Sunday, January 17, 2016

Gangaikonda Cholapuram

The temple was built in the11th century, to commemorate Chola King's conquest of Ganges. It is a massive stone structure with so many small shrines inside. The town was the capital city of the Cholas till their fall in the 13th century. The temple resembles the one in Thanjavur, but the architecture is different.
The entrance tower remains half fallen and there are many structures destroyed by time, by invaders etc. The main architecture of the temple is the 9 storey temple tower that extends to the height of 185 feet. Added to that there are few other shrines around with sculptures and carvings. An ordinary look at the temple will tell the richness of Chola dynasty.  
The whole architecture is made of hard granite stones. The main sculptors in the tower walls include figures of dancing Nataraja and peaceful Saraswati, Shiva-Parvati, Ardhanareshwar (the man-woman manifestation of Shiva) and Ganesha.

I was really excited to see this. Few years back, I was excited to see the Holy City of Aksum in Ethiopia, after that this is my next excitement seeing historical monuments.










Monday, December 21, 2015

Being one with Nature


The peer counsellors of STC Pollachi had a wonderful day at the Western Ghats on December 19, 2015.

It was a day of learning, relaxation, excitement and new beginnings. Mr. Prem Peter Chakravarthy enlightened the students about Nature, Wildlife and Biodiversity.

Mr. Prem Narayanan, Mr. Bala organised games for the students.











Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Philately: the art of stamp collection

Philately: The art of stamp collection
 ISBN - 978 1517014650

by Dr John Sundararaj
(Dr John Sundararaj is a  versatile and multi-linguistic person with multiple degrees both from India and abroad.  His interest for stamp collection started in India during his school days in the early 60's and developed as a hobby in Europe and became a passion now. He has organised more than fifty philatelic exhibitions at various parts of India and has visited hundreds of schools guiding students the art of stamp collection)



Preface

I have been collecting stamps for about thirty years and I could not find a handbook, which can help me to understand how I must collect it and what I must collect it and how it should be presented in an exhibition etc. Since I have been involving myself with the department of posts in conducting workshops for the School Children I thought it is of Paramount importance to have a handbook on philately, which could help everyone who collects, may get some preliminary idea of stamp collecting.
If not for anything else the Internet has encouraged many new people to pursue this fascinating hobby. It is a well-known fact that philately has attracted millions of people of all ages who take keen interest in collecting stamps of various countries of the world. Unlike other sports, interestingly there is no age of retirement in philately!
Many newcomers to this hobby especially School children, request a lot of information regarding stamps & how to go about it the right way. To all those who have inundated me for information I am now adding some basic thoughts to further their knowledge. Some of the information exists already on the net; and some books are also available. I have just gleaned it from there & presented it here in the manner I thought fit so even a child can understand. For all those facing a similar predicament I have tried to incorporate soaking tips, Types of stamps, Types of cancellations, types of post offices, a few websites, glossary of philatelic terms and all such information into these pages. I would appreciate if philatelists would contribute more information or correct me in the notes I have presented. - Dr John Sundararaj 
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the book has a special chapter on the psychology of collection, by Dr Janetius.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Visit to Tribal Setllement- BSc Psychology

The First Year BSc Psychology Students, STC Pollachi, visited a tribal settlement school as a part of Indian Psychology Field-based Learning.
They mingled with the students, visited the tribal settlement, had games and leadership training, all in one.












Sunday, September 27, 2015

Peer Counsellors & Eco Club STC Pollachi

The Peer Counsellors of STC and the ECO club jointly organised world water week 2015 by cleaning Pallar River near Pollachi Shanmugapuram Anchaneya Temple.
Nearly 80 students participated in the cleaning activities.

Peer Counsellors had a trip to Ananikatty Bio Park to have environmental awareness in the month of March.









