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Dee Bridgewater

Continuing Lecturer

Contact Information

Office  2332 Rolfe Hall
Phone  310-206-8429

The age-old tradition of storytelling forms the underlying, pervasive basis of my professional life as a teacher of public discourse and as a psychotherapist.  In both professional pursuits, I have encouraged individuals to engage in a process of introspective self-discovery by honing their skills in assessing and articulating their thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs while simultaneously honing their ability to empathically assess those of others.  This dialectic process allows an individual to forge a personalized philosophical discipline drawn from the theoretical perspectives of rhetoric and psychodynamic psychology.

Rhetoric guides my work as an instructor.  I find this most ancient of scholarly disciplines most cutting edge in the age of social media.  Rhetoric explores how people can critically assess the world around them and then articulate an apt response that inspires critical thinking and effective policy decisions.  I believe to be viable in today's competitive world and more profoundly to be a functioning citizen students must learn to be cultural critics, raconteurs, and ethical catalysts of change.  The accumulative development of these skills in students is the prime focus of my teaching.

Psychodynamic theory guides my work as a therapist.  I help people excavate and contemplate memories from their past.  This allows them to introspectively reflect on these memories and to experience them anew.  The person can then formulate their memories into a cogent, enlightening personal narrative.  In short, I help a person discern and formulate the story of their past to help them lead happier lives in the present and better plot their trajectory into a successful future.

An aspect of my career as a psychologist of which I am particularly proud is my work in the formation of the American Psychological Association's Division 44--The Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues.  It's been quite remarkable to witness the transformation of the LGBT community from a psychopathology to a people worthy of study.

Presently, I am exploring the use of American popular culture and movies in particular as a tool of pedagogy.  I've developed the course:  Cinematherapy:  Movies and Mental Health to explore my fascination with movies as public dreams and dreams as private movies.  Also, I've developed the course Learning American English and Culture from Movies, a course designed primarily for International Students.  I am hoping to generate the rudiments of a global movement comprised of an international family of scholars exploring how movies can facilitate universal understanding.  In 2010, I became the co-founder of the Communication Studies Department's Institute in Communication Skills for International Students and am currently its co-director.

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Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles

M.A., (ABT) Theater, Indiana State University

M.S., Counseling, Indiana State University

B.A., Theater, 1974, Indiana University