Bridge Seminar: Beauty:The Broken and the Sublime

2nd Saturdays, October 2018 - June 2019
October 13, November 10, December 8, January 12, February 9, March 9, April 13, May 11, June 8

About the TPI Bridge Seminar*

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. The seminar’s purpose is to build bridges between our field and other discourses in order to broaden and deepen both our thinking and our experience.

This small nine month long study group of seasoned clinicians, now in its sixth 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. In addition to our monthly meetings, 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 read and discuss 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 2018 - June 2019 Bridge Seminar

Beauty:The Broken and the Sublime
“For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror,
which we still are just able to endure,
and we are so awed because it serenely disdains
to destroy us.
Every angel is terrifying.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Beauty is an ambiguous yet charged term. How do we recognize it? How does it affect us? Is beauty a wholly subjective experience or is there a universal beauty? Different cultures, generations, and individuals can have wildly divergent concepts and experiences of beauty. The perception of beauty can range from the created to the discovered, from finding beauty in brokenness, to feeling transported to the transcendent sublime.

Three invited experts from outside our field of psychology-- a physician who studies neuro-aesthetics, a museum director who is immersed in contemporary art, and a priest who explores spiritual experience—will offer their perspectives on beauty. Each presenter will meet one time with us, and then in the following two months without the presenter, participants will read and discuss supplemental material to widen and deepen our grasp of this mercurial topic.

Bruce Miller, MD holds the A.W. and Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professorship in Neurology at UC San Francisco where he directs the Memory and Aging Center. He is a behavioral neurologist whose work focuses on neurodegenerative conditions. He is also known for his interest in the creative brain.

Lawrence Rinder is director and chief curator of the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), a position he has held since 2008. He has held positions at the Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He was the founding director of the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts at California College of the Arts, San Francisco, where he also served as dean.

Fr. Chris Renz, OP, is a member of the Order of Preachers (also known as the Dominicans). He obtained a doctorate in microbiology before entering the Dominican Order, and maintains an active interest in science. His professional interests focus on the integration of philosophical and theological ideas into the everyday experiences of life, and in particular, how art and natural beauty augment an experience of the transcendent.

*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. An exception is the first meeting, October 13, which will begin earlier at 9:30 to allow for an orientation to the year. Three of the meetings are with the invited speakers. Dates for the 2018-2019 seminar are October 13, November 10, December 8, January 12, February 9, March 9, April 13, May 11, June 8.

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

Cost: $500 for TPI members, $650 for nonmembers.

CE Credits: 22.5 total (2.5 per meeting), included in registration fee. The Psychotherapy Institute is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing professional education for psychologists, LMFTs, LCSWs, and LPCCs (provider number PSY005). The Psychotherapy Institute maintains responsibility for these programs and their content (see Course Policies).

Group size is limited to 15 members with minimum 25 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.


Note: This course is full and we are no longer adding anyone to the waitlist.