The Graduate Institute Blog


A Spotlight on – Ecotherapy and Cultural Sustainability

The Graduate Institute is known for innovative degree programs in emerging fields of study. One of our newest programs is the Certificate in Ecotherapy and Cultural Sustainability.

The Ecotherapy program is designed to provide the participant with a variety of activities that enhance their self-sufficiency and capacity for creating sustainable cultures. For example: woodland and essential survival skills, permaculture, animal-assisted therapies, holistic gardening, social/environmental/food justice, natural healing, and more. By accessing the balance and sustenance inherent in nature and reflected in indigenous ways of knowing, students will emerge from the program with a deeper connection to self, community, and to the larger ecosystem.

Program Coordinator, Ed O’Malley asked his students to reflect on their recent class session. Here are some of the responses:

“The presenter was speaking from his heart and personal experience, which made it all much more natural-he was not giving a lecture from theory only, he was sharing a part of his soul that is very dear to him. At least that is what I sensed.”

“The presentation reinforced my own concepts of the relationships that can be form with nature, the benefits of their interactions and the immensity of opportunities to apply its wisdom not only to children’s lives, but many of the “other” lives that merge with ours.”

“While standing in the middle of my circle, the second day after I put it together, a branch came down and gently touched my face and my head…it was the most incredible experience I ever had with not only Nature, but with “a tree” which no longer is a tree, but now is my “friend”. Truly I have no words to express the experience. I think it elevated me to some spirit level I’ve never been before. If this is what it feels to truly be with Nature, I do want more of it. I am grateful for this new friendship.”

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A Spotlight on – Learning and Thinking

The Graduate Institute is known for its work with teachers. One of the longest running programs is the MA in Learning and Thinking.

TGI now offers an accelerated program at our main campus and at other locations in Connecticut.

The Learning and Thinking program has become a favorite for teachers all over Connecticut as it is an exciting and dynamic program focused on how we create meaning. It fulfills requirements for Connecticut State Educators and it is one of the most affordable Master’s degree programs in Connecticut.

Jim Trifone, Program Coordinator, recently asked his students to reflect on their recent weekend session. Here is what they said: 

“In order to change the influence of the patterns in the brain, it is necessary to establish other emotional choices in response to experiences, to see and react to things differently through intent. By holding to these new chosen emotional responses, it is possible to change the chemical and neural patterns in the brain to support the new response patterns”.

“The power to redefine ourselves and reform our brains to match our personal, emotional and intellectual goals for growth is a profoundly important component for improving our lives both in terms of our own experiences and in terms of how we affect others”.

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The Art of Healing and the Psychology of Illness, with Dr. Bernie Siegel

Dr. Bernie Siegel

Join Dr. Bernie Siegel, renowned physician, sage, and inspirational writer, for a special day-long workshop at The Graduate Institute. This workshop is open to anyone who wishes to explore their own human potential and ways of maintaining health (psychological, emotional, spiritual, and physical) through discussion and activities designed to elicit inner wisdom and "survival behavior." 

Don't miss this opportunity to spend a day with an incredible visionary who has been described as one of the top spiritual leaders of our time! Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 from 11am-5:00pm, 171 Amity Road, Bethany CT

For tickets:

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Alderlore Field Trip

TGI’s Consciousness Studies Group spent a day with the horses!

TGI’s Consciousness Studies Group We have all heard the famous quote from Sir Winston Churchill, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”  Perhaps that is why we love horses so much.

Did you know that horses have such a highly developed sense of perception they can sense and mirror your emotional state? Researchers have even developed instruments that can measure the presence of emotional coherence between horses and humans.

Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) programs have emerged based on the bond that horses and humans share.

The EFL field has found that horses tend to mirror or reflect the human emotional experience, and that horses are effective partners for facilitating human healing, and achieving higher levels of personal growth and leadership development.

Each of us in the Consciousness Studies program chose a horse and practiced techniques of meditation and body awareness with the chosen horse. We led the horses with our intention and subtle energy. It was an amazing to see how our horses so quickly sensed our shifts in emotion and how this influenced our horse’s behavior. We all found this work enlightening and transformative. The experience of self-awareness of our emotional and sensory self and how that influenced others, in this case a horse, was a metaphor for the subtle cues found in interpersonal relationships and leadership.

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Information Session and Open House for All TGI Programs

Join us for an informational open house, where you can learn more about how you can earn a degree or certificate in less than two years!

Explore our many Master’s Programs and check out our new certificate programs.

Masters Programs:



Bethany Open House dates, at 5:00 pm:

  • September 18th
  • September 23rd
  • October 2nd
  • October 7th
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Photo Credits: Maureen Edwards.
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