LACH has a great number of scientists, engineers, researchers, evidential mediums, technicians, and others who work with us at various times as required for specific areas of research.
This webpage is limited to the primary people who are currently affiliated with the research at LACH.
Dr. Gary E. Schwartz
Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology, Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, and Surgery at the University of Arizona, Tucson. He is the Director of the Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health. In 2002, he created an NIH-funded Center for Frontier Medicine in Biofield Science at the University of Arizona, which he directed for four years.
He received his Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University in 1971 and was an assistant professor there. He later served as a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Yale University, director of the Yale Psychophysiology Center, and co-director of the Yale Behavioral Medicine Clinic.
Dr. Schwartz has published more than 500 scientific papers, including six in the journal Science, and is a Fellow in multiple scientific associations. He served as the founding President of the Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterial Sciences. Seven of his books -- The Living Energy Universe, The Afterlife Experiments, The Energy Healing Experiments, The Truth about Medium, The Sacred Promise, An Atheist in Heaven, and Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence -- are related to his scientific investigations and findings addressing the survival of consciousness hypothesis.
Dr. Mark Pitstick
Mark Pitstick, MA, DC has over fifty years’ experience helping people in hospitals, pastoral counseling settings, mental health centers, and holistic health care practice. His training includes: bachelor of science degree; graduate theology studies in pastoral counseling; master degree in clinical psychology; and doctorate in chiropractic health care. He also was trained in suicide prevention counseling and education.
Dr. Pitstick wrote Soul Proof, Radiant Wellness, and The Eleven Questions and co-authored Greater Reality Living and The Big Picture of Life. His most recently-published books are The Afterlife Evidence and Ask the Soul Doctor.
He provides clinical support for HelpingParentsHeal group leaders and Caring Listeners. Mark directs the SoulPhone Foundation and assists research for the SoulPhone Project. He founded Greater Reality Living groups to help people prepare for the paradigm shift after announcements and demonstrations of scientific proof of life after death.
Rhonda Eklund Schwartz
Rhonda Eklund Schwartz, MA received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Arts degree from Northern Illinois University. She went on to pursue a career as a fine artist while also working for a Fortune 100 company for over 23 years, serving in a variety of capacities including quality control and as an international specialist.
When Rhonda began experiencing communications from her mother after her passing in 2001, Rhonda was compelled not only to develop her intuitive skills to improve and strengthen their surprising and continuing relationship, but also to learn about and understand the physics of spirit and the science behind the greater spiritual reality.
In 2006, she met and married Dr. Schwartz and moved to Tucson. Rhonda continued to develop her intuitive skills and began to participate in LACH evidential mediumship research. During this time, she authored Love Eternal: Extraordinary Personal and Scientific Evidence for Life After Death.
Rhonda serves as the chief evidential research medium at LACH. She is a co-author of the forthcoming book The Case for the SoulPhone: Beyond Reasonable Doubt Evidence for Life Beyond Physical Death (G. Schwartz, R. Schwartz, and M. Pitstick).
Dr. John Diepold
John H. Diepold, Jr., Ph.D. is a licensed practicing psychologist in Moorestown, NJ with over 40 years of clinical experience. He has a keen interest in the treatment of trauma and in performance enhancement. Dr. Diepold has studied, applied, and integrated many traditional (and non-traditional) psychotherapy approaches and models with emerging electro-biophysical science.
Dr. Diepold a Life Status Member of the American Psychological Association, long-time Member of the New Jersey Psychological Association (former Executive Board Member), the South Jersey Psychological Association (former President), the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology (Diplomat and former Executive Board Member), and the former Academy of Integrative Pain Management (Diplomat).
Dr. Diepold’s observations, studies, and clinical experiences culminated in the development of Heart Assisted Therapy (HAT), which was introduced in 2006. He has taught many workshops on HAT in the US, Canada, Belgium, and Holland. Heart Assisted Therapy (Diepold, 2018) was the formal professional offering beyond workshop manuals. In 2004 he co-authored Evolving Thought Field Therapy (Diepold, Britt, and Bender), and has authored and/or co-authored 12 professional papers or book chapters. Research on HAT continues at the University of Arizona and in clinical practice encompassing both the scientific underpinnings and the clinical effectiveness of HAT.
Dr. Thomas Plante
Thomas G. Plante, Ph.D., ABPP is the Augustin Cardinal Bea, S.J. University Professor, professor of psychology, and by courtesy, religious studies, at Santa Clara University. He is also an adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine and maintains a private clinical practice in Menlo Park, CA. More information is available on his Santa Clara University webpage.
Dr. Plante currently serves as editor of the American Psychological Association journal, Spirituality in Clinical Practice. He is an APA fellow (in Divisions 12, 36, 38, 46, and 47) and recently served on APA’s Council of Representatives. He has published 29 books, including Human Interaction with the Divine, the Sacred, and the Deceased: Psychological, Scientific, and Theological Perspectives (with Gary E. Schwartz, 2022, Routledge). He has published over 250 journal articles and book chapters as well.
