Course at a Glance

September 17
This class has been cancelled.

He's Not Crazy -- He's Just a Little Insane

Cancelled: 43885

With Brent Duncan

Speculation about the mental health of public figures has become commonplace. In 2017, a group of 37 prominent psychiatrists and other mental health experts broke with longstanding and explicit prohibitions from both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association to publish an analysis arguing that Donald Trump is mentally ill, and that his behavior represents a grave danger to himself and others (Lee, B., 2017).

Is it possible to identify an individual as mentally ill or impaired based on an analysis of public behavior and second-hand information? What are the differences between concepts such as mental illness, emotional disturbance, insanity, social maladjustment and personality disorders? This course will provide a basic overview of the criteria and methodology used by psychiatrists, psychologists, forensic profilers and other mental health professionals to assess abnormal behavior, and will then consider the scientific and ethical issues involved in this activity. This course is not concerned with the politics or policies of particular leaders or issues regarding impeachment.

[Lee, B. (2017) The dangerous case of Donald Trump. New York, NY: St Martin's Press.]



Brett Duncan

Brent Duncan

Brent Duncan is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology who taught at HSU for 24 years. He has particular expertise in the identification of emotional disturbance and other social-emotional problems in children and young adults. He has testified in due process hearings as well as state and federal court as an expert witness regarding emotional disturbance, dangerousness and social maladjustment. The instructor is a school psychologist with more than 30 years of experience in the assessment of children, adolescents and young adults using criteria from the fields of child psychopathology, special education and the juvenile justice and legal systems.