Meet Our Team
Executive Director, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness
Dr. Steven Hickman is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and has a joint appointment as an Associate Clinical Professor in the UCSD Departments of Psychiatry and Family and Preventive Medicine. Dr. Hickman is the Founder and Director of the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, a program of community building, clinical care, professional training and research. Since founding the Center in 2000, he has taught over 40 Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses, as well as adapting the program for nurses, medical students and other professional and clinical populations. The Center for Mindfulness has also become a global leader in providing professional training in the burgeoning field of mindfulness-based interventions for professionals of all sorts. Dr. Hickman is also a member of the Executive Committee of the UC San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine. He is married and has three teenage children, affording him ample opportunities to practice what he preaches.
Managing Director, UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness
Allan has been involved in learning and teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programs (MBSR) since participating in his first program in 1993. Since that time he has trained in facilitating MBSR with the UMass Center for Mindfulness (CFM) and has gone on to teach MBSR to groups and individuals in universities, business and community settings. His work has also led him to teaching in military installations and even in the virtual world of Second Life. Allan has a strong passion for promoting the valuable work of mindfulness-based interventions and applies that passion in his role as Managing Director, spearheading marketing and program development efforts of the center, as well as leading MBSR and other mindfulness groups.
Director, Youth and Family Programs
Lorraine M. Hobbs, M.S., CHom., is a senior MBSR teacher at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. She received her training under the supervision of Dr. Steve Hickman. She has served as clinical director of in-patient and residential treatment programs, where she worked extensively with teens and their families. Her interest in integrative medicine and in the growing research on the consequences of stress and the executive function of the brain in children/teens inspired her to create a six week Mindfulness/Stress Reduction training program for Teens at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. Her interest in reaching a larger population of teens and pre-teens led to the implementation of an eight-week mindfulness based curriculum in schools, designed to reduce stress, improve self-regulation and concentration and enhance the learning process. In addition. Lorraine developed a Mindful Parenting program, which supports parents in developing a greater capacity to parent with compassion and presence. She is also a part of the Mindfulness in Schools teaching/training team in the U.K. and lectures on the efficacy of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with teens in the community. She is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and Homeopathic practitioner.
Michelle Becker, MA, LMFT
Director of Compassion Programs
Michelle Becker, M.A., LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in San Diego, CA utilizing mindfulness and compassion based psychotherapy with individuals, couples, families and groups. She is Director of Compassion Programs at the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness where she also teaches Mindful Self-Compassion and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Michelle is a teacher trainer for Mindful Self-Compassion and co-founder, along with Drs. Germer, Neff and Hickman, of the Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training. She is also co-founder of the San Diego Center For Well Being and co-developer of the Mindful Living for Couples program. Michelle enjoys helping people find a meaningful and satisfying way of life. For more information on Michelle’s work and schedule please visit her website: MichelleBeckerLMFT.com.
Director of WorkLife Integration
Christy has a passion for supporting people in learning to lead happier, healthier and more productive lives through mindfulness and self-awareness. Since discovering mindfulness meditation in 2010, she has become an advocate and is beginning the process of becoming Certified to teach MBSR. As a relative newcomer to mindfulness and meditation, she understands the immediate benefits as well as the real challenges people encounter when learning this new skill and integrating the practice into their daily lives. Her mission is to facilitate this integration through programs for businesses and non-profit organizations.
Christy has also taught as an adjunct professor for California Western School of Law, where she developed a groundbreaking mindfulness-based emotional intelligence seminar called Life Skills for Lawyers, which was acquired by a legal education company in 2013. She has also previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the University of San Diego School of Law and Barbri. She graduated with a JD from the University of Missouri, Columbia School of Law and a BS in Life Sciences from Missouri Science & Technology, is certified to administer both the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® and the EQ-I 2.0, and is also trained as a professional coach.
Director of Outreach
Megan Leuchars received her practicum training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at El Camino Hospital under the direction of Bob Stahl. Along with teaching MBSR in hospitals, Megan has been passionate about bringing MBSR into unique settings and has gone on to develop and deliver customized Mindfulness programs for populations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to Non-Profits and Addiction Recovery Programs. In addition to numerous other trainings, Megan has received her RYT 200 and Yoga of Recovery Counselors Certificate, as well as completed her training in Mindful Self-Compassion under the supervision of Kristin Neff and Chris Germer. Megan seeks to empower individuals with an understanding of the important role they play in their own health, and believes through compassionate awareness individuals are able to utilize the best resource they have- themselves.
Cassondra Graff, MS, LCSW
Speakers Bureau Coordinator
Cassondra Graff, L.C.S.W., is a licensed psychotherapist with a private practice in Rancho Bernardo, California. She has trained in MBSR through the University of Massachusetts Medical Center program, under the direction of Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. Cassondra completed a training in Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) under the direction of Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer. She has also trained in MBSR and MSC at UCSD Center For Mindfulness. Cassondra is a graduate of Columbia University in New York. Cassondra’s personal mindfulness practice inspires her work as a teacher and psychotherapist. She believes in the power and potential of mindful awareness to help us navigate life with greater wisdom, health and sense of well-being.