Bonnie Bernstein, MFT, BC-DMT, REAT, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Dance/Movement Therapist and Expressive Arts Therapist mentored by pioneer dance therapist Blanche Evan from 1970-82. For over 45 years she has worked primarily in in-depth, insight-oriented dance/movement/word therapy for the higher functioning client. She specializes in therapy for survivors of sexual trauma and has published in this area. Since 2008, she has facilitated month-long workshops for survivors of sex trafficking and psychosocial trauma in Kolkata, India. Her lifelong research is on the therapeutic use of dance in indigenous world cultures. She is an adjunct professor at JFK University and is Director of “Live Is Movement” Dance/Movement Therapy Institute: In The Methods Of Blanche Evan. Ms. Bernstein has a private practice in Palo Alto, CA


  • Movement Seminar
  • Dance/Movement Therapy: Theory and Practice

Selected Publications

Bernstein, B. (1995). Dancing beyond trauma. In F.Levy (Ed.), Dance & other expressive art therapies: When words are not enough, (pp. 41-58). N.Y.: Routledge Press.

Bernstein, B. (2013). Treating survivors of trauma in the global community. In Maller, D. and Fritchele, M. (Eds.), The Praeger Handbook of Community Mental Health (pp.109-126). California: Praeger Press.

Bernstein, B. (2009). From survivor to healers: Dance/movement therapy and expressive arts therapy in Kolkata India. In IEATA Newsletter Edition #1 of 2009, pp.4-7.

Bernstein, B. (2018). Dance/movement therapy with elders: Dance for health and healing. In Maller, D. and Langsam K. (Eds.), The Praeger Handbook of Community Mental Health, (pp. 86-92). California: Praeger Press.

Credentials & Accolades

College of Psychology

Brian Alexander


Brian Alexander is a certified mental performance consultant with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). Prior to pursuing a career as a mental performance coach, Brian competed with Team USA in the sport of water polo for eight years through four FINA world championships as well as an Olympic alternate for the 2008 and 2012 Olympic teams. His experience as an elite level athlete paired with his educational training in the psychology of human performance has shaped his desire to help athletes and other performers. His work helps clients develop key psychological skills to assist them in developing the awareness and resilience needed to become successful in their performance domain.

Brian has coached and served the psychological performance needs of athletes at the Olympic, national, professional, collegiate, high school and junior/youth levels of sport and performance. His experiences as an Olympic level athlete paired with education in sport psychology and vocational training in business leadership development have shaped his ability to advise and consult with clients of all ages and at all levels.

Brian’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Master of Arts in Sport Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. He has also studied organizational leadership under the mentorship of well-known leadership guru, Dr. Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager and co-creator of Situational Leadership, as well as a number of other professionals at The Ken Blanchard Companies.

Brian resides in San Diego, CA and enjoys spending time with his family and at the beach during his spare time. He is still an avid competitor at the master’s level of international water polo with The Olympic Club of San Francisco.


  • Counseling Skills A

Credentials & Accolades

BA, Psychology, UC Santa Barbara

MA, Sport Psychology, John F. Kennedy University

College of Psychology

Lauren Gogarty


Lauren Gogarty, MA is adjunct faculty in the College of Psychology and the Academic Certificate in Trauma Studies at John F. Kennedy University (JFKU). She received his master’s degree in Holistic Counseling Psychology, with an emphasis on Buddhist Psychology, from JFKU in 2013. Outside of teaching she is clinical director for the Harambee Arts Nepal, an expressive arts therapy program for survivors of human trafficking in Kathmandu. Her private practice has a focus on survivors of sexual assault and human trafficking in the US, as well as a general practice working with the LGBTQ community.

Credentials & Accolades

MA in Counseling Psychology, Holistic Studies at John F. Kennedy University

College of Psychology

Stephan Martin


Steve is an astronomer, educator, and author who has taught astronomy, physics, and consciousness studies at colleges, universities, and learning centers across the US for over twenty-five years. He has worked as a data analyst for the Hubble Space Telescope and as Observatory Supervisor at Williams College, where he participated in scientific research expeditions around the world to study the dynamics of the solar corona during solar eclipses. He also served as core faculty in the Consciousness, Healing and Ecology program at New College of California.

