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PSYC5672 Foundations in Clinical Skills I

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit has three broad aims: (1) to introduce the scientist-practitioner model of clinical practice and to examine the research base for psychotherapy; (2) to examine the nature of psychotherapeutic process and the therapeutic relationship; and (3) to examine the historical, philosophical and theoretical bases of the cognitive behavioural therapies. The unit starts with a general introduction to psychotherapy, including discussion of topics such as the history and evolution of psychotherapy, the therapeutic relationship, non-specific factors in psychotherapy, the public image of psychotherapy, common elements of psychotherapy, the process of change, evaluation of psychotherapy and empirically supported therapies. This is followed by an introduction to the theory and application of cognitive behavioural therapies. Topics discussed include basic tenets and historical antecedents of cognitive behavioural therapies; information processing and emotional dysfunction; attribution theory and emotional dysfunction; interaction between cognition, affect, physiology and behaviour; assessment of cognition; theory and practice of Rational Emotive Therapy; theory and practice of Beck's Cognitive Therapy; schema theory; and cognitive therapy.
Students are able to (1) understand the complexity of psychotherapeutic research; (2) evaluate the evidence base for different models of psychotherapy; (3) understand the complex interplay between technique and process in psychotherapy; (4) understand the key elements of effective therapeutic relationships; (5) develop an awareness of the evolution of cognitive behavioural therapies and understand the broad theoretical base of contemporary cognitive behavioural interventions; and (6) gain exposure to, and practice in, rudimentary behavioural and cognitive interventions.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignment 1 and (2) assignment 2. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Rodrigo Becerra
Unit rules
enrolment in the combined Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Clinical Neuropsychology (01890/54590) or the combined Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Clinical Psychology (01870/54570) or the Graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology (53370)
PSYC5673 Foundations in Clinical Skills II
Contact hours
2h/12 weeks (attendance is compulsory)
Students enrolled in an APAC accredited program must hold provisional registration as a psychologist. It is the students' responsibility to ensure registration eligibility. Enrolled students are also responsible for maintaining provisional registration for the duration of their enrolment in the program.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.