SOCW 6090 - Psychopathology and Diagnosis for Social Work Practice
(5 cr.) Students in this course are prepared to identify mental disorders and to understand the necessary professional evaluations needed to formulate a DSM-5 diagnosis in a culturally sensitive and ethical manner. Students are sensitized to the risks and benefits of using diagnosis, with an emphasis on minimizing stigma.
Throughout this course, students learn about the most common DSM-5 diagnoses and integrate that knowledge with the use of established diagnostic procedures. In developing a “working diagnosis,” students learn to consider differential diagnosis, individualize and capture missing dimensions of an illness (mental status, severity, cultural idioms, and other details) as well as adapting interventions to various ages, races, genders, and cultures. Students learn how to incorporate DSM-5 requirements into a holistic biopsychosocial approach that includes the use of evidence-based assessments to systematically resolve ambiguities in diagnosis and strengthen diagnostic accuracy. Students also practice communicating and coding DSM-5 diagnoses and their supporting evidence to peers. The course uses case materials for direct skill-building.
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