Schizophrenia and Psychotic Disorders Lesson Plan

This is a lesson plan submitted collaboratively (Jacqueline Douglas and Nawal Muradwij) for a 75 minute class on Schizophrenia and Psychotic Disorders. It includes a section on  microaggressions toward people with mental illnesses, to help students better understand the prevalence of stigma against individuals with severe mental illness.

Prior to Class:
Read Chapter 13 in Barlow, D. H., & Durand, V. M. (2015). Abnormal psychology: An integrated approach. (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thompson Wadsworth.

Read article on mental illness microaggressions: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/written/201808/what-is-mental-illness-microaggression

Learning Objectives
Knowledge Base in Psychology
1) Students will be able to describe the symptoms associated with schizophrenia and psychotic disorders.
2) Students will be able to describe and differentiate the terms hallucinations and delusions, and apply what they learned to everyday examples.
3) Students will be able to define microaggressions, specifically in the context of mental illness, and describe how this might affect the life of someone with mental illness.

Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World
1) Students will be able to describe how stigma and discrimination can affect individuals with schizophrenia and psychotic disorders.
2) Students will be able to evaluate their own and society’s assumptions/stereotypes about hallucinations and delusions.

Communication
Students will expand their communications skills by engaging in active listening and being able to verbally articulate their experience of the group activities in class.

Professional Development
Students will enhance their ability to work as part of a team by collaboratively determining class rules and participating in group activities.

Other advantages of this class:
Scientific Inquiry and Critical Thinking: Students will be exposed to the use of assessment in clinical psychology.

Class Break-Down (approx. 75 minutes)

  • Students will collaboratively set “rules to guide difficult discussions” (7 minutes)
  • Students will do T(W)PS on the Psychology Today article, and briefly discuss the following questions (5 minutes):
    • What was the most interesting part of the article?
    • Do they feel microaggressions are relevant to mental illness or schizophrenia? If so, how?
  • Students answer the questions from the Gonzales et al. (2015) microaggression MI scale (Gonzales, Davidoff, DeLuca, & Yanos 2015; freely accessible) This could be done using Polling Software, such as PollEveryWhere.com (10 minutes)
    • The MMIS will be handed out after the activity is completed, and students will be encouraged to think about how this can be a useful assessment measure within clinical psychology (3 minutes)
  • T(W)PS: Students will jot down one or two thoughts and reactions they had to completing the assessment and share them with their partner (3 minutes)
  • Class will come back together as a group to discuss the results of the poll and their reactions to the assessment (5 minutes)
  • Review symptom criteria for schizophrenia and psychotic disorders from reading (10 minutes)
    • Ask students for the definition of a hallucination and a delusion, as well as examples (write relevant information on the chalk/whiteboard)
    • Ask students whether they know general rates of psychotic symptoms.
    • Ask students about criteria to meet diagnosis of schizophrenia and how that is different from experiencing psychotic symptoms
  • Students will break up into groups of 2 or 3 and do an in-class group exercise about the experience of hallucinations  (described in these PowerPoint slides). (10 minutes)
    • Discussion of the experience of students during this activity, and link the experience back to experiences of stigma, discrimination, and microaggressions (5 minutes)
  • Students will break up into different groups of 2 or 3 and do an in-class group exercise about the experience of delusions (refer to PowerPoint Slides on Hallucinations + Delusions). (10 minutes)
    • Discussion of the experience of students during this activity, and link the experience back to experiences of stigma, discrimination, and microaggressions (5 minutes)
  • Tools:
  • Polling software + access to a laptop or clickers

 

 

 

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