Category Archives: Social Therapy

International educators discover ‘spaces to become a head taller’

Educators from the US and several other countries, in town for the 11th International Transformative Learning Conference, at Teachers College, Columbia University, spent a pre-conference afternoon with Institute director Lois Holzman. Her workshop, entitled Spaces to Become A Head Taller introduced the Vygotskian-influenced, performatory … Continue reading

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A ‘Revolutionary Vygotsky’ takes the stage at ISCAR Summit in Sydney

The Institute’s director of pedagogy and Rutgers Univ. early childhood education faculty Carrie Lobman was among presenters at The 4th Congress of the International Society for Cultural and Activity Research in Sydney, Australia. The conference drew some 400 scholars and researchers in the … Continue reading

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New film by Ishita Sanyal “Opens the Doors” on mental illness in India

This report just in from 2008 International Class alumna Ishita Sanyal (second-from-right in photo above). Her new documentary film project, Open the Doors, which she co-directed with Abhishek Ganguli, recently premiered at the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum in Kolkata.  Special guests on hand for the premiere included American Consul … Continue reading

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“Beyond the Therapeutic State” — Time to Advance an Alternative Therapies Movement

  How do we bring together critique (of traditional psychologies) and (innovative, non-diagnostic) practice? That question is being asked more and more frequently and urgently the world over. About 200 psychologists, researchers and therapists gathered in Norway in June at Beyond the … Continue reading

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Another International Class collaboration: Celiane Carmargo-Borges and Peter Nsubuga

This report just in from International Class (2008-9) alumna Celiane Camargo-Borges, recounting her recent trip to Uganda to volunteer with  Hope for Youth Uganda, founded by fellow International Class colleague Peter Nsubuga. Celiane, a Brazilian psychologist living and working in the Netherlands, met … Continue reading

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Christine LaCerva and Paul Carlin to present @ ‘Beyond the Therapeutic State’ in Norway

Social Therapy Group director Christine LaCerva and Enerhaugen Family Counselling Services clinical psychologist Paul Carlin will be presenters at Beyond the Therapeutic State (Collaborative Practices for Individual and Social Change) in Drammen, Norway in June. The conference will draw participants from across the world who are … Continue reading

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Social Therapy Group Joins the National Dialogue on Mental Health

In response to the White House’s efforts to advance a national dialogue on mental health, The Social Therapy Group in New York, the Atlanta Center for Social Therapy and the Philadelphia Social Therapy Group will host an online community conversation on mental … Continue reading

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Holzman’s “The Overweight Brain” makes online debut

Lois Holzman’s latest book project — The Overweight Brain: How Our Obsession with Knowing Keeps Us from Getting Smart Enough to Make a Better World — made its online debut at LoisHolzman.org with the publication of a provocative first installment. Conceived as … Continue reading

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New International Class makes first visit to NYC

The Institute welcomed its 2013-2014 International Class, which gathered in New York City for a week of whirlwind activity. The smiling faces in the photo above belong to (front row, l. to r.) Jelena Aleksic (Serbia), Ksenija Milic (Serbia), Lois Holzman (ESI director, NYC), … Continue reading

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Ctty Meeting & Fundraiser caps spring fundraising drive

The Institute celebrated an annual rite of spring with its 6th annual Community Meeting and Fundraiser.   The festive gathering — a hallmark of the Institute’s financial independence — brought together 75+ shareholders and friends along with new colleagues and supporters.  The fundraising event … Continue reading

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Jennifer Bullock and Murray Dabby: Teaching “Good Therapists” to Be Better

Atlanta Center for Social Therapy director Murray Dabby and Philadelphia Social Therapy Group director Jennifer Bullock teamed up to lead a national web-conference with about 80  clinicians — all members of the GoodTherapy.org network. Entitled, Why Group Therapy: Going From Fixing Problems to Creating Possibilities, the conversation … Continue reading

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Therapy Play @ American Academy of Psychotherapists

Atlanta-based social therapist, Murray Dabby, led a “therapy play” at recent meetings of the national conference of the American Academy of Psychotherapists, themed:  The Core of Psychotherapy.  His popular workshop, entitled, The Therapy Play, cast 35 clinicians into the role of collective therapist, as a single … Continue reading

