Child & Adolescent Psychopathology & Treatment

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This course presents the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of child and adolescent psychopathological disorders as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition (DSM-5). Students will develop skills in the unique application of diagnostic interviewing techniques, differential diagnosis, case conceptualization via personality theory, and empirically-based treatment planning with regard to child and adolescent psychopathology. Benefits and limitations of the diagnostic and treatment process are also reviewed. In addition, this course will examine the methods and techniques utilized by counselors to assist child and adolescent clients in the change process with specific reference to problem diagnosis, medical and psychiatric co-morbidity, basic psychopharmacological principles and intervention, construction of an empirically-based treatment plan, termination, and ethical, cultural, and systemic issues in the diagnostic and treatment process.

The course in child and adolescent psychopathology will be beneficial to students enrolled in the professional counseling degree program since this course will satisfy the Texas State Board of Professional Counselors board rule §681.83 (c) (3). It is both ethically and clinically essential that students at Amberton University, who are pursuing a master’s degree in professional counseling, and who wish to obtain licensure as an LPC in the state of Texas, possess knowledge and skills in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of child and adolescent clients suffering from mental illnesses. This course is designed to prepare students for ethical and effective practice as professional counselors in a professional treatment role for children and adolescents who are suffering from mental disorders.





  • Proficiency in utilizing the DSM-5 to apply accurate diagnostic labels to mental disorders.
  • Effectively applying differential diagnoses with respect to co-morbidity and medical etiologies across a wide-range of mental disorders.
  • Understanding the nature and etiology of child and adolescent psychopathology in order to articulate case conceptualization and make empirically-based treatment plans.
  • Understanding the role of systematic scientific, clinical experience, and consultative input in making treatment decisions.
  • Utilizing basic psychotherapeutic assessment tools to assess outcomes in the treatment of child and adolescent clients.
  • Understanding ethical, cultural, and systemic issues involved in the treatment process.
  • Understanding the importance of self-examination and critiquing self as an effective change agent in counseling relationships.
  • Comprehending and examining the developmental theories upon the manifestation and treatment of mental disorders in child and adolescent clients
  • Understanding basic psychopharmacological intervention with regard to the treatment of mental disorders in child and adolescent clients
  • Comprehending and addressing the sequelae of prenatal and perinatal complications upon the development of psychopathology in children and adolescent clients
  • Understanding the systemic dynamics (e.g., family constellation, school environment, peers, etc.) with regard to the etiology, presentation, and course of mental illnesses in children and adolescents
  • Developing comprehensive skills with regard to effective collaboration and consultation with schools, parents, and caretakers of children and adolescents

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