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Webster University • Lakeland-Brandon Metro Campus • College of Arts & Sciences • Professional Counseling

Psychopathology COUN-5150

  • F1 2017
  • Section LL
  • 3 Credits
  • 08/21/2017 to 10/20/2017
  • Modified 09/27/2017

Meeting Times

FALL I 2017, Wednesday 5:30PM – 9:30PM

Contact Information


COUN 5150: Psychopathology

This course focuses on the identification and comprehension of the major psychological disorders as detailed in the current Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (APA). The behavioral manifestations and dynamics of mental disorders will be explored, focusing on therapeutic assessment issues and case conceptualization. Multicultural and ethical components are integrated.


Content Areas: diagnosis, helping relationships, social and cultural diversity, assessment


Upon successful completion of this class students will be able to:

  1. Define the impact of co-occurring substance use disorders on medical and psychological disorders;
  2. identify the disease concept and etiology of addiction and co-occurring disorders;
  3. label the principles, models, and documentation formats of bio-psycho-social case conceptualization and treatment planning;
  4. demonstrate the ability to incorporate psychosocial, social, and occupational functioning on the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale;
  5. describe the principles of the diagnostic process, including differential diagnosis, and the use of current diagnostic tools, such as the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM);
  6. define the established diagnostic criteria for mental and emotional disorders, and describes treatment modalities and placement criteria within the continuum of care;
  7. describe the relevance and potential biases of commonly used diagnostic tools with multicultural populations;
  8. Describe appropriate use of diagnosis during a crisis, disaster, or other trauma-causing events.
    1. Differentiate between an apparent DSM diagnosis and developmentally appropriate reactions during crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events.
  9. Demonstrate appropriate use of diagnostic tools, including the current edition of the DSM, to describe the symptoms and clinical presentation of clients with mental and emotional impairments;
  10. Conceptualize an accurate multi-axial diagnosis of disorders presented by a client and discuss the differential diagnosis with collaborating professionals; and
  11. Summarize the current actions in your state legislation regarding professional counseling and diagnosis


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical

Manual of Mental Disorders: 5th Edition). Washington DC:

Author. ISBN 978-0-89042-555-8.


American Psychological Association (2010) Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed). ISBN 10: 1-4338-0561-8.


1.  Presentation and role play - 20% of grade

Your group will present on a specific diagnosis: diagnostic criteria, any specifiers, differential diagnoses, multicultural/diversity concerns, most empirically supported and effective treatments for the disorder, any special considerations for assessment of the disorder, and will create a role play demonstrating the disorder and the counselor’s role in assessment. The group will provide Power Point handouts for the entire class with this information. The entire presentation will be 20-30 minutes.

2.  Mid Term Exam - 20% of grade

The mid term exam will consist of multiple choice questions.

3.  Final Exam - 20% of grade

The final exam will consist of multiple choice questions.

 4.  Final Paper - 20% of grade – (body of paper will be minimum 7 pages) Title Page, Table of Contents

Part I: DSM 5 Diagnosis (2-4 pages)

Diagnosis (brief summary of symptoms associated with diagnosis)

Historical and/or Political Roots of Diagnosis

Current Literature on Diagnosis (scholarly articles must be 2007 or newer)

Part II: Ethical and Multicultural Issues (2 pages)

Ethical Considerations related to the Diagnosis

Multicultural Considerations related to the Diagnosis

Part III: Case Study (3-5 pages)

Demographics (age, marital status, gender, race, ethnicity, etc)

Presenting Problem (why is the client coming to counseling)

Presenting Symptoms (what are the symptoms the client is presenting that resemble a disorder)

Social history (describe the client’s relationships with others, other relevant info about behaviors and lifestyle, any abuse history)

Family history (describe relationship with family, any family history of Mental Illness)

Occupational/Educational History (occupational is usually for an adult and educational is usually for a child)

Treatment (discuss current effective treatment(s) for your disorder)

Technical requirements for paper:

To achieve a successful project experience and outcome, you are expected to meet the following requirements.

Content: Prepare a comprehensive project that includes all sections as described in the Content Format section above.

Components:  Include a title page, abstract, table of contents, body of the paper, and a reference list.

Number of pages: The body of the paper will be minimum 7 pages.

Written communication: Demonstrate accurate, meaningful, and appropriate written communication.

References: You will use a minimum of 4 references. The references can include peer reviewed scholarly journal articles and the DSM 5.

Formatting: Use APA 6th edition formatting for the introduction and summary sections, including: correct in-text citations, proper punctuation, double-spacing throughout, proper headings and subheadings, no skipped lines before headings and subheadings, proper paragraph and block indentation, no bolding, and no bullets.   Write your paper using Microsoft Word. Do not use Works or Word Perfect.

Plagiarism:  Papers will be required to be submitted to the Turn It In program in the Blackboard course room to check for plagiarism prior to turning it in to the instructor.

5.  Case Studies – 10% of grade: You will be given 4 case studies to review and provide a DSM 5 diagnosis and explanation of the diagnosis. You are also required to provide a small treatment plan or summary of treatment for the disorder. 1-2 page requirement. 

6.  Professionalism/Participation -10% of grade

Students are expected to contribute to class discussions and activities and complete assigned readings prior to class. Attendance and promptness are also expected. Points will be deducted for tardiness and absences. Please do not have cell phones on or text while in class.  



Method of Evaluation:

A = 94-100

A- = 90-93

B+ = 88-89

B = 83-87

B- = 80-82

C = 70-79

F = 69 and lower


Week 1: DSM 5 Basics, DSM IV-TR, ethics and diagnosing

Week 2: Childhood and Neurodevelopmental, Disruptive, Impulse Control and Conduct Disorders

Week 3: Bipolar, Depressive and Related Disorders, Presentations

Week 4: Anxiety Disorders, Trauma/Stressor and OC Related Disorders, Presentations

Week 5: Substance Abuse Disorders/Personality Disorders,

                Presentations, Mid Term Exam

Week 6: Dissociative Disorders and Psychotic Disorders,   


Week 7: Eating, Elimination, Sleep/Wake, Paraphilic Disorders Presentations

Week 8: Delirium/Dementia, Somatoform, and Factitious

                 Disorders, Review for Final Exam, Final Papers Due

Week 9: Review and Final Exam

This weekly schedule is subject to revisions by the instructor as deemed necessary.

Course calendar and related activities
When Topic Notes
Week 4
Campus Closure

Due to Hurricane Irma, Lakeland campus was closed during week 4 class.  The class will be made up with an assignment. 

Institutional Policies

Academic Policies

Academic policies provide students with important rights and responsibilities.  Students are expected to familiarize themselves with all academic policies that apply to them.  Academic policies for undergraduate students can be found in the Undergraduate Studies Catalog; graduate students should review the Graduate Studies Catalog.

Undergraduate Studies Catalog

The Undergraduate Studies Catalog contains academic policies that apply to all undergraduate students. The academic policies and information section of the catalog contains important information related to attendance, conduct, academic honesty, grades, and more. If you are an undergraduate student, please review the catalog each academic year. The current Undergraduate Studies Catalog is at:

Graduate Studies Catalog

The Graduate Studies Catalog contains academic policies that apply to all graduate students. The academic policies section of the catalog contains important information related to conduct, academic honesty, grades, and more. If you are a graduate student, please review the catalog each academic year. The current Graduate Studies Catalog is at:


The Grades section of the academic catalog outlines the various grading systems courses may use, including the information about the final grade reported for this class.




There are important policies that govern grades of Incomplete (I), including the circumstances under which Incomplete grades are granted, deadlines for completion, and consequences should the remaining course work not be completed.  It is the responsibility of a student who requests an Incomplete to ensure that he/she understands and follows the policies.

Grade Appeals

Instructors are responsible for assigning grades, and student should discuss grade issues with the instructor. Policies and procedures for appealing grades are available in the appropriate catalog.

Academic Honesty Policy

Webster University is committed to academic excellence. As part of our Statement of Ethics, we strive to preserve academic honor and integrity by repudiating all forms of academic and intellectual dishonesty, including cheating, plagiarism and all other forms of academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty is unacceptable and is subject to a disciplinary response. Students are encouraged to talk to instructors about any questions they may have regarding how to properly credit others’ work, including paraphrasing, quoting, and citation formatting. The university reserves the right to utilize electronic databases, such as, to assist faculty and students with their academic work.

The University’s Academic Honesty Policy is published in academic catalogs:



As a part of the University commitment to academic excellence, the Academic Resource Center provides student resources to become better acquainted with academic honesty and the tools to prevent plagiarism in its many forms:

Statement of Ethics

Webster University strives to be a center of academic excellence. The University makes every effort to ensure the following:

  • The opportunity for students to learn and inquire freely
  • The protection of intellectual freedom and the rights of professors to teach
  • The advancement of knowledge through scholarly pursuits and relevant dialogue

To review Webster University's statement of ethics, see the Undergraduate Studies Catalog and the Graduate and Studies Catalog:



Important Academic Resources

Academic Accommodations

Webster University makes every effort to accommodate individuals with academic/learning, health, physical and psychological disabilities. To obtain accommodations, students must identify themselves and provide documentation from a qualified professional or agency to the appropriate campus designee or the Academic ADA Coordinator at the main campus. The Academic ADA Coordinator may be reached at 314-246-7700 or [email protected].

If you have already identified as a student with a documented disability and are entitled to classroom or testing accommodations, please inform the instructor of the accommodations you will require for this class at the beginning of the course.

Academic Resource Center 

Additional support and resources may be accessed through the Academic Resource Center (ARC). Support and resources include academic counseling, accommodations, assistive technology, peer tutoring, plagiarism prevention, testing center services, and writing coaching. Visit or Loretto Hall 40 on the main campus for more information.

University Library

Webster University Library is dedicated to supporting the research needs and intellectual pursuits of students throughout the University’s worldwide network. Resources include print and electronic books, journal articles, online databases, DVDs and streaming video, CDs and streaming music, datasets, and other specialized information. Services include providing materials at no cost and research help for basic questions to in-depth exploration of resources. The gateway to all of these resources and services is For support navigating the library’s resources, see for the many ways to contact library staff. 

Drops and Withdrawals

Drop and withdrawal policies dictate processes for students who wish to unenroll from a course.  Students must take proactive steps to unenroll; informing the instructor is not sufficient, nor is failing to attend.  In the early days of the term or semester, students may DROP a course with no notation on their student record.  After the DROP deadline, students may WITHDRAW from a course; in the case of a WITHDRAW, a grade of W appears on the student record.  After the WITHDRAW deadline, students may not unenroll from a course.  Policies and a calendar of deadlines for DROP and WITHDRAW are at:



Academic Calendar -

Current tuition rates, policies, and procedures, including details of pro-rated tuition refunds, are available in the “Tuition, Fees, and Refunds” section of Webster’s Academic Catalogs:



Student Handbook and Other Important Policies

Student handbook and other non-academic policies may apply to you and may impact your experience in this class.  Such policies include the student code of conduct, privacy, technology and communications, and more. Please review the handbook each year and be aware of policies that apply to you.  The handbook is available at:

Sexual Assault, Harassment, and Other Sexual Offenses

Webster University makes every effort to educate the community to prevent sexual assault, harassment, and other sexual offenses from occurring, and is committed to providing support to those affected when this behavior does occur. To access information and resources or to review the Policy on Sexual Assault, Harassment, and Other Sexual Offenses, visit:

Research on Human Subjects

The Webster University Institutional Review Committee (IRB) is responsible for the review of all research on human subjects.  The IRB process applies to all Webster University faculty, staff, and students and must be completed prior to any contact with human subjects.  For more information on the IRB, visit:

Course Evaluations

At the end of this course, you will have the opportunity to provide feedback about your experience. Your input is extremely valuable to the university, your instructor, and the department that offers this course. Please provide your honest and thoughtful evaluation, as it helps the university to provide the best experience possible for all of its students.

Important Technology Information

Connections Accounts

Webster University provides all students, faculty, and staff with a University email account through Connections. Students are expected to activate their Connections account and regularly check incoming University email. Students may choose to have their University email forwarded to an alternate email address. Connections account holders can call the Help Desk (314-246-5995 or toll free at 1-866-435-7270) for assistance with this setup. Instructions are also provided on the Information Technology website at:


WorldClassRoom is Webster’s Learning Content Management System (LMS). Your instructor may use WorldClassRoom to deliver important information, to hold class activities, to communicate grades and feedback, and more. WorldClassRoom is available using your Connections ID at:

Webster Alerts

Webster Alerts is the University's preferred emergency mass notification service, available free to current students, faculty and staff at all US campuses. By registering a valid cell phone number and email address, you will receive urgent campus text, voice mail and email communications. Valuable information concerning a range of incidents affecting you - from weather-related campus closures, class delays and cancellations, to more serious or life-threatening events - are immediately and simultaneously delivered through multiple communication channels. To register for Webster Alerts, visit:

Campus Information