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8 Students from Japan to South Africa join a postmodern psychology play

How do you teach a postmodern psychology? Or more specifically, how do you design a seminar to engage the foundations, politics, philosophy and community-based applications of the social therapeutic approach? (Presumably, pop quizzes and multiple-choice tests are out…) Institute faculty Lois … Continue reading

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Murilo Dos Santos Moscheta: Advancing an aesthetic approach to human development

Brazilian psychologist and International Class (2010) alumnus Murilo Dos Santos Moscheta recently published an article entitled, Performance and Identity:  Notes for an Aesthetic/Relational Appraisal of Development, which appears in the Brazilian journal Nova Perspectiva Sistêmica (NPS), out of Rio de Janeiro. Dos Santos … Continue reading

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Christine LaCerva presents on clinical work with families + children

Christine La Cerva, Director of the Social Therapy Group, will host a four-week online seminar for therapists, educators and parents entitled “Therapy Play with Children and Families.” Using interviews, unpublished case study materials and notes from supervisory sessions, Christine will introduce … Continue reading

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Social Therapy at Harlem Week

A team of 18 Institute and Social Therapy Group staff, faculty and volunteers participated in Harlem Week festivities on August 19, creating a stage for some good conversation about emotional development as a critical issue for our communities. The team … Continue reading

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The Human Cost of Bad Science: Therapists need new tools

The Human Cost of Diagnosis forum brought together Columbia University’s Gil Eyal, the Institute’s Lois Holzman, and Social Therapy Group director Christine LaCerva at NYU’s Vanderbilt Hall. The audience of 100+ therapists, educators, parents and others were treated to three ways of looking at … Continue reading

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International Class graduates complete ‘developmental’ course of study

Faculty and graduates of the Institute’s 2011-2012 International Class gathered in New York City for a graduation ceremony to mark the completion of their 10-month course of study. Pictured above (back row l. to r.) Christine Helm, Andrew Burton, Kim … Continue reading

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Students at St. Francis de Sales School for the Deaf perform “Annie”

Carrie Lobman at ImprovisationalLearning.org reports on a youth theatre performance that she attended at the invitation of colleague Anne Alexis at St Francis de Sales School for the Deaf. Anne has studied social therapeutics for years and has creatively incorporated a performance orientation … Continue reading

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Otto Award Winner Hector Aristizábal explores therapeutic power of performance

Lois Holzman greeted 2012 Otto Award winner Hector Aristizábal at a reception for the honorees at the Castillo Theatre (above).  Aristizábal, a Colombian psychologist and founder of Los Angeles-based ImaginAction, uses performance and theatre games to help people deal with trauma. In accepting his award, he shared with the … Continue reading

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Alex Sutherland leads prison performances in South Africa

Alex Sutherland reports on her work in the local prison in Grahamstown South Africa, where she leads weekly theatre-making workshops. Andile (shown above rehearsing with the Ubom drama company) had been a member of the prison performance ensemble since the group formed … Continue reading

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“Discursive Perspectives in Therapeutic Practice,” alternatives to medical psychiatry

Andy Lock and Tom Strong’s new book, Discursive Perspectives in Therapeutic Practice is hot off the presses. It includes a chapter by Lois Holzman and Fred Newman, Activity and performance (and their discourses) in social therapeutic method. Other featured authors include: Kenneth J. … Continue reading

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Open House Features a Performance of Social Therapy

The Social Therapy Group hosted an Open House at its community center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Thirty people attended, including members of the Students and Professionals in Mental Health Meetup.  By way of introduction, Institute faculty member Hugh Polk, M.D., asked members of … Continue reading

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Kolkata-based therapeutic community, Turning Point, turns 14

Ishita Sanyal (a 2008 alumna of the Institute’s International Class) reports that her Kolkata-based community mental health organization, Turning Point, turned 14 this past month. The community celebrated its achievements at offering the mentally ill of Kolkata “Livelihood & Meaningful … Continue reading

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Miguel Cortés to lead Revolutionary Conversation en Español

Beginning in March, the Institute will offer its first Revolutionary Conversation en Español.  Led by youth worker, family therapist, and teacher educator, Miguel Eduardo Cortés Vázquez  the five-week online conversation —  Terapia Social en Latinoamérica — will introduce participants to how social therapeutics is being used in communities … Continue reading

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Not crazy about DSM (I,II, III, IV or V)

See Lois Holzman’s latest post on the growing controversy surrounding the proposed 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) — “the diagnostic bible for mental health professionals the world over—and a cash cow for the American Psychiatric … Continue reading

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Performing beyond “mentally ill” at Saint Elizabeths Hospital in D.C.

