This is a Freshman Seminar.
Exploring the Nature of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Although the negative psychological impact of traumatic events has been long recognized, several recent events have increasingly brought this issue into public concern, including the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and U.S. Pentagon of 9/11, mental health problems among veterans returning from war in Iraq, and the Asian tsunami in December of 2004. In this semester, we will explore scientific research on the nature and psychological impact of trauma to understand the psychological effects of explsure to traumatic events, the factors that may serve as a risk factor or protective factor for the development of serious psychological difficulties following exposure to a traumatic event, and the effectiveness of psychological and psychiatric treatments for ameliorating chronic posttrauma reactions. The goal of this seminar is to help students not only understand the nature and impact of traumatic events, but to understand how knowledge about these topics is acquired and to improve critical thinking skills.