Fielding Graduate University News

Filmmaker Brings Critically Acclaimed 'Tangerine' to Fielding

Posted by Starshine Roshell on Fri, Jan 29, 2016


Students, faculty, and friends of Fielding got a behind-the-scenes view of Hollywood—in more ways than one—when filmmaker Sean Baker screened his critically acclaimed film “Tangerine” at Winter Session last week.

Shot on an iPhone and described by the New York Times as “tough yet tender, gritty yet gorgeous,” the Independent film depicts a day in the life of two transgender prostitutes in Hollywood. It was presented by Fielding’s Alonso Center for Psychodynamic Studies, whose director Sam Osherson saw the film last year and was moved by it.

“It portrayed the lives of people who are marginalized in a way I had never seen before,” says Osherson, a Clinical Psychology faculty member who wanted Fielding students to have the opportunity to explore how they can capture human experience in a way that feels real and honest. “I’m always trying to deepen our understanding of what it means to be human and to help our students think about the people we’re working with as human beings with rich stories to tell. Sean Baker has a way of telling that story. It’s not a sentimental perspective, it’s very real.

”Relationships are at the heart of good therapy,” Osherson continues, “and this is about helping us look at a person as a person rather than as a diagnostic category.”


Filmmaker Sean Baker

After the screening, writer and director Baker answered questions from the audience, which included the Fielding community as well as Santa Barbara therapists, LGBTQ advocates, and students from UC Santa Barbara.

Baker explained that he lives near the Los Angeles neighborhood where the film is set, and wanted to explore its denizens and microcultures on the screen. But rather than create a script and impose it on the place, he spent time hanging out, earning the trust of the locals, getting to know their stories, and seeking their help in developing a story loosely based around their real lives.


The film’s stars—not professional actors but the real sex workers whom Baker met in the neighborhood—brought a levity and humor to the film, even when it touched on dark subjects from infidelity to addiction.

“Ultimately, we made a comedy,” Baker said, “but underneath the humor there’s a sadness—a sad state of affairs.”

Jennifer Tyburczy, assistant professor of Feminist Studies at UCSB and director of the LGBTQ minor there, brought students to the event from her own Trans-Art class, who are in the process of making their own films.

“The talkback with Baker allowed students to imagine themselves in the roles of director, auteur, and artist,” she says, “and empowered them to think with and through the existing representations of trans experience."

Tyrone Dixon, a Fielding student who graduated with a PhD in Media Psychology last week and is a filmmaker himself, appreciated the perspective that “Tangerine” offered.

“I thought it was a bold and courageous film,” he said. “The filmmakers did a great job of sharing that world.”

Tags: Media psychology, clinical psychology, Film, Alonso

Fielding's New Media Psychology Program Director Jerri Lynn Hogg, PhD On Media Psychology and Technology for Good

Posted by Hilary Molina on Wed, Oct 14, 2015

As president of the American Psychological Association’s Division 46-Society for Media Psychology and Technology, Jerri Lynn Hogg, PhD, now takes on the role as program director of media psychology at Fielding Graduate University.

Jerri Lynn HoggDr. Hogg stepped right into her new role with ease. Coming from years of grounded experience in both academic and professional settings, her teaching experience at a variety of post-secondary organizations, along with her numerous years of involvement in the media psychology program at Fielding, Dr. Hogg is poised and ready to drive media psychology further into the educational forefront of the 21st century. Dr. Hogg's vision of the future of media psychology as a disciple was clearly outlined during her interview for the position of director:

The future of media psychology is impacted by the psychological foundations which form the building blocks of this discipline. These building blocks are what separate us from big media studies departments and other educational areas that hover in the same research space as media psychology. Media psychology is a broad umbrella-based psychology that is grounded in psychology, and also engages theories and research from a variety of other fields that study media and technology.

At Fielding, I believe that we are at a place where we have the opportunity to do something special, to influence peoples’ lives in important and meaningful ways. From understanding how mobile applications can best be used to encourage fitness, or stimulate happiness and mental well-being to create powerful advocacy campaigns and disaster relief efforts, such as the one most recently implemented by the Red Cross app that facilitated donations for the relief efforts in Nepal; we can learn about, demonstrate and research, how emergent technologies are enhancing our lives in powerful ways. By studying the psychological components engaged when we connect with media and technology we can inform better design and application.

