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2020 Convention - Master Lectures
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Master Lectures

Friday, April 24, 2020 - 11:00 am - 12:30 pm (1.5 CE Credits)

Master Lecture: The Polarized Mind and What We Can Do About It

This presentation focuses on the nature and basis of an existential-humanistic concept called the “polarized mind.” The polarized mind is the fixation on a single point of view to the utter exclusion of competing points of view and is one of the chief bases for personal and interpersonal destructiveness. Dr. Schneider will explain this problem and discuss and illustrate a conflict mediation approach aimed at depolarizing the polarized mind. This approach, which is a synthesis of this work with the group process format of “Better Angels USA” as well as the phenomenologically based “experiential democracy dialogue,” has been shown to stem stereotyping and bolster human civility.

Attendees will be able to:

  1. Define the "polarized mind".
  2. Describe two phases of the Experiential Democracy Dialogue.
  3. Apply two skills from the Experiential Democracy Dialogue to their clinical or counseling practices.


Kirk J. Schneider, PhD,
is a licensed psychologist and leading spokesperson for contemporary existential-humanistic psychology. Dr. Schneider is the current president of the Existential-Humanistic Institute (EHI), Council Member of the American Psychological Association (APA), past president of the Society for Humanistic Psychology of the APA, recent past editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, and adjunct faculty member at Saybrook University and Teachers College, Columbia University. He has published over 200 articles, interviews and chapters and has authored or edited 13 books including The Polarized Mind, Existential-Humanistic Therapy, and The Spirituality of Awe: Challenges to the Robotic Revolution.

Friday, April 24, 2020 - 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm (1.5 CE Credits)

Master Lecture: Diversity and Inclusion: From Bedroom to Boardroom

Words such as diversity and inclusion are buzzwords that we often hear almost in any setting these days. We moved from claiming cultural competency to inviting cultural humility. What do these actually mean to our clients and us? With the ongoing systemic oppression and denied privileges, can we really afford cultural humility and curiosity? In our individualistic society, we regard self-awareness as the first step of this journey. However, our definition of self, misses the subtleties that intersectionality offers. This talk will offer a model as a starting point to look at the nuanced forms that diversity take so we can help our clients to make deeper and more meaningful connections in their most intimate interactions as well as in their broader social context.


Attendees will be able to:

  1. Recognize hidden biases that would manifest in working with clients with different cultural background.
  2. Discuss cultural proficiency as the next step from cultural humility, utilizing case examples.
  3. Describe how to utilize a practical framework to work in a culturally responsive manner.


    Sara Nasserzadeh, PhD, DipPST CSC is recognized as a global thought leader in the fields of psychosexual therapy, couple counseling and social psychology. In addition to her role as a senior cultural advisor to the United Nations, she serves on the Boards of various professional organizations and industries, has worked across 38 countries, and created an award-winning program for the BBC World Service. She believes that democracy starts in the bedroom and world peace is achievable one relationship at the time. Her most recent contribution to the filed has been the design of a validated inventory called the Relationship Panoramic, to help individuals and couples create and maintain thriving relationships.


    Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 11:00 am - 12:30 pm (1.5 CE Credits)

    Master Lecture: Leadership is Love. The Power of Human Connection

    Leaders who are able to motivate and inspire others have a deep knowledge of self, and role model their beliefs and values. Through their words and deeds, they build trust, communicate clearly and inspire their work groups to create a culture of collaboration and community in the workplace.

    These individuals have become authentic leaders. In this experiential session, we will address the Five Powers of Authentic Leadership®. In addition, Dr. Rittenberg will facilitate the audience in development of both communication skills as well as storytelling skills. The session will conclude with lessons learned as well as ideas of how to keep the fires burning (sustainability).

    Attendees will be able to:

    1. Describe and discuss the 5 Powers of Authentic Leadership® model.
    2. Develop new and improved communication and storytelling skills.
    3. Identify strategies to use individually to further develop and maintain authentic leadership skills.


    Mark Rittenberg, EdD, is Professor of Leadership Communications, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. He is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer, at the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute Distinguished Teaching Fellow, Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. His executive coaching practice includes clients from major consulting firms and Fortune 500 companies including AT&T, Lockheed Martin Corp., GAP Inc., Levi Strauss and Adobe Systems. He created the Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute which conducts 3 certified trainings per year in partnership with UC Berkeley Executive Education.


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