Bridge Seminars

Ronald Nakasone, PhD, Victoria Nelson, PhD, and Philip Kan Gotanda

2nd Saturdays, October 2016 - June 2017
October 8, November 12, December 10, January 14, February 11, March 11, April 8, May 13, June 10

About the TPI Bridge Seminars*

Psychological theory is only one of the many cultural discourses on human behavior. Disciplines outside of psychological models offer rich and varied investigations of social phenomena using their own tools and strategies.

This small nine-month study group, now in its fourth year, sets for itself the task of undermining our habitual ways of thinking. It was created with the senior therapist in mind who wishes to explore non-clinical ways of thinking. The Bridge Seminar features three invited experts from outside our field. Each of the presenters meets one time with us to bring their perspective on a year long topic. In subsequent monthly meetings, we will read and discuss supplemental material to widen and deepen our grasp of this mercurial topic. Readings are drawn from culturally diverse source materials. The Seminar is not a class but a working group, raising questions and opening new directions together.

October 2016 - June 2017 Seminar: Reflections on Identity and Selfhood

"If you understood everything I said, you’d be me."
– Miles Davis

Rooted in the terms identity and selfhood lies a tension between the sameness we share with others (identity) and the sense of uniqueness we experience in our being (our selfhood). But there is a sense in which this tension is illusory, for upon deeper reflection, we can begin to realize that the poles of the tension are not necessarily stable. When are identity and self-hood stable and when do they dissolve in fluidity?

Our customary approaches to the issues of identity and selfhood rely on deeply embedded and, for the most part, unexamined cultural assumptions that demarcate self and other, inside and outside, connection and differentiation. Other cultural traditions do not necessarily share this perspective, as studies in sociology, anthropology, theology, the arts and other disciplines demonstrate. Our training and work as clinicians often emphasizes the failures in self-other boundaries, and yet the cultural underpinnings of these suppositions have only more recently begun to be questioned. In this seminar we seek to enlarge our understanding of the nature of identity and selfhood. Reflections on these ideas pose an opportunity for deepening our narratives regarding our sense of who we are.

Our three speakers come from different fields but share a deep interest in the human psyche as it is expressed in the world. Ronald Nakasone, PhD, is a member of the core Doctoral Faculty at the Graduate Theological Union, on the faculty of Stanford’s Geriatric Education Center, and is a renowned Japanese Sho (calligraphy) artist. Victoria Nelson, PhD, is an independent scholar, award winning author and a recipient of a 2016 Guggenhem fellowship. She also teaches creative writing at Goddard College. Philip Kan Gotanda, is a playwright who has created the largest canon of Asian American themed works. He is also a professor of Theater & Dance Performance Studies at UC Berkeley, an independent filmmaker, and a Guggenheim recipient.

*The Bridge Seminar is created and organized each year by TPI committee members Diane Buczek, Sherry Crandon, Susie Fefferman, Judy Greene, Jeanne Menary, and Jane Reynolds. Committee members participate and help facilitate each seminar meeting.

Meeting Times: The Seminar meets once a month on the second Saturday from 10:00 to 12:30 for nine months. Three of the meetings are with the invited speakers. Dates for 2016-2017 are October 8, November 12, December 10, January 14, February 11, March 11, April 8, May 13, June 10.

Location: TPI, 2232 Carleton St., Berkeley, CA 94704

Cost: $480 for TPI members, $650 for nonmembers

CE Credits: 22.5 total (2.5 per meeting), included in registration fee; CPA approved for MFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and psychologists

Group size is limited to 15 members.

Prerequisite: Minimum 20 years post-licensure clinical experience. The purpose of this prerequisite is to address the intellectual, emotional, and developmental challenges of this stage of life and clinical practice.