Faculty Training in Mind-Body Medicine

silhouette of woman in meditation pose with a night sky full of starts in the background

Educating for enhanced self-awareness and self-care

Originating at Georgetown University School of Medicine, this experiential program provides faculty at health professional schools with the training, tools, and strategic thinking necessary to implement the course in Mind-Body Medicine Skills at their institutions. 

During a three-day weekend retreat on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, participants will be introduced to meditation, guided imagery, biofeedback, breathing techniques, and other mind-body approaches that can alleviate stress and foster self-awareness and self-care. Participants will experience the power of these approaches first-hand while learning how to lead Mind-Body Medicine Groups for students and residents.

The intensive program includes seven group sessions, several individual activities, short didactic presentations, and daily yoga. Participants are provided with all course materials and guidance to enable them to launch similar programs in their institutions

Led by Adi Haramati, PhD, and Nancy Harazduk, MEd, MSW, the program is modeled on the format they’ve used to train more than 130 faculty at Georgetown University School of Medicine and over 100 faculty from other institutions. The intent is to develop mentoring relationships with each program participant, so faculty members may become agents for lasting change in their own institutions.

Tuition includes course materials, three nights’ lodging, three health-conscious gourmet meals daily, access to workout facilities, pool, and more than 80 acres of gardens and trails.

For registration information, please contact info@thenovainstituteforhealth.org.

Facilitators/Course Directors

Nancy Harazduk, MED, MSW

Nancy Harazduk is the Associate Professor, Director of the Mind-Body Medicine Program, and Ombudsperson to Medical Students at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. To integrate Mind-Body Medicine into curricula of the medical school and law school, she directs and teaches Mind-Body Medicine courses for medical students, law students, physiology master’s students, and the faculty of Georgetown University School of Medicine and Georgetown Law Center.

As presenter, facilitator and supervisor, Ms. Harazduk has trained over 800 healthcare professionals in Mind-Body Medicine. She has developed and led Mind-Body Medicine groups for people with cancer, depression, chronic illness, and severe stress. She has done extensive work with chronically and terminally ill people at the National Institutes of Health and in hospice. She also travels to the Middle East to teach Mind-Body Medicine skills to participants of the Middle East Cancer Consortium. In addition, she leads Mind-Body Medicine retreats for anesthesia residents and the faculty of Stanford University School of Medicine.

Ms. Harazduk graduated from Lehman College in the Bronx, New York, with a Master’s degree in Education. She later earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from Catholic University in Washington, DC. Ms. Harazduk has completed post-graduate training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction with Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD; the Healer’s Art Professional Training course with Rachel Naomi Remen, MD; and the Clinical Training Program in Mind-Body Medicine with Herbert Benson, MD. She is certified in Interactive Guided Imagery by the Academy of Guided Imagery, Mill Valley, California.

Aviad “Adi” Haramati, PHD 

Aviad “Adi” Haramati is Professor of Physiology and Medicine and co-director of the Graduate Program in Complementary and Alternative Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine, with research interests in renal and electrolyte physiology. Currently, his activities are more centered on medical education and rethinking how health professionals are trained. In 2013, he was named the founding director of the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Education (CENTILE) at Georgetown.

Dr. Haramati has taught medical and graduate students for over 35 years and received institutional and national awards for his teaching. He served on the Physiology Test Development Committee (USMLE Step 1) for the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Dr. Haramati is the past Vice-Chair of the Academic Consortium of Integrative  Medicine and Health and has chaired the Organizing Committee for the 2012 and  2014 International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health, and the Planning Committee for the 2012 International Congress for Educators in Complementary and Integrative Medicine. He also convened the 2015 CENTILE Conference to Promote Resilience, Empathy and Well-being in the Health Professions.

His interests in integrative medicine focus on the use of Mind-Body Medicine Skills for stress management and in health professions education.

Dr. Haramati was principal investigator of a five-year NIH grant that supported a broad educational initiative to incorporate CAM and integrative medicine into the four-year medical curriculum at Georgetown. He co-leads the faculty training program in Mind-Body Medicine with Nancy Harazduk at Georgetown University and at The Institute for Integrative Health.

Developing safety, persistence, trust

Healing is facilitated through safety, persistence, and trust.

