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Contact:  Dr. John (Jay) Byrnes


Grafton Campus

Students: 4-8 students


Clinicians in human medicine often encounter patients or families affected by mental illness. The same is true in animal medicine, wherein the veterinarian may encounter pet owners with any number of behavioral health challenges. Unlike the medical doctor, however, the veterinarian receives minimal training in human personality or mental health. To address this need, this course aims to introduce students to human personality structure and psychopathology. Using a psychodynamic framework, we begin with the development of human personality and an overview of defense mechanisms. We then proceed to review common character types, as well as common psychopathologies. Students will be encouraged to practice self-reflection and self-understanding, and they will begin to consider how the personalities of different individuals may interact in predicable ways. Topics will be approached through class discussion of reading assignments. Discussions will emphasize implications of human personality and psychopathology in veterinary practice and beyond.

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