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 of a “learning experience” in the form of a Mr. Peter Drees (whose name I shall happily mention).  Mr. Drees was, I believe, the math coordinator for the school district, and he got it into his head to discover whether he could teach a group of undistinguished 15-year-olds Hyperbolic Geometry. …

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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 of Jean Baker Miller, Judith Jordan and others who were and are associated with what has come to be called Relational-Cultural Therapy (RCT). 1  This is a theoretical stance which, along with other elements, embraces feminism and social justice. Core concepts of this work include the notions that “people grow…

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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, coached and strengthened by the trainers and other participants. As others are conducting DBT individual therapy sessions and/or presenting cases, other participants will be identifying strategies in individual therapy sessions, looking for what is DBT and what is not, and focus on the provision of effective DBT consultation. Additionally, participants…

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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 needs of individual and small groups of girls. Each year we offer panels on specific topics – this year we have two panels incorporated into the 1-day training: (1) Hardiness Zones for girls struggling with self-injury and other expressions of emotional dysregulation and (2) Hardiness Zones for gender non-conforming and…

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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, perhaps, world-wide context, “Harry Potter” author, J.K. Rowling, stays more focused on individual psyches and the relationships formed around those individuals.  Most people can easily see the characters known as “dementors” as personifications of the feelings of depression.  The Bogart represents those personal internal fears which inhabit us all— 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 followed in detail, instructors and participants will also tailor the clinical examples, demonstrations, and experienctial practices to the needs, interests and clinical experiences of participants. Topics covered are: – Being dialectical: DBT as a principle-based treatment – Treating secondary targets – Behavioral chain analysis and case conceptualization – Understanding and…

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