The Mind/Body Health Initiative and M/BHI Behavioral Medicine was established in San DiegoCounty in 2002, under the direction of Dr. Tomer Anbar, and in concert with healthcare insurance industry professionals. The mission has been to increase the general awareness of chronic health issues, and the most effective available treatment options based on scientific and evidence-based practices. Ultimately the goal has been to increase patient access to advanced behavioral medicine programs in order to substantially improve the treatment outcomes of those suffering from chronic and debilitating conditions including pain, anxiety and depression who were not improving. Subsequently, the Initiative expanded to provide other specialized programs including those for chonic back pain, headaches, insomnia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, stress, PTSD, and programs for senior healthcare.
Tomer Anbar, Ph.D., CGP, CTC
Dr. Anbar’s clinical practice in the area of biopsychosocial/multidisciplinary behavioral medicine specializes in chronic pain/chronic fatigue, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, women’s health, interpersonal and couples issues, stress, anxiety, depression and geriatric healthcare. Additionally, since 1984, he has maintained a subspecialty of working with university faculty, researchers, screenplay writers, authors and doctoral candidates suffering from creative paralysis and writer’s block.
Dr. Anbar is former founder and head of the Unit of Clinical and Research Psychobiology at the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, a research component of the World Health Organization in Mexico City.
His work on the effects of environment on mental and physical health received international attention as the media reported on his research chronicling the toll Mexico City’s pollution was having on the world’s largest metropolis of 23 million inhabitants. His clinical, laboratory, psychological and social analysis and recommendations have become a blueprint for both civic groups and governmental agencies in taking action and forming sustained policy. His research into the effects of heavy metals and other contaminants on behavior in children and the physiological effects of the elderly have been integrated into numerous health and environmental programs around the world.
Dr. Anbar’s research and programs into the biological, psychogenetic and psychosocial roots of doctoral attrition and school drop-out prevention, and programs for addressing the phenomenon, have been implemented in universities in the United States, Canada and Mexico (see research summary). His Federally funded cross-cultural work in restructuring the dynamics of public school districts and Indian reservations, particularly through the use of group-based biopsychosocial applications, and creating therapeutic milieu’s was honored with the prestigious Aaron Stein Memorial Award. Working with children and parents, educators and healthcare personnel, Dr. Anbar established the unit of bilingual/cross-cultural mental health for the Imperial County Office of Education, as well as the county-wide suicide prevention and intervention network for the California Department of Mental Health. The crisis and stress management program he established was designed to care for military families in times of combat, and was developed during the period of the Gulf War. In 1993 Dr. Anbar founded the first Center for Integrated Medicine, at the Dorval Medical Center in Montreal, Quebec.
Dr. Anbar is past President of the San Diego Group Psychotherapy Society, and was invited to chair the first meeting of geriatrics and the new gerontology of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, the largest international organization of its kind, comprised of scientists, clinicians, academics and healthcare providers. His biopsychosocial approach to designing, programming of health-promoting retirement communities and therapeutic environments to improve the health of seniors, has become a benchmark of many organizations currently redesigning their residential and healthcare services to be aligned with this new paradigm of senior living and healthcare (see Suburban Living in a Tropical Rainforest).
For the consortium of countries comprising the Mayan world governments of Mexico, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and El Salvador, employing the supercomputing platform of the United States National Science Foundation and principles of group dynamics, Dr. Anbar developed the educational, cultural and economic internet based-infrastructure designed to promote and revitalize the remaining 4 million Mayans living in the region, by opening an on-line portal where people from all over the world could explore and interact with the Mayan World.
Education and Training
Dr. Anbar was born in Montreal, Quebec, and was educated in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Switzerland and Israel. He is a distinguished graduate of the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City where he received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, and is a graduate of the program in psychodynamic psychiatry of the Asociacion Psicoanalitica Mexicana, (APM), component of the International Psychoanalytic Association. Dr. Anbar completed the clinical training programs in biofeedback and behavioral medicine at UCLA and the Biofeedback Institute of San Francisco; as well as clinical training program in Mind/Body Behavioral Medicine, BethIsraelDeaconessMedicalCenter, HarvardMedicalSchool, and the business tract of Senior Housing and Healthcare at JohnsHopkins University.
