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PSY8030 Group Interventions

Semester 2, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Grace Pretty
Moderator: Paul Bramston


Pre-requisite: PSY8010 and PSY8050


There are mental health challenges for which group interventions are implicated as best practice, especially those requiring the acquisition of social and communication skills, lifestyle behaviour change and the building of self confidence and self esteem in the presence of others. Group interventions are also a source of therapy and support when individual assistance is not available due to lack of resources. This course compliments the program's individual intervention courses for practitioners to develop, provide and assess therapeutic groups in various community health settings.


This course provides students with an understanding of conceptual underpinnings of group psychotherapy and stages of change, and evidence of efficacy in its application to various mental health problems. Students will engage in self reflective exercises to gain awareness of their personal and professional strengths and challenges in engaging in group settings. Students will integrate this self awareness with knowledge of group facilitation processes to acquire therapeutic skills, for developing and assessing processes and outcomes within the contexts of ethical professional practice.


On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. explain various conceptual models of therapeutic group intervention;
  2. critically use research regarding the evidence for group interventions for particular mental health issues;
  3. explain how group interventions can improve individual health and well-being;
  4. develop and demonstrate appropriate screening protocols for participant selection;
  5. design and conduct evaluation of group processes and outcomes;
  6. identify ethical and professional issues involved in group therapy;
  7. demonstrate pre-group design and planning;
  8. recognise and facilitate group processes at different stages;
  9. critically reflect on their personal strengths and challenges in engaging with groups and generate from this their own lifelong learning goals with respect to group facilitation.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The roles for group intervention in mental health service delivery 5.00
2. Conceptual models of how group intervention can facilitate individual change 15.00
3. Understanding group dynamics and stages of group process 15.00
4. Ethical and professional issues involved in group therapy 10.00
5. Pre-group design and planning 5.00
6. Intake interviewing 5.00
7. Group facilitation and therapeutic strategies 30.00
8. Evaluation and Termination processes 15.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Jacobs, E., Masson, R., Harvill, R. & Schimmel 2012, Group Counseling Strategeis and Skills, 7th edn, Brooks/Cole, Australia.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Brabender, V, Fallon, A E & Smolar, A 2004, Essentials of group therapy, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ.
  • Chazan, R 2001, The group as therapist, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London; Philadelphia.
  • Corey,M., Corey, G., & Corey, C 2010, Groups Process and Practice, 8th edn, Brooks/Cole, Belmont, CA.
  • Free, ML 2007, Cognitive Therapy in groups: Guidelines for Practice, 2nd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Brisbane, Qld.
  • Kline, WB 2003, Interactive group counselling and therapy, Merrill Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
  • White, J 2000, Treating anxiety and stress: A group psycho-educational approach using brief CBT, Wiley, Chichester.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 30.00
Class Contact 45.00
Project Work 80.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
GROUP PRACTICE ASSIGNMENT 50 49 11 Oct 2012 (see note 1)
SELF REFLECTIVE OBSERVATIONS 1 1 11 Oct 2012 (see note 2)

  1. Due Date Workshop 2 and 3
  2. Due Date Workshop 2 and 3

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, forum discussion and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. There are three, 2 day compulsory on-campus workshops during the semester.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item. Students also need to be able to demonstrate that they have acquired the competencies described under Assessment Notes.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. This course should be taken in the second year of the Doctorate of Psychology course. This course assumes that students have successfully completed the courses Individual Assessments and Individual Interventions.

  2. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  3. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within five days if required by the Examiner.

  4. Students will require access to email and internet access to UConnect for this course.

  5. Specific APS competencies are assessed in this course, including: #3 (Framing, Measuring and Solving Problems), #4 (Service Implementation), #5 (Professional, Legal & Ethical Approach) and #8 (Influence & Change).

  6. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

  7. In Workshops 2 & 3 students will engage experientially as group facilitators and group members. Each student will lead the class in a one-hour session based on a topic related to working through personal challenges in group facilitation. This session will be recorded for the student’s later analysis for the essay, and will be assessed by the participants and the examiner who will observe the group.

  8. At the end of the course the student will write a 5,000 word essay on the theme “Integrating empirical and personal perspectives on what makes groups therapeutic”.. The essay contains two components: a critical literature review of evidence for the efficacy of group psychotherapy in addressing a mental health concern of the student’s choice and 2.a self reflection of competencies based on the self reflective exercises and experiences in the groups as participant and facilitator.