UNIT OF STUDY OUTLINES
PSYC6032 HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY
Health Psychology is the aggregate of the specific educational, scientific, and professional contributions of the discipline of psychology applied to the promotion and maintenance of health, the prevention and treatment of illness, and the identification of etiologic and diagnostic correlates of health, illness, and related dysfunction (Matarazzo, 1980). This course aims to understand the relationships between psychological and physical functioning across a range of medical disorders and the way in which cognitive and behavioural factors influence psychological and physical functioning of those with health related problems. The course will be concerned with theories and interventions that promote health related behaviours and improve quality of life for people with medical problems. The course will aim to investigate theories and practice in the areas of adjustment to illness, adherence to medical treatments, working with patients with chronic illness, facilitating doctor-patient communication and dealing with death and dying. In addition, the psychological issues relevant to particular illnesses will be discussed.
PSYC6049 CHILD PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS
This course introduces current perspectives on child and adolescent psychopathology, examining the historical development and current status of theory and practice. Core theories are presented within a developmental-ecological framework, and examined in relation to the etiology and course of common internalising and externalising disorders. Skills training addresses basic family consultation as well as multi-method forms of assessment (e.g., Interviewing, observation, self-report) and intervention (e.g., Parent skills training, individual and group child therapy). Attention is also given to essential aspects of professional practice related to school and community contexts, ethics, and the scientist-practitioner model.
PSYC6051 ADULT PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS
This course is designed to introduce students to the nature of therapeutic work with common psychological problems of adulthood, through a series of lectures and practical skills based sessions. Micro-counselling and cognitive-behavioural interviewing skills are reviewed and practiced. Diagnostic assessment, mental status examination and cognitive behavioural case formulation are taught with a view to developing individual treatment plans. Skills training in cognitive behavioural strategies are combined with theoretical knowledge about different disorders to form strong theory-practice links. Emphasis is placed upon the learning of strong practical skills in the application of evidence-based therapies to the common psychological disorders encountered in adulthood, such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders and eating disorders.
PSYC6051 ADVANCED ADULT PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS
The advanced adult therapy component will cover major mental health problems such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anorexia nervosa, post-traumatic stress and disorders of impulse control. It will also include a workshop on working with older adults and cover issues that relate to the Mental Health Review Tribunal process. Students will gain exposure to the Mental Health Review Tribunal process via direct observation as part of this unit.
PSYC6065 PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT
This course introduces students to the basic theory and the general practice of neuropsychological assessment in children and adults. It will foster clinical approach that relies on integration of information obtained from a clinical history with results obtained on testing. It will develop conceptual framework for understanding of core developmental disorders and assessment of these disorders. The course will focus on the following components of cognition: intelligence, memory, attention, executive abilities and achievement. Students will be taught how to administer, score and interpret a variety of tests in these areas; and how to report the results in written form.
PSYC6067 CLINICAL INTERNSHIP 1
This unit is designed to provide Interns with intensely supervised practice in conducting the fundamentals of clinical assessment, diagnosis, formulation, treatment planning, and treatment implementation for adult patients. A cognitive-behavioural approach is predominant in this internship, although your supervisor may allow variation for particular cases. It will also provide an introduction to the practice of conducting psychometric assessments. An adult psychometric assessment case will be undertaken in Internship 1 under the intense supervision of a clinical neuropsychologist. Four further psychometric cases will be required to be undertaken over Internships 1 and 2; one of these will be undertaken in the Child Memory Clinic or with child cases under the intense supervision of a clinical neuropsychologist and three further adult/child/adolescent cases will be undertaken under the less intense supervision of a clinical psychologist. Interns will also be allocated to psychometric cases as required and they come available. All Interns will also have the equivalent of one semester of child, adolescent and family therapy under the supervision of clinical psychologists with expertise in this area. This is offered for Interns either in Internship 1 or Internship 2. All Interns are expected to run a group at some point in Internship 1 or 2 subject to availability. Interns will be allocated to supervisors for adult and child, adolescent and family therapy. Some supervisors will conduct supervision in both areas. Interns may also be assigned to supervisors to conduct group programs for adults, children or adolescents. While supervisors vary in the way they offer supervision, with a mixture of individual, group and observation formats being offered, supervision is intense and with a high level of observation by supervisors throughout this Internship.
6069 ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
This course will introduce students to the highest standards of ethical and clinical practice in clinical psychology. The course will strengthen theory-practice links, by exposing students to a range of mental health presentations and ethical and professional practice issues that present in the Psychology Clinic. Students will also attend weekly case and research seminars with cases and research presented by students in senior years.
A. Ethics and Professional Practice
This component will familiarise students with relevant codes of conduct, ethical issues, and legislation pertaining to contemporary practice in clinical psychology. These wide ranging seminars will cover New South Wales Psychologists Registration Board, Guardianship Tribunal and College of Clinical Psychologists of the Australian Psychological Society.
B. Clinical Observation
This component is designed to introduce students to the work of clinical psychology, strengthening theory-practice links, by exposing students to a range of mental health presentations seen in the Psychology Clinic. Specific issues relevant to ethical and professional clinical practice will also be covered, including writing case notes, and dealing with difficult issues in both the therapeutic and supervisory relationship. This work may be supplemented by viewing of the clinical work of experts in the field of Clinical Psychology. Students will be required to submit a weekly clinical log with the de-identified details of patients, their presenting problem and their treatment, as observed. The course coordinator must sign logs prior to their submission.
C. Case and Research Seminars
Attendance at the case seminars introduces students to history taking, conducting a mental status examination, formulation, diagnosis and treatment. These clinical case conferences will allow students to recognise a wide range of psychiatric diagnoses, the interrelationships between medical illness and psychiatric/psychological symptomatology as well as working within a multidisciplinary framework. Students are required to attend the research seminars and are expected to attend the School Colloquium. During this semester, students will commence the process of exploring potential research areas and negotiating supervision arrangements with academic staff. The Director of Clinical Research, using information collected from the Research Preferences form and Preliminary Research Proposal form, will guide this process as outlined in the Research section of the DCP/MSc Course Handbook.
CASE AND RESEARCH SEMINARS 1
This unit of study will continue the seminars introduced in PSYC6069 Ethics and Professional Practice. This unit of study will comprise attendance at formal weekly presentations, where Year 2 students will present a clinical case for discussion and Year 3 students will present their research findings. .All students are required to attend the case and research seminars throughout the semester, and are expected to attend the School Colloquium. It is expected that students will spend one day per week during this semester researching their chosen topic. Students are expected to be meeting with their supervisors during this semester to finalise aspects of their study design and methodology. If the research involves the recruitment of clinical samples off-site, students should expect to meet with their key individuals who will be involved with their research off-campus to negotiate the details of their project, the recruitment of subjects and to ensure its feasibility. Students are required to submit a formal written research proposal, which will form the basis of the research proposal presentation in the following semester.