Abnormal Psychology Course Outline

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PSYC& 220 Abnormal Psychology

Course Objectives:
* Provide students with an understanding of “psychopathology” that includes an articulation of a definition and knowledge of its place in historical and current society
* Familiarize students with multiple causes of abnormal behavior as viewed from a number of different theoretical perspectives
* Offer a framework for understanding assessment, classification and diagnosis of mental disorders
* Discuss intervention strategies and appreciate legal and ethical issues relevant to professionals who provide services to persons with mental disorders
Abnormal Psychology Course Outline
Understanding Abnormal Behavior
Definition & history/milestones in the field
Research methods
Human experience - stigma, family and community impacts
Current trends in the field toward understanding abnormal behavior
Classification and Diagnosis
Development and history of DSM classification system
Medical model
Multi-axial system
Mental status exam
Clinical interviews
Neurological assessment
Assessment tools and instruments
Psychological testing
Perspectives on abnormal behavior
Theories and approaches
Family Systems
Humanistic and Existential
Neurosis vs. psychosis

Treatment approaches to abnormal behavior

Marital & family
Group therapy
Biological treatment approaches – psychosurgery, medications, ECT
Community approaches – therapeutic community, partial hospitalization, case management
Disorder categories
Child, adolescent and developmental disorders
Cognitive disorders
Substance-related disorders
Psychotic disorders
Mood disorders
Anxiety disorders
Somatoform disorders
Factitious & dissociative disorders
Sexual and gender identity disorders
Eating & sleeping disorders
Personality disorders
Impulse control disorders
Adjustment disorders
Miscellaneous – V codes, medical-related disorders, other clinical issues
Law & ethics within the profession
Commitment processes (civil and criminal)
Pt rights
Professional boundaries
Duty to warn
Critical issues in abnormal behavior
Domestic violence
Sex crimes
Child abuse
Culture & special populations
Overview of local resources & issues

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