For example, we can apply theory to emergent technologies to create and further define dynamic learning environments, use augmented and virtual reality to find new ways to understand and view the world, create delivery models that are media rich in presence, yet can cross geographical and time boundaries, and we can construct media that facilitates socially responsible advocacy for the betterment of humanity. With the ability to connect in more meaningful ways, collaborate cross-boundaries and cultures, share knowledge by making information more readily available and understandable, media psychology is a force for motivation, well-being, and good.

In her newest role as program director, Dr. Hogg continues to affirm the direction she sees the program going and why Fielding is the place for this vision. "It is my goal to continue to foster an energetic research center in media psychology which includes a collaborative learning space and a think-tank environment that provides businesses, organizations, nonprofits, and foundations a place to seek advice, consult, and research the intersection of human behavior and media and technology," stated Dr. Hogg. "My vision for the media psychology program within Fielding is to continue to establish the culture and identity of the program with administration, admissions and marketing, and the university in general, so we can best advertise, promote and attract students who are interested in media psychology...We are best aligned for positive outcomes, and impact, that includes strong student learning and ground breaking research, when there is a good fit. It is the story, the vision, and the cohesive message that allows not only the potential to understand who we are, but creates the vision of what we commit to as a program, a program that embraces the breadth of the field of media psychology in a foundational manner and offers specializations as our core niche. Current proposed certificates in neuroscience, brand psychology, and immersive media are a good start in this direction."

One of Dr. Hogg's areas of interest as a media psychologist is to look at virtual and augmented environments to see how people can bring a sense of presence to these environments - to make it feel as real as when we share physical presence. She frequently speaks on psychological components and influences of media and technology on human behavior and she continues to uncover new areas for research and understanding.

Dr. Hogg began her career studying engineering and then made the unusual jump to journalism and communications. While it might not have made sense at the time to make this transition, it fueled her interest in the science and the technology behind how people are driven to connect and communicate. To this day, she continues to examine a variety of interests, which are primarily based around how media influences people's lives, relationships, and humans make meaning out of life in a highly digitized world. Her passion continues to remain in the ways people connect and make meaning in digital environments. As Dr. Hogg continues her studies as a researcher and as a graduate of the media psychology program at Fielding, she would like to give back to her university and the field she proudly represents.

Tags: Media psychology, APA, psychology, fielding faculty, social media, leadership, clinical psychology, fielding graduate university, graduate education, scholar practitioner

Fielding Ranks in Top 20 Most Innovative Degree Programs in 2014

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Fri, Oct 10, 2014

Fielding Graduate University's PhD in Clinical Psychology- Neuropsychology Concentration - Ranks in the Top 20 Most Innovative Graduate Psychology

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Degree Programs in 2014

OCTOBER 10, 2014, As competition becomes increasingly intense for jobs in psychology, it is more important than ever for students to choose graduate psychology degree programs that provide an edge in the workforce. Although many practicing psychologists are deciding to put off retirement, and psychology jobs are growing at the rate of just three percent, the Center for Workforce Studies still reports that 5,000 new psychology doctorates are handed out annually. In order to help you get the most out of your training and beat out the competition for a limited number of jobs, we’ve identified a set of highly innovative graduate-level psychology degree programs for you to consider. Most of the programs described below assume that you’ve already earned a psychology master’s degree.

At this time, the three fastest growing areas of the field are thought to be neuropsychology, industrial-organizational psychology, and geropsychology, so we put special emphasis on including programs with offerings in those areas. In addition, our editors also sought to highlight the following types of programs.

1) Those whose faculty is among the most highly cited in the field.

2) Those that have shown exceptional progress in the area of diversity.

3) Those with at least some online offerings.

Click here for the complete article by

Tags: APA, psychology, Distributed education, clinical psychology, fielding graduate university, graduate education, distance education

Fielding Graduate University Announces APA Accreditation Renewal

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Tue, Aug 20, 2013

Fielding Graduate University: APA Accredited Since 1991

Fielding Graduate University is pleased to announce that the American Psychological Association (APA) has renewed its accreditation for the doctoral PhD program in Clinical Psychology. Fielding offers the only APA accredited clinical psychology doctoral program utilizing a distributed learning model. This program in the School of Psychology has been continually accredited by the APA since 1991.

