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  • Current Courses

    • Courses in the Department of Psychology pair historical theory with modern research, offering students the opportunity to understand how people think, how people live, and how people make sense of the world. Our courses cover the most important-and most misunderstood-issues of our time.

      Please consult the New School Course Catalog for a full list of courses. Fall 2020 courses include: 

      • Visual Perception and Cognition, GPSY 5102
        Ben van Buren, Assistant Professor of Psychology

        This course will survey the state of the art in vision science, including research on the perception of color, motion, shape, material, and depth. We will discuss the critical role that attention and visual working memory play in constraining what we see, as well as new work investigating seemingly higher-level regularities in visual experience, such as the perception of objects, events, and personal agency (i.e. the sense that we are causing something to happen). Some important questions that we will consider are: How does visual processing shape later (e.g. social) cognitive processing? In what ways can life experience change what we see? And to what extent does perception reflect reality?

      • Adult Psychopathology, GPSY 5155
        McWelling Todman, Professor of Clinical Practice 

        This course is a comprehensive introduction to the history, theories and research associated with some of the more important types of adult psychopathology.

      • Introduction to Applied Psychology and Design, GPSY 5158
        Michael Schober, Professor of Psychology

        This course provides an overview of how empirical psychological findings and methods can be applied to the design of interfaces, objects, and environments. Students will review how theories of human perception, cognition and interaction have informed human factors and ergonomics, and how attention to the psychology of individual capacities along with environmental and social factors can inform design. They will also encounter widely used lab and field research methods, including task analysis, usability testing, experimental design, and observational and self-report measures of users’ experience, cognition and affect. Throughout, critical questions about the ethical treatment of humans—both research participants in the design process and the eventual users of what is being designed—and about broader social impacts will be addressed. Prior coursework in psychology is useful but not required.

      • Cognitive Neuroscience, GPSY 6101
        Siddharth Ramakrishnan

        Students are introduced to the structure and function of physiological substrates of behavior. The role of physiological systems in the regulation of behavior is examined with emphasis on contemporary findings and theoretical issues with particular attention to neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, neuroanatomy, sensory and motor systems, and motivated behaviors. Basic anatomy and physiology are reviewed within the context of the control of behavior.

      • Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling, GPSY 6109
        Lisa Litt, Assistant Professor of Psychology 

        ​This course is an introduction to understanding and working clinically with individuals misusing substances and those who are dually-diagnosed. A variety of theoretical and commonly employed practical approaches to counseling and intervention techniques are explored and discussed using case material. This is a required course for those individuals who wish to obtain an MA degree with a concentration in mental health and substance abuse counseling.

      • Introduction to Statistics and Research Design, GPSY 6133
        Hammad Sheikh, Postdoctoral Fellow 

        ​This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of behavioral research methodology and statistics. The emphasis will be on descriptive statistics, non-experimental and experimental research designs and how to report them in APA format. We will focus on deepening three core areas of competency. First, scientific method and research design: Understanding how to apply the scientific method to design rigorous research that can contribute to our understanding of behavior. Second, data analysis and presentation: Understanding how to summarize, analyze, and interpret data from psychological research projects to reach conclusions about patterns and causes of behavior. Third, scientific communication and literacy: Understanding how to properly report the results of psychological research with brevity and clarity.

      • Developmental Psychology, GPSY 6155
        Joan Miller, Professor of Psychology

        The goal of this course is to provide a contemporary research based perspective on the field of developmental psychology, including work in cognition, social development, and neuroscience. Students are introduced to theory and empirical work in such key areas as language acquisition, modern research on infancy, theory of mind, attachment, parenting, brain changes during adolescence, peer relationships, the meaning and measurement of intelligence, aging and personality changes over the life span. A special feature of the course is the attention paid to mainstream theoretical and empirical perspectives on all topics as well as to relevant conceptual insights and empirical findings from cultural psychology. Consideration is also given to ways the insights of developmental psychology are portrayed in the media and influence advice given to parents and educators.

      • Research Methods, GPSY 6238
        Joan Miller, Professor of Psychology, and Lillian Polanco-Roman, Assistant Professor of Psychology

        This course provides hands-on experience in designing, running, and reporting psychology experiments. Class time is devoted to discussion on individual research projects at each phase of the work.

      • Qualitative Methods in Psychology, GPSY 6241
        Lisa Rubin, Associate Professor of Psychology

        Psychologists are increasingly recognizing the value of qualitative research, both to inform and enhance quantitative forms of inquiry, and as a meaningful form of inquiry in its own right. As qualitative methods gain a foothold in the field (e.g., establishment of a qualitative inquiry section within APA's Division of "Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics," and the soon to be launched APA journal Qualitative Psychology) pioneering students may find themselves lost in a field characterized by different language, and sometimes different logics, than that which they are accustomed. The course is designed to help students wishing to bridge this so-called "quantitative-qualitative" divide in psychology by providing an introduction to epistemological and methodological traditions in qualitative psychology; consideration of distinct ethical concerns; and the opportunity for "hands on" experience with qualitative research, including data collection, analysis, and report writing.

