybrook University, San Francisco, is a Fellow in four American Psychological Association (APA) divisions, and past-president of two divisions. Formerly, he was director of the Kent State University Child Study Center, Kent OH, and the Maimonides Medical Center Dream Research Laboratory, Brooklyn NY. He is co-author of Extraordinary Dreams, Personal Mythology, Dream Telepathy, and Haunted by Combat: Understanding PTSD in War Veterans, and co-editor of Healing Tales, Healing Stories, Mysterious Minds, Debating Psychic Experience, The Psychological Impact of War on Civilians: An International Perspective, and Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence. He received the APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Development of Psychology in 2002, the Society for Psychological Hypnosis Award for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Hypnosis in 2002, the Ashley Montagu Peace Award in 2003, and lifetime achievement awards from the Association for the Study of Dreams and the Parapsychological Association. He also holds Fellow status in several additional organizations including, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.
Jeffrey Long, MD
Jeffrey Long, MD is a physician practicing the specialty of radiation oncology, which is the use of radiation to treat cancer, at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at TGMC. Dr. Long completed medical school and did his radiation oncology training at the University of Iowa. His position immediately prior to his current position was in Gallup, New Mexico where he practiced radiation oncology and also worked extensively, both professionally and in public service, with the Navajo Nation. Dr. Long moved to Houma, Louisiana in 2009.
In addition to Dr. Long’s professional interests, he has an interesting hobby. Over 10 years ago he began studying near-death experiences. He published his research findings in the book Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences. This book became a New York Times bestseller. Dr. Long has discussed near-death experiences extensively with the media in the past, including appearances on ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings, NBC Morning Show, The O’Reilly Factor, Discovery Health, and The Learning Channel. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and Time.com. His website devoted to near-death experiences is the Near Death Experience Research Foundation (www.nderf.org).This website has over 300,000 pages read each month.
David Lukoff, PhD
Dr. David Lukoff is a Professor of Psychology at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, co-president of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology, and a licensed psychologist in California. He is author of 80 articles and chapters on spiritual issues and mental health, co-author of the DSM-IV category Religious or Spiritual Problem, and an active workshop presenter internationally providing training for psychologists in spiritual competency, loss and grief, death and illness, spiritual problems and emergencies.
Judith Miller, PhD
Judith Miller Ph.D., a professor of developmental psychology at Columbia University, has spent her life and career bridging the two worlds of mainstream psychology and spirituality. Judith has provided clinical supervision to hundreds of psychotherapists and graduate psychology students. She has consistently received the “Outstanding Teacher” award at Columbia in response to her course “Spiritual Development Across the Lifespan.”
In the last decade, Judith has conducted her own clinical research with several hundred psychotic individuals residing at public mental health residential facilities. Results have shown that patients dramatically improve when they are assisted in integrating the spiritual meaning of their hallucinations and delusions. These findings have enabled her to both question the legitimacy of psychiatric diagnoses and to also provide training to therapists employed at numerous psychiatric facilities across the U.S. and in Europe.
More than twenty years ago, Judith began to have spontaneous mystical experiences that ultimately led to experiences of Christ Consciousness. There was nothing in her background that prepared her for these experiences: she was a traditionally trained psychologist working clinically with persons diagnosed psychotic and schizophrenic, an agnostic, and a Jew. A search for an explanation led to her discovery that all spiritual traditions have the same mystical roots and meaning. She has utilized this understanding for her own personal process and for the psycho-spiritual processes of her clients and students.
Since this time, she has been personally exploring and professionally investigating spiritual consciousness, as well as teaching and clinically working with many hundreds of people who travel a spiritual path. For the last eleven years, she and Dr.Ingo Jahrsetz have been conducting Holotropic Breathwork retreats, working together with children and grandchildren of Nazis and Jews, who continue to suffer guilt, shame, and rage some sixty years after the Holocaust of World War II. Together, they are now co-facilitating a 3-year transpersonal psychology training program for an international group of therapists in Germany.