  • Persistence: “People did not simply progress through this sequence and experience healing. The healing journey was a recursive, back and forth process. They found helpers, used the skills/resources that those helpers provided, found other helpers that provided more resources and used those skills and resources. As this process continued, people experienced a gradual amelioration of their suffering. Although many despaired at times, all demonstrated the quality of persistence—they refused to give up.”
  • Safety & Trust: “To connect to helpers, it was essential for people to feel safe in those relationships and able to trust that the person would be a helper and not a barrier to healing. Persons whose wounds included a violation of trust were especially careful about testing the safety of new relationships.”

Acquiring Resources

Resources support us as we heal. They include reframing, responsibility, and positivity. “Making connections enabled participants to acquire and refine resources and skills that were essential in their healing journey. People also brought their own personal strengths to the journey.”

  • Reframing: “A particularly important skill was the ability to reframe—that is to look at suffering through a different lens.” This does NOT mean minimizing trauma or pain, but rather it often means the opposite: understanding what happened was wrong, unfair, or uncontrollable and that we are not to blame for it.
    • “I think I kept trying to convince him I was crazy. And he kept saying, ‘No, you’re not crazy.’ […] You wouldn’t necessarily say a Vietnam Vet was crazy. You’d say they are responding like you’d expect to extraordinary circumstances.”
    • “I’m not the only one who have [sic] this problem. A lots, millions of people, you know. […] They don’t have nothing to do with that. I guess I have to live.”
  • Responsibility: While we don’t have control over what happened to us, we are the only ones who can help ourselves heal. “A third essential resource that people acquired or refined was the ability to take an appropriate amount of responsibility for their healing journeys. They participated actively in the process of healing. Once again, some participants already had developed this skill, and some acquired or refined it from their helpers.”
    “You need a lot of energy and a lot of work … it takes a lot of work. It doesn’t just happen. It’s not like a magic wand.” This patient understood that they had to actively participate in the healing process.
  • Positivity: “Another resource that people acquired or refined during their healing journey was choose to be positive—that is to have some optimism about their situation.” People have varying predispositions to positivity. In the study, positivity was important in helping people heal. This doesn’t mean a toxic positivity, but rather simply finding some good in life and feeling hopeful about our situations.

Helping Relationships

“Connection to others was an essential part of all the healing journeys.” Humans are social creatures, and even the most introverted of us need close relationships. Friends and family add meaning and value to life and help support us, in good times and bad. When we experience relational trauma, relationships can feel scary, but reestablishing safety and trust in relationships is where the healing happens. (To be clear, we do not mean reestablishing safety and trust with abusers, but rather finding other healing relationships.) “When safety and trust had been established, people were able to connect with helpers. The nature of the behaviours of helpers that fostered healing ranged from small acts of kindness to unconditional love.”

  • “Moving from being wounded, through suffering to healing, is possible. It is facilitated by developing safe, trusting relationships and by positive reframing that moves through the weight of responsibility to the ability to respond.”
  • “Relationships with health professionals were among these but were not necessarily any more important to the healing journey than other kinds of helpers, which included family members, friends, spirituality and their God, pets, support groups, administrators, case workers and supervisors.”

Healing

Healing probably means different things to different people, but one definition that emerged from the study is: “The re-establishment of a sense of integrity and wholeness.” Healing was an emergent property that resulted from each individuals’ complex healing journey, a result of bridged connections between resources and relationships. Healing, in this sense, does not mean cured—none of the study participants were cured of their ailments—”but all developed a sense of integrity and wholeness despite ongoing pain or other symptoms.” In varying degrees, “they were able to transcend their suffering and in some sense to flourish.” When we begin to heal, we find increased capacity for hope, renewed motivation to help others, and are more able to accept ourselves as we are.

Suffering

Suffering is the ongoing pain from wounding. There is debate about whether or not one actually needs to experience suffering on the path to healing.

Wounding

Wounding happens when we experience physical or emotional harm. It can stem from chronic illness or by physical or psychological trauma for which we do not have the tools to cope, or a combination of those factors. “The degree and quality of suffering experienced by each individual is framed by contextual factors that include personal characteristics, timing of their initial or ongoing wounding in the developmental life cycle and prior and current relationships.”