Jordan

Psychology, Well-being & Mental Health

Explore approaches to mental health and well-being in Jordan and the Middle East, focusing on human resilience and self-care in conflict and post-conflict environments.

At a Glance

Credits

16

Prerequisites

Previous college-level coursework

Language of Study

Arabic

Courses taught in

English

Dates

Feb 2 ‎– May 17

On Site Component

Feb 2 ‎– May 17

Program Countries

Jordan

Program Excursion Countries

Turkey

Program Base

Amman

Critical Global Issue of Study

Global Health & Well-being

Global Health & Well-being Icon

Overview

Why Psychology and Mental Health in Jordan?

Jordan has one of the best organized professional fields in psychology, counseling, and mental health in the region, with public, private, local nongovernmental, and international nongovernmental organizations contributing to the science and practice of psychological and mental health of local and displaced people in the country.

Though a peaceful country, Jordan’s neighbors are embroiled in conflict and it has welcomed millions of Palestinian, Iraqi, Syrian, and other refugees, which has significantly affected the psychological and societal make-up and mental health of Jordanians and those who sought refuge in the country. Jordan has several professional organizations, societies, and academic departments focusing on the field of psychology, counseling, and mental health, such as The Jordanian Psychological Association and The Jordanian Clinical Psychologists Association. This program focuses on psychology, counseling, and mental health in conflict and post-conflict contexts and the cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and biological factors contributing to the diverse and interconnected dimensions of physical, mental, and social well-being.

During the program, you will also travel to Turkey on an international excursion to learn how psychological and mental health services are provided there in conflict and post-conflict contexts. The program will provide a variety of site visits and offers two in-country excursions; one to the north and another to the south where students will visit Petra and Wadi Rum.

 

Highlights

  • Study psychology, counseling, and mental health in conflict and post-conflict contexts in Jordan and the Middle East.
  • Learn how to measure and manage stress and burnout.
  • Develop self-care techniques necessary for psychological health-care providers.
  • Visit Istanbul, meet with mental health workers, and compare counseling services in Jordan and Turkey.

Prerequisites

Previous college-level coursework or background in general psychology, principles of psychology, basics of psychology, introduction to psychology, counseling, social work, or related disciplines, as assessed by SIT.

Excursions

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul offers an excellent opportunity to study of psychology in conflict and post-conflict environments. You will visit and interact with psychologists and mental health experts from different organizations and foundations such as MAYA Vakfi Foundation, International Medical Corps-Turkey, and Dunya Doctorlari. You will also visit with psychological and counseling services centers that provide care to refugees and displaced populations in Turkey. While in Istanbul, you will experience “the beautiful and bewitching” city, feel the “spiritual import” of the Bosphorus, and visit the monuments of a glorious past civilization.

Natural Wonders of Jordan

The Dead Sea and the Baptism site
Visit some of the most spectacular natural landscape in Jordan. In addition to being one of the lowest points on earth, the Dead Sea is the world’s richest source of natural salts. You will also visit the Baptism site of Jesus Christ, on banks of Jordan River and the border with Israel and West Bank.

Wadi Rum
In the vast desert of Wadi Rum (Valley of the Moon), the shooting location for much of Lawrence of Arabia and many other films, you’ll enjoy an afternoon of desert trekking around awe-inspiring, vast sandstone mountains. Here, you’ll experience the legendary hospitality of the Bedouin tribes, enjoying mint tea or cardamom coffee in Bedouin tents and talking with your hosts under a starry desert sky.

Ancient and Modern Cities in Jordan

Petra
Take in the splendors of the ancient city of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. Called the “Rose City” after the color of the stone from which it’s carved, this world-famous archeological marvel has been featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and other movies.

The Ancient Greco-Roman city of Jerash
Inhabited since the Bronze Age, you will see many well-preserved remains, such as the Hadrian’s Arch from the 2nd century, the Corinthian columns of the Temple of Artemis, and the huge Forum’s oval colonnade.

Ajloun
In the fertile highlands of north Jordan, this town is overlooked by Ajloun Castle, which was originally built in 1184 to defend against the Crusaders. You will visit the castle and Ajloun Forest Reserve.

