SW 760 Human Behavior and the Social Environment III: Issues and Perspectives in Psychopathology

As a component of preparing students for clinical practice in an urban, multicultural and diverse environment, this course expands on the foundation content introduced in Human Behavior and the Social Environment I & II.

Cognizant of the critical impact of culture, class, ethnicity, race, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, spirituality, ability, and gender upon the process of diagnosis and social work practice interventions, concepts of mental health and illness are viewed in the context of biopsychosocial factors which impact the person-environment interface. Multiple meanings of “normal” and “pathological” behavior are explored in depth.

Theories underpinning the construction and application of psychiatric diagnostic categories and treatment processes are studied and related to social work roles and functions. The theoretical justification for social work methods of assessment and intervention are presented within the context of the values of the profession and with a focus on the profession’s fundamental interest in promoting social and economic justice and in addressing the needs of populations at risk. How the way in which services are organized and administered impacts how we see (assessment) and what we do (intervention) is explored throughout the course.