On Playing Well with Others

  Ask mathematicians about their experience of the craft, and most will talk about an intense feeling of intellectual camaraderie. “A very central part of any mathematician’s life is this sense of connection to other minds, alive today and going back to Pythagoras,” said Steven Strogatz, a professor of mathematics at Cornell University.  “We are having this conversation with each other going over the millennia.”   The quotation above is from a recent article in the NY Times Magazine about a brilliant mathematician, Dr. Terry Tao, at UCLA1.  I read the whole article with much interest, but this particular statement…

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Autism, Vaccines and the Trump Administration

“So what’s going on with autism? When you look at the tremendous increase, it’s really – it’s such an incredible – it’s really a horrible thing to watch, the tremendous amount of increase…”  (February 14, 2017, reported in the Washington Post) “When I was growing up, autism wasn’t really a factor,” Trump said. “And now all of a sudden, it’s an epidemic. Everybody has their theory. My theory, and I study it because I have young children, my theory is the shots. We’ve giving these massive injections at one time, and I really think it does something to the children.” …

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Review: Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

Dark Money:  The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right Author:  Jane Mayer NY:  Doubleday,  2016   This is a detailed, well-researched look into the monetary forces driving the far right, including movements like the Tea Party (and far, far more). The subjects of the investigative reporting are billionaires (the Koch brothers, the DeVos family and others) who, as Libertarians, believe that no government is pretty much the best government and so have used their money to methodically buy institutions and influence people to conform with their ideals. It is a clear answer to why…

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Statement of Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright – Jan 30, 2017

Statement of Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright – Jan 30, 2017 The following statement from Secretary Albright was emailed to me by the group Organizing for Action.  In addition, Secretary Albright was on the PBS News Hour last Monday night expressing similar thoughts “By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the executive order on immigration and refugees that the President signed on Friday. It bans Syrian refugees from entering our country, suspends the entire refugee program for 120 days, cuts in half the number of refugees we can admit, and halts all travel from certain Muslim-majority countries. I felt…

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Hyperbolic Geometry (or How I Became a Postmodernist)

This story begins with an almost unbearable 10th grade Geometry class— unbearable because of the attitude of the teacher.  He shall remain nameless, but if he reads this (unlikely to say the least), I’m hoping he will recognize his part.  It was 1963 and I was a good and reasonably devoted student.  Our teacher, however, stated often that girls just couldn’t learn math very well, so he walked around the class during exams whispering hints and answers to them.  However, the powers of the universe (whatever you believe them to be) provided, as they often do, recompense for this disaster…

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Our current political climate has been the catalyst for thought

Our current political climate has been the catalyst for thought – and for clarification of the position I take as the founder of and impetus behind Illuminated Education.  For most of my career as a psychologist I have described my theoretical rooting as eclectic, drawing from numerous theoretical constructs when considering each case or situation.  I find now, that, although I still value and use all of the theoretical views that have informed my work in the past,  the ideas at the center are similar to those articulated by the Stone Center at Wellesley College and the work and writing…

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Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Action: Case Based Training ©

Presenters: Shari Manning, PhD and Kate Comtois, PhD, MPH DBT in Action: Case Based Training© is for individuals who have been practicing DBT Individual Psychotherapy in the context of a comprehensive program. This training will build on existing skills and provide opportunities for feedback and consultation designed to increase the capacities necessary for certification in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Participants will follow a client named “Lisa” through Stage 1 DBT. Participants will function as “Lisa’s” individual therapist and conduct sessions that include pre-treatment, commitment, chain analysis and the interventions that are chosen as part of solution analysis. Strategies will be identified,…

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Hardiness Zones for Girls: Best Practices for Helping Girls Thrive at School and After School – July 12, 2016

Presenters: Melissa J. Johnson, PhD and Vicki Chiang, PsyD Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 Professionals who work with teen girls in mental health, education and after-school programs often ask how they can help girls thrive in today’s complex world. This course is designed to provide attendees with current information on the biggest issues facing teen girls today – and ways to develop hardiness and advocacy in the face of these challenges. Using a 3-tier public health model, we will look at best practices in girls’ programming for systems such as schools and youth organizations, as well as for meeting the…

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My Thanks to Dobby the House-Elf

My Thanks to Dobby the House-Elf These days the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy is what’s hot— and with good reason.  Tolkien’s world is richly drawn and philosophically based.  I haven’t heard anyone mention Harry Potter in months.  But, no matter how overshadowed the Harry Potter books are by the giant trilogy, they still have many things to offer us in the psychological realm.  Aimed at a young audience, the Harry Potter books are more simply stated which makes them more accessible.  In addition, where Tolkien focuses broadly, imbedding individual psychological development in the context of a larger, international and,…

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Doing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): An Advanced Intensive Training

Dates:  Wednesday March 2, 2016 through Saturday, March 5, 2016 in Pasadena, CA Location:   Neighborhood Church, 301 N Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91103 Presenters:  Charlie Swenson, MD and Kelly Koerner, PhD Presented in collaboration with the Institute for Girls’ Development and the DBT Center of San Gabriel Valley. In Doing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): An Advanced Intensive Training the instructors will tackle typical problems in the practice of DBT, demonstrating how to address them with a fine-tuned level of detail, similar to having supervision in a group. While the syllabus will be set in advance and will be…

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