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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : Clinical Psychology

Postgraduate Course: Common Mental Health Presentations (CLPS11087)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will cover the range of common mental health issues, routine clinical presentations and models of therapeutic intervention. Students will develop an understanding of psychopathology and problem definitions, including a working knowledge of systems of classification, diagnostic criteria and tools, and be encouraged to develop a critical psychological perspective engaging with these issues. Students will be able to identify common mental health issues and will build knowledge of the evidence base for key theoretical models of intervention.
Course description Students will develop an understanding of the phenomenology and classification of common mental health presentations, relevant diagnostic frameworks, and the evidence-base for interventions, including the impact of context and developmental stage, and develop a critical psychological perspective on this material.

Similarities, overlaps, and differences of common mental health disorders will be highlighted and discussed. Consequences of similarities and co-morbidity of symptoms and presentation of the different mental health problems will be critically reviewed. An overview of the evidence base for current interventions will be taught and an overview of key theoretical models of therapy will be introduced.

Areas covered include:
- Symptoms and presentations of common mental health problems.
- Classification and phenomenology; psychological and psychiatric classification.
- Origins and developments of current diagnostic methods.
- Specific presentations including Anxiety disorders (Panic Disorder; Social Anxiety Disorder), Low Mood, Obsessive-Compulsive
Disorder, Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- Common clinical presentations such as sleep difficulties, situational avoidance, anger and emotional regulation.
- Developmental pathways of common mental health problems.
- Differential diagnoses and complex presentations.
- Context and collaboration (e.g. multi-disciplinary teams; family systems; school) in information gathering for classification of
mental health disorders.
- Current interventions for the common mental health disorders, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, biological and
psychopharmacological treatments, client- or (inter)person(al) centered therapies and systemic and family interventions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 19/09/2022
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 9, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1) A 3000 word written assignment (100%)

Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Describe common clinical presentations and critical psychological engagement with current diagnostic frameworks of common mental health problems.
  2. Appraise diagnostic frameworks and question psychiatric and psychological models of common mental health problems.
  3. Recognize how common clinical presentations vary across developmental stages.
  4. Critically assess the evidence-base for interventions for common mental health problems and recognize how these interventions are adapted developmentally.
  5. Summarize and appraise the key theoretical models behind common interventions.
Reading List
Carr, A. (2015). The Handbook of Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology: A Contextual Approach.Oxfordshire, Routledge.

Carr, A. & McNulty, M. (2016). The Handbook of Adult Clinical Psychology: An Evidence Based Practice Approach. Oxfordshire, Routledge

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC.

World Health Organization (2019). International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems (11th ed.).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will support students to:

Recognize descriptions of mental health problems as symptoms.
Understand the context of symptom presentation within diagnostic frameworks.
Reflect on the diagnostic process and assessment practices.
Understand some of the various considerations necessary for the diagnostic process.
Be aware of the evidence base for interventions.
Appreciate the dominant models of therapeutic interventions and their relative merits.
KeywordsMental health symptoms,phenomenology,mental health diagnosis,clinical assessment,psychological
Course organiserDr Corinna Panagou
Tel: (0131 6)51 3969
Course secretaryMrs Clara Shaw
Tel: (0131 6)51 3970
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