Meghan Jablonski

BA, Muhlenberg College. MA, PhD, The New School for Social Research. Clinical psychologist with special interests in attachment theory and the impact of important relationships throughout life, the role of creative processes in wellness and resilience, and mindfulness practices. Current work includes psychodynamic/relational psychoanalytic approaches to life changes and adjustments, flow- and mindfulness-based interventions promoting wellness beyond symptom reduction, and mindfulness-based interventions for new and expecting parents adjusting to parenthood. SLC, 2013–

Undergraduate Courses 2017-2018

Psychology

First-Year Studies: Virtually Yours: Evolution and Technology of Relationships in the Digital Age

Open , FYS—Year

This seminar seeks to examine ways in which humans have evolved to relate to each other and be related to and how our innate relational patterns fit (or do not fit) within the rapidly evolving digital world. We will consider ways in which digital life is changing how people relate and ways in which this may be challenging for some but beneficial for others. We will begin with relevant historical and developmental perspectives on attachment theory, human bonding, and shifting relational expectations. We will move on to consider how various realms of the digital world (e.g., social media, messaging, dating apps, video chats, artificial intelligence, virtual reality) impact our relational patterns, as well as aspects of self and identity expression (e.g., of gender, sexuality, values, beliefs, interests). We will consider the role of digital spaces in making new connections, building friendships, falling in love, and maintaining romantic bonds, as well as bullying, revenge, trolling, and potential barriers to empathy that may occur when our gazes are fixed on screens and not on each other. We will also consider our emerging engagement with artificial intelligence and our attachment to the digital devices themselves. Classes will be both discussion-based and experiential, with opportunities for observation (e.g., observing children relating/engaging in play in the Early Childhood Center, free from digital devices) and in-class activities related to weekly topics (e.g. comparing experiences engaging with early logic-based digital toys, such as Simon and Speak n’ Spell, vs. digital toys that express affection such as Furby). Class reading will include primary- and secondary-source academic material from diverse perspectives in developmental, neuropsychological, clinical, and cultural psychology and related fields. Supplemental material will include relevant literature, memoir, TedTalks, and popular media coverage of related topics. Conference topics may include, but are not limited to, the role of digital spaces in forming and maintaining relationships; relationships formed through artificial intelligence and/or digital devices; and/or developmental, neuropsychological, clinical, social and/or cultural perspectives on, or shifts in, relating in the digital age. Conference projects may be completed in the form of an academic literature review, in original data collection, and/or in a creative piece with academic justification and will include a class presentation.

Faculty

Previous Courses

Virtually Yours: Evolution and Technology in Human Relating

Open , Seminar—Fall

From John Bowlby’s landmark attachment theory to contemporary theories of human bonding, theorists, researchers, philosophers, and writers have sought to understand the drives that serve us, as humans, in seeking and maintaining important relationships. Neuroimaging data and evolutionary psychology provide strong evidence that we typically possess highly specialized and evolved mechanisms that underlie our desires and efforts to relate and connect to others, to know and be known, to love and be loved. This seminar seeks to examine the ways in which we have evolved, in order to relate to each other and be related to, and how our innate relational patterns fit (or do not fit) within the rapidly-evolving digital world. We will also consider ways in which digital life might be changing how we relate and ways in which this might be beneficial for some and challenging for others. Classes will be discussion-based and begin with an overview of developmental and historical perspectives on attachment theory, human bonding, and self-expression. We will move on to consider how various realms of the digital world (e.g., social media, messaging, dating apps, video chats, virtual reality) impact our relational patterns. We will consider how these might impact our experience maintaining friendships, falling in love, and maintaining romantic bonds. We will also consider how themes such as revenge, bullying, and being rude are expressed in the digital world. Readings will include relevant academic and lay literature. Conference projects may include, but are not limited to, examination of specific social media platforms and/or comparisons of specific digital and analog relational patterns.

Faculty

Sleep and Health: Clinical Conditions and Wellness

Open , Lecture—Spring

A key and often overlooked aspect of recharging is also one of the most obvious: getting enough sleep. There is nothing that negatively affects my productivity and efficiency more than lack of sleep. After years of burning the candle on both ends, my eyes have been opened to the value of getting some serious shuteye. —Arianna Huffington, Sarah Lawrence College Commencement Address, 2012

Sleep is an incredibly powerful piece of the human experience—one that everyone does or does not do enough—that is often marginalized in contemporary culture. This class examines historical, developmental, physiological, and cultural perspectives on the construct of sleep and explores the role of sleep in psychopathology, relevant medical conditions, and wellness. How sleep impacts, and is impacted by, clinical conditions will be examined, along with Eastern and Western approaches to understanding the mysterious world of sleep. We will consider nonclinical phenomena such as innate sleep cycles and dreaming, as well as gender differences in sleep behavior. The course will conclude with a look at the powerful benefits of sleeping well, including evidence from electroencephalogram (EEG) and neuroimaging data and from the examination of cultures with exceptionally high levels of wellbeing. Weekly reading assignments will include literature in sleep science, developmental psychology, physiology, and clinical research, as well as relevant case studies, essays, and memoirs. Additionally, class members will follow the topic of sleep in popular media—including WNYC’s recent sleep project, Clock Your Sleep!—and will have the opportunity to monitor their own sleep patterns using popular sleep apps. Select film and documentary material will be included for class discussion. Conference work may include projects on clinical, developmental, physiological, and/or cultural aspects of sleep. Projects may also be focused on topics related to sleep such as dreaming, memory/other cognitive functions, and/or mindfulness meditation. Students interested in developmental aspects of sleep in children may complete a weekly fieldwork placement at the Early Childhood Center.

Faculty

Attachment Across the Life Cycle: How Relationships Shape Us from Infancy to Older Adulthood

Intermediate , Seminar—Spring

Throughout life, people may experience a varied and complex range of attraction, intimacy, and loss. From intense desire to profound grief, the relationships that people find themselves in—and out of—can consume much of their attention. What is it about connecting to certain others that can hold such power? Why are people drawn to certain relationships and not to others? Do these important relationships affect a person’s development? Pioneered by John Bowlby, attachment theory emphasizes the impact of infant and early childhood attachment on social, emotional, and cognitive development. Attachment theory has become a widely accepted cornerstone of early human development. Current research in human bonding has grown to include key relationships throughout the lifespan. Beginning with attachments established in infancy and early childhood, this course will examine the impact of important relationships through childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and older adulthood. We will consider how the fulfillment or deprivation of important relationships may impact development and wellbeing. Landmark discoveries and emerging studies in attachment theory and human bonding will be covered, including relevant aspects of neuropsychological development, autism, adoption, queer families, resilience, spiritual identification, social affiliation, and parenting. Readings will include classical attachment literature, contemporary human-bonding research, developmental psychopathology, feminist critique, identity theory, social psychology, neuropsychology, object relations, and psychoanalytic literature. Film, case studies, and examples from popular media will be included for reflection and class discussion. A one-time observation in the Early Childhood Center (ECC) is required; weekly fieldwork in the ECC is encouraged. Conference work may include observations from the ECC (child or parent-child interactions observed during fieldwork) or observations from other settings such as youth/adolescent programs or older adult community centers.

Faculty