The APA’s Commission on Accreditation commended the program in each of its areas of review, including, program resources, program self-assessment and quality enhancement, and the program’s philosophy, objectives and curriculum plan.

The report cited student-faculty relations as a “major strength of the program is its positive regard of its students, and its belief in their rights to courtesy, respect, collegiality, and sensitivity.” Fielding’s president, Katrina Rogers, PhD, stated, “Our clinical psychology program has served students and communities around the country for forty years, and we are pleased that APA has continued to affirm the quality of the program and its faculty. We are proud of our students, alumni, and faculty who continue to meet the highest of standards set by APA in a discipline that is so critical to the health and well-being of all societal members.”

The report also praised the School of Psychology’s value of diversity stating “the program recognizes the importance of cultural and individual difference and diversity in the training of psychologists…the program’s training mission is also committed to ensuring coverage of issues of diversity, requiring not only a formal course on multicultural diversity, but also the infusion of diversity throughout many aspects of the formal curriculum as well as informal, extra-curricular activities.”  

Fielding pioneered a distance education model comprised of blended and distributed learning that has served adult professionals for forty years. By creating flexible opportunities for individuals with career, family, and community responsibilities to achieve their advanced educational goals, Fielding’s community of scholar-practitioners helps define the future of psychology at every level—from theory to practice and research. Incorporating both intensive face-to-face interactions with online dialogue and other distance learning methodologies makes Fielding’s Clinical Psychology program accessible to students across the nation.

In a message to the Fielding community, President Katrina Rogers wrote:

I just want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the clinical psychology faculty members for the many ways in which they continue to strengthen the program, support our students’ intellectual development, and contribute to making our program the best in the country.

In the letter, APA staff wrote:

“The program has made a compelling argument and is to be commended.  The program has a clearly specified philosophy of education and training, compatible with the mission of its sponsor institution and appropriate to the science and practice of psychology.  The program demonstrates a commitment to excellence through self-study, which assures that its goals and objectives are met, enhances the quality of professional education and training obtained by its students, and contributes to the fulfillment of its sponsor institution’s mission.”

Fielding Graduate University is an accredited nonprofit leader in blended graduate education, combining face‐to‐face and online learning. Our curriculum offers quality degrees and courses for professionals living and working anywhere in the world. Fielding’s faculty members represent a breadth of scholarship and practice in the fields of educational leadership, human and organizational development, and clinical and media psychology. Maintaining Fielding’s reputation for quality programs, faculty are mentors and guides to self‐directed students who use their skills to become powerful, and socially‐responsible leaders in their communities, workplaces, and society.




Tags: APA, Distributed education, clinical psychology, fielding graduate university

An Overture to Dementia’s Soulful Memories

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Wed, Jul 31, 2013

Forrest book cover resized 600Touch the Spirit - Connecting to the Inner World of Dementia

Fielding Graduate University alumna Deborah A. Forrest, PhD, (PSY '95) recently published a research-based book on dementia.

More than five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and many of us don’t know how to react, let alone help, when this disease strikes our loved ones.

In Touch the Spirit, Deborah Forrest, PhD, peels away the stereotypes and assumptions in order to explore and explain how we, the families, can offer and provide means of comfort, and, most importantly, human and mental contact with our loved ones afflicted with dementia.

Through entertaining and enlightening stories of hope and success, Forrest reminds us how the most simple acts, such as poetry, art, animals, and music, can open a channel of connection with those lost to time and reconnect with their souls. In addition, Touch the Spirit covers the research and progress being made toward dementia prevention, because an informed person is a prepared person. We must understand what medicines are effective, and how spirituality can play a major role in providing relief and comfort to all concerned.

Touch the Spirit is also about the caregivers, the families, and Forrest offers informative ways to combat the inevitable stress we suffer, as well as means to improve our health and enrich our spirits. We can’t care for those who need us if we aren’t physically and mentally capable of being there for them.

Touch the Spirit is much more than a professional overview of dementia; it is about restoring humanity and uplifting the bond that exists between human beings. It is about life, family, and most of all…love.

Forrest header

Forrest holds degrees in nursing from St. Mary’s Hospital Nursing School, Knoxville, TN (RN); Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA (BSN); and The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA (MSN) and degrees in clinical psychology from Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA (MA & PhD). She has worked as a peri-operative educator and manager in several academic medical centers in the Southeast; a nursing director in a Texas psychiatric hospital; and a biomedical researcher and clinical affairs consultant to several Fortune 100 corporations.

