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Abnormal Psychology Level 3 Certificate Course


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Abnormal Psychology Level 3 Certificate Course

Price: £325.00Course Code: BPS307 CLD
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( Audrey Taylor, 31/07/2015 ) Q:

What level of award is attained once the course has been achieved successful. For example "Certificate of Abnormal Psychology"? Thank you, Audrey Taylor

( 03/08/2015 ) A:

Hi Audrey. 
The qualification you will achieve is a Level 4 Certificate in Abnormal Psychology. 

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Abnormal Psychology Level 3 Certificate Course

Man sitting with a pencil looking pensive

Level 3 Abnormal Psychology course online. Understand Abnormal Psychology through this online course and learn how to identify psychological disorders and their consequences. How can you know whether a person's behaviour is within the 'normal' range or abnormal (thus requiring the attention of a specialist). Counsellors and support workers will benefit from this course. Develop your ability to identify psychological disorders, and determine when to refer clients for treatment. The course will also be of interest to anyone who wants to understand more about common psychological disorders, their causes and treatment.

Want to learn about schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, mania, childhood disorders? Why not take this course? Understanding abnormal behaviour is the first step toward dealing with it, both for professionals as well as friends, relatives and aquaintancies.

This course can be of value to anyone who wants to understand more about common psychological disorders, their causes and treatment. It is particularly beneficial for counsellors or support workers, for it will develop their ability to distinguish different types of psychological disorder, and determine when to refer clients for treatment. It is also of interest to anyone who finds human nature fascinating. We cover why different conditions may occur, what happens in different conditions and how we can treat them.

Student Comments:

"I am thoroughly enjoying the course" Tuptim, Abnormal Psychology, Thailand.


Learning Goals:  Abnormal Psychology  BPS307
  • Identify disorders first prevalent under 18 years of age;
  • Describe how you would diagnose a case of suspected Autism in a child of 4 years of age;
  • Compare and contrast delirium and dementia;
  • Do an internet search for images of PET scans and MRI of brains affected by delirium or dementia include the images an essay discussing these disorders;
  • Distinguish between substance abuse disorders and substance dependence disorders;
  • Differentiate between psychotic disorders;
  • Describe briefly the subtypes of Schizophrenia;
  • Distinguish between Unipolar disorders and Bipolar disorders;
  • CMA Approved Course LogoOutline a cognitive model of depression;
  • Describe different types of Anxiety Disorders;
  • Develop a treatment to overcome a client’s fear of spiders;
  • Distinguish between Somatoform and Dissociative Disorders;
  • Explain the primary criticisms of dissociative identity disorder;
  • Provide a diagnosis of a case study and justify your diagnosis;
  • Discuss Gender Identity Disorder, Paraphilias and Sexual Dysfunction;ACCPH Approved Course Logo
  • Identify Eating Disorders and Sleep Disorders;
  • Explain how eating disorders develop;
  • Distinguish between Impulse Control Disorders and Adjustment disorders;
  • Develop a diagnostic table for impulse control disorders;
  • Distinguish between different types of Personality Disorder;
  • Differentiate between Narcissistic and Histrionic personality disorders.


Lesson Structure:   Abnormal Psychology BPS307

There are 11 lessons:

