Senior Research Scientist
Work, Families, & Children Research Group
Former Associate Director
Senior Research Scientist
Gender, Race, and Inclusive Education Research Initiative
Linda M. Hartling was the Associate Director of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (JBMTI) at the Wellesley Centers for Women until 2009. The JBMTI is dedicated to exploring and advancing the practice of the Relational-Cultural Theory (RCT), a groundbreaking model of growth that puts relationships at the center of psychological development, recognizing that relationships are highly influenced by culture and the dynamics of power.
Dr. Hartling holds a doctoral degree in clinical/community psychology and has written papers on resilience, substance abuse prevention, shame and humiliation, appreciative inquiry, relational practice in the workplace, and developments in RCT. Building on the work of Jean Baker Miller and the scholars of the Stone Center for Developmental Services and Studies, now a part of the Wellesley Centers for Women, Dr. Hartling explores the specific qualities of relating that encourage growth and examines the operations of power that prevent individuals from participating in these types of relationships. She is co-editor of The Complexity of Connection: Writings from the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Stone Center (2004), and she has supervised the publication of over 40 Stone Center Working Papers, project reports, training videos, and home study programs.
One of Dr. Hartling’s special areas of interest is the study of humiliation. In 2004, she joined the board of directors for Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS; humiliationstudies.org), a global network of scholars, researchers, and activists dedicated to ending cycles of humiliation that contribute to psychological problems as well as interpersonal and international conflict. She has co-convened and facilitated annual international meetings of HumanDHS in Paris at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, in Berlin at the Heinrich Böll Foundation, in Costa Rica at the UN University for Peace, and in New York at Columbia University. She is on the academic board of the Journal of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, an e-journal that will be launched in March 2007. In addition, she is the developer of Humiliation Inventory, a scale to assess the internal experience of derision and degradation. In one of her most recent presentations, “Humiliation: Real Pain, a Pathway to Violence,” she described social and neurobiological pathways linking humiliation, social pain, and violence. Dr. Hartling strives to expand applications of RCT in the real world. For example, Dr. Hartling suggests, “It’s helpful to conceptualize human dignity as a co-created experience, rather than as an individual, internal phenomena. We encourage dignity in others whenever we build mutually respectful connections in which people feel known and valued, they feel that they matter. RCT encourages the construction of this relational experience for all people.”