Tag Archives: Psychology

Culture Inclusive Psychology: The Perspective in Social and Personal Relationship Study in Chinese Cultural Societies

By Sin-Ping Hsu and Kwang-kuo Hwang. Psychology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.

During a person’s lifetime, cultural traditions may operate psychologically through heuristic processing. Accumulated through time and life experiences, these cultural traditions gradually become thoughts or habits that can be used to handle problems by the majority of the people in a society, which forms a cultural mentality unique in comparison to other societies.

Thai_Earplug_5Such cultural mentalities affect how people adapt to their lives, and can be used as a method for self-healing. Since Chinese cultural societies are affected by relationalism, people tend to be very different from their Western counterparts, who take on individualistic ways in dealing with interpersonal problems.

According to Hwang (2011), if a person can use the habitus (Bourdieu, 1990) of normal action to smoothly handle life events under certain social conditions, it is unlikely that they will engage in deep reflection.

However, if habitus cannot be used to resolve a problem, the person will attempt to seek solutions from their personal stock of knowledge or social stock of knowledge. The former include schema, as proposed by Piaget (1977), while the latter are cultural traditions (Shils, 1981). In other words, some cultural traditions are instrumental to problem-solving, and provide the crucial origins for the creation of cognitive schemas. When a person encounters difficulties and a certain method from socCognitive_Schemata_Diagramial stock of knowledge is found to be effective, it may be incorporated into one’s personal stock of knowledge for future application.

In Chinese cultural societies of relationalism, the psychological stresses elicited by interpersonal incidents tend to arise from significant others. For instance, the marital tensions between a couple may not necessarily be caused by themselves, but due to the involvement of their natal families. Therefore, in dealing with interpersonal issues, one cannot overlook significant others and situational contexts. Based on their life experiences, people are accustomed to appeal to yuanfen to convert negative feelings, awkwardness, or setbacks caused by interpersonal incidents, into a type of belief that can be used to combat anxiety. Its true functional mechanism is in embodying the perspective of the mandate of Heaven (Wang, 1987Lee, 1995Yang, 2005Hsu and Hwang, 2013).

These beliefs become practical wisdom or mechanisms of psychological adaptation for handling interpersonal problems. People use yuanfen to interpret the problem, and in turn adopt suitable actions to achieve psychological adjustment. Yuanfen demonstrates that people who live in Chinese cultural societies are accustomed to taking a continuous rather than fragmented perspective toward various interpersonal issues. They believe that the formation and destruction of various relationships may connect the past, present, and future as causes and consequences on the same timeline. This is particularly true for expressive ties that satisfy personal, intrinsic needs for love, warmth, security, and sense of belonging, such as parent-child, romantic, marital, and intimate relationships (Hwang, 2012), and may produce different judgments based on whether such expressive ties are inherent or learned.

In the field of Eastern psychology, guan-xi, a similar concept but not the same as “relationship” in Western psychology, has long been an important issue. However, existing literature has tended to focus on the explicit “guan-xi as it ought to be” rather than on the implicit “guan-xi as it is.

According to Zhai (1993), in Chinese society, there are three localized concepts for interpersonal relationships: personal appeal (ren yuan), human sentiment (renqing), and human relations (renlun). These three concepts correspond, respectively, to psychology, values, and norms, in turn creating an overall framework fochinese-familyr the exploration of interpersonal relationships. This study postulates that human sentiment and human relations correspond to the explicit “guan-xi as it ought to be,” which can satisfy the expectations of Chinese social values and norms, but are also the sources of psychological disturbances.

Since personal appeal corresponds to psychology, and is related to the overall configuration of the model of interpersonal relationships, it should have the most direct impact on psychological adaptation as part of relational interaction. For example, when a person forced to accept a breakup and attribute the failure of the relationship to lack of yuanfen, the relationship has also been framed as something that does not have to be taken seriously. Since there is a lack of yuanfen, the relationship should not be fought for. This interpretation is actually beneficial for psychological adjustment in terms of achieving a positive outcome.

Read more from http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00282/full?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Psychology-w17-2016

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Sophie’s Story – Saying Yes to Spirit and Becoming a Spiritual Entrepreneur

 

Sophie F.JPGSophie Skover Frabotta is an alumna who received her degree from the Sofia University Master of Arts in Transpersonal Psychology Global program with a specialization in Spiritual Psychology.

Through her education at Sofia, she realized that she had the gift of sacred remembrance and is devoted to sharing that with her community. Whether it is helping one remember the lost parts of their truth and one’s connection to source,  or how to release the past, embrace the future, experience joy in the moment, work towards their vision, and have healthy relationships,she believes all that she is doing is helping them access that sacred truth that sits deep within their being.

Her Background. Sophie arrived at Sofia with an undergraduate degree in psychology. She had been a practicing Life Coach for the past 6 years and running her own business, but began to feel like her practice was running a little flat. She started looking at Master’s programs, but didn’t want anything that was traditional. And that is when she found Sofia, or as she likes to say “heard the call from Sofia.”

Clarity of Spirit.”Sofia changed my life and connected me back to who I really was. Sofia awakened me. From the very first seminar I had a lot of fear that started to unravel.  I had to dig through the depths of my soul and deal with it to a point where I was able to transmute the energy and move into a new space.

In my second year I took this class, Entrepreneurial Spirit and my world was flipped upside-down. At that point, I was thinking [my business ]Awaken was going to be a spiritual center that needed substantial funding in order to happen. In that class, I ended up creating a 50-page business plan. I worked nights, weekends, and poured my soul into this project. It was intense and challenging on deep levels. After seeking funding, and going through the process of presenting my idea and meeting with potential investors, my idea of Awaken the Spiritual Development Center began to shift.  I began to see that I already had momentum in my coaching business and could use a much smaller investment to re-brand and grow what I had already created. I felt that the class truly unlocked the spiritual entrepreneur in me, and that space of driving spiritual transformation into commerce was born.

