Fort Worth Area
Psychological Association
       FWAPA

Mindful Attention: The Psychology of Possibility Applied to the Art of Diagnosis

  • 10 Jul 2015
  • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell Street

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     Mindful Attention:  
The Psychology of Possibility 
Applied to the Art of Diagnosis

by

Carol Stalcup, Ph.D.


For more than 20 years, Yale, Harvard and other major medical schools have offered students training in how to look at art as a means to improve their diagnostic skills.  The medical students also learn to challenge their assumptions and perceptual biases by hearing how others perceive and interpret the visual “data”.  In this experiential FWAPA presentation, participants will view works of art with a close eye for detail and nuance, create a “backstory” for the art, and discuss with other psychologists different ways of interpreting what is seen. 

The large group discussion will intersect with Ellen Langer’s “psychology of possibility” as described in her book Counterclockwise.  The psychology of possibility cracks open the illusions of certainty in communication as well as in diagnostic terms and probabilities. This opening of perspectives leads to more freedom for us and for our clients, to see what might be possible.

Participants will

  • 1)    explore the power of “priming”, language as a placebo, and other means of setting expectations regarding the course of therapy, as established in the diagnostic interview
  • 2)   identify and consider verbal and nonverbal information- gathering and choices in the diagnostic process
  • 3)   learn about specific research regarding mindful approaches to wellness, including the seminal study on aging “counterclockwise”

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