PSY421 Psychological Interventions (8)

This subject is an introduction to basic psychological intervention strategies across a range of practice contexts. Various theoretical models and types of intervention will be introduced, in addition to covering more general areas such as case formulation, treatment planning, treatment implementation, and evaluation of outcomes 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 generalist or clinical training and eventually work in providing psychological intervention. This is an academic unit in that it does not involve a field placement or practicum component.


Session 1 (30)
Wagga Wagga 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. 

Subject Relationships

PSY435 Not available to students who have completed PSY435 previously.

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to explain how basic psychological intervention strategies can be applied across a range of contexts, populations, and problem areas;
  • be able to identify and critically discuss a range of theoretical approaches to psychological intervention;
  • be able to demonstrate a detailed understanding of psychological intervention as an aspect of practice within the broader discipline of psychology, and within the political history and sociocultural context of psychology;
  • 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 psychological intervention planning, and how this is derived through the case formulation;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the critical importance of reflexivity in psychology when providing interventions;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of, and be able to critically discuss, the current major issues and areas of controversy and debate about theory, models, methods, and application which confront the profession of psychology
  • be able to apply an ethical decision making model to ethical dilemmas in the provision of psychological intervention; and
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the process of professional regulation for psychologists who provide interventions including: familiarity with the National Law; familiarity with the Commonwealth and state Laws; familiarity with the PsyBA code of ethics and ethical guidelines for psychologists; and familiarity with the appropriate collection, storage and destruction of data.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Defining psychological intervention
  • Theoretical approaches to psychological intervention
  • Core skills and competencies required for psychological interventions
  • Case formulation, treatment plan writing, basic psychological intervention strategies
  • Biological treatments for psychological disorders
  • Current ethical, legal, and professional issues and controversies in psychological interventions
  • The scientist practitioner model and EBPP model

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PSY421 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Outline and brief annotated bibliography
Attendance at residential school
Written case study
At-home open-book test

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.