It was probably the most difficult 10 weeks academically I’ve ever been through. It was rather like boot camp; you’re happy when it’s over; I really got stronger during that, but through a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.”

team-building-1381084_960_720.jpgA Supportive Tribe. Sophie found that the faculty at Sofia was transformational in itself and that she felt safe academically and spiritually, at the same time “Most teachers carried this similar vibe of holding of space for the students to really search and express the true self. I found this experience to be so soft and kind.  I just really felt that I could just be myself and I was going to be loved, supported and encouraged no matter what.” .In addition to classes and teachers, she loved the seminars, her fellow students , and cherishes the friendships she made.

And Then This Happened.  “I had this whole experience during my master’s program. I was saying yes; yes to spirit, yes to my purpose, yes to whatever wanted to come through me, and yes to whatever I needed to do in the world. This practice opened up a funnel and all this energy began to flow, creating an improved version of my Life’s work.

A Career Worth Loving.  Sophie has had her coaching business for the past 8 years. Near the end of her master’s program she began to feel that her company was in need of an awakening, a make-over, itself. She began rebranding, and Awaken was born. Awaken, however came with a much bigger presence than her former company.  Mid-way through her re-branding she realized that she was building a lifestyle brand that focused on transformation in three areas: life coaching, meditation and crystal education.

My intention is to bring spirituality into the business world and to integrate transpersonal awareness while creating beneficial business.”

Sophie GMATP.JPGSophie describes herself as a Spiritual Entrepreneur and says, “I believe it means you believe in commerce and  want to be a profitable, abundant person. However, you have this intense amount of spirituality rushing through your veins. This makes it very important to be in tune with what you are doing, which also creates profit and can support the lifestyle you desire to live. What I’m working on in my own life is blending the two, finding the best of both worlds. I have a lot of dreams, a lot of things in this world that I want to experience, and I know it takes money to get there. I also know that I have some spiritual gifts that can help people transform their lives. So Spiritual Entrepreneur means to me that I’m blending my gifts with the ability to create financial abundance.” Sophie wrote her final paper for her MATP masters program on Being a Spiritual Entrepreneur in Modern Business Society, and defines spiritual entrepreneur below.

Spiritual Entrepreneur (n.): (a) one approaching commerce with a divine alignment first of all and innovatively identifying needs and finding solutions that create profit and make a meaningful difference in the world; (b) one pursuing morally sustainable commerce, providing the consumer with a meaningful resource, while making a profit;

(c) one creating business with an outer force and an inner force that are in balance; (d) one with a practice of opening to the divine flow, thinking outside of the box, finding a community need and fulfilling it, welcoming things already happening instead of always making things happen, and acting with inspiration as soon as the download is complete; Synonyms: Spiritual Leader, Spiritual Trailblazer, Beneficial Business Pursuer, Conscious Commerce Practitioner.

Sophie wants to experience everything. “Part of embodying the spiritual entrepreneur is being in tune with two very opposing ideas, and blending them together in a way that is innovative. I don’t feel like they’re opposing, but when I talk about it with others, sometimes I’m met with a little bit of confusion.”

Building A Life Worth Living

I think that one component that I offer clients, is that I believe in them. They may have forgotten what they are capable of, but I know it. I hold that space for them naturally and help them remember their greatness.” 

Sophie currently works with clients, teaches meditation, holds local and virtual workshops and designs and makes crystal jewelry, which she sells online. “I have this gift of hearing things that are said underneath words. I’m very word sensitive and when I work with people and I hear what they are saying, there are specific words that pop out and I can usually go deeper into what needs to heal. I then help them to release whatever is blocking them from their inner alignment and what they truly want.”

“What my true credentials are and what they will always be is that I do the inner work. I live the work; I am dedicated to the work. So the spaces that I’m able to travel to with my clients are because I’ve been there myself. I know what it looks like to be bulimic, depressed, anxious, suicidal, 70 pounds heavier, and so on. Darkness is darkness, but the light can save us all. I understand that those spaces of darkness in the soul can heal, and find it natural to go there and bring the light.”

This past summer, Rich—Sophie’s Husband—saw an amazing opportunity to take
Sophie’s healing vision and technique—using crystal jewelry—online. Coming from the corporate world, Rich knew she could reach more people on the world wide web. So they partnered up and created an online platform for her to sell her crystal jewelry and teach people about healing crystals online.

 

Awaken.JPGHer Business: Awaken. Awaken’s different healing modalities: life coaching, meditation, crystal jewelry, and crystal education, are often weaved together. Her days are spent seeing clients one on one. She also teaches local classes and workshops on meditation, crystals, and the chakras.

She began her virtual work as a way to expand her reach and work with people all over the world. She always uses a video platform as she believes that having a face-to-face connection preserves the intimacy and connection of in-person transformational experience, so one requirement for her clients is that they have internet connection and front facing camera.

“I find that there are different ways to connect with people. Some people are more comfortable with eyes closed, in that meditative space, to do their inner work, which is where the meditative lessons come in hand. On the other hand, crystals offer this very stable, transmittable vibration due to its molecular structure. Different stones offer a variety of vibrations. I use crystals as companions for people as they go on their healing journey..”

One important component of Sophie’s work is structure. She provides structure for people going through what is an unstructured journey. “Typically I work with people from 8 to 32 weeks. The length of time depends on what they put into it, as that is what they get out of it. I offer accountability, forward movement, strategic planning and goal setting, but the most important principle is doing the inner work to heal the blockages in front of one’s desires. Simultaneously I know that people will also begin to have a spiritual awakening and the speed at which they awaken, is the speed they awaken. And there’s no rushing that.”

The entrepreneurial aspect also comes into play on the business end. Sophie describes, “there’s a business end to all this as well. Client’s are paying for a transformational experience, a seat in my office and that costs money. That’s not something that I offer for free.” She feels it is important to acknowledge her time and she balances the sharing of her gifts with financial reimbursement, which is an important aspect of being a spiritual entrepreneur.

“To me the biggest principle is that living your life’s work is a balance. And balance fluctuates…. Sometimes my practice will be more driven by spirituality and sometimes more by commerce. And both are okay.”