In 1990, shortly after her return to graduate school for her doctorate in clinical psychology, Forrest began an association with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, PhD. That association led to her dissertation research project with Kubler-Ross’s final grief workshops before her retirement. Immediately following the completion of her doctoral degree program, Forrest completed a one year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Kentucky’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center & Sander’s Brown Center on Aging where she continued to expand her knowledge of gerontology and the diseases of aging. She has published extensively in professional and technical journals in various fields of medicine and health, and has taught and lectured in her fields of specialization – aging, dementia and spirituality, bereavement and bone marrow cancer. Since 1987 she has been repeatedly listed among the Who’s Who in Professional & Executive Women.

Forrest became a best-selling author with the publication of her book Symphony of Spirits: Encounters with the Spiritual Dimensions of Alzheimer’s (St. Martin’s Press, 2000). In 2002 she was invited by the Johnson & Johnson/Rosalyn Carter Institute Caregiver’s Program of Experts Panel to speak on the topic of “Faith and Spirituality.” As an author and speaker, Forrest continues to conducts lectures and presentations on aging, dementia and spirituality. Each presentation is designed to entertain, inspire and replenish the audience.

Touch the Spirit was just released this month and is available for domestic and international sales in paperback on, as an e-book on, and can also be found her website


Tags: clinical psychology, fielding graduate university, aging

What Therapists Learn from Psychotherapy Clients: Effects on Personal and Professional Lives

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Wed, Dec 12, 2012

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Article published in "The Qualitative Report" by Fielding Graduate University faculty, alumni, and students: What Therapists Learn from Psychotherapy Clients: Effects on Personal and Professional Lives

To view article, click here: The Qualitative Report 2012 Volume 17, Article 95, 1-21

Abstract: While considerable research has examined how clients learn from psychotherapists, there is only sparse literature on what therapists learn from their therapy clients. In a qualitative, exploratory study, nine researchers interviewed 61 psychologists from across North America in order to see what psychotherapists may have learned and how they have been affected by their clients both personally and professionally. Participants responded to nine open-ended questions on learning about life-lessons, relationships, ethical decision-making, coping, courage, wisdom, psychopathology, personality, cultural differences, lifespan development and more. Participants’ richly elaborated responses were coded thematically and narrative data illustrates the most frequent themes. Therapists reported learning a great deal across each of the questions, consistently expressing respect for their clients' resilience, courage and moral sensibilities.

Led by Fielding faculty Sherry Hatcher, PhD, ABPP, authors included Fielding alumna Adriana Kipper-Smith, PhD (PSY '12), and Fielding students Manuela Waddell, Mechtild Uhe, Joanne S. West, Jason H. Boothe, Joan M. Frye, Katherine Tighe, Kelly L. Usselman, and Patricia Gingras.

Sherry Hatcher resized 600Dr. Hatcher is a member of the core psychology faculty at Fielding Graduate University, following over two decades as a faculty member in the Department of Psychology, University of Michigan where she taught in both the undergraduate and graduate Psychology programs and was presented with three Excellence in Education Awards. Including the present study, Dr. Hatcher has initiated and supervised a number of research projects with her graduate students at both universities, resulting in national presentations at the American Psychological Association Convention and publications in journals such as Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training. Dr. Hatcher was a long time member of the Ethics Committee of the Michigan Psychological Association and is a licensed clinical psychologist in the states of Michigan and Connecticut. 

This published article is a result of cross-cluster/multi-site research. 

Fielding’s Clinical Psychology PhD program combines face-to-face student-faculty meetings at local, regional, and national events with independent study and online learning in real time (synchronous) and any time (asynchronous). The vibrant learning community supports students with small group faculty-student interactions that are collegial, collaborative, and respectful.  These blended, distributed learning elements combine to help students achieve educational and professional goals. Students meet regularly with their local faculty advisor in small learning groups called clusters. Activities include formal academic seminars and presentations, clinical presentations & discussions, research training, and informal networking and socializing. 

