Dr. Charles is a staff psychologist and member of the therapy staff. She is also a Training Analyst with the Michigan Psychoanalytic Council and the Chicago Center for Psychoanalysis, and a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School. She serves as Contributing Editor of Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Society and is a member of the editorial boards of numerous psychoanalytic journals. Dr. Charles has presented her work nationally and internationally, publishing over 90 articles and book chapters and five books: Patterns: Building Blocks of Experience (Analytic Press, 2002), Constructing Realities: Transformations Through Myth and Metaphor (Rodopi, 2004), Learning from Experience: a Guidebook for Clinicians (Analytic Press, 2004), Working with Trauma: Lessons from Bion and Lacan (Jason Aronson, 2012), and an edited volume with co-author Michael O’Loughlin: Fragments of Trauma and the Social Production of Suffering (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014). Currently in press: The Stories We Live: Life, Literature, and Psychoanalysis (Rowman & Littlefield).
Dr. Charles received her undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico and earned her MA and PhD in clinical psychology at Michigan State University. Her internship year was spent at the Michigan State University Counseling Center, where she was also part of the Multi-Ethnic Counseling Center Alliance (MECCA). As the Co-Chair of the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society (APCS) and incoming President of Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association, she is actively engaged in mentoring, creating professional opportunities, creating opportunities for dialogue, and promoting community involvement for those in the helping professions, including her consultation work with Gunawirra in Sydney, Australia. Research interests include creativity, psychosis, resilience, and the intergenerational transmission of trauma.
A poet and artist herself, Dr. Charles has worked extensively with artists, writers, and musicians. She has a special interest in the creative process and is currently investigating factors that facilitate and inhibit creativity. She also has a particular interest in the study of psychosis. She is the head of the Berkshire Chapter of the International Society for Psychological and Social Treatments of Psychosis (ISPS) and is the co-founder of the Psychosis Research Lab at Austen Riggs. With colleague Michael O’Loughlin, she is currently working on a multi-site project looking at life narratives and treatment experiences of individuals who have experienced psychotic symptoms, hoping to advocate for more respectful treatments.