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The East Side Institute is an international education and research center for new approaches to human development and community building. We develop and promote practices that relate to people of all ages as social performers of their lives.
For more information or to register go to:, 212-941-8906, ext 304.

What is ‘Social Therapeutics’?

Introducing a Postmodern, Performatory Approach to Human Development & Its Community Stages

An online seminar
with Carrie Lobman & Melissa Meyer

*Conversation is asynchronous and participants are in different time zones reading and posting messages according to their own schedule.

What is ‘Social Therapeutics’?
Social therapeutics has its origins in social therapy, the radically humanizing psychotherapy developed in the 1970s by the Institute’s co-founder Fred Newman. In subsequent decades, along with the expansion of social therapy practices from NYC across the US, the approach was taken out of the therapy office, becoming-by the 21st century-the transdisciplinary practice of relating to people of all ages and life circumstances as social performers and creators of their lives. 
Join Carrie Lobman and Melissa Meyer for an introduction to the methodology of social therapeutics, a postmodern, performatory approach to human and community development and learning. As you explore social therapeutics in the course of this online conversation, you will be introduced to some of its community stages in psychotherapy, education, after-school youth programs and the workplace.  
Seminal readings and videos will help bring to life the diverse practice of social therapeutics. Three (3) Zoom videoconference calls will be included in this class. Participants will be sent the Zoom schedule when they sign up.
Readings included: Holzman, L. (2016) Vygotsky at Work and Play (2nd Edition), New York: Routledge. Dialogues from Holzman, L. & Mendez R. (Eds.) (2003). Psychological Investigations: A Clinician’s guide to social therapy. New York: Brunner-Routledge. Additional materials will be provided.

Carrie Lobman, Ed.D. is associate professor and chair of the department of Learning and Teaching at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education and the director of Revolutionary Conversations at the East Side Institute. Carrie is a sociocultural scholar and play movement leader. She facilitates the Institute’s “Play, Development and Social Justice” webinar series and co-leads, with director Lois Holzman, its flagship program the International Class. She serves as a mentor to emerging performance activists around the world and is on the board of directors of the All Stars Project, a national leader in after school development. Carrie is the author or editor of three books: Unscripted Learning: Using Improvisation across the K-8 CurriculumBig Ideas and Revolutionary Activity: Selected Essays, Talks and Articles by Lois Holzman and Performance and Play: Play and Culture Series, Volume 11. She has authored dozens of articles. She received her doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University and is a past president of The Association for the Study of Play and the Cultural Historical Activity Theory SIG of the American Educational Research Association.

Melissa Meyer is a trained social therapist and the associate director at the East Side Institute. Melissa is also the sales director for Performing the World, a biannual gathering that takes place in New York City exploring performance as a method to help communities grow and create positive social change. She is co-leader with founder Barbara Silverman of Developing Across Borders, a weekly virtual development group with people from all over the world.