icon A


Adult & Geriatric Psychopathology & Treatment

This course presents the cognitive, affective, biological, and systemic bases of psychopathology and abnormal behavior in adults and older adults as specifically defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders th5 Edition – Text Revision (DSM-5-TR). Students develop skills for psychiatric diagnostic interviewing, appropriate use of psychodiagnostic tests and assessments, conducting mental status exams, developing theoretically congruent treatment plans, and providing evidenced bases psychotherapy for adults and older adults. The course will also examine the common medical etiologies of psychopathology, normal versus abnormal aging as it relates to emotional/behavioral and personality functioning, neurocognitive decline, and the unique ethical and clinical considerations for diagnosing and treating mental illness in adults from diverse cultural backgrounds. Practical fundamentals of clinical psychopharmacology for professional counselors, and the role of professional counselors as clinical collaborators with prescribers of psychotropic medication will also be presented. This course in adult and geriatric psychopathology will satisfy the Texas State Board of Professional Counselors board rule §681.83 © (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 adult and geriatric clients suffering from mental illnesses.



  • Understanding the role of systematic scientific, clinical experience, and consultative input in making treatment decisions.
  • Understanding the importance of self-examination and critiquing self as an effective change agent in counseling relationships.
  • Understanding basic psychopharmacological intervention with regard to the treatment of mental disorders in adult and geriatric clients.
  • Demonstrating proficiency in utilizing the DSM-5-TR to apply accurate diagnostic labels to mental disorders.
  • Performing a differential diagnosis while integrating an advanced understanding for psychopathology in adulthood as it relates to potential medical etiologies vs. psychiatric illness, and commonly encountered general medical, psychiatric, and neurological comorbidities.
  • Conceptualizing adult psychopathology using both DSM-5-TR diagnostic criteria and counseling theory(ies) to formulate evidenced-based treatment plans.
  • Understanding the ethical, legal, and clinical application of various psychological assessment instruments available for both diagnostic and treatment outcome measurement purposes.
  • Understanding ethical, legal, and cultural factors related to psychiatric diagnostics, use of evidenced-bases therapeutic interventions, and treatment outcomes
  • Comprehending and examining the role of physical aging in adulthood as it pertains to general physical, neurological, and neuropsychological factors associated with the clinical presentation and treatment of mental illness in adults and older adults.
  • Integrating and conceptualizing the psychosocial and physical effects of end-of-life issues in adults and older adults suffering from mental illness.


Spring 2023 Download
Summer 2023 Download
Fall 2023 Download
Winter 2024 Download
Spring 2024 Online E1 Download
Spring 2024 Online E2 Download
Summer 2024 Classroom Download
Summer 2024 Online Download