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Regular version of the site
Master 2023/2024

Abnormal and Clinical Psychology: Social and Cultural Contexts

Category 'Best Course for Career Development'
Category 'Best Course for Broadening Horizons and Diversity of Knowledge and Skills'
Category 'Best Course for New Knowledge and Skills'
Type: Elective course (Applied Social Psychology)
Area of studies: Psychology
Delivered by: School of Psychology
When: 1 year, 3, 4 module
Mode of studies: offline
Open to: students of one campus
Master’s programme: Applied Social Psychology
Language: English
ECTS credits: 6
Contact hours: 48

Course Syllabus


The following course is an introduction to topics in abnormal psychology and clinical psychology, including the classification and etiology of common mental disorders, psychological assessment and treatment. Topics will be examined through a critical, cultural, socio-ecological, as well as a historical and biological lens.Acculturation processes and immigrant mental health research is also discussed.The course is designed to give students a broad overview of the field of clinical and abnormal psychology, and may be useful background for students who are interested in eventually pursuing mental health related research from a social or cultural perspective, or those who simply wish to have a better conceptual grasp of the field. As an introductory course, no specific prerequisites are required, although students are expected to have been exposed to material in introductory psychology undergraduate courses and may benefit from having some previous exposure to social and cultural psychology.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To familiarize students with psychological disorders, their assessment and treatment
  • To examine the origins and basic theories in the field of abnormal and clinical psychology
  • To develop an appreciation for how social and cross-cultural psychology may inform abnormal and clinical psychology, as well as vice versa
  • To cover basic issues in immigrant mental health
  • To develop students' capacities to be able to present and participate in basic scientific discussions in the field
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Students will become familiar with controversies in clinical psychology
  • Students will become familiar with social and cultural factors of common mental disorders, including perspectives from cultural-clinical psychology
  • Students will become familiar with the common research methods used in abnormal and clinical psychology
  • Students will become familiar with the history of abnormal and clinical psychology
  • Students will become familiar with the relationship of clinical psychology to neuroscience, medicine and psychiatry
  • Students will develop openness to feedback during discussions, and develop debating skills
  • Students will develop their presentation skills as well as their skills to synthesize and report information, as well as to understand better the core issues of abnormal and clinical psychology topics.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Course overview
  • Research methods
  • Overview of mental disorders
  • Overview of mental disorders
  • Clinical psychologist roles: Assessment
  • Clinical psychologist roles: Treatment
  • Relationship to social, personality, cultural and cognitive psychology and related disciplines
  • Acculturation/ immigrant mental health
  • Relationship to neuroscience, medicineand psychiatry
  • Abnormal and Clinical Psychology: In depth student presentations
  • Controversies in the field and the future of clinical psychology
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Attendance and Participation
    Attendance, participation in discussions
  • non-blocking Student Presentations
  • non-blocking Mid-Term Exam
  • non-blocking Final Essay
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2023/2024 4th module
    0.1 * Attendance and Participation + 0.35 * Final Essay + 0.25 * Mid-Term Exam + 0.3 * Student Presentations


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Achenbach, T. M. (2017). Future Directions for Clinical Research, Services, and Training: Evidence-Based Assessment Across Informants, Cultures, and Dimensional Hierarchies. Journal Of Clinical Child And Adolescent Psychology: The Official Journal For The Society Of Clinical Child And Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53, 46(1), 159–169. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2016.1220315
  • Budd, M. A., Hough, S., Wegener, S. T., & Stiers, W. (2016). Practical Psychology in Medical Rehabilitation. Switzerland: Springer. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1224671
  • Fazel, M., Wheeler, J., & Danesh, J. (2005). Prevalence of serious mental disorder in 7000 refugees resettled in western countries: a systematic review. Lancet, 365(9467), 1309–1314. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(05)61027-6
  • Field, M., & Cartwright-Hatton, S. (2015). Essential Abnormal and Clinical Psychology. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications Ltd. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1641773
  • Glorisa Canino. (2008). Psychiatric diagnosis – is it universal or relative to culture. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.2A50C5F8
  • Kirmayer, L. J., Thombs, B. D., Jurcik, T., Jarvis, G. E., & Guzder, J. (2008). Use of an Expanded Version of the DSM-IV Outline for Cultural Formulation on a Cultural Consultation Service. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.DA78F60B
  • Phillips, J., Frances, A., Cerullo, M. A., Chardavoyne, J., Decker, H. S., First, M. B., … Zachar, P. (2012). The six most essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis: A pluralogue part 2: Issues of conservatism and pragmatism in psychiatric diagnosis. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.F1612F7C
  • Spiegel, D., Loewenstein, R. J., Lewis, F. R., Sar, V., Simeon, D., Vermetten, E., … Dell, P. F. (2011). Dissociative disorders in DSM-5. Depression & Anxiety (1091-4269), 28(12), E17–E45. https://doi.org/10.1002/da.20923
  • Tangney, J. P., & Maddux, J. E. (2010). Social Psychological Foundations of Clinical Psychology. New York: The Guilford Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=332472
  • University of Florida, D. of P. U. ( host institution ), Tandon, R. ( author ), Nasrallah, H. A. ( author ), & Keshavan, M. S. ( author ). (2009). Schizophrenia, “just the facts” 4. Clinical features and conceptualization. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.81BD10AB

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Folk, J. B., Disabato, D. J., Goodman, F. R., Carter, S. P., DiMauro, J. C., & Riskind, J. H. (2016). Wise Additions Bridge the Gap between Social Psychology and Clinical Practice: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy as an Exemplar. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.869176D9
  • Glasgow, R. E., Lichtenstein, E., & Marcus, A. C. (2003). Why Don’t We See More Translation of Health Promotion Research to Practice? Rethinking the Efficacy-to-Effectiveness Transition. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.4018F663
  • Gone, J. P. (2014). Advancing Cultural-Clinical Psychology: Reflections on the Special Issue. Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, 33(10), 954–965. https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2014.33.10.954
  • Jurcik, T., Chentsova, D. Y. E., Solopieieva, J. I., & Ryder, A. G. (2013). Russians in Treatment: The Evidence Base Supporting Cultural Adaptations. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69(7), 774–791. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.21971
  • Martin E. P. Seligman. (1995). The effectiveness of psychotherapy: The Consumer Reports Study. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.43FF19E0
  • Mehta, N. (2011). Mind-body Dualism: A critique from a Health Perspective**. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.2584180A
  • Scott O. Lilienfeld. (2012). Public skepticism of psychology. Why many people perceive the study of human behavior as unscientific. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.F78D81F7
  • Seligman, R., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2008). Dissociative Experience and Cultural Neuroscience: Narrative, Metaphor and Mechanism. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.DD153212
  • Thomas S. Szasz. (1961). The Myth of Mental Illness. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.EF4EA253