Steven D. Hickman, Psy.D.
Executive Director, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness
Dr. Steven Hickman is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and has a joint appointment as an Associate Clinical Professor in the UCSD Departments of Psychiatry and Family and Preventive Medicine. Dr. Hickman is the Founder and Director of the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, a program of community building, clinical care, professional training and research. Since founding the Center in 2002, he has taught over 40 Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses, as well as adapting the program for nurses, medical students and other professional and clinical populations. The Center for Mindfulness has also become a global leader in providing professional training in the burgeoning field of mindfulness-based interventions for professionals of all sorts. Dr. Hickman is also a member of the Executive Committee of the UC San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine. He is married and has three teenage children, affording him ample opportunities to practice what he preaches.
Guiding MBSR Teacher
MBSR Teacher Mentorship
Allan Goldstein is the Managing Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, Certified MBSR Teacher, MBSR Practicum Teacher Trainer, and Mentor. Working in collaboration with Dr. Steven Hickman, Executive Director, he has contributed to the development and evolution of the UCSD CFM Professional Training Institute and Certification programs and the center's UC San Diego Health System's group mindfulness programs and teaching staff. He is a member of the working committee of the Mindfulness International Integrity Network. Allan has had a passion for learning, teaching, and providing mentorship for teachers of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programs since participating in his first program in 1993. He began his professional training at the UMass Center for Mindfulness in the year 2000. Allan has taught MBSR extensively to groups and individuals in various health care, university, military, business, and community settings, including the virtual world of Second Life. Allan's strong passion for promoting and facilitating the valuable teachings found within MBSR and Mindfulness-Based Programs has propelled him on a journey that continues to unfold in mystery with his love for this sacred work.
Lorraine M. Hobbs, MA, CHom
Director, Youth and Family Programs
Guiding MBSR Teacher
Guiding MSC Teacher
Lorraine M. Hobbs is the Director of the Youth and Family Programs. Over the past 9 years, she has created curricula in mindfulness-based interventions for teens and pre-teens as well as a companion course in Mindful and Compassionate Parenting. Her experience in family therapy and as the clinical director of hospital-based in-patient and adolescent residential programs inspired her to pursue mindfulness as a mediator of stress and stress-related conditions in teens and parents. Through her understanding of stress and its effect on adolescent brain development, Lorraine is currently involved in several research projects focusing on mindfulness and chronic pain in teens and the benefits of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion as powerful tools in cultivating emotional resilience. She has co-authored a course in Mindful Self-Compassion for teens – "Making Friends with Yourself" - adapted from the adult version by Drs. Neff and Germer.
Lorraine is a guiding MBSR teacher and is certified in Mindful Self-Compassion and CCARE (Compassion Cultivation, Altruism, Research & Education), a program endorsed by H.H. The Dalai Lama and offered through Stanford University. Lorraine is Director of the Adolescent Mentoring and Training Program for professionals. She also consults with educators on the integration of mindfulness-based programs in schools and offers teacher training workshops and courses.
Lorraine is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and is trained in yoga therapy. She uses yoga as a way to recharge and find balance in daily life.
She is a trained homeopath and has had a meditation and yoga practice for over 20 years.
Michelle Becker, MA, LMFT
Director of Compassion Programs, Senior Teacher
Michelle Becker, M.A., LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in San Diego, CA utilizing mindfulness and compassion based psychotherapy with individuals, couples, families and groups. She is Director of Compassion Programs at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness where she also teaches Mindful Self-Compassion and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Michelle is a teacher trainer for Mindful Self-Compassion and co-founder, along with Drs. Germer, Neff and Hickman, of the Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training. She is also co-founder of the San Diego Center For Well Being and co-developer of the Mindful Living for Couples program. Michelle enjoys helping people find a meaningful and satisfying way of life. For more information on Michelle’s work and schedule please visit her website: MichelleBeckerLMFT.com.
Ravinder Reddy, M.D.
