description: This course serves as an advanced practicum for students who
have a Master's degree in human services or a related field and who are eligible
to be licensed as professional counselors. The course will provide a comprehensive
review of current models, theories and principles pertinent to the identification,
description and delineation of major mental disorders. Concepts and terminology
from the DSM-IV will be detailed and applied to salient clinical concerns and
situations arising in human service agencies. Case supervision will be provided
for participants' on-going clinical experiences. Special emphasis will be placed
upon the reasoning, judgements and extrapolations that underlie the process of
clinical diagnosis and prognosis.
Purpose: This course is intended
for human service practitioners who serve as therapists, counselors, or case managers
in a variety of human service settings in both the public and private sector and
who are eligible to become Licensed Professional Counselors. The purpose of the
course is to present the diagnostic categories of the DSM-IV as well as definitions
of mental disorders derived from theory and research, and to enable participants
to apply diagnostic skills in clinical settings. Students should also become better
able to make effective linkages between diagnostic judgments and appropriate interventions
and treatment plans.
1. Examine the DSM-IV
as a relevant tool for counselors and clinicians;
2. Enhance the clinical
skills of participants in identifying, understanding, and treating mental disorders
within client populations with which they work;
3. Present criteria and
decision rules for diagnosis of a variety of mental disorders;
the concept of psychopathology with respect to cultural differences, historical
context, and social controversy;
5. Introduce some of the criticisms of
the DSM diagnostic system through the perspectives of sociologists, anthropologists,
and feminist and black psychologists.
Student objectives: Students will
be able to:
1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of how to use the DSM-IV
to identify and diagnose mental disorders;
2. Discuss the principle of
differential diagnosis in distinguishing among several mental disorders;
Categorize mental disorders in terms of cognitive disorders, mood disorders, anxiety
disorders, personality disorders, substance related disorders, and biological
and genetic disorders;
4. Specify the purpose of clinical diagnosis and
define psychopathology in terms of symptoms and behavioral descriptions;
Demonstrate a capacity to match descriptions of behavior with appropriate categories
of disorders in the DSM-IV;
6. Describe current treatment trends and directions
with each of the major mental disorders;
7. Apply the above skills to specific
supervised cases in a clinical practice setting.
Topics to be covered:
1. Historical perspectives in the study of psychopathology;
Descriptive and psychological diagnostic approaches;
3. The DSM-IV categorization
and decision system for clinical diagnosis;
4. Types, etiology, and prevalence
of mental disorders, including substance abuse disorders, bipolar disorders, panic
disorders, phobic disorders, dissociative disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder,
eating disorders, and borderline personality disorder;
5. Limitations of
diagnostic categories, including issues of racism, sexism, classism, and multicultural
6. Psychopathology and diagnosis in counseling practice and human
1. Students will be
expected to comply with established principles and tenets of academic integrity
as delineated by Lincoln University policy.
2. Students will be expected
to attend all classes. Three absences will constitute a failure of the course.
3. Students will be expected to participate in all classroom discussions,
exercises, role-plays, and/or small group activities.
4. Each student will
give an in-class presentation identifying and describing a specific mental disorder,
with an emphasis on its diagnosis, prevalence, and treatment modalities within
a specific client population in a specific agency setting.
5. Each student
will be required to perform at least 24 hours of supervised clinical practice
with a relevant client population within an agency setting.
6. Each student
will make a 20-minute case presentation applying the principles of diagnosis and
treatment planning to a specific client case in the practicum setting.
7. Each student will take a midterm examination based on the descriptions and
categories of the DSM-IV.
8. Each student will submit a 12 to 15 page final
paper describing the relevant concerns and issues regarding psychopathology and
diagnosis in his/her agency and client population. The paper must demonstrate
a knowledge of historical background, social issues, political and economic implications,
and emerging health care trends. The impact of managed care regarding diagnosis,
prognosis, and intervention must also be addressed. The relevance of race, class,
gender, and culture must be included. The paper must be written in APA format.
Assessment of student performance: Grades will be based on the following:
Oral presentation 20%
Case presentation 20%
Midterm exam 20%
Final paper 40%
Course methods: The course will employ a variety
of educational methods, including lectures, films, discussions, role-plays and
simulations, class presentations, and small group exercises. By utilizing various
methods, the course will foster learning that is active, participatory, and grounded
in practice. The integration of theory and practice will be emphasized.
Weeks 3-8 Oral presentations (in alphabetical order
Week 8 Midterm examination
Weeks 9-11 Case presentations
Week 12 Final paper due
Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental
disorders (4th edition, text revision). Washington, D.C.: APA.
R.L., Gibbon, M., & Skodol, A. (1994). DSM-IV casebook. Washington, D.C.:
American Psychiatric Association.
Handouts as appropriate.
Maxmen, J.S. & Ward, M.G. (1995). The essentials of psychopathology
and its treatment. (2nd ed.) N.Y.: W.W. Norton.
Munson, C.E. (2001).
The mental health diagnostic desk reference. N.Y.: The Haworth Press.
S.M. & Herson, M. (1997). Adult psychopathology and diagnosis. N.Y.: Wiley.
Schlele, J.H. (2001). Human services and the Afrocentric paradigm. N.Y.:
Wernet, S.P. (1999). Managed care in the human services.
Chicago: Lyceum Books.
Zide, M.R. & Gray, S. (2001). Psychopathology:
A competency-based assessment model for social workers. Pacific Grove, CA: