The psychosocial perspectives attempt to understand human cognition, motives, perceptions and behavior as well as their aberrations as product of an interaction amongst societal, cultural, familial and religious factors. The overall aim is to introduce conceptualizations of mental health problems within the psychosocial framework, giving due considerations to contextual issues. Each unit in this paper pays attention to the different types of causal factors considered most influential in shaping both vulnerability to psychopathology and the form that pathology may take.


By the end of the course, trainees are required to demonstrate ability to:

1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the theoretical application of the psychosocial model to various disorders.

2. Make distinctions between universal and culture-specific disorders paying attention to the different types of sociocultural causal factors.

3. Demonstrate an awareness of the range of mental health problems with which clients can present to services, as well as their psychosocial/contextual mediation.

4. Carry out the clinical work up of clients with mental health problems and build psychosocial formulations and interventions, drawing on their knowledge of psychosocial models and their strengths and weaknesses.

5. Apply and integrate alternative or complementary theoretical frameworks, for example, biological and/or religious perspectives, sociocultural beliefs and practices etc. in overall management of mental health problems.

6. Describe, explain and apply current code of conduct and ethical principles that apply to clinical psychologists working in the area of mental health and illness.

7. Describe Mental Health Acts and Policies, currently prevailing in the country and their implications in professional activities of clinical psychologists.

This course will train in students in conceptualization of psychopathology from different etiological perspectives, eliciting phenomenology and arrive at the clinical diagnosis following a classificatory system and propose/carry out psychological interventions including psychosocial treatment/management for the entire range of psychological disorders. Also, to train in assessing the caregivers’ burden, disability and dysfunctions that are often associated with mental disorders and intervene as indicated in a given case.

 Objectives: By the end of Part – I, trainees are required to demonstrate ability to: 

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of a clinically significant behavioral and psychological syndrome, and differentiate between child and adult clinical features/presentation.
  2.  Understand that in many ways the culture, societal and familial practices shape the clinical presentation of mental disorders, and understand the role of developmental factors in adult psychopathology.
  3.  Carryout the clinical work up of clients presenting with the range of mental health problems and make clinical formulations/diagnosis drawing on their knowledge of a pertinent diagnostic criteria and phenomenology.
  4. Summarizes the psychosocial, biological and sociocultural causal factors associated with mental health problems and neuropsychological disorders with an emphasis on biopsychosocial and other systemic models.
  5. Carryout with full competence the psychological assessment, selecting and using a variety of instruments in both children and adults.
  6. Describe various intervention programs in terms of their efficacy and effectiveness with regard to short and longer term goals, and demonstrate beginning competence in carrying out the indicated interventions, monitor progress and outcome.;
  7. Discuss various pharmacological agents that are used to treat common mental disorders and their mode of action.
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of caregiver, and family burden and their coping style.
  9. Assess the disability/dysfunctions that are associated with mental health problems, using appropriate measures.
  10. Discuss the medico-legal and ethical issues in patients requiring chronic care and institutionalization.