TeacherDr. D. Quagliana
SemesterSpringDuration8 Weeks
FrequencyEvery three years
Credits5 ECTSWorkload125-150 Hours
Module formatIntensive
ApplicabilityThis Module informs the other modules by creating an awareness of the specific problems related to psychopathology.
Course structureSee module and courses
Contact time35-45 HoursSelf-Study105-125 Hours
Participation requirementSee access to the program
Phase 16030%
Readings & Preparation
DSM-5 Reading & Preparation of Presentation
Phase 24060%
Diagnosis Exam
Phase 35010%
Case Studies
Content of the ModuleAn in-depth approach to the study of psychopathology. The course uses case presentations to expose the student to a variety of psychiatric disabilities.
This course is designed to provide an analysis and study of the history, theories, classification, diagnostic techniques, and treatment approaches of mental disorders. The course will include a presentation of the biophysical, psychoanalytical, behavioral, relational, humanistic, and sociocultural approaches to abnormal behavior and personality. The course will emphasize relational and contextual approaches that are foundational within the field of marriage and family therapy.
Learning Objectives

A. General Learning Objectives
This course seeks to:

  1. To present the predominant types of personality and behavior disorders and their etiology.
  2. To explore the therapeutic techniques and delivery of service systems used to address these disorders.
  3. To familiarize the student with the techniques and results of recent research in abnormal psychology.
  4. To develop an empathetic attitude toward those who struggle with these disorders.
  5. To explore these difficulties from a relational, contextual, and systemic approach.

B. Specific Behavioral Objectives
As a result of the activities and study in this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Understand principles of human development; human sexuality; gender development; psychopathology; couple processes; family development and processes (e.g., family dynamics, relational dynamics, systemic dynamics); co-morbidities related to health and illness; substance use disorders and treatment; diversity; and power, privilege, and oppression (AAMFT 2.1.1).
  2. Understand the major mental health disorders, including the epidemiology, etiology, phenomenology, effective treatments, course, and prognosis (AAMFT 2.1.2).
  3. Understand the clinical needs and implications of persons who suffer from co-occurring disorders (e.g., substance abuse and mental health) (AAMFT 2.1.3).
  4. Comprehend individual, couple, and family assessment instruments appropriate to presenting problem and practice setting (AAMFT 2.1.4).
  5. Understand the current models for assessment and diagnosis of mental health and substance use disorders (AAMFT 2.1.5).
  6. Understand the current models for assessment and diagnosis of relational functioning (AAMFT 2.1.6).
  7. Understand the limitations of the models of assessment and diagnosis, especially as they relate to different cultural, economic, and ethnic groups (AAMFT 2.1.7).
  8. Understand the concepts of reliability and validity, their relationship to assessment instruments, and how they influence therapeutic decision-making (AAMFT 2.1.8).
OutlineA. Historical Perspectives
B. Ethics and Legal Issues
C. Assessment
D. Relational / Systemic Perspectives
E. Contextual Perspectives
F. Faith Integration
G. Psychopharmacology
H. Biological Issues
I. Disorder Categories
ExaminationSee Evaluation
Core Literature

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Desk reference to the Diagnostic Criteria from DSM-5™. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Yarhouse, M., Butman, R., McRay, B. (2005). Modern psychopathologies: A comprehensive Christian appraisal. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic. 

Reading List:
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Beach, S. R., Wamboldt, M. Z., Kaslow, N. J., Heyman, R. E., First, M. B., Underwood, L. G., & Reiss, D. (Eds.). (2006). Relational processes and DSM-V: Neuroscience, assessment, prevention, and treatment. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Cassidy, J., & Shaver, P. (Eds.). Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications. NY: Guilford.
Castonguay, L. G., & Oltmanns, T. F. (2013). Psychopathology: From science to clinical practice. NY: Guilford.
Ingram, R. E. (Ed). (2010). Vulnerability to psychopathology: Risk across the lifespan (2nd ed.). NY: Guilford.
Jones, S. & Butman, R. (2011). Modern psychotherapies : a comprehensive Christian appraisal. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.
Kring, A. M., & Sloan, D. M. (Eds.). (2009). Emotion regulation and psychopathology: A transdiagnostic approach to etiology and treatment. NY: Guilford.
L’Abate, L, Cusinato, M., Maino, E., Colesso, W., & Scilletta, C. (2010). Relational competence theory: Research and mental health applications. NY: Springer.
Maddux, J. E., & Winstead, B. A. (Eds.). (2012). Psychopathology: Foundations for a contemporary understanding (3rd ed.). NY: Routledge.
Rogers, C., Kirschenbaum, H. & Henderson, V. (1989). The Carl Rogers reader. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Rottenberg, J., & Johnson, S. L. (Eds.). (2007). Emotion and psychopathology: Bridging affective and clinical science. DC: American Psychological Association.

Other information