PsySR Conference -- July 15-17 in Boston
Schedule of Events and Sessions (Subject to Change)
Further conference information, including registration and accommodations details, is available HERE.
ALL listed events are INCLUDED with your registration fee.
THURSDAY, JULY 15 **Thursday Afternoon 1:00-2:30 PM**
The Restorative Circle: An Alternative to Traditional Justice and Conflict Resolution
Mikhail Lyubansky & Patrick Siebert
Participants will be introduced to the theoretical basis for restorative justice and learn how to facilitate Restorative Circles (RC) via a training model developed by Dominic Barter in Brazil and used to train facilitators worldwide. Semi-simulated circles will be used in order to allow participants to experience the three stages of the restorative process (pre-circle, circle, and post-circle) from the vantage point of each participant, including the facilitator.
“I Don’t Really Follow Politics”: The Challenge of Welcoming Students to The Commons
This session will focus on using psychological knowledge and class experiences to help students connect their personal experience to the larger layers of social issues in order to increase engagement in their studies and their community. Handouts on possible Service Learning/Community Engagement projects and classroom strategies for modeling engagements and shared leadership will be provided.
**Thursday Afternoon 3:00-4:30 PM**
Earth Circles: Facing Climate Crisis in Community
Sarah Conn & Robert Ryan
This workshop will explore the psychological aspects of facing climate change with a series of experiential processes and group conversations, designed to enable participants to move from immobility and despair toward positive action as psychologists and mental health professionals. An overall focus in this work is the development of a healthy ecological identity while building community.
Civic Engagement As Critical Pedagogy: Challenging the Boundaries In Higher Education
Service learning courses can provide transformational opportunities for students when seeking to help others. This experiential workshop will explore service learning as a pedagogical tool to critically evaluate whether one’s “help” serves to maintain or transform existing systems. Participants will learn how civic engagement can be a powerful teaching tool for challenging existing perspectives of social justice.
Human Rights, Peer Support, and Ethical Codes in Mental Health: A Discussion
Naomiruth Pinson, Pat Risser & Delphine Brody
The U.S. Mental Illness System is a death sentence for many. Studies show that mental patients die an average of 25 years younger than the general population. Yet the System that produces these results has little insight into its own culpability. In this session, three leaders in the social reform movement for human rights will lead a discussion about these issues, with the goal of finding ways to address them.
**THURSDAY EVENING RECEPTION 5:00-7:00 PM**
FRIDAY, JULY 16 **Friday Morning Plenary Session 8:30-10:00 AM**
Keynote Address: Making the Link: The Inside Story of How Health Professionals Designed the U.S. Regime of Torture
Nathaniel Raymond, Physicians for Human Rights
Nathaniel Raymond is the Director of PHR’s Campaign Against Torture. Since 2006, he has led their investigation of the role of health professionals--particularly psychologists--in the design, supervision, and implementation of the Bush Administration’s regime of physical and psychological torture of detainees in U.S. custody. He is also the lead investigator of the 2001 Dasht-e-Leili massacre of hundreds of prisoners by U.S. allies in Afghanistan. Raymond previously served with Oxfam America in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Ethiopia, and Sri Lanka.
**Friday Morning Plenary Session 10:30 AM-Noon**
Confronting the Realities of Poverty and Inequality
Diane Sullivan, True See Allah, Maria Amezquita & Roxanne Reddington-White
It is not poverty per se that keeps one down, it’s the hidden barriers, systems, and circumstances that seem to kick you in the face just when you think you’ve got a chance. Several local Boston residents will share their stories, discuss what needs to change, and challenge attendees to bring skills and resources to bear on issues of social justice for the poor. This session is a collaboration between Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) and PsySR.
**FRIDAY LUNCHEON AND MEETING 12:15-1:45 PM** **Friday Afternoon 2:00-3:30 PM**
New Directions for The Anti-Torture Movement
Stephen Soldz, Jess Ghannam, Nathaniel Raymond, Steven Reisner, Ken Agar-Newman & Dan Aalbers
This panel will initiate a discussion of new directions for those who oppose torture and abuse in all its forms. These directions include persistent investigations of those who committed abuse, aimed at public understanding and accountability, new forms of monitoring of the participation of health professionals in official abuses, and new ideas on changing public attitudes toward abuses.
