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    Saybrook University
  Aug 18, 2018
2017-2018 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
2017-2018 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Mind-Body Medicine, Specialization in Integrative Wellness Coaching, Ph.D.

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Augmenting Personal Healthcare with Evidence-Based Guidance

This specialization is oriented around the fundamental coaching competencies and skills recognized by professional credentialing organizations.   Drawing from contemporary research and applied practices in coaching, lifestyle medicine, and mind-body approaches, students learn how to integrate evidence-based approaches to enhance health-related outcomes in people suffering from chronic illness.  Educated and trained as a wellness practitioner and certified coach, graduates are prepared to pursue careers in private practice, health care settings, corporate and educational institutions.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing the PhD Degree in Mind-Body Medicine will be able to:

1. Evaluate methodologies and/or conduct independent research to investigate contemporary issues in lifestyle and wellness.

2. Explain the influence of biopsychosocial factors on general health and wellbeing and the implications for individuals, organizations, and/or communities.

3. Interpret the values, ethical principles, and practice standards that are paramount for multidisciplinary practitioners and researchers.

4. Assess and synthesize evidence, theories, and informed practices/interventions in integrative medicine.

5. Apply published research and critical thinking skills in academic papers, presentations, and/or communications.

6. Develop reflective practices and/or model adaptive skills in integrative healthcare and wellness.

7. Demonstrate multicultural competencies and diversity awareness, and support health equity and social justice in healthcare systems.


By completing the required coursework in this specialization, students also complete the Certificate in Integrative Wellness Coaching.  The Certificate in Integrative Wellness Coaching is approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF) for 88 hours of coach training and is also an Approved Transition Program by the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaches (ICHWC). 

Students selecting the PhD specialization in Integrative Wellness Coaching will complete 18 credits in coursework.

Specialization Credits: (Years 1-4) 18


Degree Requirements for the 2017-2018 Academic Year approved by the CIMHS Degree Program Committee.


  • The degree completion time for a student following the default course sequence will average between 4 ½ and 5 ½ years. Some students may complete degree requirements in fewer terms and some may require more terms to complete the degree.
  • A listing of acceptable CIMHS courses and electives is available in the Saybrook catalog. Students may also choose an elective from the required courses in other specializations.
  • This is a structured cohort program and the sequence of courses is different for students who start in the fall than for students who start in the spring.
  • As part of the 5593 Advanced Practicum course, students will complete a practical examination on coaching competencies.  It is possible to pass the course requirements; however, passing the examination is the final requirement to earn the certification. 

Learning and Career Outcomes

The PhD specialization in Integrative Wellness Coaching combines the learning objectives of the PhD in Mind-Body Medicine with the advanced mastery of practical competencies and science-based knowledge in coaching and health promotion.

The PhD specialization in Integrative Wellness Coaching is ideal for individuals wishing to engage in graduate education in coaching and health promotion, employment in organizational environments providing health and wellness coaching, education, and consulting.  Graduates of the PhD specialization in Integrative Wellness Coaching program will be prepared to work in:

  • Private practice coaching and healthcare clinics
  • College and university teaching in coaching, health education, and wellness promotion
  • Community and public health clinics and community-oriented primary care
  • Independent consulting and practice
  • Medical spas, yoga and wellness centers
  • Sports medicine and corporate wellness programs
  • Health and wellness writing/journalism (non-technical, technical)

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