Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


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.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) understand and communicate (orally and in writing the complexity of psychotherapeutic research, and critically evaluate how this informs practice in the discipline across the lifespan and with diverse clients; (2) evaluate the evidence base for different models and interventions of psychotherapy, and communicate (orally and in writing) how this applies to practice with diverse clients across the lifespan.; (3) reflect on and communicate (in writing) how examining the evidence base for psychotherapy models and interventions relates to evaluation of one's own future practice, such as identifying areas for improvement and implementing indicated changes; (4) understand the complex interplay between technique and process in psychotherapy, and 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; (2) assignment 2; (3) assignment 3; and (4) attendance. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the attendance component.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Rodrigo Becerra
Unit rules
Enrolment in
01890/54590 Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Clinical Neuropsychology (ID 30)
or 01870/54570 Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Clinical Psychology (ID 233)
or 53370 Graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology (ID 392)
Unit(s) PSYC5673 Foundations in Clinical Skills II (ID 3854)
Contact hours
3h/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.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.