Meghan Jablonski

BA, Muhlenberg College. MA, PhD, The New School for Social Research. Clinical psychologist with special interests in how important relationships shape development, experience, and well-being throughout the lifespan and in the role of creative process, mindfulness, and restorative sleep in cultivating resilience and wellness. Areas of experience include: attachment theory and human bonding over the life span, relational psychoanalytic theory, brief relational/psychodynamic psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy research, sleep research, psychological and neuropsychological assessment, clinical practice across all levels of care and in underserved communities, creative flow theory and mindfulness-based practices. Current work is focused on relating, reality, and rest in the digital age.  SLC, 2013–

Undergraduate Courses 2021-2022

Psychology

Sleep Health and Well-Being

Open, Small 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

Though it is often marginalized in parts of contemporary culture, sleep makes much of waking life possible. While we might think of sleep as “down time,” our sleeping mind is hard at work—consolidating new memories, processing emotions, making creative connections, and even preparing for the future. Our physical body is restored, and our immune system is strengthened. Sleep deprivation and disordered sleep can have a catastrophic impact on health and well-being. Supporting sleep health can have profound impact on productivity, cognitive functioning, mood, and creative process. This mini-lecture will provide a basic overview of current sleep science, including: the two-process model of sleep-wake regulation; functions of the sleep phase; developmental sleep patterns; dreams and dreaming (including lucid dreaming); primary sleep disorders (such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy); and the impact of anxiety, depression, and substance use (including caffeine and alcohol) on sleep. We will further explore topics such as sleep routine; sleep environment; racial, socioeconomic, and gender inequities in sleep access; sleep in the digital age (such as the impact of blue-light on circadian rhythms and the influence of video games on dreaming); and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sleep. Historical, developmental, neuropsychological, physiological, and cross-cultural perspectives on sleep and well-being will be considered. This class will meet for one lecture section and one smaller seminar/conference section per week. Conference work will be group-based and will include the opportunity to develop sleep strategies based on your group’s literature review and observations of your own sleep patterns.

Faculty

Virtually Yours: Relating and Reality in the Digital Age

Open, Seminar—Fall

Over the past several years, digital spaces—such as social media, messaging apps, dating apps, and online communities—have transformed the ways in which we experience ourselves and each other. As the COVID-19 pandemic sent much of daily life online, this process was accelerated and amplified—providing the benefits of connection for some, challenges for others, and highlighting disparities in access for many. This semester, we will discuss this impact and process the path forward through emerging research and relevant observations. This seminar will consider how various digital platforms (e.g., social media, gaming communities, dating apps, messaging and video chats, virtual reality) impact the ways in which people navigate identity, build and maintain important relationships, form communities, and create a shared reality. Classes will be both discussion-based and experiential, with opportunities for observation and in-class activities related to weekly topics. Class reading will include psychological perspectives on social media and video games; gender, sexuality, and race in the digital age; developmental, neuropsychological, and clinical psychology and related fields. Reading assignments will include both academic literature and relevant popular media. Supplemental material will include films, TedTalks, and podcasts. Conference projects may include a range of topics and may be completed in the form of an extended, APA-style literature review or as an APA-style literature review along with a related podcast, fieldwork observations, and/or another original creative piece. Students who are interested in completing a semester-long, weekly fieldwork placement in the SLC Early Childhood Center (ECC) as part of their conference work (e.g. observing children in a screen-free environment over time) may have the opportunity to do so. NOTE: ECC fieldwork positions are limited due to COVID-19 precautions. If you are interested in a potential ECC placement, you will need to contact the ECC Director, Lorayne Carbon, as soon as you are registered for this class and prior to classes beginning. If you are able to secure an ECC fieldwork placement, please note that this will be a semester-long commitment. You will be expected to attend your scheduled ECC placement for four hours each week, work closely with your classroom teacher, and actively engage in your role as a classroom assistant.

