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Psychological Science: Intro to Clinical Psychology

PSYS 271 OL1 (CRN: 61784)

3 Credit Hours

About PSYS 271 OL1

Study of basic principles of interviewing, testing, assessment from life situations, and report writing. Examination of the most common approaches to psychotherapy. Prerequisites: PSYS 053, PSYS 170.



Dates: July 17 - August 11, 2023 Prereqs: PSYS 053 and PSYS 170 Asynchronous online

More Information

Section Description

This course is part of a pilot program that will be using Brightspace, UVM's new learning platform that's replacing Blackboard. Since only a limited number of courses will be piloting Brightspace this coming semester, you are still likely to have courses in Blackboard as well. For more information on Brightspace: This course is designed to introduce you to the science and profession of clinical psychology. You will be introduced to the ways that clinical psychologists conceptualize, assess, diagnose, and treat clinical problems. Throughout the course, we will focus on the scientist-practitioner model; this is the idea that clinical psychologists need to use evidence-based practice and be aware of research in the field in order to be a good practitioner. Upon successful completion of this course, students will have an understanding of the variety of activities clinical psychologists engage in and the settings they work in. You should also be prepared to be a better consumer of psychological science and will be aware of steps that you need to take if you would like to gain additional training in this field. Learning objectives: 1) Understand the importance of the scientist-practitioner model of clinical psychology. 2) Describe the types of questions clinical psychologists ask and the appropriate research methods used to answer them. 3) Explain how clinical psychologists approach clinical problems using empirically-based approaches. 4) Identify the major tasks and responsibilities of clinical psychologists as mental health professionals. 5) Engage with the ethical framework for the practice of psychology. 6) Demonstrate a basic understanding the different specialties in clinical psychology. 7) Articulate the steps to pursuing graduate education in clinical psychology. This course is part of a pilot program that will be using Brightspace, UVM's new learning platform that's replacing Blackboard. Since only a limited number of courses will be piloting Brightspace this coming semester, you may have courses in Blackboard as well. For more information on Brightspace:

Section Expectation

At UVM, you are expected to complete 3 hours of work per credit hour per week over a 14 week semester. This equates to a total of 135 hours spent on the course. As such, you should plan to spend approximately 34 hours per week on this course for 4 weeks.


1. Class Videos 2. Weekly Quizzes Each quiz will consist of questions 20 questions in a number of response formats (e.g., multiple choice, matching, true/false, short answer, brief essay questions). Quizzes will cover topics presented in the textbook, videos, and supplemental readings. Please note that your viewing of videos is essential to strong performance on the quizzes, as some topics discussed in videos will not necessarily be found in the text or assigned readings. This assignment meets the following learning goal for the B.A. and B.S. in Psychological Science at UVM: Goal 1: Students should understand core concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in most of the subdisciplines of psychology (social, developmental, clinical, biobehavioral, learning and memory, and history of psychology) 3. Write to Learn Assignments These assignments are designed to help you connect the psychological concepts from the course to the real-world. You will critically think about the course material during these assignments. These will not be assignments you can do by quickly skimming the material. They are meant for you to work through as you go through the course content for that week. Make sure to read this assignment BEFORE reading the textbook or watching any of the videos for the module. You should answer each question fully. You should define concepts in your own words clearly and make connections to real-world examples when applicable. Pretend that I do not know anything about psychology- teach me! Why am I asking you to complete these Write to Learn assignments? Research has shown that coming up with your own examples, critically thinking about concepts, and applying concepts to your own life are helpful ways to learn new material. You will retain more and be better prepared to engage in more advanced psychology courses in the future! 4. Intake Report (25%): Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to practice thinking and writing like a scientist-practitioner. Clinical psychologists conduct thorough assessments of their patients prior to starting formal treatment. Before beginning treatment, they commonly write an “intake report” to consolidate information about the case and make treatment recommendations. You will write an intake report that contains each of the sections described below for a fictional character you have identified in the popular media (e.g. Batman; Hannah from “Girls”). For this assignment, you will consolidate information about your chosen character into a clear, fact-based narrative that will help determine next steps for treatment. You may not choose any real person (e.g., someone from reality television). Skills: This assignment will help you practice the following skills that are essential to understanding clinical psychology: • Understand the importance of the scientist-practitioner model of clinical psychology • Approach clinical problems using an empirically-based approach • Learn to write a clinical intake report in a clear, succinct manner • Apply course concepts to understanding a character to practice clinical psychology skills Knowledge: This assignment will also help you become familiar with the following important content knowledge in clinical psychology: • DSM-5 diagnoses • Assessment tools and strategies • Empirically-based treatments




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