Dan Libby is a licensed clinical psychologist, yoga teacher and the executive director of Veterans Yoga Project, a national nonprofit based out of Northern California. Dan specializes in the integration of evidence-based psychotherapies and complementary and alternative medicine practices for the treatment of PTS(D) and other psychological and emotional distress in active-duty military and veterans.
As a Postdoctoral Fellow with Yale University’s Department of Psychiatry and the VA’s Mental Illness Research and Education Clinical Center, Dan conducted research investigating the physiological effects of mindfulness meditation as well as the first epidemiological investigation of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in VA PTSD treatment programs. He is also former Director of Clinical Services for the Starlight Military Rehabilitation Program and has taught mindfulness and yoga to hundreds of veterans and active-duty service members. All that said, Dan claims to have learned everything he ever needed to know at the Feathered Pipe Ranch, the renowned nonprofit educational foundation and yoga retreat center.
In this episode, we discuss the clinical conditions of stress: lack of safety, predictability and control; how to create S.P.A.C.E. for healing to occur; the importance of evidence-informed yoga; and the five pillars of VYP’s Mindful Resilience programs: breath, meditation, movement, rest and gratitude. Dan shares his excitement for VYP’s new Mindful Resilience for Compassion Fatigue program, created to equip healthcare, frontline workers and caregivers with tools to prevent the effects of burnout, fatigue and vicarious trauma.
Dan’s background in yoga, massage and spirituality married with his extensive training in psychology provide a unique window into holistic healing, and this conversation is a worthwhile listen for veterans, their loved ones and anyone interested in reaching deeper levels of mental, emotional and physical resilience.