Friday, August 28, 2015

Delusive Healers of India

Delusive Healers of India 
Janetius, S.T., (2013) 

ISBN: 1515229467 
ISBN-13: 978-1515229469 

As an initiative to prepare indigenous therapy modalities well-suited to the Indian psyche, a unique healing practice is studied. Three specific healers, five people who experienced healing from such healers and seven people who patronise these healings were the subjects in this pilot study. This exploratory-descriptive study employed grounded theory qualitative methodology; in-depth interviews, participant observations and disguise observations were the methods used to collect data. A thorough analysis of their healing modality is explored to draw some postulates to make possible a new form of indigenous therapeutic counselling and culture-specific psychotherapy in particular and, indigenous psychology in general for India.
While studying the unique healers, the study identified some exclusive characteristics, obvious commonalities and subtle differences. Prompted by the uniqueness of these healers and their popularity among rural communities in this day of scientific developments,  categorized the healers as delusive healers and their therapy as delusive healing.
Delusive healing is defined in the following way:
“Delusive healing is a therapy modality of some traditional healers who covertly perceive the sickness to be psychosomatic and induce cure using bizarre techniques and practices by deceiving the patients”.
Although apparently it is similar to some form of magical or religiomagical healing, the healers primarily identify the sickness as psychosomatic and then delude the clients by enacting removal of some physical objects from the body to alleviate pain and induce cure.
There are key similarities and subtle differences among the three healers who are studied. However, all the three healers have the following commonalities:
• The healers easily identify the sickness as psychosomatic
• Will not reveal to the client or anyone that the sicknesses are psychosomatic
• The healer expects the client to have tried and failed one or another medical model medicine to confirm that the sickness is psychosomatic in nature
• Ventures into bizarre healing modality which is basically pretension and delusion pertinent to the ascribed sickness and convenient to the healer
Exploring the delusive healing further, it is acknowledged that the  healers show many important characteristics needed for quality counselling in the Western perspective. More than that, some indigenous methods to create trust, empathy and other counselling skills are employed by the healers. Specific implications that are drawn from the study pave the way for indigenous psychology, therapeutic counselling and culture-specific psychotherapy for Indian psyche. Studying this complex traditional, cultural healing phenomenon has initiated some indigenous counselling models which are far beyond  client-centred or transpersonal approach; probably fit into the framework of phenomenological approach. The book talks about phenomenological approach towards counselling and psychotherapy  together with some unique indigenous counselling model for Indian psyche.






Sunday, July 5, 2015

Spring to Autum


Continuing my earlier research on Midlife Transition, started while doing MSc. 
Now, after 15 years, my understanding on Adult Development is much more clear and the book will shed some insights on Midlife crisis and transition in India.
Book will be ready by the end of  2015. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Kabunianism & Pneumasomatic Sickness