  1. Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy
    • Criteria for determining abnormality
    • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
    • Childhood Disorders
    • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
    • Conduct Disorder
    • Mental Retardation
    • Aspergers Disorder
    • Stereotypic Movement Disorder
    • Normal Functioning
    • Depression in Childhood
    • Anxiety Disorders
    • Types of Therapy; Alderian, Behaviour, Existential, Gestalt, Person Centred Therapy, Psycho analysis, Rational Emotive, Reality Therapy, Transactional.
  2. Delirium, Dementia, Amnesic and Other Cognitive Disorders
    • Types of cognitive disorders
    • Delirium
    • Dementia
    • Types of Dementia
    • Alzheimer's Disease
    • Comparing Dementia and Delirium
    • Amnesia
    • Cognitive Disorder NOS
    • Pseudo Dementia
    • Research Methods in Biopsychology
  3. Substance-Related Disorders
    • Scope and nature of Substance Abuse
    • Reasons for Using Drugs
    • Substance Dependence
    • Intoxication and Withrawal
    • Alcohol Dependence and DT's
    • Substance Dependence
    • Substance Abuse
    • Drug Misuse
    • Classes of Drugs
    • Amphetamines
    • Cocaine
    • Crack
    • Opium and Heroin
    • LSD
    • Other Drugs, steroids, ritalin, inhalants, etc
    • Risks with specific drugs
    • Older adults susceptible to Prescription Misuse
  4. Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders
    • Scope and nature
    • Psychosis
    • Treating Psychosis
    • Schizoaffective Disorders
    • Delusional (Paranoid) Disorders
    • Onset of Schizophrenia
    • Symptoms of Schizophrenia
    • Treating Schizophrenia
    • Schizophrenia and violence
    • Biology of Schizophrenia
    • Anipsychotic Medications
    • Psychosocial Treatments
    • Role of the Patients Support System
  5. Mood Disorders
    • Depressive Disorders
    • Determining Type of Depression
    • Unipolar disorders and bipolar disorders.
    • Risk Factors for Depression
    • Men and Depression
    • Diagnostic Evaluation and Treatment
    • Types of Treatment
  6. Anxiety Disorders
    • Scope and Nature
    • Anxiety Symptoms
    • Generalised anxiety disorders
    • Phobic anxiety disorders
    • Panic disorder
    • Treatments -intervention, drugs, etc.
    • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  7. Somatoform, Factitious, and Dissociative Disorders
    • Somatisation Disorder
    • Conversion Disorder
    • Pain Disorder
    • Hypochondriasis
    • Body Disymorphic Disorder
    • Factitios Disorders;types, symptoms, causes, diagnosis
    • Munchausens Syndrome
    • Disconnective Disorders
    • Psychogenic Amnesia
    • Psychogenic Fague
    • Disconnective Identity Disorder
    • Depersonalisation Disorder
  8. Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders
    • Scope and Nature
    • Hypoactive Sexual Disorder
    • Sexual Aversion
    • Fermale Sexual Arousal Disorder
    • Male Erectile Disorder
    • Female and Male Orgasmic Disorders
    • Premature Ejaculation
    • Dispareunia
    • Vaginismus
    • Secodary Sexual Dysfunction
    • Paraphylias
    • Paedophilia
    • Gender Identity Disorder (Transexualism)
  9. Eating and Sleep Disorders
    • Scope and nature of Eating Disorders
    • Anerexia Nervosa
    • Biulimia
    • Binge Eating Disorder
    • Treatment Strategies
    • Research Findings and Directions
    • Sleep Disorders; scope and nature
    • Treatments for Sleep Apnea
    • Prognosis for Sleep Apnea
  10. Impulse-Control Disorders; Adjustment Disorder
    • Symptoms of adjustment disorders
    • Risk Factors for Adjustment Disorders
    • Impulse Control Disorders
    • Intermittent Explosive Disorder
    • Kleptomania
    • Pyromania
    • Pathological Gambling
    • Trichotillomania
    • Compulsive Skin Picking
  11. Personality Disorders
    • Scope and Nature of Personality Disorders
    • Antisocial Personality Disorder
    • Avoidant Personality Disorder
    • Dependent Personality Disorder
    • Histrionic Personality Disorder
    • Narcissistic Personality Disorder
    • Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder
    • Paranoid Personality Disorder
    • Schizoid Personality Disorder
    • Borderline Personality Disorder; symptoms, treatment, research, etc.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to ADL, marked by the ADL's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.



Your learning experience with ADL will not only depend on the quality of the course, but also the quality of the person teaching it. This course is taught by Iona Lister and your course fee includes unlimited tutorial support throughout. Here are Iona's credentials:

Iona Lister the course tutorIona Lister
Licentiate, Speech and Language Therapy, UK, Diploma in Advanced Counselling Skills.

Iona has been a clinician and manager of health services for fifteen years, and a trainer for UK-based medical charities, focusing on psychosocial issues, mental health disorders, and also the promotion of communication skills for people in helping roles. She tutors and facilitates groups via workshops and teleconferences, and now specialises in Sight Loss. As a freelance writer, she contributes regular feature articles for magazines, has written five published books, as well as published courses relating to personal development and counselling skills.


Iona has also written published books, courses and articles across a wide range of subjects, mostly in the areas of health, counselling, psychology, crafts and wildlife.

She has drawn experience from clinical and managerial experience within the NHS as well as medical and humanitarian subjects. She has been a regular feature writer and expert panel member of a national magazine for six years.

Books include: A Guide to Living with Alzheimer's Disease (and associated dementias), The Psychology of Facial Disfigurement; a Guide for Health and Social Care Professionals, When a Medical Skin Condition Affects the Way you Look; A Guide to Managing Your Future, Facing Disfigurement with Confidence, Cross Stitch: A Guide to Creativity and Success for Beginners.
Courses written include: Mental Health and Social Work, Counselling Skills, Understanding and Responding to Substance Misuse, Journalling for Personal Development, Guided Imagery, Stress Management.


Current work includes: Tutor: Courses associated with Creative Writing, Counselling Skills, Psychology, Holistic Therapy, Certified Hypnotherapist and Hypnotension Practitioner. 

Facilitator of Teleconference Groups: Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) 

Trainer (Skills for Seeing): Macular Society 

Reviewer of Books/Information: Macmillan Cancer Support 


Fundraiser: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Embroidery/Art Groups Facilitator, Board Member

Website Manager: The Strathcarron Project, Coordinator (Delaware & Tennessee) Human Writes


Excerpt from the Course


The following criteria can be used to determine whether a person’s behaviour is abnormal or not: 

Deviation from statistical norms - the word abnormal means 'away from the norm'. Many population facts are measured such as height, weight and intelligence. Most of the people fall within the middle range of intelligence, but a few are abnormally stupid. But according to this definition, a person who is extremely intelligent would be classified as abnormal. Thus in defining abnormal behaviour we must consider more.   

Deviation from social norms; every vulture has certain standards for acceptable behaviour - behaviour that deviates from that standard is considered to be abnormal behaviour. But those standards can change with time and vary from one society to another.   

• Maladaptiveness of behaviour; this third part is how the behaviour affects the well-being of the individual and/or social group. Examples are a man who attempts suicide, an alcoholic who drinks so heavily that he or she cannot keep a job or a paranoid individual who tries to assassinate national leaders.   

• Personal distress; the fourth part considers abnormality in terms of the individual's subjective feelings, personal distress, rather than his behaviour. Most people diagnosed as 'mentally ill' feel miserable, anxious, depressed and may suffer from insomnia.  In the type of abnormality called neurosis, personal distress may be the only symptom, because the individual's behaviour seems normal.  

Mental health professionals apply various criteria in making judgements on whether a client’s behaviour is normal or not.  They may use the above criteria or they may conduct their own criteria for the definition of the problem.  They may also look at different elements such as biological or medical, behavioural, or cognitive. Cultural differences also need to be noted and looked as they can play a part in one’s behaviour and the manifestation of that behaviour. What may be okay in one culture and seem normal – can be seen as something quite different in another culture.   

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
The most commonly used tool for diagnosis of mental disorders is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  The DSM is the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States. It is also used by many other countries as a basis for a common understanding in the language of abnormal behaviours.  It is intended to be applicable in a wide array of contexts and used by clinicians and researchers of many different orientations (e.g., biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioural, interpersonal, family/systems).   

