Monday, December 30, 2019

Harvard Extension School: Case Studies in the Lives of Persons

Spring Semester 2020, I'll be teaching online and on campus "Case Studies in the Lives of Persons". 4 Graduate or Undergraduate Hours. Auditors are welcome. Here's a link for registration. 

I will be updating as I add reading. 

PSYC E- 2000:  Case Studies in the Lives of Persons

Course Overview
Semester and Year: Spring, 2020
Day/Times/Place: Wednesdays 5:40pm-7:40pm; 1 Story Street 304
Format: On campus classroom with online option-Zoom/HELIX
Instructor Contact Information      
Name: Wynn Schwartz, Ph.D.                                                     
Office hours: by appointment
Course Description and Learning Objectives
How do we go about understanding and describing the lives of persons? How can we empathetically depict a life that respects how people actually behave, how people come to be the way they are, and how people change? While acting more or less cognizantly and intentionally, engaged in varied roles in multiple and complex communities, people encounter and construct their worlds. Working from a theory-neutral descriptive perspective designed for comparative theoretical approaches, we will learn about and employ conceptual tools that facilitate an examination of the nuanced commonalities, differences, and significant through-lines in selected adults, and then apply these concepts in constructing a psychological biography or autobiography.

Course Materials
Schwartz, W. Descriptive Psychology and the Person Concept: Essential Attributes of Persons and Behavior.Cambridge, MA: Academic Press, 2019 (Electronic version available in Harvard libraries) In Syllabus as DPPC.
Instructor will post reading in January and throughout the semester. They can be found in Canvas under "Modules".
0%       Skills check – Provide a one page reflection to the blog post: Satisfaction, Narcissism, and the Construction of Worlds. (Links to an external site.) Due first week of class.
20%    Class Participation –participation in class and online discussion, evidenced by comments posted online.
40%     Through-lines descriptions (undergraduates, 4 descriptions, 1 page each; graduate students, 7 descriptions, 1 page each).  Due at the 9thclass meeting.
40%    Interview and biography and/or autobiography, 5 to 7 pages. (Undergraduates required to choose one; graduate students either both or 2 interviews and biographies). Due by the final class.
Course Outline and Schedule
 Most reading will be posted in January and integrated into the syllabus then; others will be selected in response to class discussion. (GS) indicates an optional reading for undergraduates but required for graduate students. Reading can be found under "Modules".

Read Preface and pp. 1-53 of Descriptive Psychology and The Person Concept (DPPC) for Lectures 1-4: 1/29-2/19
1/29    Introduction to our subject matter and our goals. What counts as an adequate description of a person?  Separating the signal from the noise. Ambiguity and significance. Clinical and moral narratives. Required skills check:  Due by 2/5: a one page reflection to the blog post: Satisfaction, Narcissism, and the Construction of Worlds.  (Links to an external site.)
DPPC Significance, implementation, and some thoughts about psychotherapy. pp. 75-77.
Cushman, Philip. Psychotherapy as Moral Discourse
Objectivity, Subjectivity and the Gospel Truth (Links to an external site.) (blog posting)
2/5     The perspectives of the observer-describer. The romantic, comic, tragic, and ironic perspective.(Northrup Frye and Roy Schafer). Transferences and the unconscious and underexamined  constructions of  a person's relationships and circumstances.
Andersen, S. M. & Berk., M. The social-cognitive model of transference: Experiencing past relationships in the present.
Gill, M.M. The analysis of the transference (GS)
Schafer, Roy. The psychoanalytic vision of reality (GS)
2/12     Through-lines and Significance. The dramaturgical perspective. (Irving Goffman, Rom Harré, Peter Ossorio) Through-lines as organizers of a person’s life story; leitmotifs describing Significance patterns implemented in various ways. In-character and out-of-character attributions. A person’s aspirations: fulfilled, compromised, substituted, and failed.
Anscombe, GEM. Intention. pp-33-45 (GS)
Schafer, Roy. Narratives of the Self (Cp 2 from Retelling a Life)
Harre, Rom. “It’s All Discursive!” Crossing Boundaries and Crossing Words with Rom Harré"
2/19     The Person Concept and the interdependent component concepts of Individual Persons; Behavior as Intentional Action; Language and Verbal Behavior; Community and Culture; Worlds and Reality.  
2/26     Intentional Action. Parametric Analysis. The parameters of Intentional Action and its derivates: Cognizant and Deliberate Action. Actor-Observer-Critic social and self-regulation.
DPPC Behavior as Intentional Action pp. 55-93
3/4    Methodologies for constructing a psychological biography. Empathy and the empathetic interview. Verification and the negotiation of a humane and useful understanding.
3/11     Community and Culture.  The normal and the abnormal in psychiatric anthropology. Satisfaction and thriving. Authenticity and how well one is cast for their "parts".
DPPC Community and Culture  pp. 161-172
3/18     Spring Break, no class.
3/25     Degradation, accreditation and rites of passage. Acquiring, affirming, or losing one’s place in a valued community and the associated psychological effects. (Herbert Garfinkel). A person’s aspirations: fulfilled, compromised, substituted, and failed.
From DPPC, pp 172-187
Garfinkle, Harold. Conditions of successful degradation ceremonies.                                                                                                                                                                       
 4/1       The Judgment Diagram and the domains of motivation. The problem of “the two sets of books”:  one available to introspection; the other only reluctantly examined.  Self-deception and unconscious motivations. Compromise formations and bungled intention.
From DPPC The Judgment Diagram, Some Categories of Cognizance, and the Unconscious pp.95-130.
 4/8     Relationships, the Relationship Formula, and Emotional Action. (Peter Ossorio, Raymond Bergner)
From DPPC Relationships, the Relationship Formula, and Emotional Competence pp.131-147.      
4/15     Emotional competence and family history. Attachment styles.
4/22     Dreams as a second perspective.  Problem representation during sleep as a guide to a person’s concerns and psychological state. The dream as adventure into possibility. Nightmares and bad dreams.
4/29     From Freud on: the unfolding historical views of the infant in psychological theory. From these starts, what sort of stories are told? How views of the infant are reflected in parenting guidance and psychotherapeutic practice.
5/6       The seasons of a person’s life. Are there natural units of maturation?  The works and critics of Daniel Levinson.
Aktu, Y., & İlhan, T. . Individuals’ life structures in the early adulthood period based on Levinson’s theory.
Levinson, Daniel.  A conception of adult development.
5/13     Endings, memory, and looking back: Nachträglichkeit (retroaction, delayed reaction or response, retrospective attribution, afterwardsness). Reformulating one’s world and recasting the past: Ugly ducklings and memories with new significance. Mourning.
Bistoen, et. al. "Nachträglichkeit'"
Marion, Paola. "Some reflections on the unique time of Nachträglichkeit' in theory and clinical practice" (GS)