Roundtable Discussion on Relational Cultural Theory

Wellesely College: Roundtable discussions with Amy Banks, M.D., Director of Advanced Training, Judy Jordan, Ph.D., Director and Founding Scholar, and Maureen Walker, Ph.D., Director of Program Development. Learn more about the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at and Wellesley Centers for Women at


Part 1: Founding of Relational-Cultural Theory

A discussion about how the institute was formed and how they each became part of this groundbreaking community of practitioners.


Part 2: Discovering the Brain Connection

Amy Banks, M.D., looks at her professional journey in clinical work and how it has shaped the notion of community and separation. She talks specifically of one interaction, and how working at JBMTI opened her eyes and how exciting it was to work with women who looked at things from a different perspective.


Part 3: Celebrating the Power of Connection

A discussion about how the power of isolation can injure people. Culture and neuroscience shape each other, and that affects the community. Communities are about the mutual sharing of power, and how people should use those powers in ways so that everyone is listened to and heard.


Part 4: Thinking Collectively

A discussion about how power systems can affect our health. If you are in a healthy relationship with the community, it is good for you, but if you are in an unhealthy power system, it can make you both psycho dynamically ill and physical ill.


Part 5: The Power of Wisdom in Connection

A discussion addressing the notion of the self and how individuals shouldn’t think of themselves as fully finished. Individuals should allow their community and other people in their community to have an impact on their lives.


Part 6: Transforming Fear to Hope

A discussion addressing fear and our dopamine system. We have a dopamine reward system that lights up when we have good and healthy connections, but when we are fed a diet of fear, we fulfill that dopamine kick with other things such as going shopping or taking drugs.

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