Gujarat University was established on 23rd November 1949. Department of Psychology is one of the oldest departments of Gujarat University established in 1957. Initially, Department of Psychology was functioning in the School of Social Sciences. In 1976, Department of Psychology developed into a separate department of its own in the University School of Psychology, Education, and Philosophy, and continues to be here till date.
Brilliant professors like, Prof. Singh, Prof. Prabhu, Prof. Bhopatkar, Dr. M. D. Badami, Dr. Kusum Bhatt, Dr. Narhari Parikh and Dr. Pratiksha Rawal have contributed immensely in fields like experimental psychology, clinical psychology, counselling psychology and research methods in shaping the department into its present state. Dr. Badami has immensely contributed to the Department of Psychology and Gujarat overall by developing many psychological tests in Gujarati language. Dr. Pratiksha Rawal was a dedicated teacher, trainer, knowledgeable researcher and a practicing Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist. Dr. Ashwin B Jansari, held the position as faculty from 1996 and became Head of the Department in 2004 and remained on that position till 2015. He then retired as Professor in 2017. He has contributed as a teacher, developed psychological tests and wrote course content related books in Gujarati language. Presently Dr. Kamayani Mathur has been in the department for 23 years and is the Professor and Head of the Psychology Department. At present she has been promoted to the post of Director of the School of Psychology, Philosophy, and Education.
Recognizing the importance of statistics in psychology, “Inferential statistics” was introduced as a paper for the first time in 1978. Psychometric tests hold very important position in the field of psychology, considering which, a variety of verbal and performance tests are taught in the department. Since the inception of the psychology department it was the only one amongst all the Universities of the Gujarat state to have the depth perception laboratory which was unique and one of its kind where experiments on depth perception took place.
In its endeavour to widen the horizons of Psychology seminars, workshops and conferences are organized annually by the department. Various workshops on psychological testing (like Rorschach Inkblot Test, Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices, Draw-a-flower and so on) and psychotherapies (like Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Rogerian therapy) are conducted with the help of professionals in their respective areas. Prominent speakers are also invited to duly address upon different areas of psychology (like motivational interviewing, counselling in infertility, and so on). The faculty and students of the department have contributed immensely through their awareness programs and professional talks on Television along with articles in newspapers which are related to the field of Psychology.
Various research studies are carried out at Master’s, M.Phil., PGDCP and PhD level on different novel, innovative, and creative topics addressing the latest issues in Clinical Psychology, Health Psychology, Positive Psychology, Environmental Psychology, Sports Psychology, Adolescent Psychology, Criminal and Juvenile Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Neuropsychology as well as effects of music and dance therapy on patients, which are very well supervised by the department faculties. Research papers have been presented in National and International Conferences in India and abroad as well as published in journals. The professors organize many field visits to institutions like Hospital for Mental Health, Juvenile home, old age home, Nari Suraksha Kendra, Blind People’s Association, Social Empowerment through Work and Action (SEWA), Sabarmati jail, Gujarat Forensic Sciences University (GFSU), Institute of Behavioural Sciences (IBS-Gandhinagar), Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL), etc.
The department takes pride in the fact that the gold medal in Clinical Psychology has been conferred to the student coming first in Clinical Psychology from 2011 to present. Since its inception, in the Department, a total number of 169 PhDs have been awarded to research scholars till today.
Apart from academics the talented students are encouraged to participate in different sports activities and different activities of the youth festival like rangoli, group dance, classical dance, folk dance, classical singing, debate, collage, elocution, cartooning, on the spot painting, photography, one act play, and skit every year.
Every year the students of Psychology get placements in various hospital settings as counsellors, psychotherapists, health psychologists and clinical psychologists; teaching assignments in schools, colleges, and Universities as school counsellors, marriage and family counsellors, research projects, trainers, administer psychological testing, private practice as Clinical Psychologist and in the HR Department in the industry.