Faculty

Practicum

Building a Professional Identity

Sophomore and Above, Practicum—Spring

Second-, third-, and fourth-year students who will be completing an internship placement during the spring 2022 semester are eligible to take this practicum-based course, offered in collaboration with SLC Career Services. The aim of this course is to help support students in making the transition from college life to work experience in their chosen field following the COVID-19 pandemic. The course will include mid-semester workshops on communication and networking, plus an end-of-semester alumni panel based on students’ interests. Over the semester, students will explore the process of building a professional identity during a time of remote work and uncertainty. Weekly reading will include topics in psychology and related fields. Topics will include building a professional identity, early supervisory skills, diversity equity and inclusion, workplace communication, imposter syndrome, professional networking, stress management, work-life balance, and ways of supporting well-being. Classes will include discussions based on assigned reading and internship observations and experiential activities related to class topics (e.g., communication, networking, meditation). Students will be invited to integrate their internship experiences through class discussion, experiential activities, collaborative group work, and observation journals. The goal is for students to gain an academic and experiential understanding of key concepts, which students may apply this semester and beyond. Students who have already completed Building a Professional Identity (for three or five credits) and are completing a new internship may enroll in this course for a second time (for three or five credits), with an emphasis on further developing leadership and mentorship skills. Returning students will attend the same class meetings as first-time students; however, reading and class assignments will focus on early career supervision, mentorship, and leadership roles. Internships may be in any field and must be approved by SLC Career Services prior to registering for this course. An offer letter for your placement must be secured prior to registering for this course; your placement should begin no later than the end of the add/drop period. This class meets once weekly in the evening and may include periodic conference meetings and/or Career Service consultations. Students are expected to attend weekly class meetings in addition to regularly attending their internship placements.

Faculty

Foundations in Workplace Culture and Well-Being

Sophomore and Above, Practicum—Fall

Second-, third-, and fourth-year students who will be completing an internship placement in fall 2021 are eligible to take this practicum-based course, offered in collaboration with SLC Career Services. The aim of the course is to help support students in making the transition from college life to work experience in their chosen field—bridging the space between academic learning and engagement in a work setting. Over the semester, students will develop an academic understanding of relevant concepts based in industrial-organizational and positive psychology. Students will be invited to integrate their internship experiences through class discussion, experiential activities, collaborative group work, and observation journals. The goal is for students to gain an academic and experiential understanding of key concepts, which students may apply to help promote a successful work-life balance this semester and beyond. Topics that are generally applicable to workplace culture and work-life balance will be addressed. Class reading assignments will include academic literature in industrial-organizational psychology, positive psychology, and related fields, as well as relevant popular media. Topics will include workplace communication, diversity and inclusion, professional networking, job crafting, stress management, work-life balance, and ways of supporting well-being. Classes will include discussions based on assigned reading and internship observations, experiential activities related to class topics (e.g., communication, networking, meditation), Career Service workshops, and a recent alumni panel. Students who have already completed Foundations in Workplace Culture and Well-being (for 3 or 5 credits) and are completing a new internship may enroll in this course for a second time (for 3 or 5 credits), with an emphasis on further developing leadership and mentorship skills. Returning students will attend the same class meetings as first time students; however, reading and class assignments will focus on early career supervision, mentorship, and leadership roles. An offer letter for your placement must be secured and submitted to Career Services prior to registering for this course; your placement should begin no later than the end of the add/drop period. Internships may be in any field and must be approved by SLC Career Services prior to registering for this course. This class meets once weekly in the evening and may include periodic conference meetings and/or Career Service consultations. Students are expected to attend weekly class meetings in addition to regularly attending their internship placements.

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Previous Courses

Child Development

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

Bonding to Well-Being: How Early Attachment Bonds Shape Well-Being Throughout Life

