Specialization Lead: Richard Sherman, Ph.D.
Psychophysiology is the branch of psychology centering on the physiological bases of human psychological processes. It is the study of the biological bases of behavior among humans. Applied psychophysiology is the subspecialty of psychophysiology which uses knowledge of the biological bases of various behaviors in conjunction with various psychological techniques to help people optimize their behaviors. Applied psychophysiologists are psychologists who develop and use psychological interventions based on such areas as behavioral genetics, hormonal influence on behavior, individual differences in perception, and abnormal physiological patterns to assist clients to recognize and alter problems caused by these biological underpinnings. Common psychophysiological intervention techniques include biofeedback, relaxation training, entrainment, hypnosis, and many others.
Applied psychophysiology focuses on the amelioration/treatment and prevention of disease, as well as creation of optimal functioning patterns in education, sports, and business through teaching people techniques for recognizing and correcting abnormal physiological levels of function and responses. Our clinical concentration or practice focuses on the amelioration / treatment and prevention of disease through teaching people techniques for recognizing and correcting abnormal physiological levels of function and responses. Our non-clinical concentration focuses on teaching clients to function optimally in such environments as the work place, sports, and school. The field has a long history of making major contributions to education and healthcare in both treatment and prevention arenas. For instance, relaxation techniques are widely recognized as being effective in both the treatment and prevention of headaches.
Residential Requirements and Content Delivery
This specialization is designed to be offered mainly via distance education supported by three required residential training sessions per year. The distance courses are typically provided through pre-recorded audiovisual lectures available through the online learning platform and student - teacher web conferences after each lecture. Many of the courses include “laboratory or hands-on” training that take place (a) at Saybrook’s Residential Conferences (RCs); (b) during the annual meetings of the Association for Applied Psychophysiology (AAPB) which meets once per year in various parts of the United States (this is the field’s professional organization); and (c) about seven hours of real-time mentoring via the web.
Prerequisites for M.A. in Psychology; Specialization in Psychophysiology:
Everyone entering the specialization must fulfill the following prerequisites:
(a) Certification in Basic Life Support (CPR)
(b) The equivalent of an undergraduate course in general biology
(c) The equivalent of an undergraduate course in general psychology
Students accepted into the program who lack any of these prerequisites must complete the CPR Certification and successfully complete those portions of PH 500 Psychophysiology Pro-seminar corresponding to the required prerequisite(s) during the first semester. Each portion of the pro-seminar is charged at a rate of one credit but credits completed during the pro-seminar do not count toward the specialization.