Valerie E. Lewis, PhD, PMTH subscriber, Clinical Psychologist. Many years in private practice, was last teaching part time in a postgrad university course in geropsychology and involved in teaching in the Erickson hypnosis diploma in Perth Australia. Now retired and living the good life in the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, doing volunteer work and being a grandmother. Immigrated to Australia from North America many moons ago. Can be reached on email@example.com
Katherine Levine, PMTH subscriber, member of PMTH advisory group, Social Worker, aging hippy, published twotrade (popular) books on parenting, adjunct professor, provided securedetention for 366 delinquent kids, converted Jew, happily married,2 birth children Aging hippy and religious wanderer: began as a WASP became a non Christian
Quaker converted and became an Orthodox Jew following marriage, continue
to keep Kosher at home and to observe the Sherbet, but also have strong
Buddhist and Quaker leanings. Social worker: MSS from Bryn Mawr in 1961,
worked in child welfare, medical, psychiatric services in Pennsylvania,
Vermont, New York. Have taught in one or another capacity at Columbia
University School of Social Work since 1968. Took a 12 year sabbatical
from professional status to become a special need foster parent.
Provided non-secure detention to six boys and or girls at a time. This
meant 366 kids each charged with being delinquents or in need of
supervision lived in our home as members of our family for an average of
four weeks each. This experience turned me away from modernist thinking
toward narrative and other post modern ideas--becoming a parent teaches
you how little you really know. Two books and a business have grown out of
this foster parent experience. The books: When Good Kids Do Bad Things
and Parents Are People Too. Both are trade books, not scholarly books.
The business: Emotional Fitness Training, Inc. (EFT). EFT seeks to make
money doing good. Physical fitness programs improve physical health; EFT
programs improve mental health. Pay the rent jobs: Adjunct professor
teaching Adolescent course at CUSW; program manager for Visiting Nurse
Service of New York--program I manage is a hospital diversion and
consultation service operating as a wrap around, individualized care,
family driven community mental health program in the Mott Haven section of
the South Bronx, NY. (Read Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol for a
description of this poorest community district in the US.). Loves of my
life: husband David, two birth sons, all children, all animals even snakes
and insects (trained polo ponies during my teen and young adult years),
trees and other plants, the beauty of this world, poetry, reading, good
jokes, and my friends including those on this list.
suspended disbelief - (comment composed by Lois Shawver)
It has been several years since I first heard Katherine Levine tell a story that has stayed with me. I found the story powerful. I no longer remember if it was Katherine that invented the word 'suspended disbelief' to describe what she did, but I think the term serves well to represent it.
The story was that Levine was doing therapy with a young adolescent girl who had been raped. In the therapy session the girl asked, "Since I have been raped, does that mean I am no longer a virgin?"
Levine responded in a way that feels quite natural to me. She said, "Oh, no. You don't stop being a virgin just because your raped!"
But the girl's eyes glazed over and Katherine saw this, and she said, "But it doesn't feel that way to you, does it?"
And the girl shook her head and began talking about how she felt.
This seemed to me to represent listening at its best. Levine expressed a point of view quite naturally and sympathetically, too, but her mind was not closed by her own point of view. Although she disbelieved in the girls' changed status that would make her no longer a virgin, although she had some impulse to try to convince the girl of that, this "knowledge" (or opinion) was suspended and what became important was the girl's point of view.
I think therapists do this all the time. Levine is not alone, but somehow her presentation of this case made the process clearer for me. It is as if the therapist moves out of the telling mode and into the listening mode. I think it is an micro event in the process of therapy, and that as therapists we can learn to notice this in ourselves and even induce it.
You'll both find Valerie Lewis and katherine Levine on the link I have provided you below, I hope that you find it helpful for your homework.
Answered By: Jade - 1/17/2008