Social Health: Its Nature and Dynamics
Elena Mustakova-Possardt, John Woodall & Lynn Todman
This session will elucidate the psychological processes underlying “social health” as they relate to equal opportunity, social adjustment and social support. Panelists will examine the role of mindfulness and critical consciousness; the role of identity in constructs of justice and building social health; and the impact of large scale macro-phenomena on mental health and the need for psychological expertise in macro-level public policy.
Disaster, Community Readiness, and Recovery: Contributions from Community Psychology
Judah Viola, Brad Olson, Jeannette Diaz-Laplante, Bill Berkowitz & Gil Reyes
From Katrina to Haiti to the oil in the gulf, human reactions to disasters depend on psychology. How do we use our skills toward community intervention, evaluation, and action to best empower residents in their disaster response? In this session, panelists will discuss the use of psychology to unite people, identify assets and needs, and build resiliency for disaster response.
Creating Curriculum for Critical Community, Eco-, and Liberation Psychology for the 21st Century
Nuria Ciofalo, Anthony Marsella & Mary Watkins
To address pressing global and local problems, presenters will discuss participatory, multicultural, liberatory curricula that are ecologically and globally conscious, with a goal of crafting a postmodern community psychology for the 21st century. Attendees are invited to bring curricular ideas, overviews, and/or sample course syllabi to help create a much-needed mosaic of ideas and practices.
**Friday Afternoon 4:00-5:30 PM**
Saving the Planet and Us: The Psychology of Climate Change and Sustainability
Steve Shapiro, Susan Linn & Sarah Conn
Human-caused climate change and our unsustainable behavior are imperiling our mental health as well as the planet. In this session, attendees will explore the psychosocial implications of these environ-mental crises by assessing their connection with our tendencies toward denial, consumerism, and inequality. Discussion will also include what PsySR and mental health professionals can do in response.
Applying Social Justice Principles to Community Development Efforts
Jeannette Diaz-Laplante, Jennifer Rountree & Louis Boynton
This panel will provide a theoretically and practically grounded perspective on creating psychologically-based social justice practice within developing countries. Panelists will present six central social justice principles and use these principles as lenses through which to discuss first a case study of a Mayan community in Guatemala and second the unfolding of a community mental health program in Jeremie, Haiti.
U.S. Militarism and Exceptionalism: Transforming Beliefs about War
Brad Olson, Floyd Rudmin, Diane Perlman & David Adams
Two core psychological problems associated with war include U.S. Militarism, the contradictory belief that peace can be best achieved through war, and U.S. Exceptionalism, the conviction that we know best where and how wars should be carried out. Applying these frames, this panel will discuss Iraq, escalation in Afghanistan, nuclear proliferation, and the future of peace in the U.S.
Troubleshooting the PsySR Psychology and Military/Intelligence Casebook
Jean Maria Arrigo, Stephen Soldz & Jancis Long
This session will shift discussion of the humanitarian-military conflict in psychology from abstract APA principles to practical career, institutional, and political elements of psychologists’ work in national security settings. Workshop groups will read and critique ethics cases in a readers theater format, on such topics as SERE training and military contract research. They will also discuss four tentative recommendations for resolving the humanitarian–military conflict in psychology.
**FRIDAY EVENING POSTER SESSION AND RECEPTION 6:00-7:30 PM**
(Click HERE for list of poster presentations)
SATURDAY, JULY 17 **Saturday Morning Plenary Session 9:00-10:30 AM**
Becoming a Socially Responsible Psychologist
Herb Kelman, M. Brinton Lykes, Trudy Bond, Melinda Montgomery & Anthony Marsella
A multi-generational panel of PsySR members dedicated to advancing social justice and human rights will share reflections on formative experiences and influences, key challenges and choices they have made, valuable lessons learned, and hopes and plans for the future. This special program is the second annual M. Brewster Smith Dialogue on Peace and Social Justice.
**Saturday Morning Plenary Session 11:00-12:30 PM**
Next Steps for PsySR
This forum is designed to enable conference attendees to discuss together the important and timely issues, priorities, and strategies that might form the basis for PsySR's peace, social justice, human rights, and ecological sustainability efforts in the year ahead.
