In this course you will learn about understanding and changing mental and physical health behavior. We will examine both the historical context and the current science. Major topics will include fundamental behavioral principles and basic elements of empirically supported individual treatments (e.g., motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapies). Lectures and examples will illustrate both the theory and the practice of evidence-based approaches to behavior change. You will engage in a course-long behavior change experiment as well as brief quizzes. Please note: this course is designed to introduce you to a range of contemporary approaches to behavioral treatments; however, it will not provide the skills needed to implement psychological interventions with others (this requires years of graduate training) nor is it designed to address or resolve your own psychological problems.
Wesleyan University, founded in 1831, is a diverse, energetic liberal arts community where critical thinking and practical idealism go hand in hand. With our distinctive scholar-teacher culture, creative programming, and commitment to interdisciplinary learning, Wesleyan challenges students to explore new ideas and change the world. Our graduates go on to lead and innovate in a wide variety of industries, including government, business, entertainment, and science.
This specialization provides an introduction to the study of abnormal psychology, with a survey of various mental health concerns through both a modern and historical lens. It concludes with an opportunity to practice effecting behavioral change in your own life through an overview of scientifically-supported treatment strategies. The specialization is not intended to be a replacement for therapy, nor a replacement for formal psychiatric training, but - through a series of lectures, readings, and reflective projects - you will learn many of the basic tenets of how diagnosis and treatment have been applied throughout the existence of the discipline of psychology, how to empathically respond to people in distress, and some basic tools to make desired changes in your own life.