Tania Israel publishes “Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide, Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work”

Thursday, August 6, 2020
Beyond Your Bubble book cover

Tania Israel, professor in UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, has published Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide, Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work (APA 2020). It is a practical, politically neutral book that offers concrete skills for holding meaningful conversations that cut across today’s intense political divide, showing readers how to connect to the people in their lives.

In this book, psychologist Tania Israel presents her program for helping people have meaningful, constructive conversations with those they disagree with politically. Chapters show readers how to develop and use the scientifically-proven skills that are the foundation of constructive conversation, including strategies for effective listening, managing emotions, and understanding someone else’s perspective, as well as finding common ground, avoiding self-righteousness, and telling your own story. Throughout, conversation prompts, practical exercises, case examples, and self-quizzes help readers visualize and practice starting, sustaining, and ending challenging conversations.

Dr. Tania Israel is a professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical and School Psychology at UCSB who has provided leadership in the Santa Barbara community and beyond for decades. U.S. Congressman Salud Carbajal, who represents California’s 24th District, chose Israel as one of the 2019 Congressional Women of the Year. Israel leads dialogue skill-building workshops to help people connect across political differences and teaches about helping skills, leadership, and community collaboration. She has also facilitated educational programs and difficult dialogues on a range of topics, including abortion, law enforcement, religion, and sexual orientation.

Dr. Israel’s scholarship focuses on interventions to support the mental health and well-being of sexual and gender minorities (LGBTQ people); bisexuality; privilege and oppression; intersections among gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation; and social justice. She has received honors for her research and advocacy from the American Psychological Association, the California Asian & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, and her local LGBT community.

She is engaged in professional organizations and activities. She served as 2010-11 President of the Society of Counseling Psychology (Division 17 of the American Psychological Association), as a member of the American Psychological Association’s Committee for Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, and as Lead Coordinator for the 2009 National Multicultural Conference and Summit.

Dr. Israel’s scholarship is relevant to policy, practice, and community. She delivered a TED Talk on “Bisexuality and Beyond,” participated in the first White House Bisexual Community Policy Briefing, and presented at a Congressional briefing on the Violence Against Women Act. Dr. Israel is the Director of Project RISE, a research team at UCSB that develops and studies interventions to support the psychological health of LGBTQ individuals and communities.

[Tania Israel is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at george@education.ucsb.edu]