Skip to content


Apply the theory and practice of psychopathology to help patients, identify abnormal behavior, and diagnose mental illnesses.

About this Workshop

Campus: Wellesley College | Rising Grades: 10,11,12

What separates a mental illness from abnormal behavior? Strive to answer this question and many others in an exploration of common mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and dissociative identity disorder. Perform case study analyses, gain insight into the cultural and historical factors shaping society’s view of abnormal behavior, and learn about culturally sensitive assessment practices. Delve into the biological, psychological, and sociocultural theories that inform psychopathology. Explore the 4Ds—deviance, distress, dysfunction, and danger—to gain a better understanding of how practitioners use them to diagnose mental illness. Examine how psychologists and therapists use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to understand criteria for various mental illnesses. Explore mental health treatment options, including controversial “off-label” choices, and debate the ethics of using untested treatments. With a solid foundation in the research and DSM, practice applying the theory to best practices in helping patients in traditional and non-traditional health care settings.


Develop Diagnostic Skills
Analyze patient files and therapists’ notes, and analyze recorded sections of therapy sessions. These clinical practicu cultivate exceptional skills of observation and analysis.

Patient Care Plan
Working with patient actors, interview a patient and determine if they meet the criteria for diagnosis of a mental illness. Then, create a plan of care for your patient, which might include treatments like drug, talk, or group therapies.

Case Studies
Explore different standards of care and treatment methods within the field, including culturally sensitive and trauma-informed care for children, veterans, and minority groups.

Meet the Experts
Meet with experts who apply research to their work. Explore how psychopathology is used to inform practices in settings such as community health centers, hospitals, prisons, veterans organizations, at-risk youth centers, pharmaceutical companies, and holistic health centers.