Monday, November 30, 2009

The Road - A Movie Review

by Liz Goodwin

Last weekend, a couple friends and I took the Light Rail downtown and saw The Road. A couple of us had read the book and knew that we'd either be disappointed by a Hollywood style version of this Apocalyptic tale or we'd really be in trouble. For, if the movie could tell Cormac McCarthy's story even close to the way the book could, it would surely be upsetting. Surprisingly, our hearts were broken - and opened - for yet a second time around as we watched The Road on film.

For those of you unfamiliar with the plot, The Road is about a man and his son surviving in a post-apocalyptic world. Born into the first sounds of chaos and the barren reality of death - the result of what could be a nuclear war or possibly an environmental destruction - the boy follows his father as they escape home and head South on "The Road." As this quote from the book describes: "Then they set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other's world entire."

To read entire article, click here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Celluloid Reflections

by Stacey Prince

The first time I saw my identity as a lesbian woman reflected on film, it was a revelation. It was in Boston, about 23 years ago, the movie was Desert Hearts, and I was sitting way in the back (because the theater was packed) with my girlfriend at the time. I started crying about half an hour into the movie, and pretty much didn’t stop. It wasn’t so much anything about the movie itself (those of you who have seen it know it is not a cinematic masterpiece) but the experience of seeing my own identity reflected on that giant screen was so profound, I couldn’t contain my emotions. I wept with joy, with pain at the uncertainty of it all (I had come out to myself, but not yet to my parents or extended family) and with gratitude.

Last night, watching A Serious Man with my partner and two friends, I had a very different experience. The movie is the Coen Brothers’ latest, and is the first where they have delved deeply into their own Jewish identity, which has been only referenced in their previous films.

To read entire article click here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Talk Therapy

by Stacey Prince

On November 13 I attended the Bent Writing Institute's 2009 Mentor Showcase, an event showcasing 22 poets and spoken word performers, as well as honoring a published writer who was a guest teacher this past year. I have known about Bent, the only queer writing institute in the country, for several years, but have never attended one of their events. Thank you to TJP member Christy Hofsess for telling us about it; it was fantastic and one of the most moving, inspiring and energizing arts events I have attended in a long time.

Right off the bat the fabulous emcee had us laughing. The event was a fundraiser for Bent and he encouraged us to buy treats during the admission, including some non-vegan cupcakes for which he assured us "no animal was harmed, just mildly inconvenienced". Then the lights went down and the poetry began. We were stunned by the beauty, strength, and truth of the words. Gay, lesbian, bi, trans, people of color, disabled, recovering from substance abuse, childhood abuse--all told their stories, stories that don't often get told, in ways that made us laugh, cry, shake, gasp, and cheer. I hope the performers will forgive me for excerpting, out of context and probably not completely accurately, some of the phrases that stuck with me.

To read entire article click here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Centro de Atencion Psicosocial – Roles for a Gringa Psychologist

by Deborah DeWolfe

Stacey Prince asked if I would write a “brief blog post” about my work in Nicaragua. Since it is difficult for me to be “brief” about anything that I experienced in Nicaragua (except for maybe the heat), I offer the following. In the complex situations that we feel compelled to engage with, we all must grapple with “where do I start?” and “what seems most important?” These are my preliminary answers to those questions.

Each morning before 7AM, twenty to forty people line up outside of Centro de Atencion Psicosocial, the public mental health clinic in Leon, Nicaragua’s second largest city. The men, women and children waiting in line suffer from all manifestations of psychological and psychiatric distress – some in acute crisis. Many are accompanied by family members.

To read entire article click here.

For a flyer about Proyecto Oportunidad click here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Courage to Love Retreat 2009

by Liz Goodwin

Every fall, I attend Irene Michon’s Self Relations retreat for healers and psychotherapists: Courage to Love: From the Inside Out. Every year the experience frightens and amazes me. And this year was no different. What starts as the ordinary skepticism and anxiety, with questions like: Will it be engaging? Exposing?, within hours, inevitably shifts into an extraordinary experience.

Aside from a few separate exercises, most of retreat is spent being a therapist or client and debriefing the experience. Each of us joins a pod of three, acts as therapist twice, away from the large group, and acts as therapist or client once in the middle of the group. Irene offers grounding exercises and short talks that teach new concepts and affirm both the difficulty and value of the work. This year’s themes – beyond just the ongoing learning about Self Relations – were: moving beyond hope and fear and shadow work – looking at the positive attributes about ourselves that we are afraid to hold and project on to others.

Here I’d like to share some of what I learned and how it may relate to liberation psychology and TJP. I’ll start with a description of Self Relations.

To read entire article click here.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Where the psychological rubber hits the political road: Reflecting on Referendum 71

by Stacey Prince

“What do psychology and politics have to do with one another, anyway?” This question comes up fairly often when I talk with some of my psychologist colleagues about my involvement with various political issues, particularly LGBTQ rights legislation. At this moment it looks like Washington state’s Referendum 71 has been approved. I will use it as an example of the profound ways that psychology and politics are interconnected, and the ways in which psychologists can be involved in supporting social change.

To read entire article, click here.