Laurence Irwin Sugarman is Research Professor and Director of the Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation in the Institute and College of Health Sciences and Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at the Easter Seals Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Rochester, New York and Clinical Professor in Pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
After completing his undergraduate degree at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri, he ran the St. Louis Children’s Hospital clinical virology laboratory then completed the St. Louis Inter-institutional Physician Assistant Program before entering the University of Missouri School of Medicine. There he received his MD, Magna Cum Laude and was elected to AΩA. He completed his residency and Senior Chief Residency in pediatrics at the University of Rochester where his was awarded both the Outstanding House Officer Teaching Award and the Gilbert Forbes House Officer Research Award.
For his two decades after residency, Dr. Sugarman ran his solo, community-based primary care practice. During this time, confronting psychobiological problems that are an increasing part of general pediatrics, he developed an interest in clinical strategies that effectively address these problems, including biofeedback and hypnosis. Through his training, practice, teaching and writing in the field of hypnosis with children he has emerged as an international leader. He is an Approved Consultant and Fellow in the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, for which he has served as Vice President, Co-Director of Education. He is immediate Past President of the American Board of Medical Hypnosis, the credentialing body for competency in clinical hypnosis for US physicians. He has been a member of the teaching faculty for the Society of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Clinical Hypnosis Workshops, the Executive Committee of the Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics of the American Academy of Pediatrics and now serves as a Director with the National Pediatric Hypnosis Training Institute. He is sought after to lecture and conduct workshops around the world.
Dr. Sugarman has published numerous papers, audio-recordings, book chapters and produced an internationally acclaimed video-documentary, Hypnosis in pediatric practice: imaginative medicine in action. With Dr. William Wester, Dr. Sugarman has co-authored and co-edited the text, Therapeutic Hypnosis with Children and Adolescents now in its second edition. Since coming to RIT to direct the Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation, his work has focused on how best to evoke the abilities of young people with autism spectrum disorder to control their own stress with a combination computerized biofeedback and hypnotic techniques. He has received many awards and citations for his efforts in this field, the essence of which, he writes, “is exploring and investing in the therapeutic potential of each child’s imagination.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Sugarman has been a performing musician longer than he has been a doctor. His recordings of both traditional and original compositions on the banjo, have received critical acclaim for both their originality and technical range. He says he would be happy just being a banjoist, but he would probably still need to keep his malpractice insurance.