Aqaba
Visit Jordan’s only coastal city, Aqaba, a port on the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba. Inhabited since 4000 BC, the area is a top destination for snorkeling.

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.

Academics

Coursework

The program’s thematic seminars provide key elements of knowledge and skills on psychological and mental constructs, ethical standards and cultural considerations, and common psychological and mental issues, as well as psychosocial support, stress management, resilience, and self-care in conflict and post-conflict contexts. Lectures, site visits, and excursions provide experiential and hands-on knowledge and skills. Five weeks of independent research or internship will support the program’s academic and professional goals for students to grow academically, professionally, and occupationally in this field. The language course accommodates any level of Arabic language ability and includes a focus on Jordanian Colloquial dialect.

The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.

 

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Key Topics

  • Outline ethical standards and cultural considerations in the field of mental health, psychology, and counseling.
  • Analyze the assessment techniques of stress, burnout, trauma, depression, anxiety, and resilience.
  • Design psychosocial support programs.
  • Through role-play and simulation, carry out clinical interviews to assess a person’s mental health and psychological well-being.
  • Apply assessment methods of resilience and well-being in a simulated environment of conflict-affected people.
  • Apply self-care practices to maintain your own physical and mental well-being.

Psychology and Mental Health in Conflict and Post-Conflict Contexts

Psychology and Mental Health in Conflict and Post-Conflict Contexts – syllabus coming soon
(PSYC 3000 / 3 credits)

This seminar addresses psychological constructs in post-conflict contexts and the mental health of post-conflict contexts. It provides an overview of what psychology, mental health, and conflict are and how conflict and post-conflict contexts alter psychological constructs and affect mental health. Students learn about biological, social, and psychological bases of mental disorders within the frame of the biopsychosocial approach focusing on post-conflict contexts. In this course, students are also exposed to different frameworks and guidelines of psychological and mental interventions with conflict-affected populations and study psychosocial support needs, design, and implementation in post-conflict environments.

Counseling and Psychological Well-being

Counseling and Psychological Well-being – syllabus coming soon
(PSYC 3005 / 3 credits)

This seminar provides students with an overview of the major areas of counseling psychology and psychological well-being. The seminar also delivers different stress management and self-care strategies for the students. Students study the concept of counseling psychology and psychological well-being, counseling psychology skills, stress and stress management, burnout and burnout management, trauma and vicarious and secondary trauma, communication skills, setting boundaries, attitude and attitude change, anger management, and self-awareness as part of self-care strategies for psychology, mental health, and counseling psychology service providers.

Research Methods and Ethics in Psychology and Counseling

Research Methods and Ethics in Psychology and Counseling – syllabus coming soon (ANTH/PSYC 3500 / 3 credits)

The Research Methods and Ethics in Psychology and Counseling course (RME) introduces students to ethical dilemmas, the scientific, conceptual, practical methods and tools for conducting psychological research and gathering data, and the knowledge and skills that are essential for writing an Independent Study Project (ISP) or Internship proposal in psychology, mental health, and counseling in conflict and post-conflict environments and the cultural context of Jordan. In particular, the course enhances students’ skills at building rapport and constructive relationships with organizations and/or individuals; gathering, recording, and analyzing primary data; and writing a scholarly academic research paper or internship paper. The course also pays particular attention to US higher education ethical considerations that guide primary data collection and how these could be translated within the field of psychology, mental health, counseling in conflict and post-conflict contexts and the local cultural context of Jordan. Broadly, the course introduces students to both qualitative and quantitative approaches of social science field research.

Arabic

Beginning Modern Standard Arabic – syllabus coming soon
(ARAB 1003-1503 / 3 credits)

Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic – syllabus coming soon
(ARAB 2003-2503 / 3 credits)

Advanced Modern Standard Arabic – syllabus coming soon
(ARAB 3003-3503 / 3 credits)

Course Options

In addition to taking the above courses, students will also need to enroll in one of the following two courses:

Internship & Seminar – syllabus coming soon
(ITRN 3000 / 4 credits)

This seminar consists of a five-week internship with health clinics, clinical psychology clinics, counseling centers, health and psychiatric hospitals and centers, and health, psychiatric, and psychology clinics of non-governmental organizations. These organizations may include, but are not limited to, health, psychological, and psychiatric clinics at Doctors without Borders, International Medical Corps, Save the Children, Care International, Jordan Health Aid Society international, Jordan Red Crescent, Jordan Red Cross, Syrian American Medical Society, The Center for Victims of Torture, Collateral Repair Project, and Blumont (formerly International Relief and Development). The aim of an internship is to enable students to gain valuable experience and enhance their skills in a career field/professional environment related to the core program themes.

