First-Year Seminar (101-6-20)
Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment
Benjamin J Gorvine
Willard Hall B72: Tues, Thurs 12:30PM - 1:50PM
Overview of class
While those going into the field of mental health typically think about it as a "helping profession", there is much more than meets the eye when it comes to the psychological, economic, and political forces that have defined the development of the field. The course will focus on the contemporary framework for defining mental illness - the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (now in its 5th edition) - with a particular focus on some of the problems that have emerged from the disease-based framework utilized in the manual, and the assumptions that it makes about disorders and typical development. We will explore the role of state mental hospitals in the U.S. in the early to mid-20th century, and we will examine the political forces that drove the de-institutionalization movement of the 1970s and 1980s, with additional consideration of the contemporary implications of the closing of state hospitals. Finally, the course will focus on the evolution of psychotherapy in the modern marketplace, and some of the challenges posed by the demands of the health insurance industry and academic research. The aggressive way in which the DSM has been marketed internationally and the implications of culture for diagnosis will also be discussed. Along the way, we will explore critiques of the pharmaceutical industry, the health insurance industry, and modern psychiatry. Some of these themes will also be explored through analysis of popular films and other media. Students will be evaluated on the basis of class attendance and participation, co-leading a class discussion with peers, and writing assignments including short reaction papers and a longer research paper.
Attendance at 1st class mandatory
Enrollment Requirements: Reserved for Freshmen and Sophomores
Primarily discussion supplemented with videos and some brief lectures.
Students will be evaluated on the basis of class attendance and participation, co-leading a class discussion with peers, and writing assignments including short reaction papers and a longer research paper.
Class Materials (Required)
Schwartz, B. (2005). The Paradox of Choice: Why more is less. New York: Harper. ISBN: 978- 0060005696.
Gnaulati, E. (2018). Saving Talk Therapy: How health insurers, big pharma, and slanted science are ruining good mental health care. Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN: 978-0-8070-9340-5.
Paulson, G. (2012). Closing the Asylums: Causes and Consequences of the Deinstitutionalization Movement. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co. ISBN: 978-0-7864-7098-3.
Watters, E. (2011). Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche. New York: Free Press. ISBN: 978-1-4165-8708-8.
WCAS First-Year Seminar
Enrollment Requirements: Reserved for First Year & Sophomore only
Add Consent: Department Consent Required
Drop Consent: Department Consent Required