Meet Our Training Team

Dorothy Firman, ED.D, LMHC, BCC, ACS


Founder & Director of Training, The Synthesis Center

Founding Director of the Association for the Advancement of Psychosynthesis


Didi Firman has worked in the field of psychology and counseling for forty years and has traveled and taught nationally and internationally. She is the founder of the Synthesis Center and its Board Certified Life Coach Training Program and a retired professor of graduate psychology. She is also the New York Times bestselling co-author of Chicken Soup for the Mother and Daughter Soul, as well as the author of a number of other books, scholarly articles and book chapters and is an invited blogger on Her most recent book is: Engaging Life, Living Well with Chronic Illness.



Jon Schottland, M.A., BCC

President, The Synthesis Center

Senior Trainer, Synthesis Northeast & Synthesis San Francisco

Jon leads psychosynthesis and professional coach trainings across the U.S. and internationally, both in person and through distance learning programs. He has been a presenter at the North American conferences of the Association for the Advancement of Psychosynthesis and also the International Congress of Psychosynthesis in Taormina, Sicily. Jon teaches graduate level coaching courses for Sofia University in the Global Masters in Transpersonal Psychology program and is adjunct faculty for American International College. He is a nationally Board Certified Coach (BCC) and psychosynthesis counselor in private practice based in Brattleboro, VT.


Sara Vatore, M.Ed., BCC, SEP

Adjunct Faculty, Synthesis San Francisco & Synthesis Northeast

Sara is a psychosynthesis trained and nationally Board Certified Life Coach, Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner and Educator, Certified Nia White Belt Instructor, and Peak Performance Coach. She has a passion for educating coaches and healing professionals to learn about the nervous system and how it functions in order to overcome blocks and fears while moving forward towards greater resiliency, synthesis, and wholeness. |


Robin White, BCC

Assistant Trainer, Synthesis Northeast

Robin is a nationally Board Certified Health/Wellness and Life Coach, a psychosynthesis counselor, and certified Yoga Alliance Teacher.  She specializes in self care coaching and incorporates Psychosynthesis, Nonviolent Communication, and Focusing in her wellness and yoga retreats, as well as in her online app, “Time for You”, drawing on these same tools and techniques. Robin lives and works in southern VT. |


Alan C. Haras, M.A.

Adjunct Faculty, Synthesis San Francisco & Synthesis Northeast

Alan is a Psychosynthesis coach, spiritual director, retreat guide and an 800-hour Dharma Yoga teacher.   He is the founder and director of The Cardoner Institute for Contemplative Leadership and the owner of Hamsa Yoga Center in Lake Orion, MI. With a master’s degree in Religious Studies and extensive training in Ignatian Spirituality, Psychosynthesis and Yoga Philosophy, Alan’s courses, seminars and workshops are suffused with a deep appreciation for the world’s wisdom traditions; joyfully drawing upon a host of stories, anecdotes and teachings to illustrate shared themes of growth and transformation. He lives in Michigan with his wife Rita G. Patel.  |


Susan Jewkes Allen, MSW, GCDF

Founding Director, Synthesis San Francisco

Adjunct Faculty, Synthesis Northeast

Susan is the Founder of Synthesis San Francisco and has a global practice working with people in life-work transition.  A cornerstone of her practice is to encourage and guide clients to identify vision, affirm belief and inspire action to build a career path that offers fulfillment and joy. Susan has been sought after in print and radio outlets, including CBC radio, US News and World Report, and the New York Times. Susan has been a community developer and consultant on work, business, health and entrepreneurship with governments, non-profits, education sectors, and business in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia.  She has consulted with and for the World Health Organization, Health Canada, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations and numerous educational institutions and non-profits.  |



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