Core Degree and Requirements
Applied Psychophysiology is the sub-specialty of psychophysiology which uses knowledge of the biological bases of various behaviors in conjunction with numerous psychological techniques to help people moderate illness-related symptoms and optimize their behavior in the sports, educational, and business environments.
Applied Psychophysiologists are professionals who develop and use behavioral assessments and interventions based on such areas as behavioral genetics, hormonal influence on behavior, individual differences in perception, and abnormal physiological patterns. They assist clients in recognizing and altering problems caused by these biological underpinnings. Common psychophysiological intervention techniques include biofeedback, relaxation training, hypnosis, neurofeedback, and stress management among others.
The Department of Psychophysiology, within the College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences at Saybrook University, provides a Master of Science in Psychophysiology to prepare graduates to enter doctoral programs in psychophysiology and to pursue careers in a professional practice informed by a scientific understanding of mind and body.
This master’s degree program teaches students to assess and assist (a) reasonably well functioning people to perform better through behavioral control of their physiological systems, and (b) people with ailments caused by moderate dysfunctional patterns in their physiological systems. Students in our program learn to be research-oriented professionals, who use knowledge of the biological bases of behavior to assess their clients’ behavioral and physical problems and then correct them through physiologically-oriented behavioral interventions. The degree takes 2 - 3 years to complete including the completion of a research based thesis. Students attend three in-person meetings each year they are enrolled in the program. Each is about five days long. Two of the meetings are Saybrook University-based residential conferences and one is the annual meeting of the field’s professional society The Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback.
The 37 credit masters of science in psychophysiology degree is intended for people with undergraduate degrees who need basic skills in psychophysiology and associated areas in order to either (a) become proficient in the basics of psychophysiology to enter fields such as optimal functioning, or (b) transition into Saybrook’s applied psychophysiology doctoral program. Typical required and elective courses include Foundations of Psychophysiology; Psychophysiological Recording, Assessment and Intervention; Basic Hypnosis; Optimal Functioning; Basic Biofeedback; Basic Neurofeedback; Psychophysiological Research; and Basic Bioscience. Students cannot take courses given in the doctoral program except as required courses or those fulfilling the elective requirement.