This unit covers important aspects of abnormal behaviour, including historical influences, theory, assessment, specific psychopathologies, treatment methods, and legal issues. Both the scientific and professional aspects of psychopathology are studied. Students will be provided with a broad and comprehensive review of abnormal psychology by studying and contrasting different disorders and theoretical perspectives. Therapeutic interventions frequently used to treat psychological disorders are also introduced.

Unit code: DZ3260S

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Counselling

Proposing College: Stirling College

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate in depth understanding of core concepts of abnormal psychology with particular reference to diagnosis, clinical picture, causes, and treatment methods


Critically evaluate abnormal psychology research and methods of classification from social, philosophical and theological perspectives


Apply theoretical knowledge in assessing behaviour and classifying psychological disorders


Express insight into the relationship between conceptualisation and treatment of psychological disorders

Unit sequence

Core unit of the Bachelor of Counselling Prerequisite unit: Introduction to Psychology


A combination of readings, lectures, and tutorials.

Indicative Bibliography

  • American Psychiatric Association (2013). DSM-5 (5THEd). American Psychiatric Association, N.Y.
  • Barlow, D.H. & Durand, V.M. (2013). Abnormal Psychology: An Integrative Approach. (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
  • Comer, R. J. (2017). Abnormal Psychology. (10th ed.). Worth Publishers.
  • First, M. (2013). DSM-5TM Handbook of differential diagnosis. Amer Psychiatric Pub.
  • Kring, A., Kyrios, M., Fassnsacht, D., Lambros, A., Mihaljcic, T., Teeson, M. (2017). Abnormal Psychology. (12th ed.). John Wiley & Sons.
  • Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT skills training manual. Guilford Press.
  • Millon, T. & Millon, C. M. Personality disorders in modern life. (2nd ed). Wiley.
  • Moriarty, G. L. (2010). Integrating faith and psychology: Twelve psychologist tell their stories. CAPS Books, USA.
  • Oltmanns, T. F., Martin, M. T. Neale, J. M. Davison, G. C. (2019). Case studies in abnormal psychology. (11th ed.). Wiley.
  • Paris, J. (2013). The intelligent clinician’s guide to the DSM-5. Oxford University Press.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Case Study - Case Study 1500 30.0
Essay - Minor Essay 1500 30.0
Essay - Major Essay 2000 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 18 Sep, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-09-18 15:34:24 +1000