UO Psychology Graduate Seminar

Trauma's Legacy:

Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Effects

Winter 2004 607 Seminar
Title: Sem Trauma's Legacy
CRN: 25820
Instructors: Jennifer Freyd & Pamela Birrell

Grading option: Optional
Credits: 1-4
Instructor's consent required (application form)
Time: M 13:30-15:20 in 156 Straub Hall
(Note: although scheduling lists the start at 1 PM, the seminar actually starts at 1:30 PM and ends at 3:20 PM)

Course Home Page http://dynamic.uoregon.edu/~jfreyd/psy607-win04/index.html

This seminar counts as a "Clinical Elective" for grad students in UO Clinical Psychology program.

Instructor's consent required: (Application Form)


In this seminar we will examine our cultural and societal denial of trauma and abuse -- denial of trauma's existence and denial of trauma's impact.. Where does this denial come from? How does denial become part of the phenomena? We will consider the ethics of asking and not asking about trauma, oppressiona, and abuse in psychology and medicine. We will also be continuing our exploration from the Spring 2003 seminar "Trauma as Etiology" regarding the question: how much of human variation can be understood as resulting from oppression and traumatic experience, particularly from being a victim of mistreatment by other humans? How far can we go accounting for illness and suffering by assuming a "trauma model" in which trauma is considered a primary etiological agent? Is political behavior predictable from traumatic exposure? In exploring these questions, we will consider both theoretical and empirical sources. We will grapple with definitions of trauma that include or don't include society-wide forms of oppression such as racism. We will question whether data that support genetic bases may sometimes be interpretable as gene-environment interactions. We will look at the evidence that abuse histories are highly prevalent in so-called "biological disorders" such as schizophrenia and bi-polar disorders. How should we interpret these correlations? What implications does the research (and our interpretation of it) have for treatment and prevention of illness and distress? We will consider the historical and political pressures that shape thinking about these difficult issues.

Focus book for the course:

Millburn, M.A. & Conrad, S.D. (1996) The Politics of Denial. Cambidge, MA: The MIT Press.
(This book is available for purchase in the text book section of the at the UO bookstore.)

Course Work: Students will be expected to attend all class meetings, do all assigned readings, and to actively participate in seminar discussion. In addition each participant will lead a class discussion and, in advance of the class meeting, create a set of discussion questions by the Friday at noon before the Monday class. The student will send the questions to the instructor and then the uestions will be distributed to the class via email by the instructor prior to the discussion. After the class, the student(s) leading discussion will create a document including the discussion questions, any other presentation material, and capturing important discussion points from class. This revised document must be submitted to the instructor for posting on the course web site by the Wednesday at noon following class. The revised version of the handout must be in either powerpoint, word, or rich text format.

Application Form: Instructors Consent is Required (for both students who wish to register and those who wish to audit). Applications will be considered as long as there is space available.

Bibliography for Course

Week by Week Topics

Also see

Jennifer Freyd <jfreyd@dynamic.uoregon.edu>
4 January 2004