While attending the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program at CIIS, his longstanding interest in the cross-fertilization of science and spirituality led him to write his first book Cosmic Conversations, a collection of interviews on the nature of the universe with leading-edge thinkers from diverse disciplines. His curiosity and academic interests continue to include: investigations of dark matter in galaxies and multidisciplinary and revelatory approaches to exploring the universe. He is currently co-director of the continuing care program at the Center for Spiritual Emergence in Asheville, NC where he assists clients in living more conscious lives from an expansive perspective.


  • Cosmology and Consciousness

Selected Publications

Cosmic Conversations: Dialogues on the Nature of the Universe and the Search for Reality. Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Page Books, 2009.

Modern Cosmology and Indigenous Wisdom, Shaman’s Drum Journal, 78 (2008).

Credentials & Accolades

BA Physics and Astronomy, Colgate University

MS Physics (Astronomy), University of Wyoming


Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi is a Buddhist nun, activist and popular Buddhist retreat leader and teacher. She loves bridging the worlds of Buddhist thought, current events, and the latest research in the field of positive psychology. As well as being passionate about her spiritual practice, she also cares deeply about prison reform, animal rights, social justice and bringing an end to systemic forms of oppression.

Venerable Tenzin first became interested in meditation after reading Be Here Now and Autobiography of a Yogi in the early 1970s. She describes her spiritual path over the next 20 years as “meandering and haphazard” until she bought a one-way ticket to India in early 1991 with the intention of meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In the end, she became a student not only of His Holiness, but also of Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche and Lama Zopa Rinpoche during the year she spent studying at Tushita Meditation Centre in Dharamsala, India and Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal.

After returning to the US, Venerable Tenzin worked at various positions within Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s organization, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). She was director of Vajrapani Institute, co-director the FPMT International Office, and coordinator of FPMT Center Services. She also completed several long meditation retreats over a six-year period.

Venerable Tenzin took preliminary ordination vows with Lama Zopa Rinpoche in 2003 and novice ordination in 2004 with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Since 2006 she has been teaching at various FPMT centers around the world, in North and South America, India, Nepal, Australia, and New Zealand. She is also a visiting teacher for the Liberation Prison Project and has taught in prisons in the US, Colombia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Venerable Tenzin is authorized by the FPMT to teach at both the foundational and in-depth levels, and to lead long retreats. She is also a teacher of the a.r.t. of Fulfillment, one of the secular programs of the Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom, and in October 2018 will be completing the teacher training for Compassion Cultivation Training, a program developed by Geshe Thubten Jinpa and colleagues at Stanford University. In addition, she is certified teacher of Cultivating Emotional Balance, a secular program using contemplative techniques drawn from Buddhism for managing emotions, developed by Alan Wallace and Paul Ekman at His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s request.

In August 2018 she began a year-long training in a prison program developed by Insight-Out called G.R.I.P (Guiding Rage Into Power) at Avenal State Prison. She loves interfaith collaboration and is a volunteer for the Interfaith Speakers Bureau of the Islamic Networks Group.

After many years touring and teaching all over the world, in March of 2013, she became resident teacher at Gendun Drubpa Centre in central British Columbia. In December of 2015, she returned to Vajrapani Institute in California as resident teacher, and in August 2018 she moved to Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel, a beautiful center in the redwood forest close to the Monterey Bay.


  • HSJ5100.3 Engaged Buddhism and Social Change

Credentials & Accolades

FPMT registered teacher, authorized to teach foundational and in-depth programs, lead retreats, and give refuge, and have certificates of completion for the FPMT’s Discovering Buddhism program and Basic Program

Cultivating Emotional Balance registered teacher, and co-teach this program as a full-time retreat every year at Vajrapani Institute with Eve Ekman and Ryan Redman

The a.r.t. of Fulfillment registered teacher, a new secular program developed by the Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom, a project of the FPMT

Training as a teacher for Compassion Cultivation Training, a secular program developed by Stanford University’s medical school

Graduated from the Asian Classics Institute, having completed all eighteen courses of this program

Complete two traditional three-year meditation retreats, between March 2000 and July 2006

Ordained as a Buddhist nun by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in July 2004

Volunteer as a speaker for the Interfaith Speakers Bureau of the Islamic Networks Group in San Jose, CA, an organization that provides both Muslim and interfaith speakers for schools, business, and community events