The manual has been designed for use across settings, inpatient, outpatient, partial hospital, consultation-liaison, clinic, private practice, and primary care, and with community populations and by psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, occupational and rehabilitation therapists, counsellors, and other health and mental health professionals. It is also a necessary tool for collecting and communicating accurate public health statistics to have a common thread globally. The DSM consists of three major components: the diagnostic classification, the diagnostic criteria sets, and the descriptive text.   

The diagnostic classification is the list of the mental disorders that are officially part of the DSM system. "Making a DSM diagnosis" consists of selecting those disorders from the classification that best reflect the signs and symptoms that are afflicting the individual being evaluated. Associated with each diagnostic label is a diagnostic code, which is typically used by institutions and agencies for data collection and billing purposes.   

For each disorder included in the DSM, a set of diagnostic criteria that indicate what symptoms must be present (and for how long) in order to qualify for a diagnosis (called inclusion criteria) as well as those symptoms that must not be present (called exclusion criteria) in order for an individual to qualify for a particular diagnosis. However, it is important to remember that these criteria are meant to be used a guidelines to be informed by clinical judgment and are not meant to be used in a cookbook fashion.   

Finally, the third component of the DSM is the descriptive text that accompanies each disorder. The text of DSM systematically describes each disorder under the following headings: "Diagnostic Features"; "Subtypes and/or Specifiers"; "Recording Procedures"; "Associated Features and Disorders"; "Specific Culture, Age, and Gender Features"; "Prevalence"; "Course"; "Familial Pattern"; and "Differential Diagnosis."   
DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision), published in June 2000 was the last major revision of the DSM. Much of the effort involved conducting a comprehensive review of the literature to establish a firm empirical basis for making modifications. Numerous changes were made to the classification (i.e., disorders were added, deleted, and reorganized), to the diagnostic criteria sets, and to the descriptive text based on a careful consideration of the available research about the various mental disorders.   

Childhood Disorders
Childhood disorders differ from adult disorders in a very important way.  Most adults identify themselves as having a problem, whilst children with problems are often identified by others.  If an adult sees themselves as needing help, this has an effect on their desire to seek treatment, whereas with a child, someone is telling them that they need help or some form of treatment.  

There are a number of ways in which diagnosing disorders in children differs from diagnosis in adults.  

• Children rarely initiate the consultation themselves
• The child’s developmental stage has to be taken into consideration
• Children tend to have more difficulty expressing things in words
• Medication is usually a last resort      

A developmental approach is usually undertaken for the following reasons:

• The child’s developmental stage determines whether the behaviour is normal or pathological
• The impact of life events alters as the child develops  
• The child’s psychopathology may alter as it gets older.  

The causes of psychological disorders in children are similar to that for adults, i.e. there are genetic and environmental factors.  In addition there are developmental factors, i.e. children mature psychologically and socially as they get older and their disorders reflect such maturation.    

A child with a "major psychiatric disorder" has a very serious illness affecting several areas of the child's life. These areas may include emotions, social or intellectual ability, or the use of language. 
When a child and adolescent psychiatrist examines a child to learn if he or she has a major psychiatric disorder, these are some of the signs they look for or ask parents about: ...

EBook to compliment this Course

Psychological Profiling EBook

This engaging text explains how psychological profiling is used to assess others – from new staff and school children to criminals and killers. 

Psychological ProfilingPschological Profiling eBook Link

by John Mason and the Staff of ACS

Psychological Profiling eBook course online. Psychological profiling is used to assess anyone from potential new staff and school children to serial killers. It helps you to determine someones personality, neuroses, mental health and career suitability. This book provides an excellent overview of psychological profiling techniques and pitfalls.

profile of an individual at its most basic is an outline of what a person is really like in terms of their personality traits and characteristics. The most widely known form of profiling is that which is used to assess criminal behaviour. This is largely due to the popularity of TV shows and books which include criminal profiling.

When we hear the term "psychological profiling", we often assume it is in relation to criminal behaviour, however profilingcan be used for a wide range of reasons, such as:


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