Graduate Seminar—Spring

Attachment theory has become a widely accepted foundation of understanding early human development. Pioneered by John Bowlby, attachment theory emphasizes the role of infant and early childhood bonds with caregivers, usually parents, on social and emotional development. As study of attachment theory has advanced, interest in human bonding throughout adolescence and adulthood has increased. No longer confined to attachments established during infancy and early childhood, understanding how important relationships shape us during adolescence, adulthood, and older adulthood are growing areas of interest. Emerging studies of attachment in neuropsychological development, adoption, queer families, spiritual identification, social affiliation, and parenting give us new insights into how the fulfillment or deprivation of important relationships throughout life impact development and well-being. This course explores the historical and cross-theoretical roots of attachment theory, follows advances and refinements in attachment theory and research, and looks at attachment beyond childhood through adolescence, adulthood, and older adulthood. Readings include classical attachment theory, as well as contemporary attachment research, developmental psychopathology, feminist critique, identity theory, social psychology, neuropsychology, object relations, and psychoanalytic literature. Film and relevant case studies will be included for reflection and class discussion. Students will be required to complete weekly fieldwork placements in the Early Childhood Center (ECC). Students will work closely with classroom teachers one hour per week and will become part of the class (as advised and supervised by classroom teachers) while maintaining weekly observation logs relevant to seminar objectives and conference work. Conference will include observations from the ECC (child or child-parent observations). Conference work may also include observations from other settings where the students may be completing fieldwork, such as youth/adolescent programs or the Wartburg Center for Senior Living.

Faculty

Research Seminar: 21st-Century Sleep

Graduate Seminar—Spring

Technological advancements in the last century helped build an understanding of the neurophysiological and neuropsychological processes of sleep; technological advancements in the current century have made understanding and monitoring one’s own sleep widely accessible using digital devices and apps. Having been long marginalized or seen as a weakness, an indulgent luxury, or a barrier to productivity, the value of sleep as a physiological a psychological asset is gaining prominence. Consideration of sleep as central to well-being, cognitive function, creativity, and productivity is entering the mainstream discourse, and advocacy for sleep as a human right is gaining voice. Nap chairs are popping up in workplaces, the discovery of body clocks was awarded a Nobel Prize, and sleep deprivation has become a noted public-health concern. In a time where we are surrounded by digital screens, electric light, all-day coffee culture, and demanding expectations on time—and access to quality sleep is impacted by socioeconomic disparity—a culture is emerging in which sleep is regarded as a valued asset, not merely time spent “off” from waking life. What is the research supporting this emerging sleep narrative? What are the social, emotional, cognitive, and neuropsychological benefits of sleep? What is the impact of impaired sleep? What are the barriers to sleep and sleep access? What is an optimal sleep environment? And what new questions do we pose? Is there a relationship among sleep quality, anxiety, and attention challenges? Is there a relationship between sleepwalking and stress? How do attitudes toward sleep impact the experience of people with chronic fatigue? Do children who get regular and adequate sleep demonstrate greater social competence? How does attachment security impact sleep quality? What is the relationship between gender and sleep needs? How does sleeping in alignment with seasonal light/dark patterns impact mood? How does access to digital devices impact sleep quality? Is adequate sleep stigmatized in a 24-hour culture? How do attitudes toward caffeine use differ from attitudes toward nootropics (“smart drugs” intended to reduce the need for sleep)? How does sleep quality impact productivity? Do high-school classes start too early for teenagers? Will napping after studying improve memory? How does sleep quality impact athletic performance? Does sleep quality impact how dance students learn new choreography? Do artists, musicians, and writers find creative solutions in dreams? Does meditation lead to more lucid dreams? How does room temperature impact sleep quality? How does working night shifts impact mood and cognitive functioning? How do socioeconomic barriers to adequate sleep and homelessness impact academic performance and well-being in school-age children? In this intermediate-level course, we will attempt to better understand questions such as these and others related to the broad topic of sleep. Through examining established research/theory and pursuing new lines of research, students will consider the impact of sleep quality on physical and emotional well-being, productivity, academic/work performance, cognitive and social functioning; the impact of physical illness and/or mental illness on sleep quality; the role of sleep and dreaming in memory, learning, and other functions; developmental sleep needs and patterns; gender differences in sleep needs and sleep quality; the impact of sleep environment on sleep quality; sleep in the digital age; and the impact of psychosocial factors/economic disparity on sleep quality. Over the course of the semester, students will design an independent research project related to one of those topics or another topic relevant to sleep. Students will learn how to conduct an academic literature review, formulate the rationale for a research project, develop an effective research methodology, collect data, analyze data, interpret the results, and communicate the findings in an APA-style paper. This course serves as an introduction to research methods, with a specific focus on sleep-related phenomena through your own research. Topics will include experimental research design, case studies, observational techniques, survey development, and hypothesis testing. In addition to individual A/B-week conference meetings, students will discuss conference research projects in class throughout the semester, providing and obtaining feedback to/from peers on formulating research questions, methods, data analysis, and interpretation of results. Projects could include fieldwork at the Early Childhood Center or another setting relevant to the project.

