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.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit will examine one of the most fundamentally important practice dynamics, specifically: the therapeutic relationship. Throughout our professional training and clinical experience, we emphasise the singular importance of the therapeutic relationship. It is the most commonly cited dimension within the clinical and research literature for therapeutic success. We all refer to it continually, but what really is it? Do we know what we mean when we refer the therapeutic relationship? We will break down the concept of the therapeutic relationship and examine how to optimally promote the various aspects of this relational dynamic in clinical contexts.

Whilst the importance of assessment is usually acknowledged, all too often it is discipline and department specific, and often linked to exclusion criteria. A form of psychodynamic assessment will be examined and presented as an alternative form of assessment that may be applicable in varied clinical contexts.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) interpret the concept of the 'therapeutic relationship' and its clinical application; (2) demonstrate the ability to manage the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship in clinical practice; (3) interpret the concept of transference and how it may be useful in clinical practice; and (4) describe the concept of a psychodynamic assessment and how it may be useful in the clinical context.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) essay and (2) case study. Further information is available in the unit outline.

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

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Mark Sachmann
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.
  • 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.