Mark Fromm, Professor in the MA in Integral Counseling Psychology at CIIS Mark Fromm

Integral Counseling Psychology & Clinical Psychology
School of Professional Psychology and Health (SPPH)

PhD, University of Colorado; MA, State University of New York at Plattsburgh

BA, Carnegie-Mellon University

Mark Fromm, PhD, has been a licensed psychologist in private practice working with individuals, couples, and families in Oakland and San Francisco since 1986. He received his MA in Counseling Psychology from State University of New York at Plattsburgh and his PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has been on the Adjunct Faculty at a variety of masters and doctoral psychology and counseling programs, including the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now Sofia University), the Wright Institute, the Center For Psychological Studies, Rosebridge Graduate School, California School of Professional Psychology, and others. He was an Adjunct Faculty member in the ICP department at CIIS for many years before joining the Core Faculty in 2011. Mark has taught a variety of graduate courses, including The Clinical Relationship, Couples Counseling, Human Development, Professional Ethics and Family Law, Family Therapy, and Group Psychotherapy.

Mark served as Expert Consultant to the California Board of Psychology around legal and ethical issues for many years, and worked for the Board of Behavioral Sciences in a similar capacity. He has offered continuing education courses for licensed professionals in such areas as Law and Ethics, Child Abuse Assessment and Treatment, and Psychotherapy With Male Clients. He has been published in Psychology Today Magazine, was Vice-President of, and was Executive Director there of Ask Our Therapist, one of the first major mental health online information and support services. Mark has served as a guest psychologist on KQED-FM on several occasions, and has been interviewed on KRON-TV and for the San Francisco Chronicle. He has been an editor and columnist on the arts and cultural issues for a number of publications over many years, including the Colorado Daily, the Pacific Sun, and others. He continues to be interested in the use of media and technology to provide psychological and educational services to the community. Most recently, Mark has been studying and practicing theatre improvisation, weaving it into classroom activities from time to time to enhance the learning process.

Mark was born in Queens, New York and grew up in the New York area in a world of bagels, Broadway, books, and baseball (sometimes Yankees, sometimes Mets). After gaining his undergraduate degree at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he gradually inched his way west to Colorado for his PhD before heading for California on graduation day. Perhaps he will retire in Hawaii.

Although he always had an inherent sense of the mystery and wonder of the universe, his spiritual curiosity was formally piqued through reading books by Alan Watts and attending talks by Ram Dass. This gradually flowered into the pursuit of Vipassana and Shamatha meditation practices, and then joining the Ridhwan School and studying the Diamond Approach with A.H. Almaas over the past twenty-plus years. Mark has utilized these and other approaches to develop presence, awareness, openness, and other capacities which he has found to be essential to the effective practice of psychotherapy. His view of psychotherapy as a service to the larger community as well as individuals has drawn him to teaching and writing about the challenging, exciting, and vital intersection of diversity, unity, and mystery.

The core of Mark's psychotherapeutic orientation may be described as psychodynamic and humanistic with a central spiritual foundation, but he has developed and teaches a multimodal, integrative model of psychological assessment and treatment which weaves together cognitive, behavioral, somatic, relational, sociocultural, ecopsychological, existential, and other dimensions of living experience. He introduces this model, among many others, to help students better understand the maturation process in Human Development and the art and science of treatment planning in Psychopathology. As a systemic and spiritual approach, it is also well-suited to his therapy work with couples and families as well as individuals.

In addition to spirituality, the other thread which has run through Mark's professional and personal interests has been that of creativity. He has written and lectured about psychotherapy as a creative process, which, though it utilizes understandings from science and research, has many of the same considerations and challenges of any other art form. This view of psychotherapy leads Mark to teach in a way which regards every student as a unique artist engaged in discovering and cultivating her and his own "therapeutic instrument." This instrument will not be exactly like anyone else's, as it is an expression and maturation of that student's own being. Supporting that process in collaboration with students is one of the joys of Mark's life.


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