Dr. Ravinder Reddy is a psychiatrist, author, teacher and researcher. He serves as research consultant to the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, to help develop the Center's research infrastructure. Dr. Reddy is a volunteer faculty at UCSD - Health Sciences Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. Prior to moving to San Diego, Dr. Reddy was at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for 20 years, as clinician and teacher. He has been involved in psychiatric education his entire professional career, including being Residency Training Director at Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic. In addition, Dr. Reddy has been involved in complementary medicine, with NIMH and other funded research into the role of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants in psychiatric disorders, particularly schizophrenia. In 2015, Dr. Reddy published a book, Understanding Schizophrenia: A Resource for Patients and Families and Health Care Professionals, in which compassion and acceptance are highlighted. Dr. Reddy is a practicing meditator, and for many years has been introducing mindfulness to his patients. He is very interested in developing a variety of approaches to recapturing physical and mental wellness in older persons, particularly mindfulness - aging mindfully. To this end, he is on the path to becoming an MBSR teacher, and learning to age with equanimity.
Director of Outreach
Guiding MBSR Teacher
Guiding MSC Teacher
Megan Leuchars is a Certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Instructor, a Certified Mindful Self-Compassion Instructor and Director of Outreach at UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. In addition to teaching Mindfulness-based programs, Megan develops and delivers unique customized mindfulness programs for Fortune 500 companies as well as for educational, healthcare, and academic settings. Megan is one of the founders of the UCSD Center's Work-Life Integration Program and teacher trainer for the UCSD Professional Training Institute's MBSR Teacher Training Practicum. In all her ventures, Megan's passion and mission are the same: to empower individuals with an understanding of the important role they play in shaping the lives they want. Megan believes through compassionate awareness individuals are able to utilize the best resource they have: themselves.
Luis Morones, MA MFT
Senior MBSR Teacher
Luis Morones MFT has had a mindfulness practice since 1987 when he first began attending classes with Jack Kornfield in Marin County, Ca. Luis has a private practice as a family therapist in San Diego and Chula Vista . He has trained with Dr. Steve Hickman at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness . He has worked as a therapist since 1980 primarily with at risk families, refugee youth and adults who have a history of mental illness in their families . He has a special interest in the development of MBSR in Spanish and has taught the MBSR class in the Latino community. He is developing a Mindfulness Based Therapy specialty in his private practice that seeks to integrate spirituality, and psychology.
Livia Walsh, RN, LMFT
Guiding MBSR Teacher
Guiding MSC Teacher
Livia Walsh is a nurse and licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Encinitas, California. She developed pursued training in the area of holistic/integrative health including mindfulness, which she has integrated in over 45 years of her professional career. She completed the MBSR training program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and Omega Institute under the direction of Jon Kabat Zinn, Saki Santorelli and the senior teaching staff. Ms. Walsh also taught MBSR at the Senior Center in Encinitas and in her previous role as clinical supervisor at San Diego Hospice with interns as well as with patients. She integrates mindfulness with her clients in private psychotherapy practice. She teaches mindfulness-based interventions to graduate/post-graduate students and professional groups. Ms. Walsh teaches the Mindful Self Compassion program at UCSD as well as in her private practice, having trained with Kristin Neff and Chris Germer, founders of the MSC program.
Ms. Walsh believes strongly in the mind-body connection and in an integrative approach to achieve and sustain optimal health and well-being.
Deborah Rana, MD
Senior MBSR Teacher
Deborah Rana M.D. is a board-certified pediatrician with an academic appointment in the Preventive Medicine program in the UCSD School of Medicine. She received her Practicum Training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine in Massachusetts. She has been teaching mindfulness to physicians since 2007. Dr. Rana believes mindfulness practice has an important place in helping health professionals develop skills which foster their own health and well-being and in so doing, can enhance their ability to authentically cultivate healing relationships with patients and their families over time.
Cassondra Graff, MS, LCSW
Speakers Bureau Director
MBSR Guiding Teacher
MSC Senior Teacher
Cassondra Graff, M.S., LCSW., is a licensed psychotherapist with a private practice in San Diego, CA integrating mindfulness and compassion based approaches into psychotherapy with individuals, couples, families and groups. She is the Speakers Bureau Director at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness where she also teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindful Parenting and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). She is co-developer of the Mindful Living for Couples program.
