Clinical Psychologist Richard Bentall challenges nine myths of schizophrenia accepted by mental health professionals and proposes a more humane, scientific approach to care.
This course will cover the basic concepts of clinical psychology, or the study of diagnosing, treating, and understanding abnormal and maladaptive behaviors. We frequently refer to these behaviors—which include depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia—as mental diseases or disorders.
While you may have a general understanding of these disorders, we will cover each of them in great detail in this course. Many of you are likely familiar with the idea of therapy, whether because you or someone you know has been in therapy, or because you have seen it in popular TV shows or movies. Because many approaches to therapy draw from research on “clinical” populations—that is, populations suffering from some sort of mental disorder—therapy is closely related to the field of psychopathology. Although this class will not teach you how to conduct therapy—see Psychotherapy for an in-depth look at the subject—it will provide you with a solid understanding of the etiology and symptoms of a number of disorders. Much of the information in this course is based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV-TR (DSM), which is the industry standard for both clinical psychologists and psychiatrists, who reference frequently in order to diagnose mental disorders. A new version of this manual is due to be published soon, and it will likely challenge some commonly-held ideas about certain disorders. This brings up an important point about clinical psychology: few issues in the field have hard-and-fast answers. Much is left up to debate and subjective opinion. As such, rather than providing you with step-by-step directions, this course has been designed to assist you in making educated decisions when diagnosing and treating a mental disease. We will begin this course by reviewing the historical context in which clinical psychology emerged and defining the major roles and tasks that clinical psychologists carry out. We will then discuss current paradigms and classification methods before learning about individual disorders, their treatments, and common explanations concerning their origins. We will conclude with an introduction to methods of intervention.
Course Requirements: have completed the following courses listed in the Core Program of the Psychology Discipline: Introduction to Psychology; Introduction to Statistics; Research Methods Lab; Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology; and, Introduction to Evolutionary Biology and Ecology.