Abnormal Psychology [CRN 27399]

Discipline: Psychology
Instructor: Barker
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 10:40
End: 12:00
Field Work: Day 1 | January 24, 2017 | Japan
Prerequisites: One (1) general psychology course Download Syllabus

This course is an overview of the field of abnormal psychology, which studies unusual patterns of behavior, cognition, and affect. The focus is on the major mental disorders as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM 5). The diagnostic categories covered include, but are not limited to, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, personality disorders, somatoform disorders, dissociative disorders, and child/adolescent disorders. The course will primarily focus on descriptions of the mental disorders, including diagnostic criteria and how factors such as culture, race, ethnicity, gender, and age influence each disorder. Possible causes and common treatments will also be discussed. Various definitions of mental health and mental illness will be presented and how these differ across cultures. The course will cover culture and the DSM, including the DSM as a cultural document, how the DSM attempts to address culture, the appropriateness of using the DSM across cultures, and comparison/contrast with other diagnostic systems, such as the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10).

Field Work

Country: Japan
Day: 1
Date: January 24, 2017

Mindfulness is growing in popularity as an approach to mental health treatment. It is based on the principles of Buddhism, and these principles can be applied to developing and maintaining mental health. This field class will give insight into and experience with Zen Buddhism. In this field class we will visit Reverend Takafumi Kawakami of the Shunkoin Temple & Zen Center in Kyoto. The visit will include four components, of which the first two are the most important and will take up the brunt of our time. First, we will take a meditation class with Reverend Kawakami, in which we will have the opportunity to engage in guided meditation and also learn about Zen Buddhism. Second, we will have an opportunity to talk to Reverend Kawakami about how people attain life satisfaction and daily contentment — and how they learn to control temptation and desire — from a Zen Buddhist perspective. Third, we will have an opportunity to tour the temple to see what the experience is like for visitors as well as for priests. Finally, there will be an opportunity at the end of the visit for student discussion and reflection.

Learning Objectives:
1. Learn the basic principles of Zen Buddhism
2. Gain direct experience with Buddhist meditation
3. Understand how Buddhist principles can be applied to mental health and treatment of mental disorders.