Mind/Body Healing and Wellness


Program Overview

This program is a 13-credit hour Advanced Certificate available to students and working professionals interested in gaining knowledge and skills related to mind/body healing and wellness.

According to the National Institute of Health (2010), mind/body approaches to healing and wellness are gaining in popularity in the U.S. and research supports their efficacy in treating a number of psychological and physical health issues that are not easily treated by mainstream medicine. However, there are few training programs available that teach practitioners about these powerful modalities to healing and wellness. 

The program is designed for masters and doctoral students from counseling, psychology, marriage and family therapy, and nursing; as well as existing health providers who are seeking to deepen their clinical practice, including hospital social workers, behavioral health specialists, mental health counselors, psychologists, nurses, physicians, physical therapists, and massage therapists.   

Program goals include:
  • Examining research that has explored relationships between the mind and body in health and wellness.
  • Gaining awareness of theories that explain complex connections between the mind and the body, including connections to psychophysiologic disorders and chronic pain.
  • Developing skills to discuss mind/body interventions with patients and to sensitively provide referrals to mind/body practitioners when appropriate.
  • Learning to integrate mind/body interventions that are appropriate for their respective health care settings.

This advanced certificate program does not lead to licensure or prepare students for the practice of any profession in NYS.  It is designed to give professionals additional insight and tools to promote mind/body healing and wellness. (See additional information in FAQ below.)

young counselor with a group of students

  • A bachelor’s degree.
Key Program Features:
  • Collaborative: Program offered in partnership with faculty from the Marriage and Family Therapy Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
  • Flexible: This may be taken as a stand-alone program or be built into a degree program with minimal extra credits, expanding your area of expertise. Start the program any semester and go at your own pace.
  • Build into your degree: This advanced certificate can be built into a degree program with minimal extra credits, expanding your area of expertise.
Frequently Asked Questions
The terms “Mind/Body” can be used to describe a wide array of approaches.  Are there particular mind/body interventions the program will focus on?

Training will include an introduction to a number of mind/body approaches used in healthcare, including Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral approaches.  However, the program will focus most intensively on teaching students a combination of psychoeducation that helps clients retrain the way their brains interpret pain signals and emotion-focused work that allows clients to experience and express powerful emotions. Students interested in the program are advised to explore work by John Sarno, Howard Schubiner, and Alan Abbass to assess the extent to which these ideas align with their own understandings of mind/body interventions.  

Does an Advanced Certificate provide a certification or license?

This advanced certificate program does not lead to licensure or prepare students for the practice of any profession in NYS. There is no practice exemption for students in this program and only students who currently hold a NYS license in an appropriate field or are concurrently enrolled in an appropriate licensure qualifying program may complete restricted activities. For PSI 401, only appropriately licensed professionals or students concurrently enrolled in appropriate licensure qualifying programs may enroll in the course.

Can current Warner Students add this certificate to their programs?

Yes, any student, in consultation with their advisor, can choose to add this certificate to their program.

How much of the program is focused on psychotherapy?

Students who work in health care professions who do not have a background or training in psychotherapy will learn how to integrate mind/body approaches into their roles as helpers, but not actual therapy.  Such learning will include research and theory that has explored mind/body approaches to healing and wellness, how to identify the multiple ways in which somatoform disorders can manifest, how to identify patients who may benefit from mind/body approaches, and how to skillfully present mind/body options and referrals to their patients.  Health care providers will also learn how to assess the potential for self-harm in clients and how to effectively refer them to mental health services.
counselor and client in conversation

Will students with a counseling or therapy background be qualified to provide mind/body psychotherapy interventions after completing the program? 

Students will be informed that the certificate provides only an introduction to using mind/body approaches such as mindfulness, CBT, and Emotion-focused therapy to address chronic pain and other physical conditions. Those seeking to integrate these modalities into their practices will be encouraged to seek additional training and supervision after completing the certificate. 

Can the credits be transferred into a degree program?

Yes, some courses can be used as electives in existing programs in counseling and marriage and family therapy. Four of the courses can be transferred into the Ed.D. program in counseling and human development.  Emotion-focused therapy currently fulfills the “psychological processes in Human Development” elective, and the other three courses can be used as part of their 36 credits of transfer credit or as electives in their program.

I’ve already taken some of the required courses. Can I transfer these courses into the program?

Yes, anyone who has already taken any of the courses in the program can transfer those credits into the program, thus reducing the required number of courses needed to complete the advanced certificate.


An Accessible, Supportive Faculty of Researchers and Accomplished Practitioners.

Doug Guiffrida thumbnail imageDoug Guiffrida, PhD
Professor, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, and Director of the Advanced Certificate Program in Mind/Body Healing and Wellness
LeChase Hall 318
(585) 275-3964


Making it Affordable to Make Warner Possible.

Many of our students benefit from merit-based scholarships that significantly decrease tuition costs.

Contact admissions for more information about merit-based scholarships.

Are You a UR Employee? Inquire about your tuition benefits. If eligible, up to 95% of your tuition costs can be covered depending on your position. Contact the UR benefits office at

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Meliora means 'Ever Better.' To our graduates, it means making a world of difference.

  • "Not only did this course draw on Professor Guiffrida

    "Not only did this course draw on Professor Guiffrida's own dynamic research agenda and clinical experience in mind-body counseling, but it also introduced students to seminal texts and guest speakers who are local, national, and international leaders in the field. This all made for an impressive diversity of perspectives and expertise that provided me with a grounding in the mind-body connection that was far-reaching, detailed, and fascinating to explore. As a counselor, this course enabled me to implement cutting-edge treatment options when working with clients experiencing chronic pain and somatoform disorders, and I have seen for myself the rapid and sizeable clinical impact that such approaches can have." Oliver Boxell, Ph.D. (Cognitive Science), Warner School Ph.D. student in Mental Health Counseling.

  • “I originally decided to take this course to enhance my future program of research a

    “I originally decided to take this course to enhance my future program of research as a PhD student, as my interests are in non-pharmacologic interventions for symptom management. In addition, I have also been suffering from chronic pain for nearly 10 years, and I was hoping to learn some ways to deal with or reduce my own pain. Well, this class has literally been LIFE CHANGING for me! Most of my own pain is now GONE, and I have so many tools at my disposal now to be able to help others who are also suffering unnecessarily.” Maxine Fearrington, RN-BC, MS; URMC School of Nursing Ph.D. student

  • “Mind/Body Approaches to Healing Chronic Pain has deepened my awareness of how the b

    “Mind/Body Approaches to Healing Chronic Pain has deepened my awareness of how the brain (CNS) can create and maintain pain signals (neural pathway pain) in the absence of peripheral structural pathology in the body. Dr. Guiffrida uses a very clear and direct approach to teach how our life stressors, emotions, relationships and prior trauma cause psychogenic (mind/body) pain. Research and treatment modalities are presented in a manner that can improve the skill set of novice counselors and health care professionals, as well as those with many years of experience in their respective fields.” Jay Nittoli, Ed.D, LCSW-R, Therapist in Private Practice

Contact Admissions

The admissions team looks forward to assisting you as you explore graduate education at the Warner School. Please feel free to use the form below to contact us with any questions. You can also email us at or call (585) 275-3950.

Application Deadlines

The next application deadline is March 01, 2023. View all  Admissions Deadlines.

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