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Viola Mecke

Viola Mecke, Ph.D., ABPP is a clinical psychologist with more than forty years of experience in teaching and in clinical practice. She is a Professor Emerita at the California State University, East Bay, and a Clinical Professor Emerita (adjunct) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. Her specialty field of study has been emotional and personality development throughout her life span.

In the pursuit of professional development, I taught at several universities, each being interspersed with continued professional research and study. From the Wisconsin State University in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, I accepted an internship at the Medical School in Omaha, Nebraska. From there, I taught Psychology at Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois for three years. Spurred on, I then took a professorship at the American College for Girls in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Tavistock Institute of Interpersonal Relations in London followed for I had an intense interest in attachment process theories and processes of development taught by John Bowlby and Melanie Klein. Returning to the United States, I taught first at the University of Illinois in Macomb, then at the Psychiatry Department of Psychiatry in Waterloo, Canada, and at Duke University Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine.


At the age of forty, we settled in California. I was the Chair of the Psychology Department at the Children’s’ Health Council affiliated with Stanford University. Then, for about thirty years I assumed responsibilities as Chair of the School Psychology and Counseling Program at East Bay California University.


After retirement from the University, I served as an adjunct professor at Stanford, supervising and teaching medical students.


During these e years within a university setting, I maintained a private practice as a clinical psychologist. More was learned in the work with people-patients than a university setting could ever provide. Clinical practice taught me most about individuals, children were especially awesome. A seven-year-old boy who had to be physically above me before he could talk about how he was feeling; the girl who acted out with little dolls what was happening at home; the fifteen ear old who wanted to sit in my lap while she cried, the fifty-year-old man who could only express feelings with his eyes. Each person I saw was unique, a composite of life’s pleasures and pressures.

My Childhood years were spent in Tallmadge, Ohio

My childhood years were spent in Tallmadge, Ohio – a growing rural town with a beautiful traffic circle in the center. My senior high school class had about thirty students, many of whom I had known since first grade. Then, two years of office work to save for college. With a double major in mathematics and history, my first job was teaching in Pueblo, Colorado. After three years,  graduate school beckoned. I had never thought of attending a university, but the Pueblo district offered graduate classes. Spurred on, I then attended graduate school at Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio.


I have taught at several universities – Wisconsin State University in Stevens Point, and Elmhurst College, in Elmhurst, Illinois. Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois, the Turkish Girls’ College in Istanbul, The University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Canada   Duke University in North Carolina, East Bay University of California in Hayward, California and finished teaching as an Emerita Professor (adjunct) at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. Each University provided a challenge, inciting further study.


In between the academic work, I undertook postgraduate work including a fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at Nebraska Psychiatry Institute and a fellowship at the Tavistock Interpersonal Relations Institute in London England.


From the beginning of my academic studies, I specialized in Developmental Psychology, from birth to old age.  And amusing, interests developed with experience with students and, in private practice, with patients.

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Aging Wisely:

Facing Emotional Challenges from 50 to 85+ Years

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The Complexities of Life after Seventy

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