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Mental Health and Illness




Admissions requirements

Introduction to Psychology.


Mental Health and Psychopathology provides an introduction to the study of psychological dysfunction and psychiatric disorders. The course is designed to introduce students to various clinical presentations of psychopathology that may occur throughout human development. The course focuses on the definition, phenomenology, etiology, and treatment of the major syndromes. We will critically review theories of the causes and mechanisms of mental illness, ranging from social to neurobiological approaches. In the context of disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, eating disorders, personality disorders and anxiety disorders, we will look at how genetic, neurobiological and social factors contribute to the development of mental illness, as well as how social and cultural factors mediate the severity of or may even prevent the development of mental illness. Current empirically based psychological and biological interventions will also be reviewed.

Course objectives

After this course, students will:

  • Be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of major psychiatric syndromes

  • Know how to interpret signs and symptoms in classification and diagnoses, and understand the strengths and limitations of current diagnostic systems

  • Know the relevance of genetic, psychological and social factors in the development of psychiatric disorders.

  • Be able to process recent research findings relative to the development and description of maladaptive behavior

  • Know the rationale and evidence concerning psychological and biological treatments of psychopathology.


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

Teaching methods include lectures by the instructors, (group) presentations by the students, excursion or an interview with psychiatric patients and debates.


Students are expected to attend class, read required assignments prior to class and participate in class discussions.

*Participation (15%):
Participation will be determined by attendance and participation in class discussions. Aspects of participation include listening skills, verbal reasoning skills (including ability to support verbal statements with evidence and/or examples), knowledge of course material, creativity of expressed ideas, and ability to provide supportive or constructive feedback to colleagues.
*Book Review (40%):
Students will be required to select a book for scholarly review. Additional details are below.
*Presentation and discussion of Book reviews (15%).
*Final Examination (30%):
The examination will consist of questions on the assigned chapters of the Nolen-Hoeksema book.


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

To be announced.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Prof.dr. A.J.W. van der Does