Dr. Don Fineberg, an adjunct faculty in the PsyD in Clinical Psychology program at Antioch University Santa Barbara, recently led a continuing education workshop in conjunction with the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico.
Dr. Fineberg’s workshop was on August 1 and was entitled “From the Novel through the Opera: Narrative Continuity and Ethical Dilemmas in Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain,” was part of Santa Fe’s Opera and Psychology series, which he has been involved in for almost 20 years.
Dr. Fineberg also conducted a conversation with the source novel’s author, Charles Frazier. The news program PBS News Hour was on hand to film a behind-the-scenes segment on the production, although Dr. Fineberg does not appear in the finished piece.
The Psychology of Cold Mountain’s Narrative: From Novel to Libretto, by Don Fineberg, MD
Lessons learned from teaching for 20 years (mostly psychology, oft times English) converged in the year’s Opera and Psychology seminar. The seminar focused on Charles Frazer’s best-selling novel, Cold Mountain, as interpreted in the world-premier opera of the same name and capped off a whirlwind week with the author, including a discussion with students at the opera and an hour-long “conversation” at Collected Works bookstore. This presentation before a SRO crowd also included Gene Sheer, who converted the novel into the brilliant libretto. A PBS News Hour crew videotaped the event. The Opera and Psychology seminar investigated the powerful narrative at the core of both the novel and the opera.
When asked about the story of your life, what crosses your mind? Most people reflect on biographical highlights: when you were born, where you grew up, what school you attended, who you married, or how you make a living. That’s one kind of story. Yet, each one of us lives a second, even more important story – the “narrative” of our life.
Narrative informs our every thought, feeling and action. It remembers our past and anticipates our future. Consider this: if Hollywood made a movie of your life, starring YOU, the director would proclaim you the greatest acting talent ever to appear on screen. In every scene, the way you talk, act, express emotion is a perfect you! Put in an unexpected situation, you respond completely as you. Surely, you would be a favorite for the academy award. How do you do it? How does anyone do it? Simply put, our brains reinforce our personal narratives 24/7. It is our personality. It is how we live our lives.
The opera, Cold Mountain, sheds light on this process. The music, through-sung text (without spoken dialogue), acting and direction translated the lush, descriptive novel into a powerful evening’s performance. It narrated the same story: a tale with archetypal power, about a Confederate soldier’s longing for and travels towards home after he deserts in the closing months of the Civil War. The story detailed his trek, as well as the challenges experienced by Ada, his love at home awaiting his return. Reminiscent of Homer’s Odyssey, but not exactly parallel in content, this core human longing vibrates in each of us as we chart the course of our life, emancipating from mother, parents, family and community and carve a life uniquely ours.
Unlike the real world, opera must make clear the motives and feelings of the characters that inform their actions. Opera has the unique capacity to express all of these for characters as individuals, in duets, trios, quartets, quintets and of course moving chorus pieces. Sometimes, the music itself reveals the character’s inner life. Sometimes, the music weaves together the thoughts sung aloud simultaneously by several characters. In Cold Mountain, for example, one dramatic passage uses the symbol of “fences” – literal and psychological. The barriers we construct as well as those erected around us. The “fences” clearly represent something different to each character, even when they sing the exact same text. As with every great work of art, we find that the opera reflects, informs and sometimes inspires our quest to fulfill our personal longings for love and achievement.
Psychology brings a perceptive lens to opera narrative. With a variety of psychological approaches, we can deepen our appreciation of the narrative that unfolds before our eyes. WP Inman, the protagonist, has suffered terribly with physical and psychological wounds. How do the symptoms of his post-traumatic stress inform his actions, his character and ultimately his fate? Ada, his love, has chosen to survive the hardship of subsistence farming rather than return to the genteel life of the city where she was educated and raised. Through the opera’s story, we can better understand the motivations that lead to these decisions. As psychotherapists we ask, how do people’s experiences determine their life choices? What shapes their narratives into adaptive and functional lives? Or, what parts of their own stories undermine their striving for health and personal growth? The Opera and Psychology seminar had the advantage of asking these questions of fictional characters without conflicts of confidentiality.
Cold Mountain’s narrative invites us to explore relevant personal and social issues: Security – too much is confinement and too little is fearful chaos; Crisis – step up as a hero or shrink back as a coward; Setbacks – respond with resiliency or get mired in misfortune. Do we live in a world that makes sense or remains mysterious as we tell ourselves the story of our lives? As psychotherapists, we help others through these dilemmas. We seek ethical ways to guide people on these journeys. However, as this compelling opera reminds us, we all traverse the uncertain challenges of life. And, we all can embrace a narrative that meets these challenges.