For Sophie, it all comes down to being in tune with your soul purpose and sharing that with the world. She encourages us to create a joyful life by accepting our true self, falling in love with who we are, and living with an open heart!

Connect with Sophie

www.AwakenLifeCoachingWPB.com       www.PalmBeachOfficiant.com

Instagram: @SophieFrabotta  & @AwakenCrystalGallery
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sophie.Skover.Frabotta

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Systems Therapy: Change One Thing, Change Everything

By Pierre Araman

What is Systems Therapy?

Systems therapy aims to help each member of a group gain insight on their role as well as on the role of their peers in order to maximize the healthy functionality of the whole. Systems therapy can be utilized with families, couples, communities, or organizations so as to resolve conflicts and/or other relational issues.

The theory behind Systems Therapy is based on the idea that the environment (in this particular case family and/or community) is primordial for the psychological health and recovery of clients. Changes made to one component of the environment can affect the whole system for the better or for the worse depending on the system.

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A famous branch of Systems therapy is known as Family systems theory which was developed by Dr. Murray Bowen in the late 1960s. In Family systems therapy, participants are encouraged to be themselves in order for the therapist as well as other members of the family to see the cause and effect of certain behaviors. When the negative behaviors have been identified, participants can realize the impacts they may have on the system and modify the negative behaviors into healthy behaviors for the benefit of the entire family as well as for themselves.

Other forms of family therapy branching from Bowen’s Family systems theory and that you may have heard of are: Intergenerational family therapy, Structural family therapy, and Strategic family therapy. If you would like to learn more about these therapies, click on the images below.

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Dr. Murray Bowen developed eight concepts which can be identified and worked on during Family therapy. The concepts are:

  • Emotional Cutoff – When a member distances themselves emotionally/physically from their family in order to reduce stress/tension.
  • Family Projection Process – When parents’ issues are transferred unto the child/children. Common issues are emotional concerns, anxiety, and relationship difficulties.
  • Nuclear Family Emotional Process – Four areas identified by Bowen where families tend to have the most difficulties: problematic behaviors, impaired functionality in children, intimate partner conflict, and emotional distance.
  • Differentiation of Self – Bowen’s core concept – The ability of a person to differentiate themselves from their family in order to achieve their life goals. A low level of differentiation means that the person has difficulties maintaining individuality and can experience emotional fusion with others. A high level of differentiation means that the person can maintain healthy emotional contacts with the group while keeping their individuality.
  • Sibling position – The belief that the youngest, middle, and oldest children have specific roles within the family system due to different factors such as discipline, expectations, etc
  • Emotional Triangle – When anxiety is introduced to a dyad, a third person is used as a resource to reduce the anxiety. It is common for emotional triangle to become unhealthy as two sides are in harmony and one in conflict. An example of an emotional triangle would be a child included in a parental dispute.
  • Societal Emotional Process – When instability is present within the emotional system of society, it can reverberate and have a negative impact on the emotional system of the family (e.g. natural catastrophe, periods of regression, etc).
  • Multigenerational Transmission Process – Bowen’s belief that individuals seek partners with the same level of differentiation which is then passed on to their children. When the level of differentiation is increased, the pattern can be broken and as a result, increase the level of differentiation of the next generations.

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-10-46-40-amOverall, Family system therapy can be overwhelming although extremely rewarding. Once the system has been reorganized, it benefits the whole. The role of Systems therapist is to identify concepts described above and to modify the unhealthy behaviors into positive and rewarding attitudes. The process can be short or lengthily depending on the resilience of the members of the system.

If you would like to learn more about Systems therapy, here are two research papers on the effectiveness of family and relationship therapy:

 Systems Therapy at Sofia University

If Systems therapy interests you and you would like to learn more and to gain some experience within that field, Sofia University offers the unique experience of participating in group therapy with your cohort as well as covering the different theories in class. Check out our Masters in Counseling Psychology program which incorporates interactive learning through role play, giving you the tools necessary to carry you through different systems therapies such as family therapy, couple therapy, group therapy, and more!

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What is Psychodynamic Therapy?

By Pierre Araman

Psychodynamic theory is a school of depth psychology encompassing the theories and ideas of famous psychologists and psychiatrists such as Sigmund Freud, Carl Gustav Jung, Erik Erikson.

Psychodynamic therapy focuses on accessing information hidden in the unconscious and utilizing different techniques to reduce psychic tensions. Principally, psychodynamic therapists concentrate on clients’ past relationships as well as the therapeutic alliance (the relationship between the client and the therapist) so as to uncover unresolved conflicts.

One theory is that childhood traumas can negatively impact present relationships and can lead people to develop unhealthy defense mechanisms, which are unconscious systems developed by a person’s ego to protect themselves against anxiety. Some of the most common defense mechanisms are denial (refusal to admit external reality/events), rationalization (inaccurate reasons to explain behavior), and projection (projecting personal negative traits onto others). By working through the defenses and restructuring the core of the psychopathology, psychodynamic therapists help clients cultivate better self-understanding and develop more accurate views of reality.

Techniques Used in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Psychodynamic therapists use different tools to access a client’s unconscious such as free association, transference / counter-transference, dreams interpretations, and insights from the client and the therapist.

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  • Free associations are spontaneous and unconscious mental connections made by the brain. They are usually insightful and help therapists determine unconscious views of clients. In other words, the therapist says a word and the client says whatever comes to mind without thinking.
  • Transference and counter-transference refer to negative and/or positive personality traits that are projected onto the therapist by the client and vice versa. For example, a client might say that the therapist reminds them of a parent or a persecutor. Another example would be a therapist referring a client to a colleague because the client reminds them of their child or they are being triggered in some way.
  • Dream analysis speaks for itself. Some themes are recurrent while other require deeper personal interpretation/analysis by the client and/or therapist. Different interpretative tools can be used such as intuition/insights, mythology, metaphor, etc.
  • The therapeutic alliance is one of the most important interventions of psychodynamic psychotherapy. Therapists focus on their relationship with the client to determine the impact it may have on therapy. Some questions considered by a therapist might be: “Would the client be ready to hear this at this time? Does the client feel safe? Is there enough trust to inquire about a certain topic? etc.”
  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy also has its own diagnostic manual called the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM). Besides sharing a similar name with the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM), the DSM describes observable symptoms and the PDM outlines subjective experiences.

