This abnormal psychology course provides an overview of atypical and problematic patterns of behavior, cognition, and affect as well as stress-related problems. This course explores major mental health disorders including: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, trauma-related problems, psychotic disorders, personality disorders, somatic symptom disorders, dissociative disorders, developmental disorders, and cultural syndromes. We will use a biopsychosocial and ecological perspective to examine the impact of psychological, social, cultural, and biological influences on mental health. Emphasis will be placed on theory and research about mental health problems, contributors to and the development of disorders, methods of intervention, and how culture and social institutions influence the nature, trajectory, and treatment of human distress. We will consider how mental health issues and diagnosis are associated with social identities related to gender, race/ethnicity, social class and status, and sexual orientation. Attention will also focus on how conceptualizations of distress and disorder vary across cultures, and how mental health problems are related to discrimination, violence, and social injustice. The features, benefits, and disadvantages of current diagnostic systems for conceptualizing problems around the globe will also be discussed.
Field WorkCountry: Japan
Date: January 24, 2019
Zen Buddhism has inspired a variety of healing traditions such as mindfulness practices that have grown in popularity within North America during the past several decades. Mindfulnes and related practices such as hakoniwa (sand tray/play therapy), the Zen tea ceremony (chado), and flower arranging (ikebana), are based on 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 and Zen Center in Kyoto. 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 Perspectives. Third, we will have an opportunity to tour the temple and another Zen gardens/temple in Kyoto as well as elements of Zen practice (e.g., Buddhist cuisine and/or tea ceremony). As a final aspect of this experience, we will reflect on the ways in which indigenous cultural practices can be especially useful for informing our understanding of mental health values and interventions. We will also reflect on how Zen philosophy is related to mindfulness practices such as the hakoniwa or sandtray therapy, tea ceremony, the martial arts, and other Zen arts. Learning Objectives:
- Learn the basic principles of Zen Buddhism and other Zen arts
- Gain insight about how a Buddhist worldview differs from a typical “Western” worldview and consider the implications of this perspective for conceptualizing distress and well-being.
- Gain direct experience with Buddhist meditation and other Zen-inspired practice.
- Understand how Buddhist principles can be applied to mental health and treatment of psychological difficulties (e.g., implications of the Zen arts, gardens, and psychotherapies for understanding Japanese approaches to mental health as well as their relevance to other cultural contexts).
- Explore the relevance of indigenous cultural concepts and values as they influence mental health challenges and inform mental health interventions