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PSY 06 — How to Think Like a Shrink

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus (About Formats)
Duration: 7 weeks
Date(s): Feb 1—Mar 14
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Feb 3
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $420
Instructor(s): Dona Tversky
Limit: 40
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Feb 1—Mar 14
7 weeks
Refund Date
Feb 3
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Dona Tversky
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Have you wondered why our early relationships shape our future connections? Are you curious about how to optimally use your emotions? Modeled on a popular class offered to Stanford undergraduates and led by a clinical instructor at the Stanford Medical School, this course aims to teach you to think like a psychotherapist and understand why we feel and behave the way we do. Students will gain insight into why psychotherapists focus on early life relationships and learning, why they privilege emotions, and why they see the seeming contradictions in our lives as places for deeper understanding.

This discussion-based course will consider foundational questions in several areas of study: How do our early experiences in relationships affect the ones we create later? What good might come from anger, sadness, or guilt? Why are we more likely to segregate and point fingers when we are afraid? Through engaging weekly projects, students will be invited to become detectives in their own lives to uncover layers of psychological phenomena in both personal and public spheres. By the end of this journey, students will emerge with a newfound appreciation for the complexity of their minds, a richer comprehension of the psychology behind everyday life, and a fresh perspective on personal relationships, group dynamics, and the tapestry of human experience.

This course will offer a chance to map the intricacy of our feelings and thinking minds; it is not a course on mental health, nor a place to get therapy. Students are requested to bring a high degree of honesty, creativity, and interest in the human experience.

Psychiatrist; Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford

Dona Tversky is a psychiatrist who teaches the course “How to Think Like a Shrink” at Stanford. She also teaches an introduction to psychotherapy course at Stanford Medical School. Her educational and professional background is broad and deep and includes psychodynamic psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, research in public health and social sciences, and the study and practice of Theravada Buddhism. She has provided psychotherapy and medication management in a range of psychiatric settings, including medical clinics, day programs, public and private hospitals, prisons, and substance abuse programs. In addition to teaching and psychotherapy work, she works at Ravenswood Family Health Center in East Palo Alto and is a board member of Peninsula Healthcare Connection. She received an MD from Stanford Medical School, a BA from Yale, and an MPH from the University of the Western Cape in South Africa.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.