As the title of our blog suggests, these posts by College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) faculty and special guests will engage, inform and challenge you in a myriad of ways. The posts reflect the diversity of our programs of study: degrees that are traditional (history), current (justice studies and communications), academic (English literature) and career-oriented (psychology, counseling, criminal justice and government). Here, there is something for everyone.
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Category: Counseling and Psychology

By Kaylor Jones
Professional Writing and Psychology, Honors College

One of Grand Canyon University’s most popular psychology courses is abnormal psychology (PSY-470), in which students study the patterns of mental illnesses and abnormal behaviors. Specific topics include the symptoms, diagnoses and treatment of various psychological syndromes. One mental illness that is frequently seen in popular culture is antisocial personality disorder, likely due to the potential to create a complex, timeless villain that exhibits symptoms of the psychopathic disorder.

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By Kennedy Lane
Professional Writing Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

If you are the type of person who enjoys learning about human behavior and why we do the things we do, then psychology is definitely a degree option for you. Grand Canyon University has multiple different options for directions you can take your psychology degree, one being in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sport Psychology.

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Years ago, climate scientists predicted the loss of sea ice, the rise in sea level, more intense heat waves and more frequent and devastating natural disasters. Today, we’re already seeing these predictions come true. But what about some of the lesser-known effects of climate change? As an aspiring psychologist, it might interest you to know that climate change can affect the mental health of your future clients.

Climate Change Causes Frequent, More Severe Natural Disasters

Scientific research has proven that a global temperature increase of just a couple of degrees causes natural disasters to occur more frequently and with greater severity. Among these climate change-induced disasters include:

  • Intense, prolonged heat waves
  • Droughts
  • Wildfires
  • Floods
  • Large storms, including hurricanes

From the Russian heat wave of 2010 to the more recent California drought, it’s now scientifically possible to link specific natural disasters to changes in global climate. And each time a natural disaster strikes, mental health professionals observe a lesser known phenomenon: The spike in mental health disorders caused by climate change-related events. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), 50 percent or more of the population affected by natural disasters will develop “clinically significant distress or psychopathology.” This figure is based on studies of major natural disasters, like the Armenian earthquake, Hurricane Andrew and the mudslides in Mexico. Following a natural disaster, individuals can develop:

  • Major depression
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

In the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster, individuals may display signs of trauma, such as:

  • Confusion
  • Flashbacks
  • Fear of a repeated event
  • Mood swings
  • Sleeping or eating issues
  • Withdrawn, avoidant personality or an increase in conflict
  • Physical symptoms (chest pain and headaches)

Climate Change Can Lead to Increased Physical Health Ailments

There is a vast body of research that evaluates how climate change can affect public health. Many of these health effects are already being documented around the world, such as increasing incidences in:

  • Infectious diseases (such as those spread by mosquitoes)
  • Diarrheal diseases (caused by contaminated water)
  • Heat stress (and subsequently, cardiovascular distress and renal diseases)
  • Type 2 diabetes (caused by the effects of heat on blood sugar regulation)
  • Allergies and asthma (triggered by air pollution)

All of these physical health ailments might seem unrelated to mental health. But as an aspiring psychologist, you probably already know that physical health and mental health are intricately linked. People who suffer from severe or chronic physical health problems are more likely to suffer a decline in quality of life and behavioral health. They are more susceptible to depression, anxiety and negative thought patterns.

Climate Change Can Lead to Increased Acts of Violence and Unrest

Psychologists often work with survivors of crime. These individuals suffer from a range of mental health issues, including depression and PTSD. It’s possible that psychologists will see increased numbers of crime survivors as a result of the changes brought on by a warming Earth. This is because global climate change, with its more intensive heat waves and droughts, can result in crop failures and food shortages. Climate change can also lead to economic downturns. Both of these consequences fuel spikes in crime rates.

When you enroll in Grand Canyon University, you can choose from a variety of modern degree programs in psychology and counseling. These include Bachelors of Science in Counseling, Psychology, Behavioral Health Science, and Sociology. Look for the Request More Information button at the top of the website to explore our available degrees and become acquainted with our Christian campus.


By Kennedy Lane
Professional Writing Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Choosing a major can be difficult. It is hard to know what career field you want to go into. There are multiple different career options that you can choose from with a degree in psychology. If you have a special interest in the following areas, then a degree in psychology is definitely for you.

You Enjoy Helping Others

If you are the type of person who enjoys helping others and you are the friend that is always there when someone needs a shoulder to cry on and someone to listen to them, then psychology might just be the degree for you. Psychology is the study of behavior and mental processes. If you notice things that can help others benefit from behavioral/environmental change, or increased understanding of self in their career, family, friendships or personally you have what it takes to enjoy a satisfying career in psychology.

Psychology majors could even go on to do counseling which is great if you enjoy listening to others and helping them with their problems. There are many different types of counseling options.. Some options are school counseling, marriage counseling, addiction counseling and family counseling. It all depends on the type of people that you want to help

Interest in How the Brain Works

If you have a fascination with how the brain works and why humans do what they do and why we think certain ways, then psychology is for you. Psychology is all about discovering why humans act the way they do and how our brain works, and applying that knowledge to the real world and helping others understand why they are the way they are and helping them in different situations.

Helping People Mentally

With a degree in psychology, you have the opportunity to help people mentally. Whether they have a mental illness or temporary mental struggles, you can help them get over their struggles and help make their mental problems a little easier. You have the opportunity to become a counselor and be a listening ear for people to talk about their struggles or you could become a psychiatrist to help treat patients with mental disorders.

To learn more about how Grand Canyon University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences provides students with ways to bring psychological practices to the workplace, visit our website or click the Request More Information Button on this page.


Any objective look at the numbers will reveal that the incidence rate of school shootings in the U.S. is frighteningly high. Since an act of mass violence could happen anywhere, all school counselors must be prepared to deal with the aftermath. It is important to know how to help students cope with the effects that a school shooting can have on then emotionally. Of course, preventive interventions are also essential. Proactive counselors can work with students, parents and other school staff to identify at-risk youth and provide the services necessary to prevent a tragedy.

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For students who have an avid interest in sports, performing arts or mental health, Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sport Psychology program can be a perfect fit. By earning this sports psychology degree, you can learn how to guide performance while combining your passion and career. Read on to learn about the role of a sports psychologist.

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People spend multiple hours a day looking at social media sites. There are many positive reasons to be on social media. Families can connect over long distances and stay in touch, grandparents love to see photos of their grandkids, high school friends can reconnect, people who feel alienated or different can find support community with people they identify with and social media can help people find jobs through online networking. Being on social media has also become a job itself for some people who gain followers and advertisers to make money.

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By Lily Cooper
Professional Writing Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Have you ever heard of positive psychology? It is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. It has three pillars which include: positive experiences, positive individual traits and positive institutions. It is important to understand these emotions to understand the contentment with the past, happiness in the present and hope for the future.

There are many activities that a psychologist can do to help their client, depending on their situation and mental health. However, these exercises can be used to help anyone with their self-esteem and mental health and will be able to positively affect them in many ways.

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Are you considering a career as a behavioral health counselor, professional counselor or mental health counselor and do you have an interest in helping adolescents? If so, then consider earning Grand Canyon University’s Master of Science in Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders, which can prepare you for national certification and licensure as a counselor in Arizona. When providing counseling for adolescents, understanding the developmental disabilities that can affect this age group is critical. Continue reading for an introduction to common developmental disabilities in adolescents.

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