Dr. Anbar is a founding member of the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists, and Instructor Designate of the American Group Psychotherapy Association; Past President of the San Diego Group Therapy Society; former Chairman of the Sponsorship Committee, American Group Psychotherapy Association, former Child Advocate and Board Member, Imperial County Mental Health Advisory Board, and Board Member, Imperial County Mental Health Advisory Board.
"Chronic Pain: The Mind-Body Connection," These Days, PBS, October 2004.
“Senior Living in a Suburban Rainforest, Building for Boomers and Beyond,”
"The Best of Seniors" Housing News, NAHB, 2002
“New Trends in Retirement Living.” WGN Television, Chicago17 November 2000.
“Rainforest Restores Senior Health.” NorthShore Success, Pioneer Press, July 2000.
“Retirement Living in a Suburban Rainforest.” NBC Television, Chicago, 24 April 2000
“Retiring in Style.” The LMV Sun, 6 April 2000, Vol. 2, Number 46.
“Senior Homes are a Hot Tropic in Vernon Hills, Chicago Tribune, 12 March 2000, Sec. 16, 7L.
“Tropical Touch for Senior Homes.” Chicago Tribune, 3 March 2000, Sec. 2.
“Complex Tries to Improve Health with Environment.” Daily Herald, Chicago, 2 March 2000
“New Trends in Retirement Living.” CLTV Chicago, 1 March 2000.
“Rainforest Retirement.” The News Sun, Chicago, 2 March 2000
“Two Local Projects are Prototypes for Healthy Housing.” Chicago Tribune, 3 October 1999, Sec. 16
“Boomers Spur Retirement Center Growth,” The Business Journal, LakeCounty, October, 1999, Vol. 4, No.10, p.14
“TropicalForest Comes to Burbs.” Crain’s Chicago Business, Special Report, 26 July 1999, Vol. 2, No.30, p.5
"Caring School Project,- Aaron Stein Memorial Award, American Group Psychotherapy Association, San Diego. CA. 1993.
Application of the Group Psychotherapy Paradigm to School Climate and Institutional Restructuring: American Group Psychotherapy Association, San Diego, CA, 1993.
"ImperialCounty Uses the STEP Curriculum for Parents." BEOutreach, California Department of Education, September,1991, Vol.2. No.2, p. 4.
“Children's War Fears-Bombs to End of World,” Imperial Valley Press, 30 January 1991, p. A5.
Pollution Raises Health Questions in Mexico City," American Medical News. 19June,1987, pp. 29-30.
On a Clear Day. You Can Nearly See Across The Street." Chicago Tribune, 4 February 1986. p. 12.
"While Government flounders, Toxic Fumes Assail 3 Million People in Mexico City,” The Record, Northern New Jersey, 16 February 1986, p. A38.
“Bird Deaths Linked to Pollution," The Mexico City News. 1 February 1986, pp. 1, 3, and AP News Service.
"Metal Poisoning Said Responsible For Birds Dying Near Refinery," The Mexico City News, 4 February 1986, p. 4.
"Pollution May Take Human Lives Next Winter Warns Researcher," The Mexico City News, 6 February 1986, p. 6.
Neurological and Clinical-Ecological Effects of Lead. Mercury and Cadmium: The Present Crisis,” Radio VIP, 5 March 1986.
“Clinical Effects of Lead, Carbon Monoxide, Mercury and Cadmium in the General Public: The Nature of Trace Elements and Heavy Metals, Historical
Review, Phenomenology, Perinatal and Developmental Issues, Radio VIP, 12 March 1986.
“Behavioral and Neurological Effects of Lead, Mercury and Cadmium: Intervention and Policy," Radio VIP, 19 March 1986.