Interview with Susan Folkman

Susan Folkman, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine at University of California, Berkeley; Osher Foundation Distinguished Professor in Integrative Medicine; and Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine.

She has had a long-standing interest in how people cope with stress and the relationship between coping and mental and physical health. Over the last 13 years this research has focused on the highly stressful contexts of caregiving, bereavement, chronic illness, and end-of-life care, primarily in HIV/AIDS. This research was funded by a series of grants from the National Institute of Mental Health. Observations during this research on co-occurrence of positive emotions with negative emotions over long periods of stress have led to research to understand the adaptive functions of positive emotions during stress and the coping processes that generate and sustain these emotions.

In 2001, Folkman assumed the directorship of a center for integrative medicine at UCSF where she and a team are developing a research program on mind-body approaches to health and healing.

Folkman attended the North American Research Conference on Complementary and Alternative Medicine in May 2009. While there, she spent some time talking with staff from the Center for the Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota. See her interview below.