Alice Domar





Psychologist, scientist, and professor

Born May 1, 1958, in Baltimore, MD; daughter of Evsey (an economist and professor) and Carole (a social worker; maiden name, Rosenthal) Domar; married David Ostrow (a field editor), August 26, 1990; children: Sarah, Katherine. Education: Colby College, B.A.; Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Ferkauf School of Professional Psychology, Yeshiva University, M.A., 1986, Ph.D., 1986.

Addresses: Office —Domar Center for Complementary Healthcare, 130 Second Ave., Waltham, MA 02451.

Career

Beth Israel Medical Center (later the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center), Boston, MA, senior scientist at Mind/Body Medical Institute, 1993–2002, and senior staff psychologist; Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, assistant professor of medicine, 1993–, then assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology; published first book, written with Henry Dreher, Healing Mind, Healthy Woman: Using the Mind-Body Connection to Manage Stress and Take Control of Your Life , 1996; founder and director of Beth Israel Medical Center's Mind/Body Center for Women's Health at Mind/Body Medical Institute and the Mind/Body Program for Infertility in the Division of Behavioral Medicine, 1997–2002; published first book on infertility, written with Robert L. Barbieri and Kevin R. Loughlin, Six Steps to Increased Fertility: An Integrated Medical and Mind/Body Program to Promote Conception , 2000; Boston IVF, Boston, MA, director of Mind/Body Center for Women's Health (later known as the Domar Center for Complementary Health), 2002–. Lecturer and public speaker on mind/body related subjects; series editor on mind/ body books published by Harvard Medical Publications/Simon & Schuster; guest appearances on television programs, including Good Morning America , ABC; Dateline NBC , NBC; CBS Evening News , CBS; Today Show , NBC; columnist for Health magazine.

Member: Executive committee for Mental Health Professional Group, American Society of Reproductive Medicine; Society of Behavioral Medicine; advisory board, Parents Magazine ; advisory board, Fertility Today ; board of experts, Lluminari.

Awards: Award for prize paper, American Society of Reproductive Medicine, 1999; two National Institute of Mental Health Awards; Massachusetts Young Investigator Award.

Sidelights

Dr. Alice Domar is recognized worldwide as an expert and innovator on women's health issues. Domar was the founder of the first Mind/Body clinic to focus on issues of women's health. Focusing on mind-body methods as a means of addressing issues such as self-nurturing and infertility, Domar has done extensive research proving the connection between such methods and a woman's physical and psychological state. She also does many lectures and public speaking engagements on these topics and conducts related workshops.

Born in 1958 in Baltimore, Maryland, she is the daughter of Evsey and Carole Domar. Her father was a native of Poland who worked as an economist and professor at the Massachusetts of Technology while her mother was a social worker. Domar received her education at the private Concord Academy, then entered Colby College. Earning her B.A. from Colby, she received her graduate education at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Ferkauf School of Professional Psychology at Yeshiva University. Domar was granted her M.A. and her Ph.D. in healthy psychology in 1986. After earning her doctorate, she did her post-graduate training at three hospitals in Boston: Children's Hospital, Deaconess Hospital, and Beth Israel Hospital. During this time period, in 1990, Domar married David Ostrow, a field editor, with whom she had two daughters, Sarah and Katherine.

In 1993, Domar joined the Beth Israel Medical Center (later known as the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) in Boston, Massachusetts, as a senior scientist at the Mind/Body Medical Institute. In 1997, she became the founder and director of the Mind/Body Center for Women's Health at the Mind/Body Medical Institute and the Mind/Body Program for Infertility in the Division of Behavioral Medicine, both at Beth Israel. The Mind/Body Center was the first such clinic to focus on women's health. There, Domar incorporated the mind-body approaches she had been developing in her research to address the health problems of women. She also served as a senior staff psychologist for the hospital.

Domar published her first book while working at Beth Israel. Written with Henry Dreher, Healing Mind, Healthy Woman: Using the Mind-Body Connection to Manage Stress and Take Control of Your Life was published in 1996. This book outlines the mind-body connection and its effects using a scientific method of support. Domar and Dreher also offer a means for incorporating the concepts presented in the book into one's own life through relaxation techniques, changing the way one thinks to emphasize the positive, and underscoring the importance of social support. In 1999, Domar published her second book, also co-written with Dreher. Titled Self-Nurture: Learning to Care for Yourself as Effectively as You Care for Everyone Else , this book encourages women to address their own needs, emotional as well as spiritual and creative, as much as they give to the needs of those around them.