A graduate of Columbia University in New York, Cassondra trained in MBSR under the direction of Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD and Saki Santorelli, EdD and trained in MSC under the direction of Christopher Germer, PhD and Kristin Neff, PhD. She has also trained in MBSR, MSC and Mindful Parenting through the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. Cassondra’s personal mindfulness and compassion practice inspires her work as a teacher, psychotherapist and parent. She believes in the power and potential of mindful awareness to help us navigate life with greater wisdom, health and sense of well-being. For more information about Cassondra's work please visit her website: cassondragrafflcsw.com.
Christy Cassisa, JD
Director of WorkLife Integration
Christy’s career—which has traversed science, education, and the law—allows her to apply her unique background to her passion of helping people lead happier and more productive lives. As one of the founders of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness WorkLife Integration Programs, she has been deeply involved in the effort to bring mindfulness to workplaces of all kinds. She has developed and taught numerous mindfulness-based programs and workshops for law schools, international corporations and attorneys, including Mindful Leadership, Introduction to Mindfulness for the Workplace and Brain Fitness for Lawyers. She is an MBSR teacher with the Center and she is also Principal Consultant with Donocle, a legal consulting company. Prior to joining UCSD, Christy worked for 9 years at a Fortune 500 corporation in account management where she honed her skills in client presentations and relationship building. Christy graduated with a JD from the University of Missouri, Columbia School of Law and a BS in Life Sciences from Missouri Science & Technology, is certified to administer both the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® and the EQ-I 2.0, and is also trained as a professional coach. Christy lives with her husband and two daughters in San Diego, CA, and practices mindfulness when snuggling with her girls, walking in nature and cooking.
Lucas LeardMann, B.A.
Mindful & Compassionate Parenting Teacher
Lucas attended his first multi-day meditation retreat in 2002 and has been meditating and cultivating a mindfulness practice ever since. He holds a bilingual teaching credential and has worked in schools and been a teacher in different capacities for many years. For Lucas, mindfulness has been integral to learning new ways of relating to the inevitable stresses of teaching, work, parenting and daily life, as well living life with more presence and connection. With two young kids at home, he also explores daily the application of these practices in his role as father and husband.
Jennifer A. Miller, Psy.D.
Dr. Jennifer Miller is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist—PSY17908. Dr. Miller began her mindfulness training in 2010 under the direction of Dr. Steve Hickman, Allan Goldstein, and Lorraine Hobbs. She teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. Dr. Miller is the owner of Mindsmith, A Psychological Professional Corporation in La Mesa, CA, specializing in mindful psychology; offering mindfulness-based treatment of depression, anxiety, and stress disorders. Dr. Miller is also a Co-Founder, Co-Director, and Teacher at "A Mindful Way Through…" Programs. These programs are designed specifically with women's needs in mind. Dr. Miller is married and has two spirited elementary school children. Practicing mindfulness has been and continues to be a daily blessing in this full life.
Noriko Morita Harth
Noriko began assisting and teaching MBSR at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness after she completed the MBSR foundational teacher training in 2013. Since then she has completed the Mindful Self-Compassion teacher training under the direction of Christopher Germer, Kristin Neff, Michelle Becker and Steven Hickman. Born in Japan, she moved to the States about 27 years ago. Noriko feels that her life transforming journey of discovering and exploring mindfulness practices has allowed a more balanced life and identity between these two cultures. Noriko strongly believes practicing mindfulness and bringing its principles into her life has and continues to help her grow as a person. She feels passionate about bringing these practices to other people's lives. It is her mission to share what she has learned, what she continues to learn, to our community. In addition, Noriko sees an opportunity, based on her own integration experiences, to introduce mindfulness programs to the Japanese community.
Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) Teacher
Sara Schairer is the founder and CEO of COMPASSION IT, a start-up nonprofit organization and global social movement whose mission is to inspire daily compassionate actions. She invented the one-of-a-kind reversible COMPASSION IT bracelet that is now creating compassionate actions on six continents, 40+ countries and nearly all 50 states. Sara is an inspiring teacher encouraging her class participants to cultivate compassion in their daily lives.
