USQ LogoCourse specification
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at //
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

PSY8045 Clinical Assessment and Intervention I

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology

Contents on this page


Examiner: Des Coates
Moderator: Paul Bramston


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: DPCL or MPCL or PDPP
Co-requisite: PSY8010

Other requisites

Students enrolled in the DPCL or MPCL program MUST enrol in the TOOWOOMBA offer of this course.
Students enrolled in the PDPP program MUST enrol in the SPRINGFIELD offer of this course.


There are competencies that students are required to have mastered adequately when commencing supervised practice. This course will allow students to integrate previously learned skills and knowledge regarding assessment into clinical practice. Students will also learn how to construct a treatment plan once a comprehensive diagnosis has been completed.


This course focuses on discipline knowledge and basic diagnostic and therapeutic competencies required of students before commencing supervised practice in clinical settings. Students will learn and practice different forms of structured clinical interviewing, and the use of standardized measures in the context of clinical diagnosis. Building on these, students will learn how to develop an appropriate treatment plan for each case. This course will be offered via compulsory workshops on-campus, and via readings, assignments and web-based discussion groups.


On successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate competencies as identified in the APS (Australian Psychological Society) Competencies for Psychologists (1996) and the APS College of Clinical Psychologists (2010). They should be able to:

  1. demonstrate knowledge of survey/questionnaire methods, observation techniques, case study, and qualitative techniques;
  2. demonstrate knowledge of major principles and significant empirical facts concerning psychological intervention;
  3. display familiarity with major methods of psychological intervention;
  4. demonstrate an ability to use appropriate problem-solving skills in effective interviewing;
  5. display familiarity with the effectiveness of an intervention;
  6. display knowledge of methods of evaluation of the effectiveness of intervention;
  7. Demonstrate an ability to frame, measure, and solve problems in the context of clinical practice.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Assessing clients: Diagnostic systems, DSM and ICD. Diagnostic interviewing. Structured and semi-structured diagnostic interviews with adults, children and adolescents, and the elderly. Mental status examination. 20.00
2. Case formulation: Behavioural case formulation: Functional analysis; Cognitive-behavioural case formulation; Case formulation in interpersonal psychotherapy. 15.00
3. Assessment and treatment planning for specific disorders: Schizophrenia, Mood disorders, Anxiety disorders, Adjustment disorders 15.00
4. Treatment planning: Behaviour therapy; Dialectic behaviour therapy; Cognitive therapy; Interpersonal psychotherapy; Evidence-based treatment planning. 10.00
5. Group treatment: Selecting a treatment; Selecting clients; Assessment and pre-group orientation; Treatment delivery; Outcome evaluation 10.00
6. Programme evaluation: 1. Asking the right questions; 2. Developing an evaluation plan; 3. Collecting and analyzing data; 4. Translating findings into recommendations; 5. 10.00
7. Case management: Case records; Confidentiality; Intake and treatment planning; Treatment implementation. 10.00
8. Managing treatment non-compliance: Therapeutic resistance; Managing resistance; Managing homework non-compliance 10.00

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. (

  • American Psychiatric Association 2000, Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 4th edn, Washington, DC.
    (text revision.)
  • Berghuis, DJ & Jongsma, AE 2008, The severe and persistent mental illness treatment planner, 2nd edn, Wiley, Brisbane.
  • Page, A. & Stritzke, W 2006, Clinical psychology for trainees: Foundations of science-informed practice, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.
  • Schulte-Markworth, M, Riedesser, P & Marutt, K (Eds) 2003, Cross-walks ICD-10 - DSM-IV-TR: A synopsis of classifications of mental disorders, Hogrefe & Huber, Toronto.

