Elements of Clinical Psychology: Course Description

This course is intended to provide the beginning psychology student with an overview of the theory and practice of clinical and counseling psychology. The course includes reference to major theories of personality, assessment, and psychotherapy. Topics include psychodynamic, cognitive/behavioral, and biological theories of normal and abnormal psychological processes, and the assessment of behavior, abilities, and personality.  Therapies covered include a variety of psychoanalytic approaches, and humanistic, biological, cognitive/behavioral, and child and family therapies.

Introduction to Clinical Psychology

  • Differentiate clinical psychology from other types of psychology.
  • Compare and contrast the four major approaches in clinical psychology: psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, and family systems.
  • Discuss the history and evolving nature of clinical counseling psychology.
  • Explain the role of research and statistics in clinical counseling psychology.

Approaches to Assessment

  • Describe types and uses of psychological testing instruments.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of psychological testing instruments for different populations.

Clinical Psychology Applied

  • Discuss the interdependent roles of biological, psychological and social factors in human behavior.
  • Demonstrate an application of clinical psychology to real-world situations.
  • Explain the need for adaptation in the field of clinical psychology.

Practice of Clinical Psychology

  • Discuss the legal and ethical issues associated with clinical psychology.
  • Define professional boundaries, boundary crossings, and boundary violations.
  • Explain the cultural limitations associated with assessment and treatment.
  • Compare and contrast clinical work in a variety of environments (e.g., hospitals, community, prisons, elder housing, industry, schools, advertising).

Contemporary issues in Clinical Psychology

  • Explore contemporary issues in clinical psychology.
  • Discuss the future of clinical psychology.
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