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The past thirty years or so in the United States have seen increased fragmentation in the body politic. Call it tribalism or partisan politics or, simpler still, call it hateful rhetoric. Families are breaking up and friends are parting ways. Thanksgiving dinners have — with more and more frequency — begun to resemble the battlefield at Gettysburg.
What is so curious about this state of affairs is that, in many ways, America is a fairly homogeneous culture with well more than 80% of its residents coming from Abrahamic religious traditions. Christians (including Protestant and Catholic denominations) acount for some 80% and Jews and Muslims account for approximately 2% between them. All profess to believe in one form or another of “Love thy neighbor as yourself.”
In a series of two meetings, a group of diverse souls will come together to discuss such matters.
We are hoping to include an audience participation segment, time allowing.
The discussion will be led by Howard H. Covitz, PhD, ABPP, a late middle-aged analyst, who has combined the practice of psychoanalysis in the suburbs of Philadelphia with a variety of other interests. He has taught university Mathematics, Psychology, and Biblical Characterology (1968-2011), was Training Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Studies Institute and Institute for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies, and its Director (1986-1998). He ran a school for disturbed inner city adolescents in the 1970’s. His Oedipal Paradigms in Collision (1998, reissued in 2016) was nominated for Gradiva Book of the Year Award. He teaches/supervises analytic candidates in the US and China. His connectedness to wife, grown children, and grandchildren motivate his writing and thinking.
I am a native New Yorker whose early education was shaped by the secular humanist Ethical Culture Movement, with its emphasis on doing good work for the larger community, and on integrating ethical decision-making into education. But I also feel comfortable within Reform Judaism. I’ve spent most of my professional career providing architecture, design, and communications services to the non-profit sector, while raising my children. I am an avid hiker, artist, and cross-cultural traveler, and I try to be a Global Citizen. Six years ago I began volunteering in literacy programs with recently incarcerated men and then with Arabic-speaking immigrants. I fell in love with teaching, retrained in ESL, and now, through language, history and civics, I help immigrants achieve their personal American Dreams.
I have been a local, state, and federal cop on and off since 2003, and a soldier for 24 years. I have education in Psychology, Sociology, Criminal Justice, Military Intelligence, Network Engineering, and Military Sciences. I grew up on a ranch and a lumber mill in a farming and mining town in South Eastern Idaho. I live in Utah with my family. I have 4 kids and my wife, who is the most amazing woman I've ever known. I've travelled all over the world with the military and as a contractor for the military. A ton of that travel has been in war zones and very third world areas. I've also seen some really cool parts of the world just because I wanted to go there. I've been a rafting and ocean kayaking guide in Alaska, and a Glacier guide in Alaska as well right out of high school. I want to spend time in Europe but haven't had time to save up the money just yet.
I spend a lot of my free time teaching, filming, and doing survival-related activities. This has taken me from Northern Canada mid-winter to the Colombian jungle, from back east, down south and of course out west to the mountains and deserts here in my home state. I excel in desert mountain and winter survival. I'm still a student of jungle survival. My YouTube channel is TJack Survival. I've also made content for Readyman, BladeHQ, Lone Survivalist, and other channels. I've been on the Discovery Channel, and made content or sold content to both the History Channel and National Geographic educators.
I am primarily conservative and religious. Usually when I say that, what people hear is not what I actually am or how I actually see the world. I am well travelled and I have lived in some of the largest cities, along with some of the most rural parts of the planet. I believe this gives me a unique perspective on how people view the other. Sometimes I'm long-winded in trying to get to a good way of explaining my perspective but I realize brevity is the soul of wit and I cherish that ideal because remembering this helps universal truths and objective truth to stick into the forefront of my mind.
Bottom line, I care about people and I want the world to be a better and safer place, and that is what has motivated me in everything that I do.
I am a retired NYC Public School Teacher of 25 years. I was a Kindergarten teacher for ten years and then I transferred to a 6-9 school. During my 11 years at this school, I was the In House Suspension room teacher, a position I volunteered for because I was very eager to work with the most at risk and behaviorally challenged students. During those same years, I was also attending The Institute for Expressive Analysis in NYC, and though I was unable to complete my training, I came very close. I was to maintain a small private practice for about twelve years while under supervision. The training was very helpful in my work with the students I described earlier. I was also a representative for The United Federation of Teachers for 14 years.
Prior to teaching, I had extensive training in various dance techniques and movement. I studied Ballet, Modern Jazz, Dance Meditation and Improvisational Dance for over ten years. It was my combined interest in movement and psychoanalysis that lead me to become a member of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society. Along with my wife, I made a number of presentations at their annual conferences and the AGPA conferences as well. These involved the use of art and movement as therapeutic modalities with individuals and in group psychotherapy. I served on the board of the EGPS for five years, and served as the Official Photographer and Editor of the organization's newsletter.
I have lived in Mexico, studying sculpture and jewelry making at the Instituto De San Miguel de Allende. I lived in Montreal, where I was found by my first dance teachers, which then lead me to Boulder Col. and the Naropa Institute. There I studied Buddhist Meditation, movement, and ballet. After spending 4 years in Boulder, where I owned and operated a short lived juice bar and managed a health food store, I moved to Israel. While living there I became a member of the Jerusalem English Theater Co. appearing as El Galo in the Jerusalem English Theater Production of "The Fantastiks," and in a production of a Play by Dennis Silk. These were also years during which I became deeply involved with drugs; primarily psychedelics and marijuana. I got to the point in which I was so "out of touch" with what I was sensing and feeling that I was nearly homeless physically and psychically.
I've written and directed 6 original musicals for the sixth grade at P.S. 234 and the L.A.B school in NYC. My current interests include theater, museums, photography, and travel. I am also interested in discovering how we can affect change in our psyches through the realignment of our musculature and by increasing the flow of energy through our bodies.
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Changing Our Consciousness, Inc. is a New York nonprofit corporation and 501(c)3 organization. 100% of all donations go directly to support the goals of the organization. Contributions made to Changing Our Consciousness, Inc. are tax deductible for US federal income tax purposes to the full extent of the law.