For more information on this particular form of psychotherapy, here is a preview from a book by Richard F. Summers & Jacques P. Barber (2010) named “Psychodynamic Therapy: A Guide to Evidence-Based Practice, as well as other resources.

Psychodynamic Therapy has been found through research to be effective. A study conducted by Jonathan Shedler (2010) called “The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy” states that clients “maintain therapeutic gains and appear to continue to improve after treatment ends”.

Psychodynamic therapy and Clinical Programs at Sofia University

Psychodynamic therapy is explored and practiced in different classes such as “History and Systems of Psychology”, “Psychotherapy Theory and Interventions”, “Clinical Practicum”, and more. We are currently covering this theory in my “Transpersonal Theory & Literature” class as well as practicing the different interventions through role playing with other students. Whether you are interested in the PsyD, PhD, or Master’s program; you will have access to in-depth experiences and knowledge of the theory at Sofia University.

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Learning at Sofia University: A Student’s Perspective

By Yifan Wang

I wanted to share my experience as a student of Sofia University’s Doctor of Transpersonal Psychology program.

Formerly called the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, my school was founded in 1975 with the intention of providing an education in transpersonal psychology.

But what does transpersonal psychology mean?

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For me, it means the experience of life beyond the self. According to Abraham Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs, transpersonal psychology would be on the level of self-realization and self-transcendence. The theories of transpersonal psychology are built into all of the programs at Sofia including the Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate and Certificate programs. It is also blended into the non-psychology degree programs like Computer Science and Business Administration. I believe this unique component helps graduates stand out from other applicants in the workforce.

Choices: Online, On-Campus, or Hybrid

One of the reasons why I chose Sofia University was its hybrid model of learning as I had been looking for a school that provided online learning and also face-to-face mentoring. Sofia’s hybrid format provides students with the flexibility to study anywhere in the world, with the opportunity to meet faculty and students in person through bi-annual on-campus seminars.

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For me, I prefer the hybrid format because it allows me to continue to work a job and engage in coursework when I have free time. I find that it’s also great for international students who may speak English as a second language because instructors are available for additional questions outside of classroom time via email.

Experience is learning. Learning is healing

Studying at Sofia requires a lot of hard work. There is a lot of reading, online discussion, and some experiential components. But there is another type of work involved while being a student at Sofia: the work of self-awareness. To make sense and gain insight into yourself is critical. It is imperative that we learn about ourselves in order to better understand others – especially in the healing field of psychotherapy.

I’ve learned unique and life-changing skills through my classes at Sofia. Our papers include both self-reflection, and sometimes art modalities that reflect and deepen our understanding of our childhood experiences, developmental stages, and relationships that formed who we have become as individuals. And, all of this self-exploration is held in a safe and private container. We have built good trust between each other.

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The most interesting course so far has been the martial art practice of Aikido, which is a requirement for all psychology students. We use Aikido techniques to re-experience verbal “attacking” and “defending” used in daily life. We explore how to redirect and renegotiate other people’s energy while maintaining a harmonious relationship with them.

Sofia’s learning environment creates a space where people respect each other without judgment. And the instructors act like spiritual surgeons, gently opening and closing their student’s life wounds with loving presence. I feel so honored to learn from them as they are masters in this field who have 15-30 years of clinical experience.

I’ve already gained so much from my experience as a student at Sofia University. I look forward to more learning, growing, and rich experiences throughout my journey here. I highly recommend this school to anyone who is interested in a unique learning experience that will not only provide you with academic rigor and professional training, but will also provide you with greater self-awareness and inner strength.

从前,有一个有趣的心理类学校

两周前发过一篇微信文章“不一样的标准答案”,有很多朋友对我走这条路挺感兴趣的,也表示出了对心理学,和对非传统的学习方式很感兴趣。那么这篇文章,让我来介绍一下我们这个“小精品”学校。

之前读过牛津大学的好处是他是一个好的敲门砖,另外一个特别大的好处是从此以后“妈妈再也不用担心学校排名了”,我可以自由的选择自己喜欢的学校。有人问我这个学校排名怎么样,我说这个学校没排名,可能都没参与排名。因为外界会定位这个学校非常”boutique”, 小精品的感觉。

我们学校叫做索菲亚大学Sofia University,以前叫做Institute of transpersonal psychology, 1975年建校。所以我们学校主打的就是transpersonal psychology, transpersonal 是啥意思呢,可以理解认为它是在自我(self)范畴之外的经历,比如说梦境,灵魂深处,深度的合一,马斯洛提出的人的需求理论的最高层级,自我实现和自我超越。这门课程是基本上学校所有课程的必修课,从本科,硕士到博士,或者证书课程,从学校传统的灵魂心理学,临床心理学到学校新开设和将要开设的计算机,和商业类课程。 从心理学来讲这是非常新的一个类别, 有别于精神分析,行为学,和人本主义。从非心理学课程来讲,学校让这些科目变得非常独特,让这些理科和商科科目注入了新的生命。相信你的经历会让你在人才市场或者是生活中变得的有特点,有别于其他竞争者从而可以脱颖而出。

怎么上学:线上,线下,还是线上又线下

这是我三年前为什么选择索菲亚大学的另外一个重要原因。我希望找一个学校可以线上读书,又可以有面对面和老师交流的机会。这样可以既不耽误工作,又可以有多重的学习体验。就是上图所示的Hybrid课程。1/3面对面授课,2/3线上教学。