Lisa Firestone, PhD, an adjunct faculty with Antioch University Santa Barbara’s PsyD in Clinical Psychology program, will lead a free seminar entitled “Suicide: What Therapists Need to Know” at Westmont College on Saturday, September 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In this half-day workshop, Dr. Firestone will provide an in-depth understanding of the dynamics in suicide and of the legal, ethical, and case management issues when dealing with suicidal clients. She will outline the most up-to-date and effective treatment methods and provide training that can help save a life.
The workshop will:
- Provide the latest findings on warning signs and risk factors for suicide.
- Offer a conceptual model and a developmental perspective on the dynamics underlying suicide.
- Explore the internal struggle the ambivalence of suicide through expert interviews and insight provided by three survivors of very lethal suicide attempts.
- Address both objective assessment and the formation of clinical judgment.
- Inform participants about recent research on empirically validated treatment approaches.
- Provide participants with state of the art crisis management strategies and opportunities to practice them.
In addition to teaching at AUSB, Dr. Firestone has been a practicing clinical psychologist in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles for the last 20 years and works as the Director of Research and Education at The Glendon Association.
As a community service for National Suicide Prevention Month, there is no fee for this workshop. Attendees may earn four Continuing Education (CE) Units with a $25 fee. For more information and to register, visit glendon.org.
CE’s for this workshop are being provided by AUSB, who are approved by the California Psychological Association (CPA) to provide continuing professional education for psychologists. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences now recognizes CPA continuing education credit for license renewal for LCSWs and MFTs. AUSB maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.
Almost 150 Antioch University Santa Barbara (AUSB) students walked across the stage to collect their hard-earned diplomas at the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort on Friday, June 19, and transitioned from student to alumni.
At this year’s commencement, 147 students received degrees from AUSB’s academic programs. Of those, 77 received their Bachelor of Arts degrees; 13 completed the Graduate Education and Credentialing program; 42 finished the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology program; 5 received their Master’s in Psychology degrees; and 10 completed the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) program.
Dr. Nancy Leffert, AUSB President, and Victoria Riskin, chair of the AUSB Board of Trustees, gave welcoming remarks, and Lynn Houston, who received her BA from AUSB in 2011 and was honored with this year’s Distinguished Graduate Award, spoke on behalf of the alumni.
“It is my honor this year, as it is every year, to usher a new class of Antioch graduates into the world to continue the good work they have already begun on furthering their careers and professional lives,” Leffert said.
Linda Hoover, who graduated from the PsyD program, and Miranda Rich, a Bachelor of Arts graduate with concentrations in Communication & Media and Marketing, were named as the commencement student speakers.
“Being selected as a commencement speaker is the crowning jewel in my academic journey,” Hoover said. “I am honored by the privilege to represent the PsyD program and graduates this year.”
“My Antioch experience taught me that the goal of my education was not to leave knowing the threats that exist today but is to leave having the passion to fight them,” Rich said.
Susan Lang, MA, an affiliate faculty member at AUSB, received the 5th Annual Award for Excellence in Teaching at the ceremony.
Lang has taught at AUSB for over 15 years in both the Graduate Education and Bachelor of Arts programs and routinely receives stellar student evaluations. Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Barbara Lipinski wrote that Susan’s “dedication to student learning and success in the areas of child development, psychology, and education is commendable. She brings innovative learning techniques that make the material in challenging courses accessible and comprehensible.”
Linda Hoover, a student in the PsyD in Clinical Psychology program, and Miranda Rich, who will be graduating with a Bachelor of Arts with concentrations in Communication & Media and Marketing, have been named as the Antioch University Santa Barbara 2015 Commencement speakers.
This year’s commencement will take place on Friday, June 19, from 2:00-4:00pm at the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort at 633 East Cabrillo Blvd. in Santa Barbara. For more information on the ceremony, please visit antiochsb.edu/commencement.
“Being selected as a commencement speaker is the crowning jewel in my academic journey,” Linda said. “I am honored by the privilege to represent the PsyD program and graduates this year.”
Graduates-to-be from all programs submitted speeches to a panel comprised of faculty from all programs. The committee reviewed each without knowing the authors’ identities on writing quality, interest to a general audience, evidence of critical thinking, and consistency with the following theme:
Antioch University’s mission is to provide “…education to empower students with the knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives and to advance social, economic, and environmental justice.” How has this mission been manifested in your experience at Antioch University Santa Barbara?
“My Antioch experience taught me that the goal of my education was not to leave knowing the threats that exist today, but is to leave having the passion to fight them,” Miranda said.
