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  • Term Mode
  • Semester 2Campus Attendance
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 2Campus Attendance



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is designed to extend the knowledge and skills previously developed in a three-year undergraduate psychology program and provide a basis of professional knowledge and skills for subsequent professional training.

The unit familiarises students with the theoretical and empirical bases that underpin a range of evidence-based approaches to psychological interventions. The unit will also build student skills in interpersonal communication and interview skills important to the practice of a psychologist including active listening, developing rapport, appropriate cultural responsiveness and empathic responding. The unit will also focus on ethical principles and cultural considerations in psychological intervention and therapeutic skills.

The aim of this unit is to facilitate the acquisition of a pre-professional level of understanding of intervention strategies that underpin psychological practice. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Develop awareness of ethical principles and cultural considerations in relation to working with LGBTIQA+ communities, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, and people with disabilities.GC1, GC3, GC7, GC9, GC11
LO2Develop an understanding of the ethical, reflective, and culturally responsive skills in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders populationsGC1, GC2, GC3, GC5, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11
LO3Demonstrate skills in, and understanding of, interpersonal communication and clinical interviewing including active listening, clarifying and reflecting, effective questioning, summarising and paraphrasing, developing rapport, and empathic respondingGC1, GC2, GC3, GC8, GC9, GC10, GC11, GC12
LO4Demonstrate skills and ability of reflective practiceGC1, GC2, GC3, GC8, GC10, GC11, GC12
LO5Critically evaluate and analyse the models of intervention and evidence relating to the efficacy of different approaches to psychotherapyGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11


Topics will include: 

  • The theoretical and empirical basis of evidence-based approaches to psychological intervention.
  • Clinical interviewing, interpersonal communication skills (e.g., reflecting, summarising, developing rapport) and cultural considerations in interviewing. 
  • An examination of a range of psychotherapeutic approaches, including humanistic, cognitive behavioural and other emerging models (e.g., acceptance commitment therapy). Aspects of the approaches to be studied include the history, key concepts, application (techniques and procedures). Some specific interventions (techniques and procedures) arising out of these theories will be more closely examined.
  • Ethical, legal frameworks and practical considerations that apply when using intervention approaches in multicultural and diverse client groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans*, Intersex, Queer and Asexual communities.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Teaching and learning strategies include lectures workshops, and web-based learning. Lectures are structured to deliver essential content whilst allowing students the opportunity to critically discuss issues that arise in the unit. Workshops provide students with opportunities for reflective/critical thinking, role play and group discussions, which will enhance both practice and critical analysis of the unit content. Web-based learning will allow for the delivery of unit content. Teaching and learning strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within class activities. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy for this unit allows students to demonstrate their acquisition of knowledge and the ability to critically analyse and evaluate key concepts. The case study allows students to apply their understanding of psychological intervention to a case example. The video of an interview allows students to demonstrate their skills in clinical interviewing and ability to reflect on their own skill development. The exam allows students to demonstrate their knowledge of principles underlying the theory and practice of psychological intervention. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment Task 1

Case Study

In this task you will be able to demonstrate your ability to critically evaluate evidence relating to topics covered in this unit and applied to a case study.


LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

Assessment Task 2

Video-recorded Interview 

To demonstrate effective counselling interviewing and self-reflection skills.


LO3, LO4

Assessment Task 3


This examination will assess knowledge and understanding of material related to course content. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5

Representative texts and references

Dudgeon, P, Milroy, H., & Walker, Roz. (2014). Working Together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice. Commonwealth Government.

Harris, R., (2019). ACT made simple (2nd ed). New Harbinger Publications 

Rogers, C. (1967). On becoming a person. A therapist’s view of psychotherapy. pp. 31-38. Constable & Company.

Sommers-Flanagan, J. & Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2016). Clinical interviewing (6th ed.). Wiley. 

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