COUC 546 Psychopathology

This course studies psychological disorders and normalcy across the lifespan. Students are prepared to responsibly and competently assess, diagnose, conceptualize, and counsel clients as defined by the Diagnostic Statistical Manual classification system. Concepts and constructs, assessment processes, etiology, cultural factors, differential diagnosis, decisions-making, and evidence-based therapeutic approaches are emphasized. Clinical and scientific research is integrated through the course with a biblical worldview so that students will have a robust biopsychosocialspiritual lens to understand and treat mental disorders.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Course Guide

View this course’s outcomes, policies, schedule, and more.*

*The information contained in our Course Guides is provided as a sample. Specific course curriculum and requirements for each course are provided by individual instructors each semester. Students should not use Course Guides to find and complete assignments, class prerequisites, or order books.


Becoming a professional in the field of counseling will require a thorough knowledge of the current diagnostic criteria used by the mental health profession. Making an accurate differential diagnosis is a key component of effective counseling. Understanding the DSM-5-TR and acquiring interviewing strategies for effectively and efficiently gathering diagnostic information will aid the developing counselor in becoming competent. This course is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge in order to be competent in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning using the DSM-5-TR. Further, the course contains information that you will need to know in order to pass most state licensure exams.

Proficient knowledge of all aspects of human behavior, coupled with sound biblical values, will permit a more active and excellent, informed dialogue and critique of present clinical practice.

Method of Instruction: This 8-week course is delivered in a digital asynchronous format, with Canvas® as the primary instructional delivery method. Students complete one module per week over the duration of the course. 


Textbook readings and lecture presentations

No details available.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Advising Acknowledgement Quiz

No details available.

Discussion: Christian Worldview & Psychopathology Video

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, for this assignment, the student will post an initial video post for the prompt for each thread. The initial video must be minimum of 3 minutes to a maximum of 5 minutes long and must contain at least two sources: the Bible and one (1) scholarly source outside of the Learn and Textbook materials. The student must comment on his/her posted video with a written current APA reference for the source cited. In addition to the initial post, the student is required post two (2) VIDEO replies, either two (2) replies to classmates or one (1) reply to a classmate and one (1) reply to a question posted by the instructor. Both of the replies must be a minimum of 2 minutes long and a maximum of 3 minutes long and use at least one (1) scholarly source. (CLOs: D) 

DSM-5-TR Summaries Assignments (4)

The student will have four sets of summaries to complete. Each set will contain a 1-page summary of a category of disorders (one page per category; e.g., in Summary set 1, one page for Bipolar and Related Disorders, one page for Depressive Disorders, and one page for Anxiety Disorders). Each category should include the following headings: Overview, Disorders, and Risk and Prognostic Factors. (CLOs: A, C) 

Benchmark Case Presentation Paper Assignment

The student will create a case presentation including the following sections: Identifying Information, Presenting Concerns, Biopsychosocialspiritual Assessment, Mental Status Exam, Treatment Recommendations, and Answer Key. The assignment must be 7-10 pages long, excluding the title page and reference page. The paper must be in current APA format and does not require an abstract. This assignment requires a minimum of four resources from peer-reviewed journals that are less than 10 years old.

Step 1: The student will submit a request for the diagnosis on which they will base their case presentation as a quiz in Quiz: Case Presentation Topic for Instructor Approval. The student must receive written approval from the professor to proceed with the case presentation.

Step 2: The student will write a Case Presentation using the following sections: Identifying Information, Reason for Referral/Presenting Concerns, History, Mental Status Exam, Treatment Recommendations, and Answer Key. (CLOs: B, D, E)

Case Study Assignments (5)

The student must write a 6-8 page Case Study in current APA format that determines the key issues presented, provides diagnostic impressions based upon the DSM-5-TR, and includes treatment recommendations that support a collaborative effort and include a biological/psychological/social/spiritual approach. Each Case Study must include at least 7 scholarly sources including the maximum of one textbook reference. (CLOs: B, D)

Quizzes (4)

Each quiz will cover the Learn & Textbook material for the specified Modules: Weeks. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice questions, and have a 1-hour-30-minute time limit. (CLOs: A, C, F (chapter quizzes); B, E (Module 3 quiz). 

This quiz is a text response in which the student will enter the topic for his/her Benchmark Case Presentation Paper Assignment. This quiz will contain 1 short-answer question and will have no time limit.

Quiz: Dispositions Reflection

This Dispositions Reflection quiz will ask you to rate yourself on the nine dispositions required for this program by our accrediting bodies using the following scale:

  • Exceeds expectations – I believe I do this exceptionally well.
  • Clearly meets expectations – I believe I am able to do this in an appropriate way as expected for graduate students at my current position in the program.
  • Adequately meets expectations – I believe I do this but could use improvement and growth in this dispositional area.
  • Does not meet expectations – I believe I do not do this well and could use improvement.

This quiz will contain 9 multiple-choice and 1 essay questions and will have a 1-hour time limit.


Top 1% For Online Programs

Have questions about this course or a program?

Speak to one of our admissions specialists.