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.