 Buy - Amazon.com

Kabunianism and the Pneumasomatic Sickness
(Cordillera people in the Philippines)
There is an increasing interest in the study of indigenous people and their cultural practices in the recent years, due to the pressing need for indigenous psychology and culture-specific psychotherapy. The ancient time-tested traditional approach to healing is often seen as holistic, in contrast to the Western medical models that focus solely on the physical aspect. It is a common belief among indigenous communities that illnesses are a sort of war waged by spirits, be it a witch, demon, sorcerer, a spirit of an ancestor or one’s own spirit, possibly seeking retribution for acts of commission or omission. Because of this worldview, people expect healing to be brought about, not merely by technical, clinical procedures or chemical concoctions but, with customary rituals in tune with their belief system. Thus, their religiocultural worldview plays a vital role in understanding existential problems and health practices.
The cultural diversities of indigenous communities and the need for culture-specific psychology are often neglected due to resistance from many Euro-American scholars and their lack of openness to ethno-cultural groups and ideologies. Although Western theories of human behavior originated to fit into a specific cultural context of its proponents, the diversity of cultures, the socio-economic setup and other belief systems around the globe forbade blind implementation of such theories in Asia, Africa and other similar cultures. Some Western psychologists argue that the study of culture and ethnicity belongs to the field of anthropology and psychology has nothing to do with the cultural differences in applying the theories of human behavior across cultures. Understanding the concepts of health, illness, psychological distress and other existential issues of countless ethno-cultural groups would enable mental health professionals to do quality therapy by identifying and solving many culture-specific mental health issues. So there is a need today to study the indigenous cultures and their worldview to deploy culture-specific psychotherapy.
In the realm of psychology, culture has been used to study human behavior at various levels of understanding by cultural and indigenous psychology, cross-cultural psychology, and multicultural psychology. Cross-cultural psychology tends to compare two or more cultures on a number of variables to discover similarities and differences in psychological functioning, while cultural and indigenous psychology is interested in understanding how human mind and culture define and constitute within socio-cultural contexts; further, they explore indigenous conceptions and ethno-theories, culture-specific worldviews, and collectivistic moral value systems in different parts of the globe. Multicultural psychology focuses on the psychological development among members of different groups (racial, cultural) and commonly used today to understand minorities and immigrants within a given society. Many cross-cultural psychologists, emphasize that at least some psycho-development processes are universal in nature otherwise cross-cultural comparisons would be impossible. Thus, cross-cultural approach ventures into critical and comparative study on how culture affects human behavior, to identify universal principles for psychology. The rise of cross-cultural psychology reflects a more general process of globalization in the social sciences that seeks to purify specific areas of research that have Western bias.
Yet another bottom-up approach in studying human phenomena and existential concerns is the indigenous psychology that utilizes knowledge, skills, beliefs and concepts that people have about themselves and apply them in understanding their behavior. This culture-specific, relativist perspective tends to clash with the absolutist/universalist perspective in most fields of psychology. The absolutist perspective that human behavior can be generalized all over the world is almost obsolete today. Cultural psychology believes that culture and human behaviors are inseparable and therefore no universal laws can fully explain human behavior; psychological theories grounded in one culture are likely to be limited in applicability in another culture  is gaining popularity. I foresee that this century would be the time of culture-specific psychology which focuses on individual culture or indigenous groups and not concerned with cross-cultural comparisons.
Cordillera indigenous people, collectively known as Kaigorotan (Igorot peoples) in the Philippines live in the northern part of Luzon Island primarily in Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao,  Abra, Apayo and Kalinga provinces. For the lowland Filipinos, all the indigenous communities in the Cordillera seem to be similar and thus the collective name Igorot was popularized; whereas, for the native Cordillera people, this collective identification does not give any meaning and they prefer to be identified by their own indigenous names and identities.
The whole Cordillera people in the Philippines could be divided into six major subgroups, namely Ibaloy of Southern Benguet Province, Kankana-ey of Northern Benguet and Western Mountain Province, Bontoc of Mountain Province, Ifugao of Ifugao Province, Kalinga of Kalinga Province, Itneg or Tingguian people of Abra and the Isneg living in Northern Apayo Province. These indigenous Cordillera communities have a homogeneous identity in socio-cultural traits, religious beliefs, and a household deity called anito. They are known for their rice farming and the magnificent rice-terraces in Ifugao and Mountain provinces. Although popular for their headhunting practices in the past, no communities adhere to this practice today. The traditional Cordillera religion has its own cosmology. The supreme God is often identified with the sun and lives in space, referred to as Kabunian and in other names as per the specific indigenous community.
Western influences arrived in the Cordillera through Christian missionaries in the early 20th century when churches, schools and hospitals were established in Benguet and Mt. Province. Missionary activities encouraged Christian practices, prayers and rituals. The alien practices were given undue preference over traditional cultural practices and thus indigenous cultural praxis became exceptionally dormant and behind the scene activities. This further paved the way for museumization of Cordillera traditional practices. Today only a small minority of people practice pure traditional native religion and the majority follow a conflated or mixed version of Christianity and native religion. In this book, the author uses the unprecedented term Kabunianism to name the unorganized religion of Cordillera people and their sickness pneumasomatic.
Taking into consideration the present need for culture-specific psychology and indigenous theories and therapy models, this book is intended to identify the emerging worldview of Cordillera indigenous people and their health concepts to integrate them with the mainstream psychology for new vistas and better psychotherapy.
Dr. Janetius
Director
Centre for Counseling and Guidance
Sree Saraswathi Thyagaraja College
India

Thursday, April 16, 2015

BSc Psychology - Unique and Innovative

BSc Psychology at STC Pollachi now completes one year. 

Admissions are open for the second batch  now.

what makes BSc Psychology @ STC unique, creative and innovative?

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Come, Join, Taste & See
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