psych650 | Graduate


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This course covers a wide range of definitions and models that focus on the complex or problematic psychological disorders and conditions of psychopathology. Emphasis is on learning accepted conceptualizations of such disorders along with contemporary treatment approaches. Students are introduced to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the basis of diagnosis and classification of psychopathology. Critical thinking skills are emphasized, as are multicultural, legal, and ethical issues involved in the field of abnormal psychology.

This graduate-level course is 6 This course is available as part of a degree or certificate program. To enroll, speak with an Enrollment Representative.

Course details:

Credits: 3
Continuing education units: XX
Professional development units: XX
Duration: 6

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    Personality Disorders and Substance Abuse Disorders: Symptoms, Causes, and Research-Based Interventions

    • Describe treatment effectiveness in substance abuse as evidenced in research studies.
    • Discuss the possible reasons pathological gambling may be re-classified as an addictive behavior in the DSM 5.

    • Describe the challenges associated with conducting research on people with personality disorders.
    • Examine antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder for commonalities and potential issues regarding violence.
    • Describe the biopsychosocial and the diathesis-stress models as they relate to the development of substance abuse disorders.

    Schizophrenia and Dissociative Identity Disorders: Symptoms, Causes, and Research-Based Interventions

    • Describe schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorders and their symptoms and subtypes, as applicable, as stated in the DSM 5.

    • Describe the proposed changes concerning schizophrenia in the DSM 5.
    • Evaluate current research on schizophrenia with emphasis on the genetic, developmental, biological, and environmental variables that may contribute to the onset or course of the disorder.
    • Examine the relationship between trauma and dissociation as they relate to dissociative disorders.
    • Differentiate dissociative identity disorder from schizophrenia.

    Anxiety Disorders, ADHD, Conduct Disorder, and Autism: Symptoms, Causes, and Research-Based Interventions

    • Analyze the relationship between stress, psychiatric disorders, and cardiovascular disorders.
    • Explain how Axis I and Axis IV of the DSM have been used to diagnose and describe stress and anxiety.
    • Differentiate between adjustment disorders and more chronic conditions.
    • Discuss the concept of stress as it relates to diathesis-stress, biopsychosocial, and mind-body interaction models.

    • Identify variables used to predict the likelihood of developing post-traumatic stress disorder.
    • Differentiate between anxiety disorders in terms of severity and onset.
    • Discuss childhood disorders and the features of the disorders that differentiate them from adult disorders.

    History and Diagnosis of Psychopathology

    • Explain the basic structure of the multi-axial approach used in the DSM to describe psychopathology.

    • Examine the leading models of psychopathology including the diathesis-stress model and the biopsychosocial model.
    • Track the historical, social, and cultural influences on the perception and treatment of individuals with mental illness.
    • Explain the need for an integrated viewpoint in psychopathology.

    • Describe the influence of culture on the expression of psychopathology.

    Mood Disorders: Symptoms, Causes, and Research-Based Interventions and Assessment

    • Evaluate the continuum of depression from what is considered normal depression to major depressive disorder.
    • Differentiate between major depressive disorders, bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, dysthymic disorder, and cyclothymic disorder.
    • Examine the relationship between mood disorders and suicide.
    • Compare research associated with the treatment of major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.

    • Evaluate the appropriateness of the MMPI-2 or MMPI-2-RFas a tool for researching mood disorders.
    • Describe the value of structured interviews for research and diagnosis.

    Eating Disorders, Sexual Dysfunction, and the Paraphilias, and Disorders Associated with Aging: Symptoms, Causes, and Research-Based Interventions

    • Examine eating disorders by using either biopsychosocial or diathesis-stress models.
    • Identify the underlying causal factors of the Paraphilias.

    • Review the proposed section in the DSM 5 on neurocognitive disorders.
    • Describe the reasons why Alzheimer’s disease is proposed for the neurocognitive section of the DSM 5.
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