What courses I teach – and why
I’m interested in a lot of different course topics – both in the science side of psychology (research and statistics) and in the application side such as therapy, organizational behaviour, and human flourishing. In undergraduate and graduate school, I always tried to combine both the research psychology stream and the clinical stream so I could have both.
(I write both science fiction and fantasy in my spare time which kind of reflects both sides of me – the science side and the magic side – and dragons).
I’ve always loved math, which to me has always seemed beautiful, and I’m awestruck by the math constants that underlie the universe. But what drew me to psychology and away from accounting in the first place was my passion to find out what psychology has learned about how people think, feel, interact, and develop, and how we cope with adversity and meet life’s challenges. Psychology has discovered a lot in the short 140 years of our formal existence as a discipline! Not to mention the millennia that have passed as we humans tried to figure ourselves out since we first became a self-aware species of animal.
So on the science side of psychology I love to learn about and teach research and statistical methods in qualitative and quantitative research, and all the theories and research findings about how humans think in cognitive psychology – perception, memory, consciousness, imagination, language, creativity – all the cognitive topics. And I’m very interested in how our thinking can be predictably derailed by “cognitive heuristics”, biases and limitations in reasoning that send us down a wrong cognitive garden path, and I’m fascinated by the higher states of consciousness and how our creative imagination and language can so profoundly help us make a better world.
And my own research and theory has focused on feelings and emotions – what they are, these mysterious experiences of our bodies, minds, and imagination. How they can help us live a life of meaning and purpose, or can be experiences of such suffering and misery for ourselves or cause us to behave in such destructive ways to others.
On the application side I’ve been studying, practicing and teaching as a clinical counsellor for over 35 years (in my spare time), hoping to support people as they deal with life’s challenges, recover from traumas and relational wounds, discover themselves and grow to eventually achieve their personal, educational, career, emotional and spiritual potentials.
And for most of those decades I’ve also been studying and teaching organizational behaviour – workplace psychology. I’m very interested in theories and research on leadership in organizations, and on ethics, to study much the same issues. Maybe it reflects an adolescent utopianism, but I do believe that the best organizations are functional and able to support their members and society in general in ways that enhance rather than destroy. To me, the reason organizations – and leaders – and societies – exist should be to serve, to help and support humanity’s quality of life, the good of the whole.
So quite naturally, my most recent application side is to conservation psychology – research and theory in psychology about how we can help individuals and society deal with the effects of climate change.
Courses I have taught include:
Introductory Psychology Feelings and Emotions
Research Methods in Psychology Statistical Methods in Psychology
History of Psychology Theories of Personality
Cognitive Psychology Psychology of Memory
Social Psychology Abnormal Psychology
Child Development Adolescent Psychology
Applied Psychology courses:
Interpersonal Relationships Conservation Psychology
Approaches to Treatment and Psychotherapy
Social Science course: The Good Society
And in Continuing Adult Education, for many years I taught Overcoming Shyness, Managing Stress, Motivation, and Creative Visualization.
Wow, that is a lot.