Welcome to the “Alumni Spotlight” monthly series. Learn how our Union Institute & University (UI&U) graduates are living the UI&U mission of engagement, enlightenment, and empowerment.
Featured this month: Rosemary Ellsworth Brown
Education: Union Institute & University Ph.D. 1993
Profession: Psychologist, author “Addiction is the Symptom”
Q. What has your degree meant to you personally and professionally?
A. My doctorate degree represented a personal goal I had set for myself shortly before my fifty-second birthday.
I began my doctoral program at the Union Institute towards the end of 1989. The members of my doctoral committee were unfailingly supportive of my work. Clark Moustakis’ book “Heuristic Research: Design, Methodology and Application” was published in 1990. My advisor at Union, Professor Jose Cedillos, provided me with a copy of the text and after perusing it I decided to use the methodology for my research. The question I hoped to answer was simply “Why was the rate of relapse so high in twelve step programs?”
Not only was I able to answer this question satisfactorily but also develop a therapeutic process to heal the cause of addictive behavior and prevent relapse for all addictions. As my research progressed my thought process evolved from the standard belief of recovery that addiction was chronic and could only be treated but not healed (which results in some form of relapse)— to the understanding that healing could occur and relapse be prevented.
Although my research began in 1971 on a personal level and continued to include both academic and professional research, there’s no question in my mind that the end result would not have been achieved without my graduate program at Union. The best part of all is that although it began as a focus on a minority of those people referred to as addicts, it ended as a book of practical information for everyone who suffers from the original addiction—control/emotional dependency. This understanding, alone— that any conflict is simply an issue of control has proved invaluable in understanding all relationships.
I couldn’t be more grateful for choosing the Union Institute & University.
Q. What quality do you admire most about your alma mater?
A. The program you choose is designed to fit you; not for you to fit the program.
Q. If you could give advice to a Union student, what would it be?
A. 24/7 give it your best of those hours! You can’t miss.
Q. What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?
A. The Brown Method, as described in “Addiction is the Symptom”, eliminates the trial and error aspect of addiction therapy and replaces it with a precise recipe (an algorithm) for success.
Q. What is your passion away from work?
A. Reading—continuing to learn! No time to waste with my 85th coming up December 11.