This course is designed to increase interest in working with — and sensitivity to — those with severe mental illness and their families. We will explore the question of what constitutes mental illness, evaluate historical explanations, and address the implication of stigma associated with the illnesses. Various theoretical and treatment models will be presented including psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral understandings, psychoeducational, and empowerment perspectives. Firsthand experiences of both those with the illnesses and their families will be highlighted through readings, film, and guest speakers. Specific treatment modalities will also be a focus of our work. Students are expected to bring in material from their work for discussion.