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 SSC 323 - Psychotherapy and Behavior Change

​The main objective of the course is to improve the students’ knowledge in the field of Clinical Psychology, and to develop their approach to answer questions such as: What are the requirements to be a clinical psychologist? What are the approaches to psychopathology and intervention in Clinical Psychology? How might integration of different theoretical approaches in Clinical Psychology be possible? How does cultural diversity affect approaches to psychological treatment? What major approaches to Clinical Psychology developed during the second half of the 20th century? How do the major approaches to Clinical Psychology differ in their basic assumptions about causes of psychopathology and recommendations for treatment? What are the steps involved in a psychological assessment? What are structured and semistructured interview formats? What ethical standards and guidelines should clinicians follow in using tests? Which specific tests are most commonly used by clinical psychologists? Which are the dominant approaches to psychotherapy? How has the therapeutic relationship been understood? What are some of the ethical decisions that can confront psychotherapists? What roles do anxiety and defense mechanisms play in the production of psychological problems? What are transference and countertransference? How are they viewed by the various psychodynamic approaches? What role the following play in psychoanalysis: resistance, interpretation, and insight? What are unconditional positive regard, empathy, and congruence, and why are they important in person-centered psychotherapy? What are the main goals of cognitive therapy? How cognitive-behavior therapy sessions are typically structured? What are the primary therapeutic factors in group therapy? What are some important practices for therapists to keep in mind when working with groups, couples, and families? What are the pros and cons of using computers and the Internet for assessment and treatment?  What are the different research designs used to establish empirically supported treatments? What is evidence-based practice? What are some of the major risk factors linked to emotional/behavioral problems in youth? What are protective factors, and how are they associated with children’s behavior?

Another objective of the course is to promote the development of critical thinking in the field of Clinical Psychology, and to prepare the students to be cautious and analytical consumers of information on matters related to it. A third goal of the course is that students can understand better the risks of certain factors for the promotion of people's development and the maintenance of mental health and well-being, and this knowledge can favor the achievement and preservation of their own development and wellness, as well as the development and wellness of others related to them privately or professionally.

This course will include different methods of teaching, combining lectures, videos and other audiovisual means, exercises, interviews with mental health patients and/or staff, experiments and/or researches, students’ presentations and discussions and essays-writing. This course will also include a supervised internship at Emergis, a mental health organization in Zeeland, with activities and supervision in group every 2 weeks.

Dr. Elisabeth Wiese​



The following courses are required in order to take this course: 

  • SSC 121 Introduction to Psychology
  • And one of the following courses:
    • SSC 221 Social Psychology
    • SSC 226 Medical and Health Psychology
    • ​SSC 222 Abnormal Psychology