Faculty

Psychology

Bonding to Wellbeing: How Early Attachment Bonds Shape Well-being Throughout Life

Open, Seminar—Spring

Attachment theory has become a widely accepted foundation of understanding early human development. Pioneered by John Bowlby, attachment theory emphasizes the role of infant and early childhood bonds with caregivers, usually parents, on social and emotional development. As study of attachment theory has advanced, interest in human bonding throughout adolescence and adulthood has increased. No longer confined to attachments established during infancy and early childhood, understanding how important relationships shape us during adolescence, adulthood, and older adulthood are growing areas of interest. Emerging studies of attachment in neuropsychological development, adoption, queer families, spiritual identification, social affiliation, and parenting give us new insights into how the fulfillment or deprivation of important relationships throughout life impact development and well-being. This course explores the historical and cross-theoretical roots of attachment theory, follows advances and refinements in attachment theory and research, and looks at attachment beyond childhood through adolescence, adulthood, and older adulthood. Readings include classical attachment theory, as well as contemporary attachment research, developmental psychopathology, feminist critique, identity theory, social psychology, neuropsychology, object relations, and psychoanalytic literature. Film and relevant case studies will be included for reflection and class discussion. Students will be required to complete weekly fieldwork placements in the Early Childhood Center (ECC). Students will work closely with classroom teachers one hour per week and will become part of the class (as advised and supervised by classroom teachers) while maintaining weekly observation logs relevant to seminar objectives and conference work. Conference will include observations from the ECC (child or child-parent observations). Conference work may also include observations from other settings where the students may be completing fieldwork, such as youth/adolescent programs or the Wartburg Center for Senior Living.

Faculty

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

Sleep and Health

Open, Lecture—Fall

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 a powerful piece of the human experience that is often marginalized in contemporary culture. This lecture examines historical, developmental, neuropsychological, 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 sleep phases, body clocks, and sleep regulation. Historical and contemporary theories of dreaming—including dream structure and the role of dreaming in memory consolidation, creative problem solving, and preparing for the future—will be considered. Differences in developmental sleep needs will be considered, as well as gender differences in sleep behaviors. The impact of sleep deprivation on cognitive function, school/work performance, mood, and social functioning will be examined, as well as socioeconomic barriers to adequate sleep (e.g., shift work), pressures of a 24-hour culture, and the use of digital devices. The course will conclude with a look at the powerful benefits of sleeping well, including evidence from electroencephalogram (EEG) and neuroimaging data, as well as from an examination of cultures with exceptionally high levels of well-being. This class will meet for one lecture section and one group conference/seminar section per week. Weekly lectures will focus on the foundations of sleep. Weekly group conference sections will go more deeply into lecture material and specific areas of interest. Registered students will choose one group conference section to attend each week, based on their interests. Three group conference sections will be offered: Sleep Routine and Sleep Environment, Developmental Sleep Patterns and Sleep Disorders, and Dreams. Weekly reading assignments will include literature in sleep science, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, physiology, positive psychology, clinical theory and research, relevant case studies, essays, and memoir. Select film and documentary material will be included for class discussion. Additionally, class members will follow the topic of sleep in popular media. All class members will be asked to monitor their sleep patterns using available sleep apps and/or observation logs. Course requirements include a multiple-choice and short-answer midterm exam and a final essay exam. Weekly discussion posts will be due prior to each week’s group conference section. During the semester, students will record observations of their sleep over two 10-day assessment periods. Each conference group will be responsible for: a literature review and brief informational summary/presentation of their topic; developing a sleep strategy based on their topic, literature review, and initial sleep observations; a poster presentation of their work at the Fall SciMath poster symposium; and a final presentation of their work in class. Group conference projects will consider topics such as developmental sleep needs, quality of sleep environment, light/dark exposure, use of digital devices, and bedtime routine. Project themes may also include topics related to sleep, such as dreaming, memory/other cognitive functions, cultural aspects of sleep, 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

