It has been one of the greatest pleasures of my working life to have opportunities to teach a diverse range of students who challenge and inspire me in thought-provoking and creative ways. I believe that psychology and psychoanalysis are inherently emancipatory practices, that the ideas embedded in these two disciplines can inspire great change, liberation, and creativity.
My teaching career began at Northern New Mexico College in the undergraduate psychology program and then eventually brought me back “home” to Southwestern College. For me, these two programs represent different but equally important educational philosophies. At Northern I invite students to be in dialogue with some of the greatest psychological thinkers of our time—from Freud to Skinner to Rogers. Here students are asked to engage in an empathic reading of each theorist through direct engagement with the author’s own words and in so doing, track the way in which theory is fundamentally dependent on the lived experience and history of a particular thinker. At Southwestern, I teach classes in the counseling and art therapy program. Here there is an emphasis on experiential learning, where students are asked to have a direct experience, to wrestle with the course material, to apply it to their own lives, and integrate it in ways that are congruent with who they are and how they live in the world.
Both approaches to education feel equally important and they both inform how I structure workshops, group experiences, and conference presentations— the integration of my own direct experience grounded in deep engagement with and understanding of theory.