Human Health & Development



In this intensive program, we will examine health and human development from allopathic, complementary medical, psychiatric and psychological perspectives. We will investigate the biological, cultural, spiritual, psychological and social forces that influence the development of the "self" and carry it through the life cycle. The main goals are (1) understanding that health is dependent on units functioning collaboratively as part of a larger system and (2) homeostasis and disequilibrium of a cell, person, group, culture and society are dynamic processes that occur as the unit interacts with the environment in which s/he/it lives.

The biological component will explore the development, structure, cycles, history and interactions of the human organism and its psyche. The psychiatric and psychological components will explore the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. This will include studying brain function, becoming familiar with the Diagnostic Statistical Manual Mental Disorders (DSM) and studying clinical aspects of psychiatric disorders. We shall also focus on the biochemical, philosophical and spiritual aspects of specific conditions (e.g. obsessive compulsive behavior, the purpose of lying and denial, the dynamics of blame, the necessity of shame, the profound psychological effects resulting from betrayal, etc.) on the development of psyche and its impact on healthy/unhealthy development. Attention will also be paid to the psychopharmacology of legal and illegal drugs.

In addition, we will explore complementary (alternative) healing and maintenance approaches to health. No one model will prevail over another but rather an integration of ideas, concepts and thoughts will be presented.

The program activities will provide students an opportunity to work collaboratively within a learning community. Students will develop skills and knowledge to support their selection of a spring quarter project or internship in an area of interest through workshops, lectures, seminars, guest presentations, group projects and individual work during fall and winter quarters.

Students are expected to attend every program activity on time and fully prepared to participate. No audits and no other credit options are allowed. This is a full time program (16 credit/quarter for three quarters) and students will be expected to work efficiently for a total of 50 hours each week (including class time).


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