“Antioch exposed me to a world of new ideas, diverse cultures, and endless possibilities,” Linda added. “I was given the opportunity to see the world through my neighbor’s eyes, and discover something about others as well as myself in the process.”
Congratulations to all upcoming 2015 Antioch University Santa Barbara graduates!
Dr. Ron Pilato, Chair and Core Faculty of Antioch University Santa Barbara’s Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology (PsyD), has joined the Santa Barbara County Psychological Association Board of Directors.
Dr. Pilato will Chair the Continuing Education Committee of the Board with the responsibility for developing continuing education events that meet California Board of Psychology and American Psychological Association criteria for Continuing Education.
“I am happy to accept this invitation to serve the SBCPA Board of Directors in this way,” he said. “I see many potential opportunities for Antioch and the Association to collaborate on providing pragmatic, cutting edge continuing education programs in the near future.”
The Antioch University Santa Barbara Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology offers students a doctoral level practitioner-scholar training in clinical psychology, preparing them for multiple roles in the field. Learn more about the program at antiochsb.edu/psyd.
Four students from the Antioch University Santa Barbara Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) program have been placed in prestigious internships at Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) sites.
James Chavers placed at Case Western/University Counseling Services in Cleveland, Ohio. “I believe that Antioch is beginning to develop a reputation in the industry as a school that is preparing students to be solid clinicians with a social justice emphasis,” James said. “I believe that this PsyD program is helping me on my journey to be the clinician and healer I aspire to be.”
Crystal Gonsalves will be working at the University of Washington-Tacoma. “The staff at Antioch University and my fellow cohort members have helped me grow both on a professional and personal level more so than I could have ever expected,” Crystal said. “I continue to be amazed at the level of warmth and knowledge expressed by my professors and their genuine care and concern for my continued growth. I have found it difficult to put into words how much this experience has meant to me and how thankful I am to everyone including my family, my wonderful cohort members and the professors.”
Yoseline Lopez-Marroquin will be heading to Children’s Institute, Inc. in Los Angeles, which is an American Psychological Association accredited site. Yoseline said, “I’ve been an Antioch student for over five years, and it has been a key factor in my life changes and developmental growth. Others are drawn to us, and I like being part of an academic family that is quite unique.”
Cameron Ziedler also placed at an APA-accredited site at Coalinga State Hospital with the California Psych Intern Consortium in Fresno. “Antioch University Santa Barbara prepared me as a practitioner and scholar in a rigorous environment set for achieving academic excellence,” Cameron said. “Their scholarly model, designed with a very personal student-centered approach, provided state-of-the-art fieldwork experience necessary for championing social justice advocacy and advancing therapeutic jurisprudence. Antioch does not just teach us to become expert psychologists, but promotes our professional development to become meaningful healers who work with intention, determination, and compassion.”
Dalia Ruiz, a student in the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) program at Antioch University Santa Barbara, has been chosen to present at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies’ (ISTSS) 30th annual meeting.
In a poster format, Dalia will present “An Application of Developmental Theories to Understand the Impact of Trauma on Latino Children.” The presentation will center on understanding the effect of trauma and interpersonal violence on Latino children based on age, motor and cognitive abilities, and cultural factors with the goal of developing more effective treatment approaches. She is scheduled to present on Friday, Nov. 7 at the conference in Miami, Florida.
“I have always had a love for children, and it was my initial interest in children and my curiosity on childhood trauma that pushed me to enroll in a doctoral program,” Dalia said. “At Antioch, I have been taught that contextual/systemic influences are crucial factors in lifespan development. Ultimately, it is this perspective that has led to my idea of exploring the specific factors for Latino children as they relate to witnessing interparental violence.”
The overall theme of the ISTSS meeting – “Healing Lives and Communities: Addressing the Effects of Childhood Trauma Across the Life Span” – is a perfect fit for Dalia’s area of study, and she said AUSB’s intimate environment is helping her prepare.
“Being able to participate in small classes has helped sharpen my communication and presentation skills and has given me the confidence needed to be able to undertake this,” Dalia said. “In the end, however, it has been the instructors’ support and emphasis on fostering every student’s own special interest that has made this possible.”
For more information on the ISTSS meeting, visit www.istss.org.
Dr. Kia-Keating received both his doctorate in Human Development and Psychology and his Master’s degree in Developmental Research Methodology from Harvard University and earned a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University. For his postdoctoral training, he focused on understanding genetic and environmental contributors to mental health at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego.
Prior to joining Antioch University Santa Barbara, Dr. Brett Kia-Keating taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara and National University.
Antioch University Santa Barbara is excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Ronald Pilato as the new Chair of the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) program.
