AP Psychology students, who study the inner workings of the brain, had their minds blown Friday.
Whitman’s first annual Psychology Day, sponsored by the Psych Journal and faculty advisor Marisa Del Savio, took over the auditorium Oct. 12. Each student heard three out of the total seven speakers.
Students got the opportunity to meet with professionals in the field of psychology and learn from their distinct knowledge and studies. The speakers were published authors, therapists, case study leaders, and experts in research. Many led question and answer portions of their discussions afterwards.
Whitman parent Dr. Eric Caplan advises pharmaceutical companies that develop new medicines to treat neuropsychiatric disorders, and published a book, “Mind Games: American Culture and the Birth of Psychotherapy”. He discussed two extremely famous psychiatry cases: Freud’s study of Elizabeth Von R and Peter Kramer’s 1993 case study of Tess. He used the two in conjunction to contrast psychotherapy and psychopharmacology.
Dr. Liza Gold, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Center, authored four books and has lectured nationally. She kept students interested discussing the morals of capital punishment, noting there must be evaluations to see if the prisoner is competent. Gold also recommended forensic psychiatry as a profession, due to its sporadic and interesting nature.
“Forensic psychiatry is never dull, whether working on a headline case or not,” Gold said.
Dr. Robert J. Hedaya, who boasts an M.D., A.P.B.N., and D.F.A.P.A., is the founder of whole psychiatry. He discussed the clinical imbalances found in psychological organizing systems.
“Be open minded but not so open minded that your brain falls out,” Hedaya advised students while quoting a Groucho Marx cartoon.
He also advised students not to medicate patients right away, and told them that mental disorders weren’t all black and white.
AP Psych teacher Sheryl Freedman chaperoned her classes during the event. She thought as a first attempt that the day went well, although some of the students wished they’d heard more speakers, she said.
“I think it went really well. Some speakers connected more with students than others,” she said. “There was some really good discussion. We’re going to reference the speakers in future classes.”
AP Psych student Alex Kang appreciated the ability to hear the speakers as they pertained to his classwork.
“This is a great experience and I learned a lot,” Kang, a junior, said. “I was truly engaged throughout the presentations and know that they will help me in future class experiences.”
Anya Goodman also contributed to this article.
Correction: AP Psych teacher Marisa Del Savio and the Psych Journal organized the event.