      • Collective Memory, GPSY 6236
        William Hirst, Malcolm B. Smith Professor of Psychology 

        Whether a group is small or large, a group will share memories of its past. These collective memories can provide an identity for the group. They have been responsible for providing a group its sense of place, as well as exacerbating ethnic and national tension. This course is concerned with the way these collective memories are formed, maintained and remembered. Interdisciplinary in its content, it will focus on the way memories are transmitted across a group, how distinctive renderings of a group can converge on a shared recollection, and how collectively held memories remain stable, often over centuries. The course will read relevant literature in anthropology, history, political science, sociology, and psychology, though its main focus will be on understanding the contribution psychology can make to the study of collective memory.

      • Race, Culture, and Classification, GPSY 6358
        Lawrence Hirschfeld, Professor of Anthropology and Psychology

        Few ideas are as potent, as easy to learn, and as difficult to forget as race. This course explores issues about race by disrupting "common sense" and by identifying its psychological and cultural dimensions. The approach is comparative: to examine differences and similarities in racial thinking across cultures and across historical periods, and to compare race with other important social categories, such as gender and class.

      • Advanced Political and Social Psychology, GPSY 6420
        Jeremy Ginges, Associate Professor of Psychology

        In this course students will critically discuss current debates in social and political psychology that deal with some of the most important issues in social and political life. The class will be divided into two parts. The first will be a critical discussion of contemporary literature. The second part will be a research lab where students will discuss and develop research ideas. This will allow students to develop their research skills, and provide them with an opportunity to contribute to a new research program funded by the National Science Foundation. It is an advantage, but not a requirement, for students to have taken Social Psychology and Introductory statistics.

      • Moral Psychology, GPSY 6438
        Katrina Fincher, Assistant Professor of Psychology

        In everyday life, whether they may be trivial or significant, people often encounter situations that fall under the purview of morality. Sometimes people are tempted to commit a norm violation, such as telling a lie to obtain immediate rewards or avoid undesirable outcomes. Other times, people become a victim of or witness someone else's bad behaviors. This course will examine the tendency of human beings to experience social behavior as right and wrong. We will begin by examining moralization and sacralization. We will then turn to understanding models of morality, exploring both the role of emotion and cognition in moral judgments as well as models of mind perception. We will conclude by exploring the role of culture in morality, as well as recent socio-political issues relevant to morality and moral issues that people frequently deal with in everyday life, etc.

      • Child and Adolescent Global Mental Health, GPSY 6440
        Miriam Steele, Professor of Psychology

        More than 40% of the world population is 24 years old or younger. The vast majority of these children live in low- and lower middle–income countries where child and adolescent mental health problems are largely neglected. On the other hand, tending to the mental health needs of children has the exponential benefit of delivery at a time when development is rapid with growth in physical, social, and emotional domains. Children and adolescents more easily integrate and are helped by interventions which can reduce symptoms and overall risk and have the potential to increase resiliency. This course will explore current trends in the assessment and delivery of child and adolescent mental health services with special attention to populations of refugees and displaced children and adolescents, the increasing rates of suicide and substance abuse, anxiety, depression, & conduct disorder. We will also consider critical perspectives on global mental health and explore the role of culture and context in shaping our understanding of mental health challenges and interventions.The class format will involve class discussions based on relevant readings and team based projects that will blend social science and design perspectives. As design is best used when there is a clear setting or context for focus we will invite stakeholders from both government agencies and NGO’s delivering interventions to children/adolescents/families to partner with teams of students to work with them over the semester to develop their projects. The student teams will be comprised of a blend from social science and design backgrounds. In addition there will be classes/workshops to cover design & user-based (UX) thinking and a prototyping workshop.

      • First Year Training Clinical Practicum, GPSY 6905
        Richelle Allen, Assistant Professor of Psychology

        ​This course is required for first year clinical psychology students and involves training at The Safran Center for Psychological Services. During the required 8-hour practicum, first-year clinical students will carry 2 cases at time in individual psychotherapy for 20 sessions per case. Students will receive 2 hours of weekly supervision (individual and group). Students will also participate in a year-long weekly practicum course led by the Center Director. Students will learn, practice, and hone diagnostic and risk assessment, initial formulation, treatment planning, and clinical documentation. Students will also gain practice in conceptualizing and presenting their cases; they will present videotaped segments of their clinical work for group discussion and supervision. These meetings additionally provide opportunities for students to address administrative and clinical issues related to their work at The Safran Center. Students are required to complete two clinical case assignments, attend supervision and case conference weekly, read and be prepared to discuss assigned readings, and participate actively during the open discussions. Students' progress in their clinical work is assessed by individual and group supervisors twice per academic year, allowing ample feedback on each student's development as a clinician. Meeting time is Wednesday 4:00pm-5:50 p.m. EDT. Client contact and supervision hours are flexible and dependent on student, supervisor and client schedules.

