Course Offerings | Spirituality Mind Body Summer Institute | Counseling & Clinical Psychology

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Spirituality Mind Body, Masters Degree Program

SMBI Concentration Course Offerings

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Teachers College offers an SMB Concentration, a coursework concentration, within the Masters of Arts Degree Program in Psychology in Education. Upon completion, students will receive an SMB Certificate of Completion along with the MA Degree in Psychology in Education. The MA Degree Program resides within the Department of Counseling & Clinical Psychology.

The SMB Concentration is at the forefront of SMBI’s pioneering mission: individual inner work for collective outer change. The coursework and programming have been designed to foster academic exploration of spirituality in order to graduate an international community of inspiring thought leaders, mind-body healers, spiritual activists, and visionaries.

Greater Nature Course Offerings

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Our Greater Nature course offerings provide a unique pedagogical model as a “crossroads" for spiritual leaders and thinkers from around the globe. Students are invited on an inner journey via exposure to a very broad range of spiritual perspectives on our greater nature. In these offerings, we prioritize experiential learning, interfaced with science, insights from world traditions, and profession building drawn from diverse spiritual expressions and practices. 
Understanding the Animal-Human Bond
Instructor: Dr. Lisa Miller
Course Description:
Equine Therapy and PTSD
Instructor: Dr. Lisa Miller

Course Description:

The guidance, wisdom, and companionship of animals is well understood in history and literature, supporting the bedrock of animal communication, relationships and connection. Recently, within the past few decades, a body of research shows age-old relationship both in treatment and education. However, treatment and education have yet to fully realize the wave of innovation focusing on pedagogical experiences, with direct work of animals. Innovative practitioners open a new era based on science and direct experiences. This class is intended for people of service, to include activists, emerging psychotherapists, healers and teachers.

Practicum Series Course Offerings

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SMBI Wellness Center Practicum
Instructor: Dr. Traci Stein

Course Description:

SMBI is a practicum site for TC students to develop their method of a spiritually-based wellness practice. The SMBI Wellness Center offers weekly spiritually oriented groups using diverse modalities such as yoga, contemplative practices, and other forms of inner or bodily work under supervision. This course will concentrate on the development of a multi-week offering inspired by the interest/skillset of the student (e.g., self-compassion for stress reduction). The SMBI Wellness Center offers a unique and exciting opportunity to contribute to the growth of TC’s community of students, faculty and staff. Students will participate in a wide range of activities that support a successful spiritually-oriented workshop: literature review and rationale for workshop, general marketing, participant recruitment, weekly group process notes and supervision, and data collection. Students will liaise between the wellness center’s Clinical Training Director, Wellness Center Coordinator, Supervision Instructors, Research Study Directors, and relevant TC Staff (e.g. Title IX coordinator, Office of Diversity).


Schools With Spirit Practicum: Cultivating The Social, Emotional And Inner Lives of Teachers And Students
Instructor: Linda Lantieri

Course Description:

Is it possible for public schools to nurture the hearts and spirits of children and teachers without violating the beliefs of families of the separation of church and state? Many courage educators are beginning to acknowledge that cultivating the inner lives of children can become a regular part of a child’s school experience. Using principles derived from modern brain research and various wisdom traditions, this course will explore how the adults in children’s lives can cultivate the habits of mind, body and spirit it will take to integrate contemplative teaching and learning and social and emotional learning into the culture, climate, and curriculum of the k-12 school experience. This course will explore how we can approach spirituality in education in an open and non-dogmatic way that deepens each of our inner experience as well as the children we serve.


Spirituality & Entrepreneurship Practicum
Instructor: Jack McGourty

Course Description:

This online class explores social venture creation through the cognitive and spiritual pillars of virtue, mindfulness, and knowledge. In order to solve today's major global and social challenges, we must create new business and social venture models that not only solve targeted problems but do so in a sustainable and responsible manner. Throughout the course, students will integrate the venture creation process with cognitive-behavioral elements leading to sustainable and holistic ecosystem development. Students explore these topics by working on a self-selected social venture project, resulting in an actionable venture model and plan.


Spirituality & Optimal Well-Being Practicum
Instructor: Dan Tomasulo

Course Description:

Aristotle called it eudaimonia, Navajo philosophy called it Hozho, modern-day researchers call it human flourishing. Judging whether life is worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. Psychology had previously focused on understanding the mechanics of negative feelings and alleviating pain. A clinical perspective of what is wrong with a client dominated the theory, research, and practice in the early years of psychology. However, not being depressed isn’t the same as being happy, and it is only recently that scientists have turned their attention to what contributes to a good life. Zest, passion, grit, flow, engagement, positivity resonance, vagal tone, oxytocin, brain coupling, mirror neurons, love, achievement, excellence, and relationship –are the emerging topics in this new discipline. In this concentration, students will learn about their own character strengths and virtues, experiment with positive interventions, examine evidence-based intentional activities, sample and study spiritual practices and beliefs, and consider how these findings and experiences inform our personal and professional life. To integrate understanding students will conclude by producing a capstone reflecting the intersection of their interests with the principles of positive psychology.

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