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Faculty Feature: Lourdes Mattei

Submitted by on December 31, 2012 – 8:34 amNo Comment

Lourdes Mattei, associate professor of clinical psychology, received her undergraduate degree from the University of Puerto Rico and her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

She has worked for many years as a clinical psychologist in a variety of settings such as academia, community mental health, private practice, and the theater.

Her interests include psychoanalytic theory and practice, child development, cross-cultural psychology, women’s studies, theater, and Puerto Rican culture.

Selected Courses

Re-Minding Culture: Advanced Topics in the Study of Mental Illness and Culture (Spring 2013)

This seminar is designed for advanced Division II and Division III students who are interested in the study of mental illness and culture. The course will focus on two major debates in clinical psychology: the nature vs. nurture controversy and the tension between the individual-and- society. The course is part of a series of seminars exploring the epistemological, theoretical, and methodological implications of our modern concept of the mental illness. We will read a variety of provocative readings from a variety of “psychologies” (clinical, developmental, social) as well as from diverse disciplines. The student will have the opportunity to focus on his/her particular area of interest as part of his/her (or in preparation for) Division III work. Previous coursework in psychology is required, especially, Abnormal Psychology.

Minding Culture: In the Case of Mental Illness (Fall 2012)

This course will introduce the students to the major controversies debated in the study of mental illness and culture. Two major debates in clinical psychology are highlighted: nature vs. nurture and the individual vs. society. The course is part of a series of seminars designed to explore the epistemological, theoretical, and methodological implications of our modern concept of mental illness. Psychological ideas shape in fundamental ways how we understand human “nature”, motivation, development, and pathology. What do we mean when we say mental illness is “biological”? “psychological”? or is “socially constructed”? We will read authors that provoke us to think in new ways about these controversies. We will draw from a variety of “psychologies” (for example, developmental, social, clinical, and psychoanalytic) as well as from several disciplines such as neurology and anthropology. We will also focus on diverse methodologies and styles of writing. In addition to classical psychology readings, we will include film and memoirs.

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