Judith’s first book Direct Connection: Transformation of Consciousness, which documents her own spiritual path of discovery, won a finalist award in the 2001 Independent Publisher Book Awards. Additionally, in the book Barefoot on Holy Ground: Twelve Lessons in Spiritual Craftsmanship, Judith was on a list of 12 modern-day “disciples” who exemplify the ripening of spiritual inquiry in the 21st century. She is also certified as a transpersonal psychotherapist by Eurotas (European Transpersonal Association). She has been on the national Board of Directors of IANDS, the Kundalini Research Network, as well as TRIS, a non-profit community mental health center comprised of a population of individuals with serious mental illness. She currently is completing her second book called Spiritual Homecoming: Finding “The Way”.
Jen Moores, MA, PhD
Jen Moores, MA, PhD, serves as a fellow for the California Mental Health Services Act-California School of Professional Psychology. This fellow award was bestowed upon her based on her work with spirituality and psychotherapy. Dr. Moores conducts research on “Childhood Near-Death Experiences and Psychotherapy.” Age 8, Dr. Moores had a near-death experience while in a coma during hospitalization for an intestinal virus.
Other research interests include researching the efficacy of sandtray and spirituality utilized with pediatric oncology patients as a mind-body complimentary approach for relieving depression. In addition, to research, Dr. Moores is an adjunct professor for Alliant International University where she teaches Social Psychology online to graduate students in China.
Dr. Moores has a PhD in Child Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology Program at Alliant International University. Dr. Moores has a master’s degree from Texas State University in Professional Counseling and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Texas A & M University.
Before becoming a psychologist, Dr. Moores was a master’s level therapist in Texas working with women and children who experienced physical and sexual abuse. Dr. Moores specializes with conducting psychological evaluations, designing treatment plans, and facilitating child and family therapy sessions utilizing spirit based interventions, Jungian and attachments theories. Dr. Moores is committed to working with children and their families to assist psychological integration and enhancement of spiritually transformative experiences.
Kenneth Ring, PhD
Kenneth Ring, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Connecticut (though he currently resides in northern California).He is the co-founder and past President of The International Association of Near-Death Studies (IANDS), and the author of five books on the subject of near-death experiences, including Heading Toward Omega and Lessons from the Light. He has also lectured internationally for many years on this and other topics and has appeared on many radio and television programs in connection with his work.
Charles T. Tart, PhD
Charles T. Tart, Ph.D., Executive Faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UC Davis and Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, is internationally known for his research with altered states of consciousness, transpersonal psychology, and parapsychology. His books include two that have been called classics, viz., Altered States of Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychologies, as well as 11 others dealing with states of consciousness, marijuana intoxication and parapsychology. His 1986 Waking Up: Overcoming the Obstacles to Human Potential synthesized Buddhist and Sufi mindfulness training ideas transmitted by G. I. Gurdjieff with modern psychology, as did Living the Mindful Life and his most recent book, Mind Science: Meditation Training for Practical People (2000), further exploring the possibilities of awakening. His new The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal is Bringing Science and Spirit Together was published in the Spring of 2009.
He has been a student of Aikido, Buddhist meditation, Gurdjieff’s work and of other psychological and spiritual growth disciplines. His primary goals are to build bridges between the scientific and spiritual communities and to help bring about a refinement and integration of Western and Eastern approaches to personal and social growth. Full information is available at www.paradigm-sys.com/cttart/.
V. Quinton Wacks, PhD
V. Quinton Wacks is Professor and Program Director of Psychology at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN. He is trained as a counseling psychologist and teaches from a transpersonal and integral orientation. He also holds a doctorate in adult and continuing education and a graduate certificate in gerontology. His teaching, clinical, and research interests include late life spirituality, integration of psycho-spiritual content into the undergraduate psychology curriculum, life after death, and applied integral theory. He has taught courses in life after death, soul making, and spiritual practice for adult and senior education in various educational venues including the Institute of Noetic Sciences. He just served as guest editor of a special issue of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology on “transpersonal gerontology” and his article, The Elder as Sage, Old Age as Spiritual Path: Towards a Transpersonal Gerontology served as the lead article. At age 21 he had a powerful spiritual awakening experience and has been guided by its teachings and subsequent experiences since.
