The Alchemy of Witness I: Integrative Skills for Psychology and the Helping Professions

Winter 2023
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
8 Credits per quarter
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“One of the peculiarities of this third ear is that it works two ways. It can catch what other people do not say, but only feel and think; and it can also be turned inward.”

-Theodore Reik

Why does it add value to the human experience to be heard and witnessed? How can we develop the senses of our “third ear” and listen to others without rushing to fill the silence between us? How can we hear the voices of our deepest inner well more clearly? Through a range of activities rooted in practical psychology and art therapy, this pre-professional course will seek to answer the above questions while clarifying the differences between hearing, listening, and integrating.

Learning in this program will fall into two central categories: knowledge and skills for witnessing and tending others (as in counseling, psychology, or social work), and practices for witnessing and tending the self, who must always be embraced along the way. Using the guiding principles of social and disability justice as a central frame, this course will seek to expand the trauma-informed lenses of students as future practitioners, and public servants.

During winter, an exploration of applied communication theories and interactive witnessing skills practice work, somatic psychology (involving the body) and Jungian psychology (the roots of western art therapy) will be surveyed. A portion of the program will be devoted to artistic mediums of self-exploration through process-oriented darkroom work, watercolor painting, and collage. Cameras are required to be on during the communication practices in break-out spaces.

This program will intentionally support students in the development of their own emergent callings and career paths. This applies both to students who are well on their way toward a specific career, as well as those who are still exploring the next steps in nurturing their vocation. Those who have felt a call towards careers related to the above helping professions, public health, education, law, human resources, or any other public service orientation which heavily relies on a strong inner compass, will benefit from the practices and observations made in this program.

Credits awarded will be preparatory for entrance into graduate programs in counseling, psychology, art therapy, education, social work, human resource work, and medicine.


Winter 2023 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Fr - Sr (8): 20059

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies and careers in

counseling and social services, especially art therapy, public health, education, law, and human resources

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$86 in winter and $75 in spring for media access and required project supplies

Special Expenses

Students should expect to spend $50 for their quarterly art kits, available in the campus bookstore or through a local supplier of the student's choice.


Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting