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SWSP5616 Mental Health Policy and Practice

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit examines some fundamental practice-related issues, specifically, the therapeutic relationship. Throughout the graduate certificate course the importance of the therapeutic relationship has been given singular significance. We all refer to it continually, but what is it really, do we know what we mean when we refer to the therapeutic relationship? The importance of supervision has always been emphasised in many of the clinical disciplines, in particular, Social Work. But what exactly is professional supervision and how is it different from consultation or support? The unit examines the different meanings of supervision and how to get the most out of this process. While the importance of assessment is acknowledged too often, it is discipline and department specific and linked to exclusion criteria. A form of psychodynamic assessment is examined and presented as an alternative form of assessment that may be applicable in all work contexts.
Students are able to (1) develop a more sophisticated understanding of the concept of the 'therapeutic relationship' and its clinical application; (2) have an increased understanding of professional supervision and how it may be usefully applied in the work context; (3) develop an understanding of psychodynamic assessment and how it may be useful in the clinical context; and (4) demonstrate increased understanding of the concept of transference and how it may be useful in clinical practice.
Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Mark Sachmann
Unit rules
Contact hours
30 hours
  • 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.