- A conversation with Charles Garfield, PhD. Dr. Charles Garfield has been recognized internationally as the founder of Shanti, a widely acclaimed volunteer organization, and the Shanti National Training Institute (SNTI). For over thirty-five years, he has pioneered the development of service oriented volunteer organizations and the training of volunteers in a wide variety of applications. For his work with Shanti and for originating the Shanti model of peer support, Garfield was named National Activist of the Year—one of America’s highest awards to individuals making voluntary contributions in public service. He has also received recognition by cities and organizations large and small including a Mayor’s Day in his honor in San Francisco and many others.
Dr. Garfield serves as Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California School of Medicine at San Francisco (UCSF). A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, he is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Charles Garfield is the co-author of Training Volunteers for Community Service: The Step-by-Step Guide of the Shanti National Training Institute. He is also the author of Sometimes My Heart Goes Numb: Love and Caregiving in a Time of AIDS. While on the faculty of the Cancer Research Institute at UCSF, he was one of the early contributors to the burgeoning field of psychosocial oncology. Two of his books, Stress and Survival: The Emotional Realities of Life Threatening Illness and Psychosocial Care of the Dying Patient, have been used as texts in many medical and nursing schools.
Charles Garfield began his career in computer science after receiving two graduate degrees in mathematics from Adelphi University as well as induction into Pi Mu Epsilon, the National Mathematics Honorary Society, and later, the Adelphi University Alumni Academy of Distinction. Dr. Garfield worked as a computer analyst on Apollo Eleven, our first lunar landing. It was as a member of the team that sent the first two astronauts to the moon that he learned how mission-driven teams can band together to accomplish extraordinary results. He then continued his education earning a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of California at Berkeley prior to publishing ten books including the highly regarded peak performance trilogy on high achieving individuals, teams and organizations—Second to None, Peak Performers and Peak Performance. His honorary speeches include: Clinton White House conference; U.S. Olympic Committee and Head Coaches of Olympic Sports; and the Leadership of Oklahoma City following the tragic bombing of the federal building. Charles Garfield was an at-large member of the Board of Governors and is currently an instructor at the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. He serves on the editorial board of Greater Good, a national magazine from the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Science and the Greater Good. He is also a founding faculty member of the Metta Institute (formerly Zen Hospice) end of life counselor training program.
- The Shanti Project website: www.shanti.org