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Learn abnormal psychology with online courses and programs

Make a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals and communities by helping them navigate mental health challenges. Learn about abnormal psychology with edX.

What is abnormal psychology?

Abnormal psychology is the study of psychological disorders and atypical patterns of behavior, thoughts, and emotions. It seeks to understand the causes, characteristics, and treatment of conditions that deviate from the norm. These disorders can range from anxiety and depression to more severe conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Learning about abnormal psychology offers insight into the complexities of human behavior and mental health. It allows you to explore the intricacies of how psychological disorders manifest, their impact on individuals and society, and the strategies employed to alleviate suffering and promote wellbeing. Abnormal psychology is not just about understanding disorders; it's also about fostering empathy, reducing stigma, and offering support to those in need.

Abnormal Psychology | Introduction Image Description

Abnormal psychology course curriculum

In a course focused on abnormal psychology, learners might explore a wide range of topics related to the understanding, assessment, and treatment of psychological disorders. 

Some of the key areas you might learn about include:

  • Different categories of psychological disorders

  • Criteria used to diagnose various disorders

  • Factors that contribute to the development of psychological disorders

  • Characteristic symptoms and behaviors associated with different disorders

  • Psychological assessment techniques

Start building the knowledge you need to work in the abnormal psychology field with edX. From accelerated boot camps to comprehensive programs that allow you to earn a bachelor’s degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree, there are many different learning formats available to fit your needs. You can also explore executive education courses specifically designed for busy professionals. Find the right course for you.

Explore jobs related to abnormal psychology

With knowledge of abnormal psychology, you could pursue roles that involve understanding, diagnosing, and treating psychological disorders, as well as promoting mental wellbeing. Some potential careers include:

  • Clinical psychologist: Provide therapy and counseling to individuals with psychological disorders, helping them manage symptoms, develop coping strategies, and improve their overall mental health.

  • Counselor: Offer counseling services to individuals, couples, or families facing mental health challenges, relationship issues, or life transitions.

  • Psychiatrist: As a medical doctor, diagnose and treat psychological disorders by prescribing medications and offering therapeutic interventions.

  • Licensed clinical social worker: Provide therapy, case management, and support services to individuals and families dealing with mental health concerns.

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. Some employers may seek candidates with a degree in psychology, depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.