Kalika McClure E-RYT 500
Director of Hospitality
Kalika McClure E-RYT 500, is a certified Hatha yoga instructor. She has been directing, designing and teaching yoga classes and workshops for the past 30 years in Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York. Her passion and life's work has been offering to support, empower, and guide students toward the pursuit of good health, in all areas life. Assisting them in lowering stress and attaining optimum health and well-being through the practices of yoga, meditation, and healthful cooking-coaching. Kalika completed her MBSR foundational training under the direction of Steven D. Hickman Psy.D. in 2012. Kalika teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. She is Co-Founder, Co-Director and Teacher at "A Mindful Way Through…"programs. These programs are designed specifically with women's needs in mind. Having been a long time practitioner of meditation and yoga, Kalika has found her on going lifestyle of cultivating mindfulness from her own practice continues to be an invaluable gift. She likens it to the gift that keeps on giving.
Lori Haase, Ph.D.
mPEAK Research Director
Lori Haase is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and completed her
doctoral training the San Diego State University/University of California, San
Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Haase's training
specialized in neuropsychological assessment; however, she also received
extensive training in multiple empirically supported treatments. In addition to
her clinical training, Dr. Haase is also a neuroscientist. She is currently
investigating the neural substrates of resilience and optimal performance and
their modification through mindfulness training. She has worked closely with a
number of different elite performers including Special Operations Forces, elite
adventure racers, Olympic Swimmers, Olympic Cyclists, and RedBull Athletes. Dr.
Haase has spent a number of years practicing yoga, is a mindfulness
practitioner and is currently in the process of completing her teacher training
in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the UC San Diego Center For
Mindfulness. Dr. Haase is Director, co-developer, and teacher of the Mindful
Performance Enhancement, Awareness and Knowledge (mPEAK) program.
mPEAK Program Director
Senior MBSR Teacher
Pete Kirchmer is a Life Coach, Mindful Movement Instructor and Meditation Teacher in Encinitas, CA. As the founder of Mindfulness Based Health, he specializes in helping his clients apply the practice of mindfulness to making healthy lifestyle changes as well as improving performance in both work and life. Pete has completed the foundational training as a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher through the University of Massachusetts Oasis Institute, holds a BS in Exercise Physiology, and is a Certified Professional Life Coach through the Coaches Training institute, Center for Applied Positive Psychology and Wellcoaches. Pete is also a Master Trainer for efi Sports Medicine and certified STOTT Pilates Instructor. He is a lifetime learner and an active member of the International Coach Federation and the Harvard Institute of Coaching. Currently Pete has a private coaching practice in Encinitas, is a regular presenter at Rancho La Puerta, a world-class wellness resort in Tecate, Mexico and is on the board of directors for the Encinitas Mindfulness Community.
Mindful Eating Teacher
Ashley is currently a therapist at the UCSD Eating Disorder Treatment & Research Center where she provides individual, family and group therapy to individuals in the Adult Day/Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program. Ashley graduated from the University of Southern California in 2014 with a Masters in Social Work and received a B.A. in Journalism and a B.S. in Nutrition from Arizona State University. Ashley also has experience working with geriatric and youth populations, counseling individuals and their families and has specialized training in motivational interviewing and problem solving therapy. Ashley has been practicing mindfulness and yoga for over 4 years and has found it to be integral part in her own health and well-being. Her passion is to teach individuals how to become more aware of themselves and their experiences and offers support and guidance in developing acceptance and self-compassion in order to release themselves from beliefs, emotions and thoughts limiting them from living a full, healthy and happy life.
Mindful Eating Teacher
Lesley Wayler received her Bachelors in media communications from Austin College in 2011. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Social Work at the University of Southern California and hopes to use her degree to help individuals struggling with disordered eating and body image. Lesley completed Mindful Eating-Conscious Living (ME-CL 1) Professional Training with Jan-Chozen Bays and Char Wilkens in June 2015.
Rebecca Cherry, MD, MPH
Dr. Cherry is a practicing pediatric gastroenterologist at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego. She takes a special interest in the treatment of chronic pain in children and adolescents, and in the use of non-pharmacologic treatment of various gastrointestinal disorders. In her clinical practice, she encourages patients to explore the connection between mind and body. In addition to her specialized medical expertise, Dr. Cherry has trained in clinical hypnosis. She has an MD degree and a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University and did her post-graduate training at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.