Advising For Current Students | Spirituality Mind Body Summer Institute | Counseling & Clinical Psychology

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Spirituality Mind Body Summer Institute

Advising for Current Students

SUMMER 2017 DATES ANNOUNCED: June 19 - July 7, 2017 in person

SUMMER 2018 DATES ANNOUNCED: June 18 - July 6, 2018 in person

SMBI places advisement at the center of its curriculum offerings as a way to orient students through their tenure in the program. Students are encouraged to meet at least once (or more!) with their Advanced Student Advisors to work out the finer details of their class registration and course selection. These students have an intimate understanding of the “nuts and bolts” requirements of SMBI and TC at large as well as first-hand experience with particular teachers and classes, etc. It is recommended to meet with your advisors before registration and graduation deadlines.

The once per semester meeting with Dr. Athan will serve as a guidepost to review and plan longer-term goals. Students are expected to come prepared with their portfolios and deeper reflections on their personal and professional growth. Sign up here:

In addition, a twice per semester meeting (preferably at the start and end of each semester) with one’s assigned Small Group is REQUIRED. This creates group cohesion, opportunities for peer-mentorship, and collaboration. Small groups will ideally be centered on like-minded projects and interests. 

1. Once per semester 1⁄2 hour session with Dr. Aurelie Athan
2. Once per semester check-in with Advanced Student Advisors 
3. Twice per semester 1 hour meeting with assigned Small Group



Aurélie  Athan, Ph.D.

Aurélie Athan, Ph.D.

Training Director, SMBI Wellness Center

Aurélie Athan is a Full-Time Lecturer in the Department of Clinical Psychology and the Training Director of LEO, the SMBI Wellness Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her scholarly interests center on spiritual development across the lifespan, with a current emphasis on the transition to motherhood. Her clinical orientation is informed by depth perspectives such as Jungian psychology with a focus on the creative expression of the human psyche in art and therapy. She has been honored to work with the Archives for Research on Archetypal Symbolism on a 10-year effort culminating in  The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Symbolism (Taschen). As an administrator in higher education, she applies a strength-based and transformational learning framework to foster the flourishing of students through innovative curriculum design and academic guidance.



Ladan   Afrasiabi

Ladan Afrasiabi

Joining the SMBI creates countless possibilities to engage and contribute across multiple academic disciplines and professional fields. My intention is to collaborate with you on identifying the opportunities that align best with your own unique interests. To that end, advisement holds a larger meaning beyond navigating the program; it also includes a place for meaningful reflection to visualize the path that inspires you the most. I look forward to meeting you and sharing in your journey.






Charles  Paccione

Charles Paccione

Charles Paccione is a contemplative neuropsychology researcher at the Department of Pain Management and Research at Oslo University Hospital in Oslo, Norway. He has conducted contemplative neuroscience research at the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and developed the Contemplative Therapy for Cancer Care program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He has published several articles in numerous neuroscience magazines and journals and has sat on various integrative medicine and narrative medicine panels throughout the country.

As your advisor, I am here to support, guide, and help you navigate your own professional and personal path as a student in spirituality, mind-body clinical and counseling psychology. My personal and professional experiences in integrative medicine and neuropsychology research may help you develop some of your own unique ideas and perspectives of what it means to develop and nurture a practical, meaningful, and spiritual approach to program development, personal development, and patient centered care. I am here to respect, acknowledge, and co-create a safe and welcoming space for you to develop your own thoughts, ideas, and opinions about how you would like to integrate your mind, body, heart, and spirit into your work while also meeting program and university requirements. I truly look forward to speaking with you.

To set up an appointment, please feel free to contact me via email at

Leigh  Winters

Leigh Winters

Leigh Winters is a researcher at Columbia University’s Spirituality Mind Body Institute and Columbia University Department of Psychiatry’s New York State Psychiatric Institute. She works in the Substance Use Research Center on opioid, cocaine, and alcohol treatment trials that involve motivational enhancement therapy, pharmacological facilitation of mindfulness training, mindfulness-based relapse prevention, and mind-body practices. Leigh is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Wise + Well.

"Whenever I hear "advisement," I immediately think of support and mentorship. The role of an advisor is to mindfully guide and inspire you on your journey to becoming the best you that you can be. When a relationship is based on trust and knowledge, the possibilities are endless."

Students can reach me at my Columbia e-mail ( and request to book a meeting at the following URL:

Yali   Szulanski

Yali  Szulanski

I am a mind-body educator; I create spaces in which people can safely explore their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health in an integrative way. My work has centered on bringing wellness practices including yoga, mindfulness, meditation, creative expression, and self-regulation into classrooms, and fitness, corporate, and nonprofit organizations. In 2012, I created The "I Am" Project- a curriculum designed to provide students with tools and techniques to relieve stress and tend to themselves in productive and healthy ways. SMBI has allowed me the space to explore my professional growth, as well as develop further collaborations with colleagues and faculty. The ability to deepen my knowledge and experience through spiritually oriented classes, workshops, and discussions has allowed me a new lens through which to pursue further endeavors. I believe in the SMBI philosophy, and have learned throughout my tenure how to explore and take advantage of the many possibilities and paths. In addition, my experience navigating the program as a new mom has given me a unique perspective on creating balance between life, work, and school. My time with SMBI has also taught me the value of mentorship and guidance, and I am honored to be able to offer this to current and prospective students.

Booking link: 

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