索菲亚大学提供了非常灵活的学习方式。如果你想扎扎实实的呆在美国读书,可以选择来学校上课(on campus/residential)。如果你想完全线上(online/global)来上课,这样让自己的学习时间可以自己掌控,那么可以选在在国内或者其他任何有网络的地方。如果觉得网络没有让大家看见“真人”,完全泡在学校又不现实,可以选择半线上的课程(hybrid/low-residency)。

对于我来讲,我太喜欢线上的学习了。虽然线上课程,网络课程在我们国家,或者全世界都没有传统的全日制认可度高。但是学习效果可以非常好1)理论实践的完美结合,如果你一边工作一边读书的话,可以使得两边相互促进。 2)合理分配自己的时间。选择你想上学的时间上学,不用担心早上8点的课起不来了。3)讨论的内容都在论坛里面,可以随时查看,根本不怕跟不上,听不懂(可以查词,查百科),没机会表达自己观点的顾虑。4)一直在进行。这一点很容易让人忽略。网络的讨论和老师的在线解答时一直进行的。面对面的授课我个人的经历是,上完课一走人,什么内容都忘了。

总之线上的学习拿到的文凭不好听(半线上的就好听一些),但是真的能学的很透彻,可以规避掉很多面授的弊端。

体验就是学习,学习就是疗愈

在索菲亚的上课,更多是以阅读,讨论配合体验的方式。人和人其实没有太多的不同。对自己的认识和理解是任何自我提升中比较重要的环节。在索菲亚的心理课程的学习过程中,我们对自己的生命发展历程,儿时经历,和母亲的关系,性经历,成瘾/着迷经历进行了深度并且安全回顾,通过写文章,还可以通过各种艺术形式来表达。我们学校另外一门必修课,也是学生最喜欢的一门课就是合气道(Aikido),我们通过和同伴之间对抗练习来充分体会人和人之间的攻防是怎样进行的。每天面对各种压力“攻击”,怎样通过动作来优雅的防御,并且和攻击者保持良好的关系。通过招式的体会,我们可以自然的抵消,转化很多来自于外界的批评,刁难和施压。

索菲亚大学的另外的特点是这个学习社区(community),有一位著名的心理学家曾经说过从哪里受伤,就回到哪里去疗愈。人都是从关系和人群当中受到伤害,我们还要回到人群当中来治疗。所以,在这个学习者都很尊重对方的伤痛的环境中,学习者可以安全的说出自己以前的不好的经历,老师(以治疗师的身份)会同你的同组的学习者帮你轻轻的揭开伤疤,再帮你轻轻的缝合。在学习的几年中,学生可以深度才从各个角度看到自己的伤痛,人性中的不完美,也同时认识到自己的“资源“(正能量)。当然,从中你也通过给予他人的爱,来了解其他人,在给别人疗愈的同时让自己得到新生。所以,把自己的经历理顺出来,不逃避,用真实的情绪讲出来,再加上众人的接纳和包容,这是自己的治疗的珍贵体验,不是书本上学的来的。

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我还记得我上学的前几天,老师就说了一句话我们不做role play,我们就拿出自己的问题给对方来练习。作为初体验美国这个文化,美国这个心理文化还有这个学校的文化时,有些事情真的不习惯。我看到我的同学在和老师做示范的时候,直接拿出自己而是强奸的经历, 有的同学直接拿出昨晚上做的噩梦,吓得直哭。虽然面对同学强烈的情绪和脆弱时,手足无措,但是这都是很好的实践机会。所以,两三年下来我们和彼此建立了很好的信任,也都做了彼此的治疗师,所以实习的时候我们基本上都已经”get our hands dirty”, 已经有了一些技能的基础了。同时还把自己做的治疗过程进行录音,然后逐字逐句的和老师进行修正讨论。这些都不会让自己像象牙塔出来的书生。

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What can I do with a B.A. in Psychology?

If you’ve been yearning for a new career path or wanting to finish what you started years ago, you may find what you’re looking for through our Bachelors Completion program in Psychology.

Our unique program offers a rich and transformative learning experience through a flexible online format, which is suitable for working professionals, parents, and global students. This completion program allows you to complete your Bachelor’s degree online so you can finally start your career in the field of psychology.

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Loretta Farris, one of our BAC graduates said:

I had my doubts about receiving an education on-line, but I’m pleased to say that the experience was an overall success. I was fortunate to have a kind academic advisor who provided the guidance and encouragement I needed to help me complete my capstone project. Instructors with real-world expertise in their respective fields showed me how to go beyond my expectations of learning. Perhaps most importantly, my classmates shared their experiences with love, honesty and integrity and I will always be grateful to have been a part of their journey at Sofia University.

But what can one do after graduating with a B.A. in Psychology?

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BA Completion graduate, Devi Prem shares her success story:

I am most grateful to the quality and flexibility that the Sofia offers. For my BA completion I have received the most wonderful support to create my own body of work “Seven Sacred Rhythms of Leadership”, a dance meditation coaching offering. I will be continuing with the Global MA in Transpersonal Psychology program, which is truly a choice of my heart.

And BAC graduate Nisha Jumn shares:

I have nothing but great things to say about Sofia. This is an amazing program which offers students the stepping stones that propels us into worlds we may never have thought of entering. I am grateful for my professors and all they had to offer. The BAC program and the knowledge I gained from it resulted in me creating, Adi Shaktee, as an oasis for healing and a platform which I intend using for my women’s movement.

Below is a list of key elements that might help you increase the chances of landing the job of your dreams.

  • Plan early. Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your career interests and options and identify the unique constellation of knowledge, skills and characteristics you need to enter the career of your choice.
  • Assess yourself. Figure out who you are and what you want from a job. Consider these questions: ‘What are the 10 traits that describe you best? What working conditions must you have? How much money do you need to make? What are your long-term goals? What skills do you have and which do you most enjoy using?’ Your answers will provide a foundation for your job search and enable you to pinpoint the opportunities best suited to you.
  • Capitalize on your connections. Think about the people you’ve met who could give you job leads—perhaps you completed an internship, participated in a service learning event or volunteered at a school. Be sure to stay in touch with your professors since local agencies may contact them looking for “good” graduates to fill a job. And don’t forget, even after you graduate, you will need references or letters of recommendation, so staying connected with faculty is a smart choice.
  • Look beyond Internet job postings. With such sites as careerbuilder.com and monster.com, Indeed.com, linkedin.com, and ideal.org, the Internet is a wonderful tool for finding jobs. Many corporations may not list their jobs there, so be sure to visit company websites that may interest you and send an email to introduce yourself.
  • Take advantage of campus services, even after you graduate. Your campus career center and alumni office are both interested in your long-term success.