      • Diagnostic Testing 1, GPSY 7002
        Ali Khadivi, Part-Time Assistant Professor

        The purpose of this class is to provide a comprehensive introduction to psychological assessment for school age children and adolescents. Students successfully completing the course will demonstrate competency in the administration, scoring and interpretation of tests of intellectual, academic and emotional functioning. Case material will be woven into the seminar in order to introduce aspects of psychodynamic, cognitive, family systems and neuropsychological diagnostic perspectives. Although this is an introductory course, the emphasis will be on synthesizing results of testing data, clinical observation and collateral information to provide a thorough, child-centered evaluation. Students may have the opportunity to administer and write up a testing battery.TA Session participation is especially important for learning assessments that students will include in evaluations during the semester.

      • Diagnostic Interviewing, GPSY 7005
        Ali Khadivi, Part-Time Assistant Professor

        ​The focus of this course is on mastering the diagnostic interview in the context of the initial phase of the treatment. The course will cover interviewing techniques for establishing the therapeutic alliance and for arriving at a diagnostic formulation. Issues of differential diagnosis, psychiatric mental status examination, and suicide and violence risk assessment will be covered. In addition, students will be introduced to the Cultural Formulation Interview, Motivational Interviewing, and other specialized interviewing techniques.

      • Clinical Theory and Technique: Psychodynamic Therapy, GPSY 7006
        Daniel Gaztambide, Assistant Professor of Psychology

        This course focuses on mastering basic clinical theory and techniques in psychodynamic therapy. Issues covered include therapeutic neutrality, transference/countertransference, resistance, differential therapeutics, treatment planning, and psychodynamic case conceptualization. Relevant biological, psychological, and social factors, along with research perspectives, are considered. This course includes a clinical lab component. Co-requisite: course to be taken concurrently with GPSY 7002.

      • Advanced Diagnostic Testing and Assessment: Adult Psychopathology, GPSY 7007
        Andrew Twardon, Part-Time Faculty

        The course will introduce students to advanced diagnostic testing and assessment of *personality-related spectrum* of adult psychopathology. Building upon the standard psychological testing battery (Diagnostic Testing I & II), the course will: (1) Review the most recent *dimensional* conceptualizations of personality-related disorders and the corresponding *dimensional interpretation* of the standard testing results (MMPI-2; TAT, Rorschach). (2) Introduce some of the new, *dimensional measures* of adult, personality-related psychopathology, including the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-3) and the Dimensional Assessment of Personality Pathology (DAPP-BQ). (3) Discuss key neurobiological substrates of personality-spectrum disorders and most recent *assessment tools* based on brain imaging and related *translational* research. (4) Discuss the advanced, *personality-centered*, differential diagnosis of DSM-IV-TR related Axis I vs. Axis II disorders and *multidimensional* approach to *psychodynamic* interpretation, case formulation and treatment recommendations utilizing testing results of actual patients with complex personality-related psychopathology.

      • Clinical Externship Seminar 1, GPSY 7009
        Diana Diamond, Part-Time Lecturer and David Shapiro, Part-Time Assistant Professor

      • Clinical Externship Seminar 2, GPSY 7010
        Miriam Steele, Professor of Psychology, and Adrienne Harris, Part-Time Lecturer

        Two years of supervised field experience in a mental health agency approved by the Clinical faculty is required for the PhD in clinical psychology. The field experience consists of a two-day-per-week placement in an agency, with in-house supervision. Weekly class meetings link practical issues and problems to theoretical discussion and the research literature, including issues of gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. These courses cannot be counted toward fulfillment of PhD seminar requirements.

      • Ethnicity in Clinical Theory and Practice, GPSY 7012
        Daniel Gaztambide, Assistant Professor of Psychology

        This course examines the cultural, historical, and sociopolitical factors that shape the worldviews of the client and therapist, and their impact on the therapy process. Students will explore the influence of culture on the phenomenology of distress and learn practical skills for conducting culturally responsive assessment and therapy. Techniques for improving therapeutic engagement and case conceptualization with diverse client populations also will be discussed. Finally, students will also deepen their awareness, knowledge and ability to work with a specific cultural group by conducting a series of experiential exercises, a group presentation, and focused reviews of the literature.

      • Clinical Practice: New School Counseling Center, GPSY 7015
        Wendy D'Andrea, Associate Professor of Psychology

        Advanced clinical students will participate in a clinical practicum at The New School Counseling Center where they will conduct weekly psychotherapy sessions with a maximum of 6 patients per week, receive individual supervision with a staff member and group supervision with the director of the counseling service. Students will be invited to attend the Student Counseling Center professional development meetings.

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