Mark and Mike met at a UCSD Center for Mindfulness teacher training intensive at Joshua Tree in 2017. They became easy friends, as they got to know each other they realized that they shared a lot of stress based similarities from their lives and careers in public safety. They both had a passion to bring these healing practices to public safety responders and thus MAPSti was born...
Mark Foreman, PsyD
Police Lieutenant (ret)
UCSD Trained MBSR Teacher
Mark’s most challenging time so far in his life, was the sudden and unexpected death in 2012 of his 19-year-old adopted son, Anthony. It was during this difficult time, Mark discovered mindfulness – more specifically MBSR. First on-line then through the UCSD Center for Mindfulness.
Mark learned through mindfulness practice how to be with the grief and loss and upset that comes with the death of a loved one, and how to navigate the daily reminders of missing.
Mark Foreman retired from a large city Police Department in 2007 as a lieutenant. Mark’s proudest moments were being recognized as a community leader in 2006 with the Ghandi Non-Violence Award. The award was presented to Dr. Jeffrey Rowe and him by Dr. Arun Ghandi, one of Mahatma Ghandi’s grandsons. Mark and Dr. Rowe had been nominated for the award by the Tarek-Kamisa Foundation (TKF). TKF is dedicated to teaching and inspiring forgiveness, hope and peace in youth and setting them on a path towards opportunity.
After retiring, Mark set about fulfilling his life’s dream of being a Doctor of Psychology. He graduated from Alliant International University with a Doctor of Psychology in clinical forensic psychology. For six years, Dr. Foreman worked as a Psychological Assistant, providing mental health services to regional first responders: Cops, firefighters, medics, lifeguards and their families. Mark embodies a trauma informed system of care in his treatment modalities.
Mark is Director of Education and Training at Focus Psychological Services.
As a therapist, Mark embodied therapeutic practices that empirically support mindfulness. Mark also sits as a board member advising Mental Health America of San Diego (MHASD).
Mark is a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher trained at UCSD Center for Mindfulness. These practices have brought him to a place in his journey that brings mindfulness and compassion into the lives and daily awareness of police officers and firefighters. The intent is to allow space for 1st responders to interact with the public they serve in a humanistic manner.
Michael St. John
Fire Operations Division Chief (ret)
UCSD Trained MBSR Teacher
Dialogue Facilitator - Bread of Life Foundation
Mike retired in 2005 after serving over 30 years in Municipal Fire Protection as an Operations Division Chief. He then pursued a 4-year journey developing a software product and brought it to market. In 2008 his cardiologist told him he needed to lower his blood pressure, he suggested it might be beneficial to learn to live differently. He offered Mike two choices; blood pressure medication or meditation along with a copy of the book Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn – to Mike’s astonishment with meditation practice, his blood pressure came down.
Meditation practice turned out to be the beginning of some wonderful changes in his way of being. At first, what he heard as he sat was his harsh inner critic and he began to see how judgmental he was – about everything – this was disturbing, he wondered if it was possible find a different way to live. After 30 days of practicing meditation and reading Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book he began to experience the world in a different way and could notice when he would slip back into old habits of control and rumination. These habits seemed to die hard – but with practice they softened into the background - he liked this new way he was beginning to experience the world.
After two divorces and seven years into a third marriage, Mike knew he needed to do things differently. The couple was fortunate to find a therapist who believed in mindfulness and the spirituality of the work we do when we are in relationship. This work along with mindfulness and dialogue helped Mike find an inner peace he’d never known. His judging mind began to soften and he found compassion for himself and others. His wife, children, and friends noticed the positive changes – his life was becoming more spacious and he was more aware when he felt the need to be in control or in-charge and was more willing to let go and be curious and compassionate with the present moment experience.
In 2008 Mike enrolled in a two-year Dialogue teacher training practicum, studying Contemplative Dialogue/Active Engagement through the Bread of Life Center in Sacramento, CA and The Centre For Contemplative Dialogue in Georgetown, IN. This life changing practice incorporates skills and concepts that increase awareness, access creative freedom, and increase compassion as we learn to connect with ourselves and others. Mike was exploring and softening his harsh inner critic, he was replacing judgement with curiosity and compassion, he would notice when he was building walls and became committed to taking them down. He became more interested in fostering connection and engagement, even in the face of division and aggression.
Mike’s success with Dialogue was connected to his meditation practice and the teachings of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), this foundation of mindfulness had opened the way for him to deeply experience the relational work of Contemplative Dialogue. It was then that he decided to go further into mindfulness and study to become an MBSR teacher through the University of California San Diego’s, Center for Mindfulness, Teacher Training Program – he completed the program in December of 2017 and loves teaching and sharing these life changing practices.