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Fellow, The Parkmore Institute.
Doctoral Project: “Understanding Schizophrenia: Towards a Unified Biological and Psychodynamic
To be published in Psychoanalytic Social Work, in press (May2019).
As is well known, the field of psychiatry has, in the past four decades, become increasingly biological in its theoretical and practical orientation. Many of us, who value psychodynamic and humanistic approaches to mental disturbances, have become dismayed by the ways in which neuroscience has become idealized often driven by the profitability of the psychopharmacological industry. All too often, it seems that the patient, as an existential and spiritual entity, has become overlooked in the course of these developments. In this context, it is refreshing that a dedicated mental health practitioner, with his skill and expertise as a psychotherapist, should bring his thinking to bear on the ways that biological and psychodynamic approaches could and indeed should be integrated in relation to a diagnosis that involves so much human suffering, namely schizophrenia. Dr. Ruffalo has committed himself, as an advocate for psychodynamic therapy, to the teaching and supervision of other professionals, notably trainees in psychiatry. His Doctoral Project, which is soon to be published in a PEP-Web journal, presents his thinking on this topic and is a significant contribution to the sizeable literature on schizophrenia. His paper is an important and very readable piece of work that will be of great interest to every mental health practitioner who sees patients diagnosed as schizophrenic. Dr. Ruffalo’s Faculty Mentor for this project was Dr. Jerry Piven, and the Board of Directors offers both of them its congratulations.
Fellow, The Parkmore Institute.
Doctoral Project: “My Innovative Journey as a Therapist and Teacher of Mindfulness and Somatic Psychotherapy: The Development of the ‘HEART’ Approach to Human Relationships.”
It is an honour for the Parkmore Institute that Dr. Halko Weiss, one of the most internationally eminent teachers of body psychotherapy today, chose to seek recognition for his life’s work by submitting his Doctoral Project, which details his professional journey and his extensive, innovative and invaluable accomplishments in the field of mindfulness and body psychotherapy. Dr. Weiss came from the humanistic tradition of psychotherapy and was one of the first students of Ron Kurtz, the founder of the distinctive method of bodycentered psychotherapy that came to be known worldwide as Hakomi. Dr. Weiss’ contributions to this field have been nothing less that Herculean. Originally trained as a Clinical Psychologist, he has subsequently taught worldwide with many of his therapy students going on to become renowned teachers of body psychotherapy and mindfulness. Dr. Weiss has written extensively in German and English; for example, coediting not only the influential 2015 English edition of the Handbook of Body Psychotherapy and Somatic Psychology (North Atlantic Books), but also in the same year the seminal text, Hakomi MindfulnessCentered Somatic Psychotherapy: A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice (Norton). He was cofounder of the Hakomi Institute in Colorado, and since then has gone on to develop the ‘HEART’ program. I can guarantee that those who read his Doctoral Project will find it an inspiring document as well as a provocative testimony to a great healer, who has devoted his life’s generosity to his craft.
The Parkmore Institute has offices in South Africa (Johannesburg, Gauteng) and the USA (Wilmington, Delaware). However, it is currently expanding and welcomes applications from prospective students, as well as potential Faculty and Fellows, from all parts of the world.