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PSY5145 Intervention Strategies

Semester 1, 2015 On-campus Springfield
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Counselling

Contents on this page


Examiner: Amy Mullens


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in the following Program: PDPP or be undertaking the course as professional development


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 intervention strategies, treatment planning, interviewing skills, and the challenges of working with difficult clients.


This course focuses on discipline knowledge and therapeutic competencies required of students before commencing supervised practice in clinical settings. Students will learn and practice different forms of structured clinical interviewing. 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, and assignments.


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). They should be able to:

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


Description Weighting(%)
1. The Clinical Interview: Diagnostic interviewing. Structured and semi-structured diagnostic interviews with adults, children and adolescents, and the elderly. 25.00
2. Therapeutic perspectives and techniques. 25.00
3. Treatment Planning. Case management: Case records; Confidentiality; Intake and treatment planning; Treatment implementation. 25.00
4. Working with difficult clients. 25.00

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. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

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) 2008, Clinical handbook of psychological disorders: a step-by-step treatment manual, The Guilford Press, New York.
  • Berghuis, DJ & Jongsma, AE 2008, The severe and persistent mental illness treatment planner, 2nd edn, Wiley, Brisbane.
    (Also available electronically.)
  • First, MB et al 2002, DSM-IV-TR Handbook of differential diagnosis, APA, Washington, DC.
  • Johnstone, L., & Dallos, R 2006, Formulation in psychology and psychotherapy: Making sense of people's problems, Routledge, London.
  • Meyer, RG & Deitsch, SE 2007, The clinician's handbook: Integrated diagnostics, assessment, and intervention in adult and adolescent psychopathology, 5th edn, Allyn & Bacon, Boston.
  • Morrison, J 2007, The first interview, 3rd edn, The Guilford Press, New York.
  • Page, A. & Stritzke, W 2006, Clinical psychology for trainees: Foundations of science-informed practice, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.
    (Also available electronically.)

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 68.00
Private Study 75.00
Workshops 32.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
HOME TEST SHORT ANSWER 50 50 12 Jun 2015 (see note 1)
TREATMENT PLAN 25 25 12 Jun 2015 (see note 2)
VIDEOTAPE OF INTERVIEW 25 25 12 Jun 2015 (see note 3)

  1. Due date is to be advised by Examiner.
  2. Due date is to be advised by Examiner.
  3. A 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 five day-long 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 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 workshops and/or completion of one or more alternative activities at a standard judged to be appropriate by the examiner is required.

  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:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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 each assessment item. All courses in the PDPP are approved by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC), which requires that students pass all assessment items in all courses. Where a student fails any assignment, the student will be allowed one opportunity to re-submit their work following feedback from the course examiner. If a student fails any assignment a second time, he or she will be deemed to have failed the course and will be required to undertake the course again at its next offering. This rule applies regardless of whether or not the aggregated marks for remaining assessment in a course are higher than 50% overall. To be assured of a pass in this course, students must submit each assessment item, and achieve at least 50% of the weighted marks available for each item.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grade for a student will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks 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:
    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 one test worth 50% of the available marks for the course. This take-home test will evaluate students' knowledge of therapeutic perspectives and techniques as well as issues in working with difficult clients. Students must submit a videotaped structured clinical interview 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. 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 one videotaped interview, if the examiner deems that this is necessary in order to achieve/demonstrate competency.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile.

  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. //

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to email and internet access to UConnect for this course as the course contains electronic elements. In order to avoid internet issues, on-campus students should usethe student computer laboratories. External students who knowingly do not have reliable access to the internet should actively seek alternative internet access (e.g., Internet cafes, local libraries, or work places) for access to the course site. External students are able to use the on-campus student computer laboratories once access has been enabled. To be granted access, external students need to contact ICT and ask to have a student account enabled so that they can work on-campus.