With over 15 years of teaching, clinical, and research experience in higher education, Dr. Pilato most recently served as Interim Chair and Director of Clinical Training at Sofia University in Palo Alto, California. A licensed psychologist who practiced privately in San Francisco, his expertise includes spiritual competencies for clinical psychologists, prevention of clinician burn-out, the integration of cultural diversity in clinical training, and mindfulness-based approaches.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Pilato join our faculty and lead our doctoral program in Clinical Psychology,” said AUSB President Dr. Nancy Leffert. “His professional background makes him the ideal person to ensure that we are able to build on our program’s excellence and develop new areas of study that will meet the needs of our community.”
Dr. Pilato has taught Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the University of California, San Francisco Family Medicine Center at Lakeshore. In 2005, he developed Pronto Seminars to provide continuing education on self-care for healthcare professionals.
Dr. Pilato earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Wright Institute’s highly regarded program in 2002. His dissertation explored potential links between genetics and alcoholism as part of a larger study at the UCSF Department of Neurology. He completed his post-doctoral work at at the UCSF Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute providing treatment and coordination in behavioral health clinical trials funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Antioch University’s PsyD program integrates a sound theoretical basis with clinical practice. Students have the opportunity to integrate cutting-edge psychological training, theory, practice, and research, while sharpening and applying the skills of a true clinician – observation, analysis, intervention, and evaluation – for the benefit of their clients. AUSB PsyD graduates are prepared to become licensed psychologists providing essential services to today’s diverse population.
Dr. Salvador Treviño, Clinical Faculty and Director of Practicum in the PsyD program at Antioch University Santa Barbara, credits his parents for instilling in him the value of an education and the work ethic needed to achieve his goals.
“My parents were hard workers, and so they instilled that principle in me,” Dr. Treviño said. “They became the most influential people in my life.”
Dr. Treviño also credits the mentorship of his professors in shaping his career and life.
View the video interview with Dr. Treviño in English and Spanish below:
The 2013-2014 AUSB-NASW Seminar Series successfully wrapped up last Saturday, June 7, with a well-attended seminar “The Road Not Taken: Mining Nostalgia for the Riches of Mid-Life.”
Presented by Elizabeth Wolfson, PhD, LCSW, the Chair of the MA in Clinical Psychology program, this seminar discussed the ways in which nostalgia can serve as a resource for inspiring creativity and cultivating life satisfaction in the second half of life. Practitioners gained tools to help clients access latent dreams, goals, and aspirations associated with nostalgia to cultivate creativity, meaningful productivity, while increasing life satisfaction.
This was the fifth and final seminar of the series. The other four seminar topics covered in the past several months include the following: “Navigating the DSM-V: There is Life After the DSM-IV TR,” “The Power of Compassionate Self-Inquiry: A Unique Clinical Approach to Addiction,” “Returning Home: Treating Veterans and Their Families,” and “Pacing the Work with Trauma: Assessing Activation and Resiliency in the Therapeutic Process.”
This year-long series for professionals and community members provides continuing education units and features experts in a variety of fields related to psychology, relationships, healthy living, and healthy aging – to name a few.
The upcoming 2014-2015 AUSB-NASW Seminar Series is being finalized and will be announced shortly; it is slated to begin in November with a Saturday workshop on Healing Trauma Through Somatic Approaches.
The title of her presentation “Why Do You Feed Salt to a Zombie?” is enough to make anyone curious. Dr. Lee Weiser, professor in AUSB’s PsyD in Clinical Psychology program, will present her psychological research at the International Association of Jungian Studies Conference, June 27-29, at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona.
All of the presentations at the conference have rich connections to the conference theme of “Rebirth and Renewal,” deriving from Carl G. Jung’s psychological theories tied to rebirth and renewal, which evolved from his travels around the world studying different cultures and indigenous people groups.
The following is an excerpt from Dr. Weiser’s abstract:
Zombies are the latest craze in entertainment, but they actually have a complex literary history stretching back to the earliest written records of Sumer and Greece. Why is it that world lore about humans who have been brought back to life is overwhelmingly bloodthirsty and repugnant? … Consider the parallels with the aftermath of trauma, a hidden loss of life force so painful that it feels like a waking death; where the body goes on moving in the land of the living, but the mind slips into a Zombie-like state ordinarily reserved for dreams or madness. Jung called death “the unproblamatical ending of individual existence,” (1965) but what if, due to circumstances beyond personal control, psyche “turns” while still alive? And what if, mornings upon rising, the challenge is to reanimate the nervous system in order to pretend to move among the living? How does a conscious rebirth follow an encounter with the deadly, unbearably unjust, and unfair outerworld?