Barbara Harris Whitfield, RT, CMT
Barbara Harris Whitfield’s post-operative near-death experience (NDE) in 1975 transformed her from a materially-oriented housewife and mother into a spiritual crusader. She went back to college to become a healthcare professional, studied NDE aftereffects with Bruce Greyson in the 1980s, became the first woman elected to the IANDS Board of Directors (including a term on the executive board), co-founded one of the longest-running Friends of IANDS support groups, embraced the “Child Within” model of spiritual development and applied it to NDErs, taught college courses in psychospiritual recovery from trauma and addiction, and published five books, numerous articles and chapters in other books on spiritual growth. She is a faculty member of the Center for Sacred Studies where she and Dr. Whitfield teach a module on Unity in Practice to graduating two year students becoming ordained Ministers of Prayer.
Barbara was a prime subject in Kenneth Ring’s Heading Toward Omega. He wrote about her again in Lessons From the Light. Her most recent offering, The Natural Soul, pulls together her life’s work into an insightful and practical guide to living from our Soul rather than our ego. This book is not about an instantaneous spiritual transformation that occurred when Whitfield awoke from her NDE 35 years ago. It is rather about a gradual accumulation of insights, a spiritual journey that was initiated, in her case, by the NDE, but which evolved over decades. Barbara is a board member and past president of the Kundalini Research Network. She is in private practice with Charles Whitfield MD in Atlanta Georgia. They assist adults in individual and group psychotherapy that were repeatedly traumatized as children and others who are having trouble with living. They also counsel spiritual seekers. To learn more go to www.barbarawhitfield.com.
Charles L. Whitfield, MD
Charles L. Whitfield, MD, is a pioneer in addictions and in trauma recovery, including the way we remember childhood and other trauma and abuse. A physician and frontline therapist who assists trauma survivors in their healing, he is the author of over sixty published articles and ten books, several of which are best sellers. He writes on trauma psychology, spirituality and recovery. Healing the Child Within and Boundaries and Relationships are classics in the field. Five of his books have been translated and published in eleven foreign languages. His latest book is Choosing God: A Birds eye View of A Course in Miracles (Muse House Press, June, 2010.)
Dr. Whitfield was one of the first physicians to teach about spirituality in recovery in a medical school setting. Since 1995 he has been voted by his peers as being one of the best doctors in America. For over twenty-three years he has taught at Rutgers University’s Institute on Alcohol and Drug Studies. He recently was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Atlanta Therapeutic Professional Community.
He is a consultant and research collaborator at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 1998 examining the aftereffects for adults that were repeatedly traumatized as children. He is a fellow of The American Society for Addiction Medicine.
He has a private practice in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife, Barbara, where they provide individual and group therapy for trauma survivors and people with addictions and other problems in living.
Melissa Wolf, MA, LPCC, NBCCH, LMT
Melissa A. Wolf has followed a life path of exploration and service directed by her pre-birth memory. She has acted as spokesperson for community action and environmental groups, has been responsible for the development of nurturing educational and spiritual environments for children. While raising her sons, she served her community as a licensed medical massage therapist and cranial sacral therapist. Through her years in bodywork, Melissa became fascinated with the body/mind connection and was honored by the privilege to witness in her therapy sessions what she came to define as “sacred space”. It was in this sacred space that Melissa observed miracles that helped her integrate her own spiritual experiences and information from her pre-birth memory.
The continued evolution of Melissa’s work required that she become licensed as a behavioral health therapist so she returned to school at 48 years old and earned her Masters degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Somatic Psychology. Her thesis was published through Prescott College in 2008 under the title Healing the Wound of Separation from Oneness. Melissa works at a non-profit community guidance center in Santa Fe, NM, as an ACT (assertive community treatment) therapist, serving adult clients struggling with basic survival needs who have become disenfranchised due to debilitating symptoms of severe mental illness.
Melissa is currently working towards certification in EEG Neurofeedback to assist others in obtaining enhanced communication between mind (consciousness) and body. In addition, Melissa practices HeartMath techniques as a means to living the One consciousness she experienced in her pre-birth memory. Since Melissa came into this life with full memory of what many refer to as heaven (but she simply calls “home) she has considerable experience with the developmental challenges of growing up with the memory and awareness of who we really are, working through the deep pain of “homesickness” for that spiritual life, as well as the passionate journey to discover one’s “life purpose.” Consequently, she is particularly drawn to child experiencers, but finds common ground with all spiritually transformative experiences. Melissa is committed to assisting others in both identifying and integrating the gifts from those experiences into their daily lives.