Program Co-Chair, Associate Professor
School of Professional Psychology and Health (SPPH)
Integral Counseling Psychology
Sangeeta Swamy, PhD, LCMHC, MT-BC (she/they) is Associate Professor and incoming co-chair of the Integral Counseling Program at CIIS. A licensed psychotherapist, Board-Certified Music Therapist, and award-winning violinist, she has worked with children, teens, and adults for thirty years. Dr. Swamy received her Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music degree in violin performance and Suzuki pedagogy from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Arts degree from Naropa University in Transpersonal Psychology with a concentration in Music Therapy, and a PhD in Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University. She also is a Level III advanced trainee in the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music, developed by Helen Bonny (one of the first therapists in the 70s to research the use of music in psychedelic assisted therapy at the Maryland Psychiatric Institute). Dr. Swamy has also studied shamanism with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and with Jose, Lena, and Anna Stevens from the Power Path.
Working in group homes, outpatient settings, and in private practice, Dr. Swamy has led individual and group music therapy with children and adolescents through family reunification, with disrupted attachments, mood disorders, psychosis, personality disorders, anxiety disorders, learning disabilities, neglect, sexual abuse, and trauma. Through her research with Indian adults, she developed Culturally Centered Music and Imagery (CCMI), the first music therapy framework of its kind for minoritized clients to access the wisdom and power of the cultural unconscious for support, awareness, and insight. In her private practice, she currently uses CCMI with adolescents and adults to address ethnic identity conflict, acculturative stress, and negotiate intersectional identities.
As a queer, Indian-American educator, Dr. Swamy specializes in culturally responsive pedagogy, scholarship, and supervision. She has taught at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, Lesley University, and Valparaiso University, where she supervised expressive arts therapy and music therapy interns, taught core expressive arts and music therapy courses, and pioneered a culturally responsive curriculum. She has published in Music Therapy Perspectives, the New Zealand Journal of Music Therapy, and in peer reviewed chapters. She is currently the co-editor of the 2nd edition of The Handbook of Music Therapy, and guest co-editor of a special issue in Music Therapy Perspectives on social justice, both to be published in 2022. She has also lectured nationally and internationally and was keynote speaker for the New Zealand Music Therapy Association National Conference and the Institute of Therapy through the Arts National Conference.
Dr. Swamy is an experienced meditator and maintains a daily two-hour Vipassana practice in the tradition of S.N. Goenka, which she began in 1999. She also practices astanga yoga and has studied with Richard Freeman and K. Pattabhi Jois.