Friday, March 25, 2011

New Persons and New Societies

Maggie and I have submitted a proposal for an upcoming psychology conference. Here it is: 

New Persons and New Societies: Using Social Media and Street-Level Advocacy to Teach Playful and Peaceful Compassion

Alfred Adler wrote “my psychology belongs to everyone.” Does yours? Increasingly psychology and those who practice it have responded to market pressures. Empirically supported treatments; managed care panels; utilization reviews; niche marketing strategies; publications... all important topics yet topics that distract from the possibilities of what psychology might be. Even those engaged in admirable work around issues such as war, poverty, trauma, and political asylum have lost focus. We have forgotten, as psychologist Ignacio Martin-Baró said, that “the challenge is not limited to addressing the destruction and disorders… The challenge is to construct a new person in a new society.”

Social networking platforms and street-level advocacy provide novel ways to engage new groups of people. These venues provide new possibilities in constructing new persons in new societies. This 90 minute workshop starts first with examining the effort of one psychologist and his dog in utilizing psychological principals to build community and spread a message of playful and peaceful compassion. Participants can then anticipate a highly interactive and hands-on workshop covering the following topics. Each will leave with a personal goal oriented action plan.

  • Examining examples of what works and what doesn't on various social media platforms
  • Understanding the potential and limitations of various social media platforms and street-level advocacy
  • Building multiple platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook blogs, the street) to engage a community in dialogue
  • Developing a mission statement
  • Brainstorming tools to transform individuals from passive participants into engaged partners
  • Developing privacy policies
  • Supporting thoughtful and engaged dialogue

About the presenters:

Jason Evan Mihalko, Psy.D. is a psychologist who maintains a private practice in Cambridge Massachusetts. Magnolia Wigglesworth is a registered therapy dog. Together both work toward spreading a message of playful and peaceful compassion. You can learn more about their work at


  1. Mary L. NadrowskiApril 2, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Good luck with this endeavor! You are a great man with great life changing ideas. I hope you get this!!!