Kendra Cherry wrote an article on Verywell.com (About, Inc. company) entitled “Careers Options With a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology”.

In this article Kendra mentions that as an undergraduate, chances are you have done a considerable amount of research and writing, and these skills would be useful in positions as a library assistant, probation officer, business manager, case worker and many other related areas. She also points out that the biggest advantage of a bachelor’s degree in psychology is its adaptability.

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So what are the most commonly held careers for those with a bachelors degree in psychology? According to The College Majors Handbook, some of the top occupations that employ those with a bachelor’s psychology degree are:

  1. Top- and mid-level management and administration
  2. Sales
  3. Social work
  4. Other management occupations
  5. Labor-relations, personnel and training
  6. Administrative positions
  7. Real estate, business services and insurance
  8. Marketing

As you enter the job market, consider jobs that require the skills you obtained during your psychology education. These abilities include:

  • Critical thinking
  • One-on-one and small group communication
  • Effective written communication skills
  • Understanding of individual human behavior
  • Knowledge of group and organizational behavior
  • Creative thinking skills

Some students even decide to continue their education due to specific careers that require further training. Therefore, many graduates of B.A. in Psychology programs eventually go on for their Masters in Counseling Psychology to become licensed therapists, the Masters in Tranpersonal Psychology to become educators and authors, or choose our doctorate level programs to become licensed psychologists and/or researchers.

Whichever path you choose, you are sure to set a solid foundation for your career success with our Bachelors Completion program.

For more information about our B.A. in Psychology program, please contact our Admissions team at admission@sofia.edu or 1-888-98-SOFIA.

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What can I do with Sofia’s Double Major: Masters in Computer Science and Masters in Transpersonal Psychology?

At Sofia University, we offer both a Masters in Computer Science as well as a Double Major M.S. in Computer Science and M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology. At first glance, you might not think psychology is even remotely related to computer science, but psychology is an essential component in creating technology as people are who create the computer applications and people are also who use the applications. In order for computers to be useful, programs and applications need to be intuitive, easy to use, and aimed at resolving problems or supporting our lives.DSC07067

Have you ever been frustrated trying to figure out how to use an app on your cell phone or, conversely, loved an app because it didn’t take much time to figure out how to use it? This process is called human-computer interaction, and people who understand psychology are better at understanding how people think. This makes for bettmaxresdefaulter user experiences while using computers and technology, whether it’s a cell phone or iPad app, an Excel spreadsheet, or a complicated database.

According to psychology degree 411 there are many opportunities for a Computer Programmer with a psychology background. It might be surprising to learn that psychology graduates have opportunities in computer programming, but when the continual advances in user-friendly technology are considered, this career trahqdefaultck makes sense to a growing number of students with a psychology background.

Computer programmers develop and execute programs for an end user or group of end users, and also work to improve and broaden programs that have already been built. Programming professionals frequently help write step-by-step user guides to new programs and features. The critical thinking skills and understanding of user psychology that psychology majors can bring to this field are especially helpful.

Some of the possible outcomes of your degree:

  • Analyze users’ experiences to help make software appealing, usable, and useful
  • Help develop software for rehabilitation technology
  • Create new and better user interfaces
  • Create new styles of games for education and fun

If you find yourself drawn to the world of technology, but also desiring to learn more about human behavior and development, this double major could be the perfect blend of interests for your future career. Plus, we are located in the heart of Silicon Valley, connecting you to the plethora of opportunities in this area.

For more information about this program or to visit our campus and attend a class, please contact our admissions office at admissions@sofia.edu, or 1-888-98-SOFIA.

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What are the differences between a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology and a Psy.D in Clinical Psychology?

According to Psychology Career center.org, psychology careers are a highly regulated industry. Earning a degree, especially a doctorate, is very important to ones upward mobility and success. In fact, most research and teaching positions at major universities or government organizations require a doctorate degree.bb_vocalfry_free

Before deciding on which degree is the best fit for you, it may be helpful to know the differences in career potentials for both degrees.

Our Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology program is a non-clinical, research-focused degree, whereas our Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology is a clinical, applied-psychology program that is designed to lead graduates towards licensure as a clinical psychologist.

Below you’ll find additional information on common careers and employment areas pursued by individuals who obtain a doctorate degree in psychology and those who obtain a doctorate degree in clinical psychology.

Careers in Transpersonal Psychology

Some of the most common areas where graduates with a doctorate degree in Transpersonal Psychology may work include: government, business, research, and education. They may also become authors, coaches, speakers, and facilitators of workshops and public programs.

Alumna Julie Gohman, graduated from the Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology program at Sofia University and became a professorjulie.cropped-276x300 of psychology and author of 10 Sacred Questions for Every Woman.

Julie writes about women’s development, motherhood, spirituality, and the art of self-inquiry. Most of what Julie does, in both her personal and professional life, is dedicated to human growth and development, teaching and learning, and understanding the complex dimensions of human behavior. It’s her goal to be mindful and present, to be loving and kind, and to live with wisdom and grace. Julie also believes in the power of gratitude as a game-changer for everything in her life.

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Alumna Bertita Graebner also graduated from the Ph.D in Transpersonal Psychology program at Sofia. Bertita takes an approach that draws from the whole person and integrates principles from Transpersonal Psychology, Positive Psychology, Mindfulness, Solution-based Therapy, Somatics, and Cognitive Behavioral Psychology. Bertita has faith in the coaching process to transform individuals and to create enduring change. She believes in the power of meaning-making to enable transformation and shift towards what is next. She also supports women between the ages of 45 and 85 in transition.

