autumn: gaslight the system℠

Section 1 (all online): Mondays 6-9 PM EST Oct 1 – Dec 17 (12 weeks)

Section 2 (all online): Tuesdays 6-9 PM PST Oct 2 – Dec 18 (12 weeks)

Section 3 (all online): Wednesdays 6-9 PM PST Oct 3 – Dec 19 (12 weeks)

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

-Jiddu Krishnamurti

If you’ve had access to mental health services, have you ended up having to educate your therapists about migration, sexuality, colonialism, culture, capitalism, spirit, politics, or harm reduction enough to wonder WTF their training is anyways? Did you know that there are entire fields like political psychology that don’t naturalize & normalize this psychopathic society?

That’s right, it’s our long-awaited season on psychology & its discontents.

From Frantz Fanon to feminist peer-to-peer counseling to the radical mental health movement, we’re delving into the politics of madness and sanity. Western psychology has no monopoly on legitimate understandings of wellness- not even close. Let’s get our minds out of the gutter of oppressive propaganda. Unapologetically taking our comprehension back into our own hands. Let’s shed the crazy-making. Embrace our mad brilliance. And gaslight the system which banks off of our doubting our truest perceptions of reality.

seasonal learning objectives (and whatever you co-create)

  1. Unlearn gas-lighting that may have been clouding your perception (in the form of white supremacist, imperialist, cisheteropatriarchal, capitalist settler colonial propaganda)
  2. Understand the role that gas-lighting, pathologizing, medicalizing and institutionalization has historically played in suppressing dissent
  3. Deepen your awareness of the relationship between oppression & mental health
  4. Divest from the matrix’s illusions to clarify a perceptual baseline that’s aligned for you

seasonal devotion

This season is devoted to those of us who are no strangers to the heat of gas-lighting.  To our seers and hearers of prophesy and inter-dimensional communication who have been psychologized, pathologized, institutionalized, and worse for a brilliance that mediocrity cannot contain. To those who have forgotten the perception they’re capable of, or who have had their gifts shamed, ridiculed, beaten, or assimilated out of them- for now. And to all of our varied worldviews that get de-legitimated within a hegemonic world order. To those fire-tenders who fan the flames of justice, allowing seeds of sanctuary and solace to be dispersed as it has always been. May those who move between realms be protected as we steward clear perception for our future generations & planetary survival.

tentative schedule (subject to change)

  1. intro to season
  2. Liberation Psychology & the Occupy Movement
  3. Decolonizing Psychological Science
  4. Community therapy- a participatory response to psychic misery Dr. Adalberto Bareto & Dr. Marilene Grandesso & Cultural Resourcing (video) Dr. Kwame McKenzie
  5. Advertising at the Edge of the Apocalypse (video) Dr. Sut Jhally transcript
  6. Madness & Oppression: Paths to Personal Transformation & Collective Liberation The Icarus Project
  7. Surviving Psychiatry Celia Brown audio on Mad in America podcast
  8. The Century of the Self (film- the first 3 hours)
  9. Alienation & Freedom DrFrantz Fanon
  10. Big Bucks, Big Pharma (film) you can stop at 44:50. transcript pharma
  11. The Individual and Society Dr. Vine Deloria
  12. closing

Supplementary Resources

Curricular Note: It’s gonna get real, so please consider attending with intention and care. To make it plain, this work is deeply rooted and can potentially bring up A LOT of stuff. We’ll be very flexible with the schedule as our (un)learning processes unfold, centralizing self- and community-care.

Assignments

Weekly Readings

Please read as much of the assigned materials as possible before each gathering. Give yourself time, as some of them include suggestions for supplementary activities and they all merit close attention. If you’re not able to complete the entire assignment for a class, feel free to still attend, though. If there are words or concepts you’re unfamiliar with, try to look them up. Please consider watching the films with others (documentary night!) to spread awareness & dialogue. Feel free to jot down questions that arise while doing the work.

Attendance

To ensure the potency of our collective knowledge-production, (un)learning, and community building, no new participants will be able to sit in after Week 2.

Please let us know in Constellations at your earliest convenience if you plan to be late or miss a gathering so that we can plan accordingly. That’s where you can confidentially post your reflections for the week if you have to miss a class so we can bring your voice into the circle. I really encourage folks to post each time you may have to miss to ensure *consistency* in our (un)learning & community building. Also, please bring a journal and something to write with each week.

Financial Offering

Since I’m committed to taking seriously questions of access and privilege, this season is offered for $240 per participant to be paid in full by the first day of class. (This is the equivalent of $20 a class). If it’s literally impossible for you to donate this, let me know.

Recording* This course will be audio recorded, primarily for folks who may miss a class so that they can access the recordings before our next gathering. Feel free to take this into consideration as you share with whatever level of discernment you prefer

LiberationSpring_BitchMedia_560

some seeds require fire for their dispersal- fire ecology is natural!


My favorite part of LS has been the growing sense of empowerment and awakening I feel as a result of working through resources in a non-hierarchical community of fellow thirsty travelers who share a longing for imagining and creating realities that are juicy. No matter how “crazy” I have felt for most of my life, LS affirms and encourages me to believe in my own bones. I can hardly believe it.

I can’t remember how I originally described our meeting. Something like, ‘i’m meeting with a group of folks who went rogue from the University, including my favorite professor. We’re starting our own school of community education and it doesn’t cost $10,000 a semester. We meet weekly and discuss all sorts of things from political theory to pop culture to dismantling the patriarchy. We’re decolonizing ourselves. I feel held and affirmed and challenged in this group. My crazy is actually an asset here. – Grace Diehl

grace