What is mental illness? What is community? What is a “good neighbor” or an “upstanding citizen?” These are some of the philosophical questions discussed in therapy groups led by Andres Marquez-Lara, at Saint Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C.  Andres is a therapist, … Continue reading

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A San Francisco ‘Playground’ with Helen Abel

San Francisco’s Life Performance Coaching Center hosted a workshop, “Connecting with Others: An Introduction to Play,” on December 2, led by social therapist Helen Abel (front row, 4th from left in photo).  Part of the Center’s “Playground” series, the workshop featured improvisational games designed … Continue reading

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Peter Nsubuga Inspires Donors at Fall Ctty Meeting and Fundraiser

International Class alumnus and Hope for Youth Uganda founder Peter Nsubuga joined director Lois Holzman and All Stars Project co-founder and UX dean Lenora Fulani as a special guest presenter at the Institute’s fall community meeting and fundraiser on Sunday, November 13. (Fulani, who is also … Continue reading

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All over the world — innovation and experimentation

The new issue of the Institute’s Reports from the Field newsletter reports on the latest projects of colleagues worldwide. Lois Holzman, director, comments: Our friends… are innovating and experimenting with play, performance, social therapeutics and other unorthodox methods of education, public health, psychological … Continue reading

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“Heal Your Brain,” say the new, neuropsychiatrists

The Institute’s Susan Massad, M.D., and Jan Wootten attended an engaging lecture by Columbia University researcher and professor of clinical psychiatry, David J. Hellerstein, M.D., who spoke recently at the New York Academy of Sciences to introduce his book, Heal Your … Continue reading

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Autistic and in the World

Carrie Lobman comments on Improvisational Learning.org on Sunday’s New York Times feature, Autistic and Seeking a Place in an Adult World , which tells the story of Justin Canha, a young artist diagnosed with autism at age three, who was helped to find his … Continue reading

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Miguel E. Cortés Vazquez to present at Tijuana conference on therapeutic work

2007-8 International Class alumnus, Miguel E. Cortés Vazquez, will present on his work at the Fred Newman Center for Social Therapy in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, at a conference on Community Praxis in Tijuana in October. The title of his presentation is La Terapia Social … Continue reading

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Harlem Week w Dr. Fulani: “Let’s Develop!”

Institute and Social Therapy Group staff and volunteers joined Dr. Lenora Fulani at Harlem Week on Sunday. The team signed up 200 people interested in development and developing. Just down the block on 135th Street was the All Stars Project‘s … Continue reading

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Nov. 20th deadline for online program in social therapeutics

Applications for the 20-week, Social Therapeutics Online Certificate Program led by ESI faculty, Lois Holzman, Carrie Lobman and Christine Helm, are being accepted through November 20th. Find out more here.     “Among the topics….human development and group creativity; the enhancement … Continue reading

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Social Therapist, Hugh Polk, M.D., and “men’s emotional prison…”

The Social Therapy Group‘s, Community Therapist blog features a new piece by medical director Hugh Polk, M.D., writing on his experiences in doing therapy with men and the emotional prison that many live in…. Men are socialized in our culture … Continue reading

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Social Therapy Group’s Ann Green receives honors from Hunter College

Ann Green, a staff social therapist at the Social Therapy Group, recently received a Master’s degree from Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing in its graduate program for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. At the graduation ceremonies, Ann was presented with a … Continue reading

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27 colleagues engage the art of social therapy, online

Carrie Lobman — the Institute’s “pedagogue,” (educator of educators) — reports on the successful completion of “Community Therapist” Christine LaCerva’s online class on social therapy…. “It’s thrilling to have Christine teaching 27 practitioners from around the world (12 different countries … Continue reading

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