Recent Updates: The New School is planning for a robust in‑person student experience starting in fall 2021 and beyond. Learn more.

  • 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 2021 courses include: 

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

        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
        Faculty TBA

        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

      • Cognitive Neuroscience, GPSY 6101
        Faculty TBA

        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
        Faculty TBA

        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 (CSD)

        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
        Lillian Polanco-Roman, Assistant Professor of Psychology (Clinical), and Howard Steele, Professor of Psychology (Clinical)

        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.

      • Seminar: Autobiographical Memory, GPSY 6302
        William Hirst, Malcolm B. Smith Professor of Psychology (CSD)

        Memories can serve as the foundation upon which identity is built. This seminar will review work on the formation and characteristics of autobiographical memories and explore how they contribute to identity.

      • Becoming Social: Culture, Cognition and Early Development, GPSY 6419
        Lawrence Hirschfeld, Professor of Anthropology and Psychology (CSD)

        Humans inhabit worlds held together by a constant flow of cultural information, i.e., information that is more generally relevant, repeatedly transmitted, and shared by many or even most members of the group. On one well-known and sensible proposal, culture consists of whatever one has to know or believe in order to operate in a manner acceptable to members one’s group and to enact the social roles that members expect each other to adopt. Being cultural, then, entails acquiring certain mental states and the capacities they afford. This seminar starts from the premise that there is nothing self-evident about becoming cultural. It is thus both curious and disappointing that the dominant account of knowledge acquisition in anthropology and other disciplines concerned with cultural environments has been aptly described as a fax-theory of learning. The goal of this seminar is to explore recent developmental research with an eye toward a more nuanced understanding of how we become such adept cultural actors—and by extension, how we become social. Our focus is on infancy and early childhood. Among the questions we will grapple with are: Is cultural knowledge a distinct domain or kind of knowledge? Many animals inhabit complex social worlds that are not cultural; in what ways is human social life cultural and in what was is it not? E.g., is the development of social knowledge and the interactions it affords governed by the same mechanisms as the development of knowledge about the mental states of individuals and the actions this affords? What role do imitation, analogical thinking, and other relational competencies play in the acquisition of cultural competence? What role does tuition play in acquiring cultural competence? Has evolution prepared humans to be cultural? Can we identify specific evolved adaptations that contribute to, shape, and constrain our cultural worlds and in what ways might these shape and constrain development?

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

        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.

      • Humanization and Dehumanization, GPSY 6444
        Katrina Fincher, Assistant Professor of Psychology (CSD)

        In this course, we will discuss the psychological processes surrounding humanization and dehumanization.  Some additional topics covered might include prejudice, stereotyping and stigmatization.  We may discuss topics such as racism and sexism, but also genocide and murder. 
         
      • Designing Mental Health Interventions For Low-Resource Settings, GPSY 6451
        Manaswi Sangraula, Postdoctoral Researcher

        This course will focus on how to design mental health interventions to fit the unique mental health needs of populations living in low-resource settings (such as low and middle-income countries, conflict-affected areas, and marginalized communities within high-income countries) . It will explore existing intervention models and methods for adapting interventions/therapies to fit the culture, context, and experiences of mental health distress in such settings. Students will gain tools to adapt interventions and examine the socio-cultural forces that impact the implementation, delivery, and assessment of mental health interventions in low-resource settings.

      • Diagnostic Testing 1, GPSY 7002
        Ali Khadivi, Part-time Faculty

        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 Faculty

        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 Clinical Practice

        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.

      • Advanced Diagnostic Testing and Assessment: Adult Psychopathology, GPSY 7007
        Andrzej 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 *multidimensiona*approach to *psychodynamic* interpretation, case formulation and treatment recommendations utilizing testing results of actual patients with complex personality-related psychopathology.

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

        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.


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