Rebecca Chad (M.A., Clinical Psychology)
Published in Convocation
Life before TC
After majoring in International Relations at Syracuse University, Chad worked with nonprofits that promote reconciliation between Arabs and Jews and a two-state solution. She wrote grants and conducted outreach to the media and other constituents, but realized she wanted to directly help people – or, as she puts it, “to be the change as it's occurring.”
After reading a book about the evolution of psychoanalysis, Chad – perhaps as a result of having seen firsthand the vast and complex impact of the past – found herself drawn to a methodology that pays special attention to both personal history and the subconscious.
At TC, working with Barry Farber, Professor of Psychology and Education, Chad has explored the impact of Facebook and other technologies on the way that adolescents form emotional attachments, develop social skills and learn to function as social beings. How does a generation that spends much of its time communicating via texts and screens function in live social situations? Can they spend productive, healthy time alone when not wired in to their peers? Are they able to be emotionally vulnerable and honest in the face of enormous pressure to craft a perfect self-image on the web?
For now Chad will continue working as a vocational counselor at the Adolescent Skills Center in the Bronx and doing research at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. One of her goals is to assess the impact of web technologies on young people from low socio-economic status who are at increased risk for dropping out or having mental health problems.
Down the road, Chad hopes to go into private practice, but for now, she wants to continue to do research at the nexus of psychology and technology. She is applying to doctoral programs in psychology that will allow her to do that kind of work. She believes that – perhaps even more so in our era of pills and short-term behavioral treatments – there is still a role for the talking cure.
"I love how psychoanalysis takes its time – it’s all in the process," she says.