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.
  • Allen, J & Francis, R 2001, DSM-IV-TR Case studies: a clinical guide to differential diagnosis, APA, Washington, DC.
  • Barlow, DH (Ed) 2001, Clinical handbook of psychological disorders: a step-by-step treatment manual, The Guilford Press, New York.
  • First, MB et al 2002, DSM-IV-TR Handbook of differential diagnosis, APA, Washington, DC.
  • Johnstone, L., & Dallos, R. (Eds.) 2006, Formulation in psychology and psychotherapy: Making sense of people's problems, Routledge, London.
  • Meyer, RG & Deitsch, SE 1996, The clinician's handbook: Integrated diagnostics, assessment, and intervention in adult and adolescent psychopathology, Allyn & Bacon, Boston.
  • Morrison, J 2007, The first interview, 3rd edn, The Guilford Press, New York.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 68.00
Private Study 59.00
Workshops 48.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ATTENDANCE AT 3 WORKSHOPS 1 1 28 Feb 2012 (see note 1)
DISCUSSION GROUP PARTICIPATION 1 1 28 Feb 2012 (see note 2)
IN-CLASS TEST 1 CASE ANALYSIS 100 60 28 Feb 2012 (see note 3)
IN-CLASS TEST 2 SHORT ANSWER 100 37 28 Feb 2012 (see note 4)
VIDEOTAPES 1 AND 2 1 1 28 Feb 2012 (see note 5)

  1. Attendance at three on-campus workshops is required according to the 'Postgraduate Workshop Schedule'. Due date is to be advised by Examiner.
  2. Due date is to be advised by Examiner.
  3. The in-class test takes place during the last workshop. Due date is to be advised by Examiner.
  4. Due date is to be advised by Examiner.
  5. Two videotaped interview sessions must be submitted over the course of the semester, in which the student must demonstrate his or her ability to conduct a structured and semi-structured clinical interview. Due date is to be advised by Examiner.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in the three, two-day compulsory workshops held on-campus, where the skills components of this course will be taught. During these workshops, students will engage in the practice of techniques for a variety of situations. It is also the students' responsibility to participate weekly in the online discussion groups. Further, it is the students' responsibility to study all assigned material. If circumstances prevent a student from attending any portion of a workshop, the student must contact the examiner IN ADVANCE, if at all possible. The student must also contact the examiner in order to arrange an alternative activity. This could be a written assignment based on the material covered in the missed workshop. Attendance at and participation in the three workshops and/or completion of one or more alternative activities at a standard judged to be appropriate by the examiner is required before the one mark for the workshops can be awarded.

  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 item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment will apply for each working day late.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of a pass in this course, students must submit each assessment item, and achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    To be assured of a pass in this course, students must submit each assessment item, and achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

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

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no formal examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  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. There will be two tests, each worth 50% of the available marks for the course. The first of these tests will consist of a case study in which students will be required to analyse and interpret clinical data, decide on a diagnosis, code their diagnosis in accordance with DSM-IV-TR and/or ICD-10 criteria, complete a case formulation, and design a treatment plan for the client. Students may bring any material they wish to this open test. The second test will consist of a short-answer examination of students' knowledge of the material contained in the course text. This will be a closed examination, and only writing materials will be allowed. Any deferred tests for this course will be held at a date and time determined by the examiner after consultation with the students involved. There will be no supplementary tests in this course.

  2. Students are expected to contribute to weekly online discussions throughout the semester beginning in week one of the course. Topics for discussion will coincide with the reading and practice exercises assigned. An 'original' submission will consist of a 100-300 word description of skills/practice relevant to the current course topics and/or a personal evaluation/reflection on the students' experience of their current coursework or a critical analysis of an assigned or otherwise relevant reading. Students are also expected to respond to the issues raised by others and to engage in a meaningful online dialogue, sharing ideas and concerns so that students may learn from one another and benefit from each others' experience.

  3. Students must submit two videotaped structured clinical interviews with volunteer clients. All videotaped sessions will be reviewed by the examiner and feedback and suggestions on how to further develop the students' interview skills will be offered. Ideally, students will attend an encouraged (but optional) weekly viewing session on-campus where both the examiner and the other students can contribute to the feedback process and students may learn from one another's experience. Videotaped sessions will also be viewed and discussed during workshops. Successful completion of this assessment item requires the examiner's judgment that a minimum level of competency has been achieved. Note that this may require the completion of more than two videotaped interviews, if the examiner deems that this is necessary in order to achieve/demonstrate competency.

  4. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch an assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the examiner; STUDENTS MUST RETAIN A DATED RECEIPT FROM THE POST OFFICE WHEN POSTING ASSIGNMENTS.

  5. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to the USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request to do so.

  6. In accordance with the University Policy, the examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances. STUDENTS MUST CONTACT THE EXAMINER DIRECTLY, IN ADVANCE, IN ORDER TO OBTAIN AN EXTENSION.

  7. The Faculty of Sciences will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile.

  8. 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. //

Other requirements

  1. Students will require regular access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect for this course.