Co-founder of the Women’s Spirituality Gathering, a project of the Canadian Mental Health Association of Williams Lake, British Columbia

Member of Board of Directors of Liberation Prison Project, 2010-2013, Dharamsala Animal Rescue, 2009-2012, and the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, 1995-1999

College of Psychology

Sonia Cristina Hart Suárez


Sonia’s research focuses on interdisciplinary methodologies, psychopathology, and psychological knowledge production about Afro-indigenous Latinx populations. Her ethnography and textual/linguistic analyses look at “”cultural concepts of distress”” (CCDs), such as Ataque de Nervios. She documents gendered anti-Black and anti-Indigenous stereotypes carried within the literature on CCDs and related topics. Her work formulates a cross-disciplinary archive of race, gender, science, and psychopathology to reveal how concepts of brujería (Spanish for ‘magic’, or often, ‘witchcraft’) and other examples of non-Western knowledge become pathologized in the existing research and training literature. Sonia also does educational work in the community about the gut-brain connection as a grassroots antidote to the pathologizing stereotypes of “nerves” or “nervios.”

Sonia is a Hellman Foundation fellow for her work on race and gender in biomedical systems of psychopathology. She teaches Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods at JFKU and is completing her PhD at UC Berkeley in the department of Ethnic Studies. Sonia has published research in ethnic studies, social, organizational, and clinical psychology, and studied Counseling Psychology at the doctoral level. She completed her Bachelor of Science at Northwestern University, not terribly far from her hometown of Cicero, Illinois.


  • HCP 5054 Research Methods

College of Psychology

Sage Williams


Through the use of mindfulness and holistic interventions in building, transforming and healing communities of color, my background is in mental health casework and advocacy. I am currently devoted to bringing awareness and providing therapy for people of color who experience severe systemic oppression through integral psychology, somatic psychology, research and education.


  • Cross Cultural Issues in Psychology

Credentials & Accolades

MFT in Holistic Counseling Psychology, John F. Kennedy University

Cultural Responsiveness Committee- Chair

College of Law

Robert E. Valdez, J.D.


Pursuing my desire to teach rather than practice law, I developed the courses Computer Applications in Law Practice I and II at San Francisco State University (including obtaining software certifications), taught Legal Research & Writing at San Francisco City College, Legal and Internet-based Research at West Valley College in Saratoga, the courses Legal Research, Civil Litigation I and finally Legal Technology at John F. Kennedy University (JFKU), at both the Pleasant Hill and San Jose campuses.

Currently, I’m continuing my love of teaching as an adjunct faculty member at West Valley College, Saratoga and John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, California.


  • PLS3002 Legal Research

Credentials & Accolades

Doctor of Jurisprudence, Golden Gate University School of Law

Witkin Award for Academic Excellence, Witkin Legal Institute

Certificate in Paralegal Studies, San Francisco State University

Bachelor of Arts, Social Science with Criminal Justice Minor, San Francisco State University

College of Psychology

Phillip Post, PhD

  • Online_Small Online


Phillip Post, Ph.D., CMPC, is an adjunct professor at JFKU and is an associate professor at New Mexico State University (NMSU). He teaches courses in sport and exercise psychology, motor learning, and motor development. Dr. Post is the director of the motor behavior and human performance lab at NMSU, where he examines essential mental skills and motor components associated with effective motor learning and sport performance. He has over 15 research publications examining the effects of imagery and autonomy on motor learning and sport performance. Dr. Post has over 1000 hours of applied sport psychology experience working with professional and collegiate athletes.

Selected Publications

Post, P. G., Young, G., & Simpson, D. (2018). The effects of a PETTLEP imagery intervention on learners’ coincident anticipation timing performance. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 30, 204-221.

Vangen, R., Post, P.G., Simpson, D., & Cremades, G. (2017). Brain wave activity differences in task complexity and perspective during imagery. Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity, 12.

Fairbrother, J. T., Post, P. G., & Whalen, S. J. (2016). Self-reported responses to player profile questions show consistency with the use of complex attentional strategies by expert horseshoe pitchers. Frontiers in Frontiers in Movement Science and Sport Psychology, 7, Article 1028.

Post, P. G., Aiken, C. A., Laughlin, D. D., & Fairbrother, J. T. (2016). Self-control over combined video feedback and modeling facilitates motor learning. Human Movement Science, 47, 49-59.

