Athens Fall 2005 (Sept 8-Dec 4)

Psychology in Greece

Welcome to the home page for Psychology in Greece

      Athens is a wonderful place to study psychology.  It is similar to the United States in that the Golden Age of Greece forms the foundation for many of the ideas and ways of knowing that are fundamental to the Western World.  Yet, modern Greece has many unique features that make it interesting and challenging for people accustomed to the mainstream U.S. culture.  Access to historic sites, classic concepts, and modern features make Greece both familar yet foreign.  What a perfect combination for a truely mind altering experience.  The hustle and bustle of modern Athens stands cheek by jowl with the living historical sites and precidents from an ancient era.  Nowhere in the U.S. will you find archeological digs from 1000BC next to the subway station--amazing!

     In Fall Term 2005 two psychology classes will take adavantage of this unique setting.  The first, Culture and Mental Health in Greece, is a psychology of adjustment course set in a cross-cultural setting.  The ideas we have in the U.S. about interpersonal communication, gender issues, sex, intimacy, marriage, and lifestyle can be re-examined, and viewed in a new light when studied in a culture as different as modern Greece is from the U.S.  Check out the class in the links below.

     The second course, The History of Psychology: It all Started with the Greeks, combines psychology, history, and philosophy to trace the direct lines of influence between the Golden Age of Greece with modern psychological theories and approaches.  It's incredible to discover that people 5000 years ago may have been thinking and feeling the same ways that we do today.  Discovering why people behave the way they do takes on new meaning when placed in the context of the history of ideas.  Be sure to look at the links below for more information.

    Study abroad experiences go well beyond the classroom.  As a matter of fact, these classes are structured explicitly to take advantage of the setting.  Athens will be our learning laboratory.  We will have plentiful opportunities to get out and about to see, hear, feel, and taste the culture of Greece.  It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

    Both of these courses are part of a larger study abroad program at the Athens Centre in Greece that is sponsored by the Northwest Council for Study Abroad (NCSA).  Be sure to see the incredible range of classes and learning experiences that are available in conjunction with the study of psychology.  Check the links below for further information.

Culture and Mental Health in Greece

Course Description.

    What constitutes “mental health,” “healing,” “personality,” and even “self” gain their meaning from the cultural context in which they are defined.  Studying these concepts while in another culture reveals the necessity of including culture as background for many psychological phenomena.  Many modern approaches to psychological well-being owe their origins to classic Greek philosophies. This course will study topics related to positive psychological functioning such as person perception, interpersonal communication, gender relations, stress and coping, personality, psychological health and illness, psychotherapy and psychological treatment. Greece’s history of healing centers and varied philosophic traditions form a link from past and current Greek views on healthy adjustment to the various approaches to healing and mental health popular in the US. Special emphasis will focus on how these processes may be brought into play in the student’s environment or community, and how the cultural differences between the US and Greece affect them.  Field trips and “hands-on” activities will provide rich experience of the class topics.

Below are several choices of class materials and class activities. Please click on the ones you want to examine.

The History of Psychology:

It all started with the Greeks

Course Description.

   Although modern psychology as a discipline marks its beginnings in the late 1800’s, its origins extend back to ancient Greek thinkers.  Modern schools of psychology, and the overall understanding of psychology as a science as well as a practice field owe their philosophical underpinnings to ideas and approaches culminating during the Golden Age of Greece.  Psychological approaches will be examined with an eye to understanding Greek influences.  Accented will be famous psychologists such as Freud, Jung, Skinner, Rogers, Maslow; and famous theories such as psychoanalysis, behaviorism, cognitive, humanistic psychology.  Excursions will emphasize Greek places and people that had great impact on psychology.

About the Professor

   Dr. Victor Savicki will be teaching these psychology courses in Athens during Fall 2005.  Dr. Savicki brings a wealth of experience in teaching and in cross-cultural issues.  He has been highly evaluated teacher in psychology both at his home campus at Western Oregon University, and in courses abroad.  He has taught psychology in Kassel, Germany; London, UK; and in Vienna, Austria.  So, he knows how to take advantage of the unique circumstances of a foreign culture to highlight and enhance course learning.  In addition, he is a cross-cultural psychologist whose recently published book compares 13 different cultures on issues of stress, coping, and burnout.  If you would like to find out more about him, look at Dr. Savicki's web page.  And you can write to him directly at

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Western Oregon University