Critical Social Theory + Creative Non Fiction 
for Mental Health Clinicians

Course Title: Feeling Intersections: Exploring Critical Social Theory and Psychodynamic Work

Overview: This 3-month creative writing and critical social theory course weaves key readings in feminist and ethnic studies that illuminate intersectional histories of gender, race, sexuality, class, religion (including Christian hegemony), dis/ability, and settler colonialism  in the U.S. Readings are selected from a range of fields—namely, Black Studies, Indigenous Studies, Chicana Studies, Asian American Studies, and Arab American Studies. In our class sessions, we explore how our social theory texts might help us bring new questions to current research on trauma, affect, attachment, narcissism, inter-subjectivity, and mentalization.  In our creative writing practices, we connect what we are learning in the readings to our own experiences and memories, accessing our own creative process to metabolize the depth work of the class.

Class Size: 4–7

Participants Receive the Following:

  • weekly readings 

  • 2 concentrated 15-minute lectures each week to explain the key ideas of the readings, their application to mental health, and strategies for creative non fiction writing (24 lectures total)

  • monthly contemplative and creative prompts 

  • monthly 2-hour live group sessions in person or over WebEx with the instructor (3  group class sessions total) 

  • each participant also has a 50-minute, personalized sessions over WebEx with the instructor over the duration of the course, and may elect more if desired 

Dates: Class dates are set by the individual cohorts, but are 3 months in duration.

Key Questions of the Course

As we engage the material, we will track closely the following questions:

  • How can we stay attentive to our own positionality—or how we, ourselves, inhabit these complex systems across our own position of race, gender, class, sexuality, citizenship, religion, and dis/ability?

  • How can we cultivate contemplative practices, slowing down with this difficult material, in order to expand our capacity for encounter and engagement of the ideas in our course?

  • What integrations emerge through the process of writing creative non fiction?

  •  How does critical social theory help us complicate and/or re-imagine founding assumptions or current research of the western mental health industry?