Dr. Plante has been frequently featured in major national and international media outlets such as CNN, Time Magazine, and the PBS News Hour. He received an undergraduate degree in psychology from Brown University, an MA and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas and completed his clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship in clinical and health psychology at Yale University.
Dr. Deborah L. Erickson
Deborah L. Erickson, MBA, Ph.D. is Executive Director for the Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences, a non-profit membership and educational organization with the mission to promote open-minded, rigorous, and evidence-based inquiry into postmaterialist consciousness research. AAPS’ vision is to inspire scientists to investigate mind and consciousness as core elements of reality.
She is also Honorary Website Manager for the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) in London. The SPR was established in 1882, the first scientific organization ever to examine claims of psychic and paranormal phenomena. SPR members represent a variety of academic and professional interests all over the world.
Dr. Erickson’s dissertation research was the first mixed methods parapsychological study exploring telepathic interspecies communication with domestic canines. Her most recent research involves telepathic animal communication engaging therapy horses, working with PTSD and brain-injured military veterans.
Dr. Erickson’s experience includes over 30 years in technology management as an IT Director and Technical Project Manager at Fortune 250 corporations and a federal agency. She is a parapsychology researcher, telepathic interspecies communicator, Reiki Master, and Healing Touch for Animals practitioner. In her spare time, she helps build backyard fences with Fences for Fido, an all-volunteer organization working to "unchain" dogs in their backyards. More information at www.deborahericksonphd.com.
Dr. Michael Lafasakis
Michael Lafasakis, Ph.D., MS Ed., LBA/BCBA-D is a parent advocate who has been serving nonverbal children with severe autism and other developmental disabilities for over two decades for several hospital/special education programs in New York.
Dr. Lafasakis began training in the Learning Processes & Behavior Analysis Ph.D. program at The CUNY Graduate Center and after expanding to humanistic approaches, he received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Walden University.
His published research in JABA, JADD and JPBI has been cited in over 200 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and in over 10 academic textbooks. Dr. Lafasakis’ research has been listed as Recommended Practices by several state education departments in the United States for teaching communication skills to nonverbal children with autism.
Dr. Lafasakis first met Dr. Schwartz in 2021 after discovering his research on the AAPS website. He aims to explore scientific concepts in theology/spirituality as well as to conduct integrative/translational research that contributes to the emerging interdisciplinary field of theopsychobiophysics.
Dr. Lafasakis is currently enrolled in the Diaconate Program at Holy Cross Hellenic College and Greek-Orthodox School of Theology with special theopsychobiophysical interests in: (1) The Eucharist & Jesus Christ's role in learning compassion for self and others; (2) martyrs, saints & holy relics; and (3) the healing power of invoking Jesus’ name, prayers, liturgies, vigils & common faith-based behavior.
Steve Smith, Bsc (hons) is a Chartered Engineer and has 40 years’ experience in analog instrumentation, video and RF electronics. He is the founder/CEO of two successful start-ups.
Steve gained his interest in electronics at very early age and during his long career has worked for the BBC, for Philips pioneering video disk electronics, for Link building the world’s first triaxial broadcast TV Camera, and for Racal as a lead engineer designing wireless companders, transmitter and receivers. He moved to the US in 1995 where he worked with LTX Credence designing high reliability precision instrumentation for the semiconductor test industry ranging from DC to GHz. He founded his first start up OATest inc. in 2005, then OAInnovations inc. in 2014. Since then, Steve has been involved in cutting-edge low noise / high speed design for E-beam metrology, Medical Electronics, wireless, Pipeline inspection, Quantum Computing, and LIDAR.
Steve has also studied many aspects of spirituality and tools for greater self-awareness, and seeks freedom from egoic constraints and to apply a combination of theory, intuition, mindfulness, and creating a win-win into the business environment and in interactions with others.
Steve is particularly excited about working with the SoulPhone program because for him it represents a unique convergence of his spirituality with technology and has profound life changing potential for humanity.
Jennifer Horner, MBA has served as the Laboratory Manager at LACH for over five years. Prior to and concurrently with her LACH affiliation, she taught several courses in the University of Arizona's College of Engineering. Jennifer's other endeavors at the UA included serving as the Project Manager for Digital Learning and as the Associate Director for Engagement and Communications in the Office of Strategic Initiatives.
Before joining the UA in 2009, Jennifer worked in a variety of technical and marketing roles for companies that include American Express, IBM, and several strategic management consulting firms. She holds a BS in Systems Engineering from the UA and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from UCLA.
Jennifer discovered Dr. Schwartz and his research in the early 2000s as the result of a personal experience with cancer. She states that "I cannot begin to imagine research more important than the work that Dr. Schwartz and his team are doing."