Sharon LoBy Sharon Lo, Ph.D., (@DrSharonLo), pictured at top right, and Bonnie Essner, Ph.D. (@BonnieEssner), pictured at bottom right

Once thought of as an “alternative” approach, techniques and practices such as meditation and mindfulness have been popularized in mainstream Western society. With the COVID-19 outbreak, meditation and mindfulness have consistently been offered as a primary recommendation to manage the slew of stressors amidst the pandemic. The Complementary and Integrative Medicine (CIM) SIG is dedicated to advancing the evidence-base of CIM modalities in pediatric populations, promoting networking and collaboration among pediatric psychologists and providers of medical care using or evaluating CIM practices, and to support the training of pediatric psychology students pursuing CIM experiences.

Bonnie Essner

We’re excited to share the most recent updates on the CIM SIG and its offerings. Please get in touch with the co-chairs (emails below) if you wish to contribute, collaborate, or learn more about the following:

  1. Racial Justice, Healing, and Empowerment – The cultivation of the breath is critical to CIM practices, and a form of our human dignity. For too long has this right been stripped from Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. Our upcoming Fall 2020 Newsletter will feature discussing how racism operates in the field of CIM, westernization of practices like mindfulness and yoga, representation (or lack thereof) of BIPOC participants in CIM research, and reflections on our role in racial trauma and healing.
  1. Professional Development Opportunities – Within our membership, we have representatives who are leaders in professional societies dedicated to the training and dissemination of evidence-based CIM practices such as the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback and the National Pediatric Hypnosis Training Institute. We hope to bridge more communication across these organizations to inform trainees and professionals about opportunities for funding and training. Some of these offerings can be found on our existing website.
  1. Virtual CIM SIG Meeting – Our team is preparing for a virtual SIG meeting in late August/early September that will feature discussing how COVID has impacted CIM interventions delivered via telehealth for patients and how clinicians and researchers in pediatric psychology have been adapting to ensure efficacy of CIM practices in these contexts.
  1. Twitter – We’re new to the Twitter sphere but are seeking more ways to increase membership and disseminate research featuring CIM interventions in pediatric populations. If you’re interested in helping us develop this account and/or engage in other social media platforms to spread the word about evidence-based CIM practices, please contact the co-chairs! In the meantime, follow us @SPP_CIMSIG for updates!
  1. Student Representative Election – Our wonderful student representatives, Melissa Engel, MA  (Clinical Psychology PhD Student at Emory University) and Megan Schaefer, MS (Clinical Psychology PhD Student at Auburn University) have come to the end of their term. We’ll be holding an election for our next student representatives. Self-nominations are encouraged and welcome.

If you are interested in joining the CIM SIG, getting involved as a student representative, or want to voice additional considerations for future directions, please email Co-Chairs of CIM: Sharon Lo, Ph.D. or Bonnie Essner, Ph.D. for more information. We’d love to hear from you.