One focus of Domar's research in this time period was the effects of stress on women's health. She believed that stress was an issue that had to be addressed because it made many diseases and conditions worse for women. Domar told People , "An intriguing body of evidence suggests that expressing emotion in appropriate, balanced ways can strengthen our hearts, our immune systems, and our overall resistance to disease. The Mind/Body Center has found evidence that everything from blood pressure to menopausal symptoms improves in patients who practice stress-reduction techniques."

Domar focused much of her stress research on the link between stress and infertility. She believed that constant worry was a significant factor in many women's infertility. In 2000, Domar published the results of a five-year study which showed that women with infertility issues who took Domar's stress relief programs had triple the success rate as those women who just underwent medical treatments for infertility. The programs she developed gave women the tools to better manage their stress, resulting in a rapid increase in the success of fertility treatments for many of them.

Domar published two guides on the subject of stress and fertility for a popular audience. In 2000, Six Steps to Increased Fertility: An Integrated Medical and Mind/Body Program to Promote Conception , co-written with Robert L. Barbieri and Kevin R. Loughlin, was put into print. Two years later, she published, with Alice Lesch Kelly, a book called Conquering Infertility: Dr. Alice Domar's Guide to Enhancing Fertility and Coping with Infertility . The latter was a self-help manual about the issues of stress and infertility for women who wanted to become and stay pregnant. Domar and Kelly emphasized a self-nurturing approach to the problem as well as working with the spouse and circle of friends, and making lifestyle modifications.

In 2002, Domar changed her primary professional affiliation. While remaining a senior staff psychologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, she left Beth Israel's Mind/Body Institute for a similar post at Boston IVF, the foremost fertility center in the United States. Boston IVF focuses solely on fertility treatments and is affiliated with the Harvard Medical School. There, she became the director of Boston IVF's Mind/Body Center for Women's Health, later known as the Domar Center for Complementary Health Care. Domar continued her research while putting on a number of programs to address women's health issues. Classes there included the Mind/Body Program for Infertility, a short course designed to address issues like symptoms, isolation, and lifestyle on reproductive health and infertility issues, and weekend retreats for infertile couples.

Domar believed women already possessed a tool needed to succeed in making positive life choices. She told Organic Style , "If I could change one thing for women, it would be helping them to believe they have the inner strength they need to make their lives better. Most people wait for things to happen to them rather than trying to do things that will make them healthier and happier. You don't have to suddenly become a perfect eater or a CEO. You can take little steps that will add up to big steps."

Selected writings

Nonfiction

      (With Henry Dreher) 
      
        Healing Mind, Healthy Woman: Using the Mind-Body Connection to Manage
        Stress and Take Control of Your Life
      
      , Holt, 1996.
      
(With Henry Dreher) Self-Nurture: Learning to Care for Yourself as Effectively as You Care for Everyone Else , Viking, 1999.
(With Robert L. Barbieri and Kevin R. Loughlin) Six Steps to Increased Fertility: An Integrated Medical and Mind/Body Program to Promote Conception , Simon & Schuster, 2000.
(With Alice Lesch Kelly) Conquering Infertility: Dr. Alice Domar's Guide to Enhancing Fertility and Coping with Infertility , Viking, 2002.

Sources

Periodicals

Boston Globe , April 3, 1997, p. C15.

Health & Medicine Week , July 1, 2002, p. 22.

Library Journal , December 1999, p. 162; October 1, 2002, p. 120.

Organic Style , December 2004/January 2005, p. 78.

People , May 21, 2001, p. 85.

PR Newswire, May 21, 2002.

Publishers Weekly , May 20, 1996, p. 256; November 15, 1999, p. 47; September 9, 2002, p. 60.

USA Today , October 23, 1997, p. 5D.

Washington Post , July 9, 1996, p. Z11.

Online

"Alice D. Domar, Ph.D.," Domar Center for Complementary Health Care, http://www.domarcenter/com/staff/alice_domar.cfm (August 14, 2006).

Contemporary Authors Online , Thomson Gale, 2006.

"Curriculum Vitae: Alice D. Domar, Ph.D.," Lluminari, http://www.lluminari.com/experts/domar_cv.html (August 14, 2006).



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