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About Us

The Center For Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation constitutes a brand new presence within RIT's innovative Institute for Health Sciences and Technology. The concept of the Center developed out of conversations with RIT's President, William W. Destler, Ph.D., his wife, clinical psychologist, Rebecca Johnson, Ph.D., and Laurence I. Sugarman, M.D., a community pediatrician in Rochester, New York. Dr. Destler and RIT were planning the Institute. Dr. Sugarman was looking for a platform from which to explore the potential for growth in the field of psychophysiological self-regulation to benefit youth in Rochester community and beyond. Both envisioned programs that integrated education, research, and clinical care: a good fit. After a year of discussion, resource development, and building of collaborative projects, the Center was born, with Dr. Sugarman as its Director (as well as and entire staff) in January, 2011. Both President Destler and Dr. Sugarman are fond of noting that, while not requisite, it did not hurt their collaboration that both men play the banjo.

Under the administrative umbrella of the Institute of Health Sciences and Technology it is expected that the newborn Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation will grow and develop rapidly to include program coordinators in education, research, and clinical care over the next three years.

Laurence I. Sugarman, MD, FAAP, ABMH is Director of the Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation 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 Associate 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 worked as a technician at 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 M.D., magna cum laude, and was elected to alpha omega alpha, the national medical honor society. He completed his residency and Senior Chief Residency in pediatrics at the University of Rochester, where he was awarded both the Outstanding House Officer Teaching Award and the Gilbert Forbes House Officer Research Award.

In his first eighteen years after residency, Dr. Sugarman conducted a solo, community-based primary care practice. During this time, confronted with the usual torrent of psychobiological problems that are an increasing part of general pediatrics, he developed an interest in clinical strategies that address these problems. The most successful strategies included relaxation practice, biofeedback, and hypnosis. He has emerged as a national leader in training, practice, teaching, and writing in the field of hypnosis with children. He is an Approved Consultant, Fellow in Clinical Hypnosis, past Vice President, and current Co-Director of Education for the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, as well as President of the American Board of Medical Hypnosis, the credentialing body for competency in clinical hypnosis for US physicians. He served on the teaching faculty for the Society of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Clinical Hypnosis Workshops and the Executive Committee of the Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is sought after around the world to lecture and conduct workshops.

Dr. Sugarman has published numerous papers, audiorecordings and book chapters and has produced an internationally-acclaimed videodocumentary, Hypnosis in pediatric practice: imaginative medicine in action. With Dr. William Wester, Dr. Sugarman has co-authored and co-edited the first new textbook on pediatric hypnosis in over a decade, Therapeutic Hypnosis with Children and Adolescents. He has received awards and citations for his efforts in this field, the essence of which, he writes, is "studying and investing in the therapeutic potential of each child's imagination."

Meanwhile, Dr. Sugarman has been a performing musician for much longer than he has been a doctor. His albums, Old Magic, Space, and Abe's Lily: New Traditional Music, with 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.

Visit Laurence Sugarman's website:

CV available by request: