Psychopathology: Investigating the Biology and Psychology of Mental Illness

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This course is under review for 2021. Course registration will open to accepted students once courses are confirmed.

Course Description

This interactive psychopathology course will investigate the biological foundations of mental health disorders and explore how professional treat mental illness. Everyday we are learning more about how biology, genetics, and our environment contributes to how we think, our mood, and our predisposition to certain diseases. The objective of this one-week course is to show how psychology and biology are intimately intertwined together to shape human outlook on the world, behavior, and how they both contribute to mental health.

Together we will delve into illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorder, and neurodegenerative disorders. The course will be co-taught by a practicing mental health therapist and a Ph.D. biologist. We will explore the biological, social and cognitive causes of these illnesses of the brain. The course will begin with a review of the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system, brain structures and hormones that regulate cognition, emotions, and behaviors. Students will also examine counseling interventions designed to conceptualize and treat these disorders through specific case studies drawn from real-life clients. We will also address current and historic ways health professions treat specific mental illnesses. This multidimensional perspective on psychopathology is perfect for those students interested in both biology and psychology!

By the end of this course students will be able to:
(1) Discuss the biological foundations psychological disorders,
(2) Name and explain the symptoms associated multiple mental health illnesses
(3) Analyze real-world case studies and discuss treatment options that would like be utilized
(4) Know more about schooling and career options in psychotherapy and/or neurobiology
(5) Be able to accurately, respectfully, and more articulately discuss mental health disorders and their treatments

Prerequisites: No prerequisite courses are required. An interest biology and psychology is highly recommended.

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEBN0939
  • Length: 1 week

Program Information

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Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences, offering over 200 non-credit courses, one- to four-weeks long, taught on Brown’s campus. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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