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Dr. Rosie Kuhn, is another graduate from the Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology program at Sofia. She is the author of the popular ‘Self-Empowerment 101’ and founder of The Paradigm Shifts Coaching Group in Silicon Valley, is the preeminent Thought Leader in the field of transformational coaching, coach training and leadership development. Rosie specializes in identifying and transforming belief systems that hold people back in business and in life. She empowers individuals, executives and organizations to fearlessly embrace transformation and realize previously untapped potential.

Careers in Clinical Psychology

According to My Graduate School.com, graduates of applied or clinical psychology programs often become mental healthcare practitioners who diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders through the use of therapy. However, they may also work within the field of academia for research purposes as well.

“This is a very broad category that includes any occupation in which the psychologist interacts with clients for the purpose of assessment, diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of mental health issues (in most careers as a clinical psychologist), or to help clients deal with challenges of daily living (in most careers as a counseling psychologist).”

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Many graduates of clinical psychology programs go on to work in private practice, hospital settings and clinics, or with businesses as a practitioner, administrator, or both. Some specialize in Forensic psychology and work closely with courts and juries. While others may go onto work in government agencies, correctional facilities, or as school psychologists.

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Alumna, Dr. Sarah Neustadter is a Clinical & Transpersonal Psychologist, with her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Sofia University.

Her clinical experience as a psychologist includes working with the severely mentally ill population with bipolar and schizophrenia, crisis-management, suicide prevention, and additionally, in the Los Angeles public school system with at-risk teenagers dealing with all kinds of modern-day adolescent issues.

“My work integrates my “no-nonsense” New York ethic and sense of responsibility with a humanistic approach to psychology, incorporating psychodynamic depth-work, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, alternative modalities of healing such as meditation, mindfulness, shamanism, and other mind-body practices”

 

MeghanFraleyAlumna Meghan Fraley also graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology from Sofia University. She is now a licensed psychologist in California and works at the Sofia Counseling Center. She is also actively engaged in grassroots organizing work addressing economic and social justice issues with the Raise the Wage South Bay & Peninsula Coalition, Politically Inspired Action, and the ACLU of Northern California

“Overall, my passion is to help people feel more connected to themselves and the people and world around them. My approach to therapy is warm, compassionate, and empowering. I support individuals in overcoming the obstacles that prevent them from living freely, authentically, and joyfully. My clinical specialties include: depression, anxiety, life transitions, spiritual/existential concerns, and women’s issues”.

 

markformanAlumnus Mark Forman, Ph.D. is also a graduate of the Psy.D. program at Sofia and is now a licensed clinical psychologist with fifteen years experience working with individuals, couples, teens, and families. Mark has found success as the Clinical Director of Life Design Centre and Lead Trainer of the Certified Integral Psychotherapist (CIT) Training Program. He currently teaches courses in Integral Theory at Sofia.

 

No matter what path you decide on, both degrees provide the opportunity to work in administrative roles within universities, public or government institutions, or in businesses.

For more information about careers and salaries for individuals with degrees in psychology, read The 25 Most Lucrative Careers in Psychology.

To learn more about our doctoral programs, please contact our admissions team at admissions@sofia.edu.

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A Writer and A Scholar: Remembering the Work of William Braud

william-b.jpgWilliam Braud, Ph.D. preferred to think of himself as a writer, educator, researcher, and scholar. He began his academic work in physics, at Loyola University in New Orleans, but switched to psychology, earning his B.A. in psychology in 1964 from the University of New Orleans.

He earned his M.A. in 1966 and his Ph.D. in 1967, both in experimental psychology,at the University of Iowa. From 1967 to 1975, he taught undergraduate and graduate psychology courses at the University of Houston and conducted original research in areas of learning, memory, motivation, psychophysiology, and the biochemistry of memory. After 8 years, he left his tenured Associate Professorship to join a private research organization, Mind Science Foundation (San Antonio, TX). In his 17 years there, he directed research in parapsychology; health and well-being influences of relaxation, imagery, positive emotions, and intention; and the then-new field of psychoneuroimmunology.

In 1992, he joined the Residential Core Faculty of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (Palo Alto, CA), serving as a professor, research director, dissertation director, and co-director of ITP’s William James Center for Consciousness Studies. In 2002, when ITP initiated its distant learning Global Ph.D. Program, he moved to its Global Core Faculty. In 2009, Dr. Braud retired from his position at ITP, and was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus.

During his 17 years at ITP, Professor Braud taught research-related graduate psychology courses, supervised dissertations, and conducted quantitative and qualitative research studies in areas of exceptional human experiences (mystical, intuitive, peak, transformative) and their interpretations, meanings, and life impacts; personal and spiritual change and transformation; alternative ways of knowing; the development and promotion of more inclusive and integrated inquiry approaches for transpersonal studies and science in general; and examining some of the underlying assumptions of science, psychology, transpersonal psychology, and certain spiritual and wisdom traditions.

He also served on Editorial Boards of several professional journals and is the recipient of fellowships, travel awards, federal grants, honors and awards, including a university-wide Teaching Excellence Award (University of Houston), Award for Outstanding Contribution (Parapsychological Association), and President’s Award for Outstanding Service (Institute of Transpersonal Psychology).

Before his death, Professor Braud published over 250 articles in professional psychology journals and numerous book chapters he coauthored, with Rosemarie Anderson, 

51Ql-hioArL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgDistant Mental Influence

Professionals in modern psychology, behavioral medicine, and psychoneuroimmunology are exploring ways in which we can “mentally” influence our own bodies through hypnosis, imagery, visualization, attention, intention, and other forms of self-regulation–for fostering physical and psychological health and well-being.

