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Science of Psychology and Mental Health

Melissa Snyder, M.Ed., LPCC
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This 8-week course will define abnormal psychology, the assessment, diagnosis process and the diagnostic criteria of individual mental health disorders as listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5).

Class Experience

US Grade 8 - 11
Beginner Level
Follows Teacher-Created Curriculum
8 lessons//8 Weeks
 Week 1
Lesson 1
What is Abnormal Psychology and how it has evolved over time
We'll look at what is abnormal versus "normal" behavior. We'll also discuss a historical perspective on abnormal behavior and treatment.
 Week 2
Lesson 2
Clinical Assessment and Diagnostic Process
We'll outline the clinical assessment and diagnostic process used with mental health disorders.
 Week 3
Lesson 3
Anxiety & Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
Including Separation Anxiety Disorder, Selective Mutism, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Hoarding Disorder
 Week 4
Lesson 4
Trauma-and Stressor Related Disorders & Dissociative Disorders
Including Reactive Attachment Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Dissociative Amnesia
 Week 5
Lesson 5
Depressive Disorders, Bipolar Disorders & Somatic Disorders
Including Major Depressive Disorder, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation, Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Somatic Symptom Disorder, Factitious Disorder and Malingering
 Week 6
Lesson 6
Neurodevelopmental Disorders & Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disord
Including Intellectual Disability, Social Communication Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Tourette’s Disorder, Schizophrenia Disorder; Also introduce optional Diagnostic Challenge Project
 Week 7
Lesson 7
Personality Disorders
Including Paranoid Personality Disorder, Schizoid Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder
 Week 8
Lesson 8
Disruptive, Impulse-Control, and Conduct Disorders & Sleep-Wake Disorder
Including Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Kleptomania, Nightmare Disorder; We'll review Diagnostic Challenge answers.
  • 1] Students will learn definition of abnormal psychology, both today's and the historical view 2] Students will learn what the clinical assessment and diagnostic process for mental health disorders involves 3] Students will learn the diagnostic criteria of the disorders in eleven categories of mental health disorders as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-5)
I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, with M.Ed. in Community counseling and a B.A. in Sociology. My licenses permits me to diagnose clients using the DSM 5.  I have taught college level introductory Psychology and Sociology courses.
0 - 1 hours per week outside of class
Frequency: available upon request
Feedback: available upon request
Details: None will be assigned. Outside sources and videos will be provided for further exploration if desired.
Frequency: available upon request
Details: Informal assessment will take place throughout the lesson by asking students questions through chat box polls. Final Exam available upon request.
Frequency: available upon request
Details: Upon request, final grade report can be given based on class attendance, participation during in-class chat box polls and final exam.
Note taking materials.

I will provide an outline that can be used to follow along and take notes for each lesson.  It will be uploaded shortly before each lesson through a link to a virtual classroom.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
 This is a fact-based course.  I don't intend to discuss personal sensitive topics.  In the event a student would bring up a personal mental health related issue, I will recognize the feeling/comment (i.e. "That can be really difficult") and respond, "That's important information to share with a trusted adult in a private/one-on-one setting.  For now, let's talk about...". This has been a successful strategy in previous fact-based courses to address any sensitive topics that may come up. 

I don't believe parental guidance is required. However, parents know best if their child will more comfortable with them by their side.  The fact-based content of this course doesn't require a parent, but the nature/personality of the specific learner may.
These ARE NOT needed for the class.

This is the textbook that is a primary source used in the lessons.  It is not however needed by the individual learner. https://www.amazon.com/Abnormal-Psychology-Perspectives-Psychological-Disorders/dp/1260547914/ref=sr_1_12?crid=22NB0APF0707I&dchild=1&keywords=abnormal+psychology&qid=1606453232&sprefix=abn%2Caps%2C193&sr=8-12

This is the desk reference size of the DSM-5 that will be referenced in the class.  Some students enjoy having this smaller version of the DSM-5 that can be found at https://www.amazon.com/Reference-Diagnostic-Criteria-Psychiatric-Association-dp-B08DBYPZMH/dp/B08DBYPZMH/ref=mt_other?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=1601796600 
Joined July, 2020
Teacher expertise and credentials
Master's Degree in Education from Kent State University
Hello there! I'm a licensed professional clinical counselor who focuses on education classes and workshops for children, teens and adults.  I primarily teach psychology and anxiety reduction classes on Outschool.  Learning life-skills and coping... 
Group Class


weekly or $150 for 8 classes
1x per week, 8 weeks
50 min

Completed by 64 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 13-18
4-12 learners per class

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