With a PhD in clinical psychology from California Coast University and a postdoctoral fellowship in integrative medicine from the University of Arizona, Melinda H. Connor, the former director of research at Akamai University, is the founder of Earth Songs Holistic Consulting established in 1987 and the executive director and owner of The International Journal of Healing and Caring since 2021 after transitioning from a stellar career of achievements in computer systems and services, including at IBM. She has continued her award-winning ways in her current holistic healing roles, recently honored by PEO Magazine and the California State Assembly.
Among many singular accomplishments, Dr. Connor was the first non-medical doctor in an integrative medicine postdoctoral fellowship, and her dissertation was picked by the State of California to define telemedicine standards in the treatment of developmentally delayed children. She counts her most memorable achievements as raising her own child, an adult daughter with a doctorate from Oxford University, and having the most “glorious experience” of teaching a class at the University of San Francisco with her mother, a psychiatrist for more than 60 years.
At the helm of her businesses, Dr. Connor performs research and consults on holistic health and complementary and integrated medicine issues at Earth Songs Holistic Consulting and several times a year publishes The International Journal of Healing and Caring, which is pioneering in its exploration of holistic health and articles on a variety of useful topics such as reducing test anxiety for high school students, comprehensive psychological work, addiction therapies, specialty acupuncture, orthopedic techniques and more. The journal was founded in 2000 by Dr. Connor’s longtime friend, the late Daniel J. Benor, MD. When Dr. Benor became ill, he sold the publication to Dr. Connor, who expanded it into a nonprofit organization that she operates alongside the well-respected periodical, which, she says, was one of the first open-access journals to be peer-reviewed and is available for free worldwide. Dr. Connor remains proud and motivated to continue Dr. Benor’s legacy.
Believing her success is the result of hard work, putting in long hours, doing her best to listen to people, and continuing to move forward in the face of challenges, Dr. Connor stands behind her personal motto of applying “unusual solutions for unusual situations.” Her approach to life is to stay motivated to find balance in a world without any, she says, and to take responsibility for her own actions. Dr. Connor advises that if she and everyone are generous with their time and compassionate with their service, the world can improve. Mentors throughout her life have played a major role in helping her build the confidence to achieve her goal, including math and reading teachers who found creative ways to teach her as she struggled with learning due to dyslexia, a Nobel Prize nominee she had the opportunity to study under, a fellowship training supervisor, and more advanced scholars who worked with her during her dissertation and at other times during her extensive academic career.
In addition to her PhD, Dr. Connor earned a Doctor of Divinity; three separate master’s degrees in religion, intelligence, and counseling psychology; an associate degree in humanities and social science from Harvard University; and a bachelor’s degree in theater from Wellesley College. She has fellowships with the American Alternative Medicine Association and the Royal Society of Medicine. As an adviser with the National Alliance of Energy Practitioners and co-founder of the National Certification Center of Energy Practitioners, Dr. Connor hopes that, within the next decade, at least half the states in the U.S. will provide a license for energy practitioners to make it a more respected, stable profession.
Parallel to her holistic healing career, Dr. Connor puts her vast performance passions and experience into practice by professionally choreographing ballets, singing, acting, and presenting concerts, sometimes appearing with her daughter. She also enjoys raising and breeding horses.