  • Is it possible for us to use such techniques to influence others, even at a distance, for purposes of healing?
  • Is it possible for us to influence the images, thoughts, behaviors, and physiological reactions of other persons–separated by distance–without conventional sensory means of interaction?
  • Can these abilities extend to animals and even to cells (e.g., human red blood cells)?
  • Might these abilities be involved in the efficacy of distant, mental, or spiritual healing and intercessory prayer?
  • Might these influences even extend to events distant in time–even “backwards in time?”
  • Do these influences have major implications for our scientific theories, our human identity, the interconnections between ourselves and nature, and our relationships with others?Careful laboratory work–described in detail in this book–suggests that the answer to all these questions is a resounding “Yes!”A personal introduction and 12 detailed chapters describe the evidence that support these important claims. The book also describes the factors that make such distant mental influences more or less likely, so that anyone might use these distant influence skills more effectively and consistently for their own benefit and for the benefit of others.

 

51UTqckqLTL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgTransforming self and others through research

Research approaches in the field of transpersonal psychology can be transformative for researchers, participants, and the audience of a project. This book offers these transformative approaches to those conducting research across the human sciences and the humanities. Rosemarie Anderson and William Braud first described such methods in Transpersonal Research Methods for the Social Sciences (1998). Since that time, in hundreds of empirical studies, these methods have been tested and integrated with qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method research designs. Anderson and Braud, writing with a contribution from Jennifer Clements, invite scholars to bring multiple ways of knowing and personal resources to their scholarship. While emphasizing established research conventions for rigor, Anderson and Braud encourage researchers to plumb the depths of intuition, imagination, play, mindfulness, compassion, creativity, and embodied writing as research skills. Experiential exercises to help readers develop these skills are provided.

41rxTbaOAXL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgTranspersonal research methods for the social sciences

There is no shortage of research methods that are easily applied to the study of everyday human experience. How, though, does one attempt to study extraordinary human experiences – ultimate values and meanings, peak experiences, transcendence and heightened awareness, among others.

William Braud and Rosemarie Anderson introduce a series of transpersonal research methods that are intended to help researchers develop new ways of knowing and methods of inquiry. While these methods will be of particular interest to researchers in transpersonal psychology, humanistic psychology, or transpersonal studies applied to traditional fields, the authors argue that these approaches – with their emphasis on developing intuition, empathy and self-awareness – can benefit anyone involved in the research enterprise across many disciplines.

re-upload.jpegRosemarie Anderson is a professor emerita at Sofia University. Together with the late William Braud, she created the field we now know as transpersonal research methods. Her individual scholarship includes the creation of an oracular system based on Celtic mythology, a transpersonal research method called intuitive inquiry, an assessment of body awareness called the Body Insight Scale (BIS), an embodied approach to writing and data collection called embodied writing, and a model of human development, which begins at conception and continues through death..

Rosemarie supervises doctoral research and serves as the U.S. representative on the Board of the International Transpersonal Association (transpersonalassociation.org). Throughout the year, she lectures on spiritual and transpersonal topics, including intuition, intuitive inquiry and the creative process.

Before joining Sofia University’s core faculty in 1992, Rosemarie taught in undergraduate and graduate programs at Wake Forest University, Graduate Theological Union, and the University of Maryland’s Asian and European programs. From 1983-87, she served as a university dean for the University of Maryland’s European Division in Germany. In 1987, she was ordained an Episcopal priest and served as a parish priest and university chaplain for several years.

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Sofia for 2016 and Beyond: Transpersonal Practices For Everyone

We at Sofia are excited by the transformational steps our university has taken since the summer of 2014. Just as the Silicon Valley has been transforming the world we live in and the technology we use, Sofia has now become the university that is transforming the world of psychology, science, business and education.

Building on our strong whole-person psychological foundation, we have pushed the boundary of transdisciplinary education to include this holistic perspective in areas that are needing skills and techniques that enhance creativity, innovation and connectedness in order to thrive in the global arena. One way to do this is to offer new insights on the use technology in wellness as well as how knowledge of transpersonal, mind, body, spirit practices activate cognitive and emotional centers that allow for new ways of seeing, imagining and creating.

Why Liberal Arts is Critical for All Academic Subjects

Taken from the Hechinger Report.….As mainstream universities and colleges cut liberal-arts courses and programs in favor of more vocational disciplines, and the number of students majoring in the humanities continues to decline, unexpected types of institutions are expanding their requirements in the liberal arts with the conviction that these courses teach the kinds of skills employers say they want, and leaders need: critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and communication.

“It’s important to develop in young people the ability to think broadly, to operate in the context of other societies and become agile and adaptive thinkers,” Trainor said. “What you’re trying to do is teach them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. They’re having to deal with people from other cultures. They have to think very intuitively to solve problems on the ground.”

“That’s what employers say they need in their new hires, too. Three-quarters want more emphasis on critical thinking, problem-solving, written and oral communication, and applied knowledge,according to a survey of 318 corporate leaders by the Association of American Colleges and Universities— exactly the kinds of skills advocates for the liberal arts say they teach. Ninety-three percent agree that “a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems” is more important than a job candidate’s undergraduate major.” Brigadier General Timothy Trainor, West Point’s academic dean

Psychology and Business

“Psychology is at play in the most important areas of business. It’s the magic bullet and secret keystone to client acquisition, contract negotiation, expansion and growth, sales and marketing and more.

You already live and breathe psychology every day in your business. And the beauty is that you can choose to let your psychology hold you back and keep you struggling to reach your goals or you can decide that you want to producing mind-blowing success every day of your life.

In fact, changing your psychology – and your business psychology tactics – is the easiest and fastest way to create result revolutions. It’s your decision.

[Psychology] is the ultimate foundation for entrepreneurial success.Tapping into the minds and personal motivation of others (it isn’t what you think) makes leaders truly great.” – Peter Shallard

Psychology and Computer Science

Taken from an article at Oregon State University… Have you ever been frustrated trying to figure out how to use an app on your cell phone or, conversely, loved an app because it didn’t take much time to figure out how to use it? It’s called human-computer interaction, and people who understand psychology understand how people think. And that makes for better interactions for people using computing devices, whether it’s a cell phone or iPad app, an Excel spreadsheet, or a complicated database.

Learn more about our programs

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