Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students

The Psychology of Stoked: An Investigation of the Art and Science of Joy and the Exploration of Happiness

PSYC 60N

This is a class about the biological, psychological, and social aspects of what it means to live a positive, life-affirming existence. Are there universal markers for human happiness or do we need an individual "economic happiness plan" for life? What is the difference between joyful moments and life satisfaction? How do we prioritize our values? Are the choices we make consistent with our own true selves? This seminar of critical analysis and discussion can help us answer these and other questions.

Drawing from a wide range of sources, from psychiatry and psychology to spirituality, we will inform you about the latest thinking on the psychology of happiness, and also challenge you to rethink your assumptions about personal happiness. We will explore the new field of positive psychology examining life satisfaction and happiness from many perspectives—Sigmund Freud and Friedrich Nietzsche to Walt Whitman and Ernest Hemingway. We will also examine the psychiatry of stimulation including substance, human sexuality, and healthy methods of attaining happiness. 

 

Meet the Instructor(s)

Shashank V. Joshi, MD

Shashank Joshi's teaching and research focus on increasing knowledge and enhancing effectiveness of school mental health, pediatric psychotherapy, and medication interventions. Areas of study include: the therapeutic alliance in medical care, structured psychotherapy interventions in school settings, cultural issues in pediatrics, and faculty development in graduate medical education. Dr. Joshi and Dr. Reicherter have worked together teaching life skills and team building with youth through sports. Their approach of positive coaching has led to two city championships in Palo Alto Little League. They are co-editors of a textbook on community psychiatry and coauthors of multiple textbook chapters. They are currently working on a book incorporating positive coaching into youth sports and youth development.

Daryn Reicherter

Dr. Reicherter is dedicated to providing a combination of administrative and clinical services in the area of cross-cultural trauma mental health. He is a psychiatrist at the Center for Survivors of Torture, and works locally with refugee survivors from around the world. Dr. Reicherter is involved with the movement for promotion of trauma mental health and human rights issues spanning countries including Cambodia, Haiti, Zimbabwe, and Indonesia. He has published articles, chapters, and books on the topic of cross-cultural trauma. He serves as consultant to the Documentation Center of Cambodia for the Victims of Torture Project where he recently published a book on the topic of PTSD in the wake of the Khmer Rouge regime. He has ongoing involvement in the advocacy for human rights in the area of war crime through the programs he serves, and beyond. 

He has also been involved in the creation of clinical mental health programs for underserved populations in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the clinical director of the Integrated Behavioral Health Program at Ravenswood Family Health, and the cocreator of Integrated Behavioral Health at Gardner Health Center. He is the faculty adviser for Stanford's Free Clinic Mental Health Program.