Post, P. G., Williams, C. D.*, Simpson, D., & Berning, J. M. (2015). The effects of a PETTLEP imagery intervention on the learning of a complex motor skill, Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity, 10.

Post, P. G., Simpson, D., Young, G., & Parker, J.* (2014). A phenomenological investigation of divers’ lived experience of imagery. Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity, 9.

Post, P. G., Fairbrother, J. T., Barros, J. A., Kulpa, J.* (2014). Self-controlled practice within a fixed time period facilitates the learning of a basketball set shot. Journal of Motor Learning and Development, 2, 9-15.

Simpson, D., Post, P. G., Jensen, P. & Young, G. (2014). “It’s not about taking the easy road”: The experience of ultramarathon runners. The Sport Psychologist, 28, 176-185.

Simpson, D., Post, P. G., & Tashman, L. S. (2013). Adventure racing: The experience of participants in the everglades challenge. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 1-16.

Aiken, C. A., Fairbrother, J. T., & Post, P. G. (2012). The effects of self-controlled video feedback on the learning of the basketball set shot. Frontiers in Frontiers in Movement Science and Sport Psychology, 3, Article 338.

Post, P. G., Muncie, S., & Simpson, D. (2012). The effects of imagery training on swimming performance: An applied investigation. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 24, 323-337.

Post, P. G., & Wrisberg, C. A. (2012) A phenomenological investigation of gymnasts’ lived experience of imagery. The Sport Psychologist, 26, 98-121.

Post, P. G., Barros, J. A., & Wrisberg, C. A. (2011). Evidence of non-compliance with instructions in attentional focus research. Brazilian Journal of Motor Behavior, 6, 1-6.

Post, P. G., Fairbrother, J. T., & Barros, J. A. (2011). Self-controlled amount of practice benefits the learning of a motor skill. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 82, 474-481.

Post, P. G., Wrisberg, C. A., & Mullins, S. (2010). A field test of the influence of pre-game imagery on basketball free throw shooting. Journal of Imagery Research in Sport and Physical Activity, 5.

Credentials & Accolades

Ph.D., Exercise and Sport Sciences, The University of Tennessee, May 2010.
Emphasis: Sport Psychology
Dissertation: A phenomenological investigation of gymnasts lived experiences of imagery. Advisor: Dr. Craig A. Wrisberg

M.S., Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, June 2005.
Emphasis: Sport Psychology
Thesis: The effects of mastery imagery and balance training on balance and mobility among older adults. Advisor: Dr. Debbie Rose

B.A., Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz, June 2002.
Thesis: Attentional and emotional patterns in conversations of introverted and
extroverted friends. Advisor: Dr. Avril Thorn



Helping others overcome their performance challenges and tap into their maximum potential is Dr. Michelle’s passion, mission, and promise.

In her own private practice as an elite performance expert, she helps top athletes, musicians, and executives in competitive fields unlock the power of the mind and create the mental toughness to be the best. Having struggled most of her life with her own performance hurdles, she is driven by not wanting others to experience the same battles. Dr. Michelle’s extensive academic background, which includes a PhD in Clinical Psychology and a Masters in Sport Psychology, allows her to help clients deal with performance anxiety, gain more confidence, and build resilience. As many clients attest, their experience with Dr. Michelle is exactly what they needed and more than they expected – it was life changing.

In addition to personal coaching, Dr. Michelle takes on many roles – a best-selling author, athlete, and teacher. Dr. Michelle’s bestseller line, Beating the Demons, helps clients develop practical skills to gain more control over competitive environments and mitigate the interruption in play to overcome intense odds and defeat adversity. She has been involved in many different sports and understands the stress and demands to perform at the top. As a 15-year USAT Coach, she developed simple and effective tools to mentally train her athletes, and they are used by coaches, teachers and leaders around the world. She is a professor at John F. Kennedy University where she teaches her students to use the mind as an ally to improve performance.


  • Counseling Skills A & B
  • Exercise Psychology
  • Remote Consulting
  • Assessment
  • Group Supervision
  • Healthy Psychology

Credentials & Accolades

PhD, Clinical Psychology, Center for Psychological Studies, 2008

MA, Sports Psychology, John F. Kennedy University, 2002