‌On the 21st of April, students studying in‌ The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, had the opportunity to learn from clinicians about the research and clinical work focused on the mental health of Cypriot population and also the challenges clinicians face daily at the Altius Mind Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus. The trip was generously funded by the Chicago University, USA.  

During their visit, ten Chicago students and three faculty members from the University of Chicago attended a day Symposium where they had the opportunity to listen to Elena Aristodemou, Founder and Lead Psychologist at the Altius Mind Institute, who shed light on the findings of research on mental health in the Cypriot population, talked about the unique history of Cyprus and the long term effects had on the population as well as talked about the psychophysiological mechanisms behind mental health disorders. She was joined by 2 clinicians who gave presentations on their work, Elena Giappa a Clinical Psychologist at Altius Mind Institute discussing the importance of research and its role in informing teaching, public health and medical practices as well as talked about her clinical work with Cypriot population with focus on the trauma and mood disorders.

A guest speaker Dr. Simge Vural, Clinical Psychologist living and working in the North Cyprus joined the panel and provided insights on her clinical work with Turkish – Cypriot population, challenges she faces daily and equally important talked about the effects of the Turkey invasion in 1974 that had on the Turkish – Cypriot population till this day.

Students were later given a tour around the Institute where they explored the work being undertaken there. 

Jennifer Norris, who is a faculty member from University of Chicago, said: “This field trip was a rewarding and enriching experience, which left an indelible mark on both my academic and personal self. I look forward to applying the knowledge I have gained during this experience in my current projects, with a more aware and ‘complete’ perception of the clinical world outside my University. Our discussion panel could have gone for hours.”

About the discussion group, Mrs Aristodemou said: “This trip was organised with the purpose of inspiring students by giving them a firsthand experience of the clinical research and clinical work at Altius Mind Institute. The Altius Mind Institute offers the highest quality, research and evidenced-based treatments for Cypriots and the Mediterranean region. We remain committed to reflection, introspection, self-awareness, and deep regard for others as the basis for our professional work. The students were exposed to a dialogue focused on the mental health issues in our community which suffers till this day (from trauma and PTSD symptoms) from a Greek-Cypriot clinician, a Greek-Russian clinician and a Turkish-Cypriot clinician  – a new and innovative development in our field. These areas have true potential and I hope that some of the students will be inspired to follow these paths in their future careers as psychologists.”


-Elena Aristodemou
Founder & Lead Psychologist
Altius Mind Institute

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