Sleep and Health: Clinical Conditions and Wellness

Open, Lecture—Fall

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 everyone does or does not do enough—that is often marginalized in contemporary culture. This open-level lecture examines historical, developmental, neuropsychological, 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 sleep phases, body clocks, and sleep regulation. Historical and contemporary theories of dreaming—including dream structure and the role of dreaming in memory consolidation, creative problem-solving, and preparing for the future—will be considered. Differences in developmental sleep needs will be considered, as well as gender differences in sleep behaviors. The impact of sleep deprivation on cognitive function, school/work performance, mood, and social functioning will be examined, as well as socioeconomic barriers to adequate sleep (e.g., shift work), pressures of 24-hour culture, and use of digital devices. The course will conclude with a look at the powerful benefits of sleeping well, including evidence from electroencephalogram (EEG) and neuroimaging data, as well as from examination of cultures with exceptionally high levels of well-being. This class will meet for one lecture section and one smaller seminar section per week, plus A/B-week group conference sections. Weekly lectures will focus on the neuropsychological, cognitive, and clinical aspects of sleep phenomena. Weekly seminar sections will offer deeper discussion of lecture material and related psychosocial topics. Conference groups will meet every other week for supervision on group conference work. Weekly reading assignments will include literature in sleep science, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, physiology, positive psychology, clinical theory and research, relevant case studies, essays, and memoir. Select film and documentary material will be included for class discussion. Additionally, class members will follow the topic of sleep in popular media. All class members will be asked to monitor their sleep patterns using available sleep apps and/or observation logs. Group conference work will be based on sleep-log observations and experience with sleep strategies related to class material. Group conference projects will include a group presentation and written summary of key observation themes supported by relevant empirical literature. Projects will consider developmental sleep needs, quality of sleep environment, light/dark exposure, use of digital devices, and bedtime routine. Project themes may also include topics related to sleep, such as dreaming, memory/other cognitive functions, cultural aspects of sleep, 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

Virtually Yours Radio

Intermediate, None—Year

Virtually Yours Radio is a weekly talk show that explores themes of relating and reality in the digital age. Through background research, interviews, and original segments, students go more deeply into topics discussed in class and continue the conversation beyond the classroom. Topics include navigating social media, finding community in digital spaces, dating through apps and IRL, and experiences across cultures and generations.

Faculty

Virtually Yours: Relating and Reality in the Digital Age

Open, Seminar—Year

This seminar will examine relating and reality in the digital age. In the fall semester, we will focus on 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 emerge 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 digital devices themselves. In the spring semester, we will examine how reality has been defined historically, clinically, and culturally; how one’s sense of reality is shaped through development; and what internal, environmental, social, and cultural factors contribute to one’s sense of reality. Can reality ever truly be objective? Building on material from the first semester, we will examine the innate, developmental, cultural, and social psychological factors that shape our perception of reality and our choice of reliable sources, including the roles of race, gender, and ethnicity in those processes. We will consider how psychological constructs and psychometric measures of reality have taken those factors into consideration, both currently and historically. We will next consider ways in which one’s sense of reality may be impacted by clinical conditions such as brain injury, psychosis, depression, trauma, and anxiety; altered by substances such as psychedelics; influenced by dreams; and potentially enhanced through meditation. We will then consider how the content, pace, and sheer volume of information currently cycling through social media and 24-hour news outlets may impact our perception of reality. Classes will be both discussion-based and experiential, with opportunities for observation (e.g., observing children relating/engaging in play in the SLC Early Childhood Center (ECC) free from digital devices) and in-class activities related to weekly topics (e.g., comparing experiences by engaging with early logic-based digital toys such as Simon and Speak n’ Spell vs. digital toys that express affection such as Furby and contemporary AI). 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 to artificial intelligence and/or digital devices; and/or developmental, neuropsychological, clinical, social, and/or cultural perspectives on/shifts in relating in the digital age. Conference projects may be completed in the form of an APA-style literature review, original data collection, and/or a creative piece with academic justification and will include a class presentation. Optional weekly fieldwork is available and encouraged for any interested students.

