Getting Out of Our Heads: The history and current state and impact of critiques of mainstream psychology

A 12-week philosophical exploration led by Lois Holzman

Date: January 24 – April 25, 2021
Cost: $475.00 application required
Presenters: Lois Holzman
Register Here: Click here.

Lois Holzman’s Performing Psychology is an unusual volume containing not only essays and argumentation, but also theatrical plays and group conversations. Together, they provide multiple ways of entering into the rich dialogue taking place concerning how psychology has misguided and, in many ways, harmed people and societies worldwide. Along with an exploration of Newman and Holzman’s deconstruction of mainstream psychology, the course will provide the opportunity to look at other critiques that have different intellectual and activist roots and discover if any of the similarities and differences “make a difference.” For example, Newman and Holzman’s practical-critical method owes much to Marx, Vygotsky and Wittgenstein; grew from and is part of community organizing; and its focus is on reinitiating and supporting human and community development as necessary for transformative social change. Other critiques have equally complex and fascinating histories and influences, including philosophy, physics, the fine and performing arts, and non-Western and indigenous thinking and practices. 

How did they grow into their current practices and goals? Perhaps we can all learn something by taking the roads the Institute and others are creating to bring humanizing and liberating practices to an overly psychologized world. Guest speakers will illuminate our collective investigation. 

Lois Holzman is founder (with Fred Newman) and director of the East Side Institute, a center for social therapeutics and other humanizing approaches to the learning and development of people and communities. As an activist-scholar, her work is political-philosophical, community-located and international. She is a founder and the chair of the  Performing the World conferences and a leader in the social change movement known as performance activism. Lois introduces performatory approaches to human development and social change to hundreds of grassroots practitioners and supports their home-grown initiatives to develop people and their communities in order to engage poverty, violence, conflict, underdevelopment and environmental destruction. Lois is the author of 10 books – including her latest  The Overweight Brain – and dozens of chapters, articles and essays, some featured in  Big Ideas and Revolutionary Activity.

For more information contact Melissa Meyer at: