Psychopathology Course - EXPLO

Psychopathology

How do psychologists and psychiatrists determine the line that separates abnormal behavior from mental illness?

What is the line that separates abnormal behavior from mental illness? Strive to answer this question and many others in an exploration of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and dissociative identity disorder. Perform case study analyses of allegedly insane historical figures—Sylvia Plath, Winston Churchill, Joan of Arc, and Michelangelo—and gain insight into the cultural and historical factors shaping society’s view of abnormal behavior. Delve into the biological, psychological, and sociocultural theories that inform psychopathology. Explore the 4Ds—deviance, distress, dysfunction, and danger—to gain a better understanding of how practitioners use them to diagnose mental illness. Examine the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to understand criteria for depression and personality disorders. Explore mental health treatment options, including controversial “off label” choices, and debate the ethics of using untested treatments.

Who Should Take This Course?

This is an ideal course for students who are interested in the disciplines of psychology, psychiatry, and mental health services. Immerse yourself in the field of psychopathology as you explore mental illness, abnormal behavior, and the interactions between culture and mental health.

Advisors + Past Speakers

  • Baroness Susan Greenfield, Professor of Neuroscience, University of Oxford
  • Dr. Albert "Skip" Rizzo, Professor + Director for Medical Virtual Reality, University of Southern California
  • Dr. Marvin Chun, Dean of Yale College, and Professor of Psychology, Yale School of Medicine
  • Dr. Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology + Cognitive Science, Yale University
  • Dr. Adrienne Smaller, Psychologist, Yale Child Study Center
  • Dr. Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter, Psychologist

Plan your summer

Yale

Course Highlights

  • Career Exploration

    Meet with field practitioners to learn about job opportunities and the training needed to develop a career in psychopathology.

  • Destigmatize Mental Illness

    Why is there often a stigma with mental illness when there is not with a physical ailment? Engage in open and respectful dialogue around mental illness. Cultivate compassion and empathy as you fight ableism.

  • Develop Diagnostic Skills

    Analyze patient files, read through therapists’ notes, and watch sections of therapy sessions. This course offers a sneak peek at clinical practicums designed to cultivate exceptional skills of observation and analysis in student practitioners.

  • Standards of Care

    Explore the various treatment methods within the field, especially trauma-informed care for children. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing mental illness, so examine different standards of care across the profession.

  • Psychopathology Theories

    Take a critical look at the biological, psychological, and sociocultural theories that inform psychopathology. Share critiques.

The classes I am taking here have also been so revolutionary. In Psychopathology, there is so much we cover everyday in a class that I leave everyday feeling like I know so much more about the world. I hope to go into Psychology and Neuroscience. I was really inspired by the talk we had by Skip Rizzo. He really opened my eyes to the power that VR can have when it comes to treating people with mental health issues. The talk was really cool and I hope by the time I am in the industry the technology will have developed to a point where we can make a real difference in the world.

Advisors + Past Speakers

Baroness Susan Greenfield

Professor of Neuroscience, University of Oxford

Professor Baroness Susan Greenfield is a Senior Research Fellow and the Fullerian Professor of Physiology at Lincoln College at Oxford University. Greenfield is a neuroscientist and runs a multi-disciplinary research group exploring novel brain mechanisms linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Greenfield has received two honorary degrees from British and foreign universities and was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians.

Dr. Albert "Skip" Rizzo

Professor + Director for Medical Virtual Reality, University of Southern California

Dr. Skip Rizzo is a clinical psychologist and Director of Medical Virtual Reality at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies. He is also a Research Professor with USC’s Department of Psychiatry and the USC Davis School of Gerontology. In 2010, Dr. Rizzo’s work using virtual reality-based exposure therapy to treat PTSD was awarded the American Psychological Association’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Treatment of Trauma.

Dr. Marvin Chun

Dean of Yale College, and Professor of Psychology, Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Marvin Chun, Dean of Yale College, and the Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology, Dr. Chun leads a cognitive neuroscience laboratory at the Yale University School of Medicine. Also an award-winning professor, Chun’s undergraduate course Introduction to Psychology is one of the largest at Yale College and has been recognized many times. Chun has authored psychology textbooks, serves on several Boards, and acts as an advisor on the Nike Performance Council.

Dr. Paul Bloom

Professor of Psychology + Cognitive Science, Yale University

Dr. Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with a special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art. Bloom has won numerous awards for his research and teaching, and has written for the science journals Nature and Science, as well as for The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly.

Dr. Adrienne Smaller

Psychologist, Yale Child Study Center

Dr. Adrienne Smaller is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Madison, Connecticut. She also serves on the faculty of the Yale Child Study Center where she supervises psychologists in training. Smaller has clinical experience across a range of issues, including depression, anxiety, self-esteem, social skills, and learning differences.

Dr. Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter

Psychologist

Dr. Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter is a clinically trained psychologist with over 30 years experience working with children, adolescents, families, and adults. She is the former Chair of the American Psychological Association Ethics Committee and the Massachusetts Board of Licensure for Psychologists. Currently, Moorehead-Slaughter is the Psychologist at The Park School, an independent school in Brookline, Massachusetts serving pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students.