Faculty

Virtually Yours: Wartburg Tablet Program

Intermediate, Fieldwork—Year

Using digital tablets, students will help residents in dementia and Alzheimer’s care create personalized tablet programs (e.g., including apps for relaxation, connecting with meaningful music and photos), helping residents to connect with important memories and important relationships throughout their lives. Students will be responsible for working with residents, staff, and family (if and when available) to develop personally meaningful tablet programs, to help residents access the programs, and to write up a protocol to be shared with future caregivers and family members for continued use. The course requires a time commitment of two hours per week on site, plus 15-20 minutes of travel time, and a weekly 45-minute group conference meeting on campus.

Faculty

Practicum

Building a Professional Identity During the Global Pandemic

Sophomore and Above, Practicum—Spring

This is a practicum-based course offered to second, third, and fourth year students, who will be completing an internship placement during the spring 2021 semester.  The aim of the course is to help support students making the transition from college life to work experience in their chosen field during the COVID-19 pandemic. This course is offered in collaboration with Sarah Lawrence College Career Services and will include mid-semester workshops on communication and networking, plus an end-of-semester alumni panel, based on students’ interests. Over the semester, students will explore the process of building a professional identity during a time of remote work and uncertainty. Weekly reading will include topics in psychology and related fields.  Topics will include building a professional identity, early supervisory skills, diversity equity and inclusion, workplace communication, imposter syndrome, professional networking, stress management, work-life balance, and ways of supporting wellbeing. Classes will include discussions based on assigned reading and internship observations and on experiential activities related to class topics (e.g., communication, networking, meditation). Students will be invited to integrate their internship experiences through class discussion, experiential activities, collaborative group work, and observation journals. The goal is for students to gain an academic and experiential understanding of key concepts, which students may apply both this semester and beyond. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are completing an internship, fieldwork placement, or a related work experience are eligible to take the course. All internships (fieldwork placements and/or other work experiences) must be registered on Handshake and approved by Career Services to be eligible for this class. (Please see the SLC career services website for details on registering your placement.)

Faculty

Foundations in Workplace Culture and Well-Being

Sophomore and Above, Practicum—Fall

This is a practicum-based course offered in collaboration with SLC Career Services. Second-, third-, and fourth-year students who will be completing an internship placement in fall 2020 are eligible to take this course. The aim of the course is to help support students in making the transition from academic life to work experience. This course will address topics that are generally applicable to workplace culture and well-being across fields such as communication, diversity and inclusion, professional networking, job crafting, stress management, and work-life balance. Over the semester, students will develop an academic understanding of relevant concepts, drawing from industrial, organizational, positive psychology, and related fields. Students will be invited to integrate their internship experiences through class discussion, experiential activities, collaborative group work, and observation journals. Class reading assignments will include academic literature and relevant popular media. Classes will include discussions based on assigned reading and internship observations, experiential activities related to class topics (e.g., communication, networking, meditation), Career Service workshops, and an alumni panel. Internships may be in any field and must be approved by SLC Career Services. This class meets once weekly in the evening and may include periodic conference meetings and/or SLC Career Service consultations. Students are expected to attend weekly class meetings in addition to regularly attending their internship placements.

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Human Genetics

Understanding Barriers and Building Alliance in Genetic Counselling

Graduate Seminar—Fall

In even brief and time limited work, establishing a mutually respectful and empathic working alliance can be key to the effective delivery of counselling. In practice, each individual carries the context of their larger experience into the consulting room, which may present barriers to their engagement in counselling. Through considering factors that may impact an individual’s engagement - such as their relational experiences; spiritual beliefs; experiences with medical care; family and personal values; trauma histories; experiences with racial, socio-economic and/or gender discrimination, etc. - students will consider ways of building a mutually constructed working alliance through which each client is best able to engage in the content of genetic counselling.

In this elective seminar, students will explore cognitive, emotional, cultural and socio-economic factors that may impact an individual's engagement in genetic counselling, as well as psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and mindfulness based approaches to building an empathic and productive working alliance. Relevant history, theory, and evidence-based research will be examined and explored through relevant case studies. Students will have the opportunity to formulate case summaries considering contextual factors and working alliance.

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