PSY421 Clinical Psychology - Treatment (8)

This subject is an introduction to treatment issues in clinical
psychology. Various theoretical models and styles of treatment will be introduced, in addition to covering more general areas such as case formulation, treatment planning, treatment implementation, and evaluation of outcome in psychological therapy. Current issues and controversies in the field will also be examined. The material covered will provide a basis for psychologists who may wish to undertake post-graduate clinical training and eventually work in the clinical area. This is an academic unit in that it does not involve a field placement or practicum component.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 2 (60)
Online *
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSY421. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Psychology

Enrolment Restrictions

4th year Psychology students only. Not available to students who have completed PSY435.

Subject Relationships

PSY435 Content largely the same

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a detailed understanding of clinical psychology as a field of specialisation within the broader discipline of psychology
  • be able to describe and discuss the range of professional activities undertaken by those practising as clinical psychologists
  • be able to demonstrate familiarity with the range of populations and problem areas with which clinical psychologists typically work
  • be able to demonstrate familiarity with the range of treatment approaches that may be utilised by practicing clinical psychologists
  • be able to identify and critically discuss at least four different theoretical approaches to psychological treatment, including their strengths and limitations
  • be able to describe and critically discuss in detail at least one approach to psychological therapy, including its theoretical basis and some key procedures or techniques
  • be able to critically evaluate the scientistpractitioner model of training and practice
  • be able to demonstrate understanding of the nature and purpose of a psychological case formulation, and how this differs from a diagnosis
  • be able to demonstrate understanding of the concept of treatment or intervention planning, and how this is derived through the case formulation
  • be able to demonstrate understanding of, and be able to critically discuss, the current major issues and areas of controversy which confront the profession of clinical psychology
  • be able to demonstrate a knowledge base that will serve as preparation for postgraduate study in clinical psychology


This subject will cover the following topics:

- defining the nature of clinical psychology as an area of study and as an applied profession
- major theoretical approaches to psychological therapy
- some of the core skills and competencies of clinical psychologists (such as case formulation and treatment plan writing) illustration of these areas using sample case presentations and reports
- biological treatments for psychological disorders:
- psychopharmacology
- electroconvulsive therapy
- psychosurgery
- current issues and controversies in clinical psychology:
- the dominance of the scientist-practitioner model
- evaluation of outcome of psychological therapies
- the challenge of working with diversity
- prescribing rights for clinical psychologists

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.This is a revised subject document. No change is proposed to the duration of the residential school that is already a component of this subject.


For further information about courses and subjects outlined in the CSU handbook please contact:

Current students

Future students

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2019. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.