Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

William H George
PSYCH 517
Seattle Campus

Core Concepts in Systems of Psychotherapy

Theory and research of major systems of psychotherapy, including the psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and family systems approaches as an introduction to subsequent practica in clinical psychology. Required for all graduate students majoring in clinical psychology. Prerequisite: graduate standing in psychology, or permission of instructor. Offered: A.

Class description

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an overview of four major approaches to psychotherapy: Psychoanalysis, Behavior Therapy, Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, and Family Therapy. Eclecticism and cultural issues will also be considered. Within each approach, selected models and/or therapeutic techniques will be considered. The emphasis in the course will be on discussing the theoretical principles associated with each model or technique. The objective of the course is for students to develop familiarity with how each of the four approaches describes human nature, explains the etiology of problems in living, conceptualizes a case, and formulates therapeutic interventions. This course will not provide instruction about how to do therapeutic interventions nor will it considerbasic research on psychotherapy process or outcome.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Methods included instructor lectures, discussion of assigned readings, student presentation, and films. Most class time is devoted to discussion.

Recommended preparation

Students must have been admitted into the UW graduate program in Clinical Psychology.

Class assignments and grading

1. Class participation: Students are responsible for reading the material assigned for each class meeting and for participating in class discussion of the material. Participation will be evaluated based on the frequency and quality of your contributions. 2. Class presentation: Each student is required to make a 30 minute presentation to the class on a particular psychotherapeutic technique. Choose a technique that is subsumed by one of the four approaches but is not covered in detail by the assigned readings. Presentation dates and topics should be selected within the first two weeks of class. A list of potential topics will be provided. 3. Midterm exam: This timed exam will be given in class. The exam will include short answer and essay questions about the Psychoanalytic approach,the Behavioral approach, and their synthesis. 4. Final exam: This exam will be a take-home exam; you will have a week to complete it. The exam will be distributed on the last day of class and it will be due during finals week. The exam will consist of two parts. Part one will include essay questions about the Cognitive-Behavioral, Family Therapy, and Eclectic approaches. Part two will include anonymous case history material for which students will need to formulate case conceptualizations and treatment plans.

Grades in this course will be based on class participation (20%), a class presentation (20%), a midterm exam (20%), and a final exam (40%).


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Elizabeth J Rutherford
Date: 09/16/2004