SW 580 Psychopathology (Online Course)

3 credits

This course provides a general introduction to the fields of abnormal psychology and clinical psychiatry. Specifically, this course will acquaint students with the epidemiology, classification, and etiology, of the major forms of mental illness. It is the primary aim of this course to develop the student’s diagnostic skills in clinical settings. To that end, didactic emphasis will be placed not only on the study of psychopathological symptoms and behaviors, per se, but also on their manifestations in everyday life. Specific attention is paid to the ethical and social work value-related problems associated with diagnosing and labeling clients with a psychiatric disorder, and issues of race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disabilities or illness, age and national origin as they influence the manifestations of behaviors that may be diagnosed as mental illness or affect the presentation of mental illness. Case studies and videos will be used to ensure that students have an effective working knowledge of: (a) the biological and psychosocial bases of the major mental disorders; (b) the behavioral symptomatology that characterizes them; and (c) their classification according to the American Psychiatric Association system of classification of mental illness and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD). This course also addresses the role of social workers as advocates for people with mental disorders and as environmental change agents.