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–
Current undergraduate courses
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.
“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 memoir. 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.