• Children in Gaza, where CMBM has worked during periods of conflict.

  • Founder and Director Dr. Jim Gordon teaching breathing techniques to a young man.

  • CMBM at work in the community.

  • CMBM training class in Haiti sends a warm thank you to Don deLaski.

  • Children in Gaza exercising and learning mind-body skills.

Center for Mind-Body Medicine, Haiti

Health & Well-being

CMBM aims to establish a nation-wide program of psychological self-care

The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) is dedicated to relieving population-wide stress and trauma and building healing communities around the world. It responds during and in the aftermath of natural disasters and wars by teaching essential mind-body skills to physicians and nurses, health and mental health professionals, educators, and community leaders. It then trains and supervises them as they integrate the mind-body model into national health, mental health, social welfare, and education systems.











Published research has demonstrated up to a 90% decrease in symptoms of post-traumatic stress and far greater life satisfaction for individuals practicing mind-body techniques, which helps individuals, families and communities move forward after traumatic events.

Opportunity

Since the January 12, 2010 earthquake, virtually every Haitian experienced – and in some cases is still experiencing – stress and emotional reactions that will become the basis for long-term debilitating and disabling depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

These reactions contribute in major ways to the onset of chronic illness, behavioral problems (including violence), and difficulties in performing ordinary tasks of work and learning.

The goal in Haiti is to establish, for the first time, a nation-wide program of psychological self-care and mutual help. This vision is endorsed by the Ministries of Health and Education, by the Catholic and Protestant churches, and the Voodoo Healers Association, as well as by Haiti’s medical, nursing, and midwifery schools. This will entail training more than 1,500 clinicians, educators, and religious and other community leaders who will offer the CMBM program in hospitals, clinics, schools, NGOs, churches, and voodoo peristyles throughout Haiti.

Support

The deLaski Family Foundation has provided a large portion of the funding for CMBM’s work in Haiti since 2010, enabling CMBM to:

● Teach mind-body skills to over 6,000 children & adolescents and over 5,000 adults.

● Train hundreds of key health, mental health, education, religious and community leaders in mind-body medicine for trauma healing. They, in turn, are providing mind-body skills groups, workshops, and individual and family counseling in Port-au-Prince, Carrefore, Leogane, Jacmel, Les Cayes, Hinche and Central Plateau.

● Expand CMBM’s partnerships to over one hundred organizations throughout Haiti.

● Hire a leading psychologist as Program Director in Haiti, to ensure that program goals are met.

● Develop a Leadership team of 18 to provide clinical supervision to those who have been trained.

● Begin training 15 clinical interns to provide country-wide supervision and to lead future trainings.

● Provide ongoing supervision and support to local staff, clinical leaders, and small group facilitators.


About the Founder

James S. Gordon, MD, a Harvard educated psychiatrist, is a world-renowned expert in using mind-body medicine to heal depression, anxiety, and psychological trauma. He is the Founder and Director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, a Clinical Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at Georgetown Medical School, and served as Chairman of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. He also served as the first Chair of the Program Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Alternative Medicine and is a former member of the Cancer Advisory Panel on Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the NIH.

Dr. Gordon has devoted over 40 years to the exploration and practice of mind-body medicine. After graduating Harvard Medical School, he was for 10 years a research psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health. There he developed the first national program for runaway and homeless youth, edited the first comprehensive studies of alternative and holistic medicine, directed the Special Study on Alternative Services for President Carter’s Commission on Mental Health, and created a nationwide preceptorship program for medical students.

Dr. Gordon has created ground-breaking programs of comprehensive mind-body healing for physicians, medical students, and other health professionals; for people with cancer, depression and other chronic illnesses; and for traumatized children and families in Bosnia, Kosovo, Israel and Gaza, in post-9/11 New York and post-Katrina southern Louisiana, and for U.S Military returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In areas where psychological trauma is widespread, they have created local leadership teams to fully integrate the CMBM model into the ongoing services of the entire community or nation.

Dr. Gordon’s most recent book is Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven Stage Journey Out of Depression (Penguin Press). His also the author of Comprehensive Cancer Care: Integrating Alternative, Complementary and Conventional Therapies and Manifesto for a New Medicine: Your Guide to Healing Partnerships and the Wise Use of Alternative Therapies (both Perseus Books). In addition, Dr. Gordon has written or edited 9 other books, including the award-winning Health for the Whole Person, and more than 120 articles in professional journals and general magazines and newspapers, among them the American Journal of Psychiatry, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, Journal of Traumatic Stress, Psychiatry, The American Family Physician, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. He also helped develop and write the educational materials to supplement the public television series “Healing and the Mind with Bill Moyers.”