SIT will use its extensive network to facilitate an internship placement for students where interviews may be required. The organization and the student’s internship activities, including the Internship Learning Agreement, must be approved by SIT’s Academic Director. SIT will maintain oversight over internship placements in line with SIT academic policies and student health and security guidelines. Ultimately, each student will need to take responsibility for making optimal use of resources available at the placement site and to be proactive in engaging with local experts to achieve internship objectives. Weekly two-hour reflection and assessment meetings are held with the Academic Director or internship coordinator to review the progress of the internship, learning associated with the internship experience, and to draw out broader issues related to program themes, positionality, culture and ethics in the context of the internship.

Each student will be required to submit a final paper in which they process their learning experience on the internship, analyze an issue important to the placement site, and apply what they are learning at the internship site to the core themes of the program. Approved in advance by the Academic Director, SIT’s Local Review Board (for ethical clearance purposes), and the internship supervisor, the internship paper may involve interviews and other data collection methods relevant to achieving internship learning goals. Students will also do a final presentation to demonstrate how the internship experience enhanced their understanding of the SIT program themes and its Critical Global Issue focus. The paper should also briefly document a comprehensive schedule and the specific skills and knowledge acquired through the experience. Rubrics for the focus project paper and presentation will be shared with students in country.

Independent Study Project – syllabus coming soon
(ISPR 3000 / 3 credits)

The Independent Study Project (ISP) is a five-week long self-designed research project offering students the opportunity to undertake a personally significant and independent investigation, which highlights the regional and cultural reality that can only be encountered during a study abroad experience. The ISP is the academic component in which the student most directly applies the concepts, skills, tools, and techniques of experience-based learning articulated through the Research Methods and Ethics course and the thematic courses, while enabling students to further integrate their language skills and the contacts they have developed in the homestay and in the broader community. Each student will plan, develop, and independently undertake a research project, with the advice and guidance of the academic director and an ISP Advisor—a local academic and/or psychology, mental health, or counseling professional. The topic of study may be anything of interest to the student, within the scope of the program and the immediate region, and is usually developed out of lectures, discussions, field visits, and educational excursions. The final project should provide material evidence of student capability in utilizing appropriate methodologies, ethical standards, and in synthesizing experiences in the host culture. Students are expected to complete 180 hours of field-based (non-archival, non-library) research on their topic, submit a substantial written paper, and deliver an accompanying oral presentation. It is not uncommon for ISPs to strongly contribute to the student’s choice of subject for graduate studies or professional career.

Homestays

Amman

You’ll live with a homestay family in West Amman for 12 weeks, except during excursions. The homestay is a unique opportunity to become a member of an Arabic family, share meals with them, and take part in special occasions. Jordan is known for its warm hospitality. You’ll be immersed in Arabic culture and will gain an understanding of your host family’s perspectives and values—all while practicing your Arabic language skills.

Most homestay families are middle class and maintain the customs of a typical Arab home. Some homestay families are first- or second-generation Palestinians who are an integral part of the country’s social and cultural fabric. You may get to experience a Jordanian wedding or other traditional cultural activity in addition to family outings

Other Accommodations

Hostels and small hotels

Career Paths

  • Conflict and crisis psychologist, counselor, and/or mental health provider

  • Conflict, post-conflict, and/or crisis psychology researcher

  • Psychosocial support programmer

  • Stress management, resilience, and self-care for refugees and conflict affected people

  • Psychologist, counselor, and/or mental health providers for humanitarian aid organizations

Faculty & Staff

Jordan: Psychology, Well-being & Mental Health

Ashraf Alqudah, PhD
Rania Kasab Harfoushi, MA
Riham Al-Naimat, MA
Waleed AL Anati, PhD
Ghada Khalil, PhD

Discover the Possibilities

  • Cost & Scholarships

    SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.

    See Full Breakdown