Dhaka College: The Department of Psychology

Prof. Masuda Begum, Head of the Department of Psychology, Dhaka College

The technological advances of the 20 century, impressive through they may be, have not perceptibly improved our collective health and happiness. Psychologists argued that the quality of our lives and our sense of personal fulfillment have declined rather than risen. It is called paradox of progress. Recently, the character of personal problems has changed as we have evolved from a static, agricultural society into a modem, industrial world marked by instability. People had relatively little personal freedom in a static society but now people enjoy greater individual freedom which has continued unabated peaking in our present society. People face a vast array of decisions about how to lead our lives such as professional, political, social and personal. Psychologists suggest that the progress we value so much has undermined our sense of security, scrambled our value systems and confronted us with difficult new problems of adjustment.

Psychology is the science that studies behavior and the physiological and mental processes that underlie it and the profession that applies the accumulated knowledge of this science to practical problems. Psychology leads a complex dual existence as both a science and a profession. Psychology is interested in the mental process — the thoughts, feeling and wishes that accompany behavior as well as strived to improve their ability to “look inside the mind”. Psychologists try to figure out how bodily processes such as neural impulses, hormonal secretions, and genetic code regulate behavior.

Psychology has a highly practical side and many psychologists provide a variety of professional services to the people. Clinical psychology concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems and disorders. Counseling psychology deals with the development, situational and personal difficulties or adjustment problems of human being. Besides that a variety of new professional specialties have emerged including school psychology, industrial or organizational and developmental psychology.

Psychology has more focused on various phenomena that are really important to our daily life. Decision making, thinking and reasoning, problem solving techniques help to increase our life skills. EQ, motivational theories and leadership’s concepts lead to organizational and industrial development and progress. Intelligence, personality, learning process and memory and forgetting indicate the child development and school performance of children as well as nature of disabilities and disorders of people. Perception and attention concepts and theories will determine the advertisement, prejudice, stigma, social interaction and communication, rumors etc.

In Bangladesh, the scenario is more vulnerable because forces to foster mental health are very inadequate. Due to poverty, illiteracy, discrimination and other social malice, the problem becomes graver to resolve. The number of psychiatrists and trained psychologists to address mental health are very few. In addition, till today, it is generally believed that good mental health means absence of mental illness. Unfortunately, it is not true. According to WHO, mental health refers to a state of well­being in which the individual realizes his/her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his/her community. From this point of view, mental health of the person is largely determined by the factors that have no relation with severe psychotic illness. Instead, it depends on understanding and realizing one’s own emotional strength and acting accordingly to meet the societal demands. Here comes the trade of counselling and psychotherapy.

To increase the academic concerns of psychology in Bangladesh, Department of Psychology, at DhakaUniversity, RajshahiUniversity, and ChittagongUniversity was established. Clinical psychology course got it’s momentum in the Department of Psychology, University of Dhaka. In 1997, a separate Department of Clinical Psychology at DhakaUniversity was established. The Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology (DECP) under the faculty of biological sciences has its root back in 2006 within the Department of Psychology. Officially, an independent department was created in 2011.

Department of Psychology, DhakaCollege, Dhaka is offering Honors and Masters Course from 1998-99 and 1996-97 respectively under the NationalUniversity in Bangladesh. At present, a total 8 faculty members is working at Department of Psychology, Dhaka College, Dhaka those are Masuda Begum, Professor and Head of the Department; Inn Ferdous, Associate Professor; Gul-E- Ferdous, Associate Professor; Sazia Afrin Khan, Assistance Professor; Farhana Nasnin, Assistance Professor; Abdul Hal Siddique, Lecturer; Abu Yusuf Mahmud, Lecturer; and Mohmmad Salim Chowdhury, Lecturer. With full cooperation and support of Professor Dr. Ayesha Begum, Principal, DhakaCollege, Dhaka and the technical assistance Professor Masuda Begum, Head of the Department, Psychology, DhakaCollege, Dhaka, the Counseling and Guidance Center of Dhaka College, Dhaka was established at 15 January, 2012. The center is located at Medical Center of Dhaka College, Dhaka. The Counseling and GuidanceCenter is opening for all students’ and teachers’ on each Monday and Tuesday from 10.00 pm to 2.OOpm. Mohammad Salim Chowdhury, Lecturer, Department of Psychology, DhakaCollege, Dhaka is acted as counselor in the center.