Dr. Lee Weiser is a licensed clinical psychologist who holds a BS in Child Development, an MA in Human Behavior, and a PhD degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology.
Learn more about PsyD program at AUSB.
Dr. Salvador Treviño, PhD, in collaboration with UCSB doctoral student, Erika Noriega, MA, will be presenting his scholarship on Latino mental health at the 2014 California Psychological Association Annual Convention in Monterey, Calif., April 10-13. He will discuss “Creating Sacred Space in Community Oriented Clinical Work with Latinas” from a psycho-historical, phenomenological perspective and grounded in clinical work.
Earlier in 2014, Dr. Treviño presented on “Latino Mental Health: The Legacy of Historical Trauma” at the 2014 Mid-Winter Conference of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology. It was well attended by psychologists, delegates, and Directors of Clinical Training Programs, and generated dialogue relevant to understanding the mental health issues impacting Latinos and immigration.
Dr. Treviño is the Clinical Faculty and Director of Practicum for AUSB’s Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology and actively shares his research with the broader community. You can learn more about AUSB’s PsyD in Clinical Psychology program here.
Salvador D. Treviño, PhD, earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, MA in clinical psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, and BA in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Treviño has taught professional psychology for over 15 years and lectures extensively on the theories and practices of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, primitive mental states, and Latino mental health. Drawing on his scholarship of more than 35 years of clinical work with Latino immigrants and an immigrant himself, Dr. Treviño is active in furthering the national conversation on cultural diversity, Latino historical trauma, the psychology of racism, and matters of social justice from a psychoanalytic perspective. Dr. Treviño is a full clinical member of the American Psychological Association, California Psychological Association, National Latino Psychological Association, and California Latino Psychological Association. Dr. Treviño is licensed as a psychologist and marriage and family therapist. He maintains a private practice in Santa Barbara.
Dr. Lee Weiser of AUSB’s doctoral program in Clinical Psychology will speak at the 2014 Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation Conference and Retreat this spring. The conference will be held Saturday, May 31, through Sunday, June 1, at the Serra Retreat in Malibu.
Weiser’s presentation, titled “Structuring Process Groups with Children and Adolescents,” will show participants how to structure appropriate group work that enables children to safely and openly share their thoughts and feelings and reduces the risk of negative interactions.
The weekend of seminars will provide a forum to share ideas about Gestalt Therapy with children and adolescents. Weiser will be joined by the following experts: Violet Oaklander, Christiane Elsbree, Felicia Carroll, Karen Fried, Lynn Stadler, Claire Mercurio, and Jon Blend.
The Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation is a non-profit that brings together mental health professionals who support and extend the therapeutic work of Dr. Violet Oaklander, a distinguished child and adolescent psychotherapist.
Dr. Lee Weiser is a licensed clinical psychologist who holds a BS in Child Development, an MA in Human Behavior, and a PhD degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology. She has specialized training in expressive therapies and spent many years working with children, adolescents and their families in school settings and in private practice. She studied with James Hillman, Marion Woodman and Violet Oaklander and is a founding member of the Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation, a non-profit organization. Dr. Weiser has worked in local non-profit organizations, private schools, hospitals, and at Santa Barbara County Mental Health and supervised both MA and doctoral level trainees and interns. She is a clinical faculty member of Antioch’s PsyD department and has also taught graduate level courses at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Salvador Treviño, Ph.D., Clinical Faculty and Director of Practicum for AUSB’s Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, presented on Thursday, September 12 at the Latino Behavioral Health Institute’s Annual Conference in downtown Los Angeles. His presentation was entitled “Latino Immigration, Cultural Trauma and Cultural Complex: A Psychoanalytic/Phenomenological Examination of the Impact of Repeated Trauma of Immigration on the Individual and Collective Psyche.”
Read more about the 2013 LBHI conference.
In addition, Dr. Treviño has been accepted to present in New Orleans at the mid-winter conference of the National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology, January 20–25, 2014. His presentation will be on “Latino Mental Health, the Psychology of Racism, and Social Justice.“
Dr. Treviño has taught graduate level professional psychology for close to 15 years and lectures extensively on the theory and practice of child and adolescent psychology, character disorders, clinical skills development, Latino mental health, and psychoanalytic therapy.
AUSB’s Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology is delighted to announce that core faculty member and Director of Clinical Training, Sharleen O’Brien, PsyD, and student/doctoral candidate A. Courtney Stallings, MA, have been elected to the board of directors for the California Psychology Internship Council (CAPIC). Dr. O’Brien is an at-large representative for Southern California, while Stallings is one of two student representatives. Congratulations to both of them!