**Saturday Afternoon 2:00-3:30 PM**
Toward a Psychology of Social Responsibility: Can We Develop It, Speak It Loud, and Speak It Proud?
Julie Oxenberg & Michael Basseches
Why is psychology’s voice so faint in public discourse on policy issues related to social justice, conflict resolution, and sustainability? This workshop will explore differing foundational assumptions psychologists hold and how they influence research, practice, knowledge base, and public assertiveness. Possibilities for amplifying our voice by means of a more differentiated Psychology of Social Responsibility will be considered.
New Social Roles: Engaging Social Responsibility in A Mental Health Framework
Andrew Phelps, Lynne Stewart & Frank Kashner
PsySR is exploring opportunities for client/survivors and psychologists/clinicians to network and engage common social responsibilities, and to thereby carry the dialogue from "abuse in the mental health system" towards reconciliation. With today’s positions informed by passion and conviction, dialogue tends towards stereotyping. Panelists will report on their experience of project work towards "common ground" and "common language" and seek the insight and involvement of participants.
Maintaining Ethical Accountability in the Face of Moral Drift in Professional and Religious Institutions
Mary Pelton-Cooper, David Cooper & Luisa Saffiotti
The panel will discuss the relationship among systems of morality, codes of ethics, and professional practice in the context of a decision procedure used by ethicists. Confusion about accountability issues involving conflicts of obligation among these levels can lead to the banality of evil. Examples of accountability involving clinical practice, higher education, and psychology applied to issues within the Catholic Church will be explored.
Reconciliation and Its Alternatives
Jancis Long & Paula Green
After violent community conflict, people frequently suffer multiple psychological wounds, while communities struggle with extensive social disruption. Reconciliation is a long process, sometimes impossible, but without movement toward it, the alternatives include vengeance scenarios and exploitation from within and without. This workshop is based on Paula Green’s fieldwork and teaching on peacebuilding around the world, and illustrations from PsySR members and workshop participants.
**Saturday Afternoon 4:00-5:30 PM**
What Helps and Hurts Military Veterans: The Need to Transform "Treatment"
Paula Caplan, Robert Dove McClellan & Sean Dinces
Americans turn away from the emotional carnage wrought by its wars, labeling veterans "mentally ill," isolating them behind therapists’ closed doors, and heavily medicating them. This session will examine: systems that support this destructive approach; the importance of listening to veterans’ stories and organizing community responses; the need to de-pathologize those who go AWOL; and the healing powers of activism and the arts.
Tolerance for Torture and War: Understanding and Resistance
Kathie Malley-Morrison, Charikleia Tsatsaroni, Tristyn Campbell, Alan O’Hare & Abram Trosky
If psychologists are to be successful anti-war and anti-torture activists, they need to understand how people can come to view inhumane behavior as moral. This panel will consider the contributions of Albert Bandura and George Lakoff to understanding the psychological bases of tolerance for and resistance to governmental aggression. The role of storytelling in promoting moral engagement in the cause of peace will also be explored.
Researching Schizophrenia and Psychosis: A Social Justice and Human Rights Orientation
Michael O'Loughlin, Marilyn Charles, Danielle Balzafiore, Andrea Castelhano, Almas Merchant & Heather-Ayn Indelicato
Recognizing the marginal spaces psychiatrically disabled individuals are forced to occupy and sympathetic to psychiatric survivor movements, this panel will discuss a developing field project that seeks to depict the existential experience of persons designated psychotic or schizophrenic in ways that honor the voices of such persons and that acknowledge the cultural and socioeconomic contexts within which particular psychic impasses are produced.
Communities in Dialogue
Mary Watkins & Paula Green
This workshop will provide an overview and experience of communal and inter-communal dialogue methods that facilitate mutual understanding, community transformation, and psychosocial healing. Carefully crafted dialogues create social spaces where participants can explore deep divides, manage contradictory perceptions and historical narratives and, at times, determine shared values and aspirations. Through these explorations, critical consciousness emerges and alternative possibilities for community life are envisioned.