Tags: psychology, clinical psychology, graduate education, research

Fielding faculty member Michele Harway and alumna Carolyn Steigmeier each write a chapter in a series published by Routledge

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Mon, Aug 27, 2012

Gender in the Therapy Hour

Fielding Graduate University faculty member in the School of Psychology Michele Harway, PhD, ABPP, and alumna Carolyn Steigmeier, PhD, HOS ’98 were each asked to contribute a chapter in Gender in the Therapy Hour:  Voices of Female Clinicians Working with Men, (Holly Barlow Sweet, Ed.), Routledge, 2012 in their series on Counseling and Psychotherapy with Boys & Men.  The author of each chapter discussed how she came to understand men and the treatment modalities she has found successful.  All are members of the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity:  Division 51 of the American Psychological Association.

michele h resized 600Michele authored the chapter:  Understanding men’s issues:  Assessing and treating men who are abusive.  Michele also recently published two books:  Engaging men in couples therapy (with David Shepard, Eds.), Routledge, 2011 and Navigating multiple identities:  Race, gender, culture, nationality and roles, (with Ruthellen Josselson, Eds.), Oxford University Press, 2012.

Carolyn SteigmeierCarolyn wrote the chapter Coaching Men, which focused on coaching as an alternative therapeutic modality for working with men as opposed to traditional psychotherapy.  In her dissertation, "Men in a Cultural Vise:  Foucauldian genealogical analysis of the social construction of men as resistant," (Fielding Graduate University, 1998) Carolyn examined cultural views of men through the social construction of masculinity.  Based on her research and years of working with men she developed the Men in Action™ Coaching Process, a positive approach with action-oriented tools to tackle real issues in real time by following a plan.

Gender in the Therapy Hour:  Voices of Female Clinicians Working with Men, (Holly Barlow Sweet, Ed.), Routledge, 2012 can be ordered on

Michele can be contacted at

Carolyn can be contact at

Tags: psychology, women's issues, higher education, clinical psychology, graduate education, research

Fielding faculty Ruthellen Josselson, PhD, presents at Womanspace

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, Aug 09, 2012

ruthellen resized 600Find Your Space: Womanspace explores friendship and bullying

Fielding Graduate University faculty and author Ruthellen Josselson, PhD , is an international expert on female friendship and teaches at Fielding Graduate University in Baltimore. She presents a community workshop for counseling professionals, women, and girls age 12 and older at Womanspace September 22, 2012. The Pleasures & Perils of Girls’ & Women’s Friendships is sponsored by David Boccignone-Ameriprise Financial, and is based on Josselson’s intensive interview study of girls’ and women’s friendships throughout life. The presentation and small-group discussions will focus on the ways we need friends, what the dilemmas of friendship are, what we learn, and how we grow in friendship.


Tags: psychology, women's issues, clinical psychology

Dr. Alice Brand Bartlett awarded the American Psychological Association Excellence in Librarianship Award

Posted by Carla Billings on Fri, Jul 20, 2012

Dr. Alice Brand BartlettDr. Alice Brand Bartlett, psychologist and psychoanalyst, was awarded the American Psychological Association’s Excellence in Librarianship Award at the American Library Association’s meeting in Anaheim CA June 23, 2012. Bartlett was  honored for her work as Director of the Menninger Professional Information Services (1979-2001) and her original research that led to the development PEPweb, a full text database of the significant psychoanalytic journals and books including the complete works of Freud in English and German. Bartlett has served as a Director on PEP’s International Board since 1998. 

Bartlett is in private practice in Topeka Kansas and is a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst with the Greater Kansas City Psychoanalytic Institute.  She received her Master’s in Library Science from the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO and her PhD in psychology from Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA.

Tags: APA, adult learning, clinical psychology, research

Starbright World awards research grant to psychology faculty member

Posted by Sylvia Williams on Wed, Mar 21, 2012

Joe Bush 0008Joseph P. Bush, PhD, a faculty member and associate dean with Fielding’s School of Psychology, has received an award from the Starlight Children’s Foundation to conduct a research project  titled “Starbright World: Effectiveness and Child Protection Policies and Procedures.”


The research will evaluate the effectiveness of Starbright World (SBW), an online environment designed and operated for the benefit of children diagnosed with serious chronic illnesses. The evaluation will examine the effects of SBW involvement on children’s psychosocial functioning. Children with the chronic illness cystic fibrosis will be the focus of the study.


Congratulations to Dr. Bush for receiving this distinguished award for your significant research contributing to improving quality of life for children with serious chronic illnesses.


Tags: psychology, clinical psychology, healthcare, pediatric psychology, research funding