This article was adapted from "Armenian National Tour", prepared by Andrei M. Khachaturyan and printed in Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds.). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM].
Psychology in Armenia developed in two areas: medical psychology as part of psychiatry and as part of higher medical education. The main conceptual basis for medical psychology was V. N. Miasischev's theory of relationship psychology (psychologia otnoshenij). As a part of pedagogy at higher teachers training institutes and the educational department of the State University, Armenian psychologists got their undergraduate and postgraduate training in psychology in Russia, mainly in Moscow and Leningrad.
During the 1950s the Chair of Psychology as an independent unit was established at the Armenian Pedagogical Institute and in 1957, the same institute founded a psychological research laboratory. The laboratory was the largest (with a staff up to fifty-six psychologists) official psychological research center in Armenia for twenty years. Research was carried out in areas of pedagogical and age psychology, psychology of labor, engineer and legal psychology. In 1976 the Psychology Chair and in 1979 the laboratory of Engineer Psychology of the Yerevan State University were founded. Until the late 1980s psychology in Armenia, as in the USSR in general, was restricted by the frames of official ideological conceptions. Independent psychological organizations could not exist legally, as well as financially. Psychoanalysis and other currencies in what may be called profound psychology, behavioral psychology, etc. were, if not officially forbidden, not officially supported, which in fact was the same thing. These officially not-accepted concepts were presented in textbooks and monographs only from critical point of view like: "The critical review of Freudism and some other currencies in Western psychology and their ideological background." Access to the original works of such psychologists was highly limited. The main conceptual basis of native psychology ascended from the psychophysiology and personal psychology viewpoints of Luria, Rubenstein, Leontiev, and Vigodski.
This situation began to improve after 1985 and changed essentially after the 1988 earthquake when many western psychologists and psychotherapists – representatives of different orientations – visited Armenia with humanitarian missions. Interest in psychology and psychotherapy dramatically increased. During the 1990s the number schools of higher psychological training in Armenia doubled and the number of students getting their training in psychology now exceeds one thousand. On the other hand, all kinds of boundaries were removed and psychologists in Armenia received an opportunity to advance their knowledge and practice any kind of psychological school. One can say that from totalitarian restriction we came to another extreme – absence of regulations, professional and license requirements, and an obligatory or generally recognized code of ethics.
There is no elaborated and generally accepted policy in either research or application in Armenia.
There are no general state programs or requirements for training professional applied psychologists in Armenia. Each educational organization elaborates its own program. However, since August 1999 the initiative group of specialists, mainly representatives of the Armenian Psychoanalytical Association and Uratu University, has been working on certification requirements and regulations in clinical psychology and psychotherapy, as well as on a postgraduate training program in psychotherapy according to the international standards. These regulations are supposed to become officially recognized in 2000.