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Abnormal Psychology

duration Duration: 1 Teaching Period

unit code Unit Code: PSY70018

contact hours Contact Hours: Recommended 10 hours of study per week

About this unit

This unit introduces students to the ways in which human behaviour has been conceptualised as ‘abnormal’. Students are introduced in depth to the diagnostic manual used by Australian psychologists. Important examples of psychological disorders are introduced in terms of their phenomenology and nosology, as well as theories about aetiology and approaches to psychological treatment.  In sum, the unit develops understanding of the concept of abnormal behaviour, and develops understanding of key mental disorders and the major psychological treatments used to address them.


  • Conceptualising and researching distress and mental health
  • Causal factors in mental health
  • Stress and mental health
  • Description and diagnosis of anxiety disorders
  • Description and diagnosis of mood disorders
  • Psychological treatments: the major evidence based approaches
  • Description and diagnosis of dissociative disorders
  • Breaks from reality: schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
  • Problems with reward management: eating disorders and substance-related disorders
  • Pervasive disorders related to the personality
  • Disorders of childhood and adolescence.

This unit is found in the Graduate Diploma of Psychology.

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