Managing Challenging Behaviours: Psychological Solutions

Course code MEDI6295
Not available in 2015
2015 Course Timetables


This is a distance learning postgraduate elective course, containing five short-course modules delivered on CD-ROM. The course focuses on personality-related mental health problems that are frequently encountered in health and welfare settings. Students are to complete the following five modules: Self-injury; The Difficult Personality (Borderline Personality Disorder); The Aggressive Person; and Suspicion Beyond Reason (Suspicion and Paranoia) and eating problems. Students develop a detailed understanding of the development and manifestation of these problems, and acquire skills for effective professional engagement with people presenting with clinical manifestations of personality problems. The course is highly structured, and employs a problem-based approach to learning. Students work through detailed clinical scenarios (working problems), aided by realistic video dramatisations. Assessment includes written short responses on Blackboard on all five modules, an assignment on the self-injury module with the remaining two assignments being a choice (from the remaining four modules).


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  • Semester 1 - 2016

Learning Outcomes

1. To provide quality, people based and solution-focused mental health education for health and welfare professionals;

2. To increase the effectiveness of professional engagement with people with mental health problems, in health (including primary care) and welfare settings;

3. To foster the practice of elementary review, synthesis and critical appraisal of mental health literature (particularly regarding treatment outcomes and prevention) with a view to improving referral practices and case planning for people with personality-related mental health problems.

4. To provide an opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate skills in critical analysis of mental health literature.


  • Module 1: Self-Injury

1.1 Introduction to self-injury1.2 The nature and context of self-injury1.3 The mental health response to self-injury

  • Module 2: The Aggressive Person

2.1 Introduction to the aggressive person2.2 Developmental pathways to aggressive behaviour2.3 Violence in detail: Personality, relationships and substance use2.4 Professional engagement with the aggressive person

  • Module 3: The Difficult Personality

3.1 Introduction to the difficult personality3.2 Development of a difficult personality3.3 Clinical manifestations of the difficult personality3.4 Professional engagement with the difficult personality

  • Module 4: Suspicion Beyond Reason

4.1 Suspicion in everyday society4.2 The overly suspicious person (paranoia)4.3 The person with paranoid delusions4.4 Professional engagement with the overly suspicious person

  • Module 5: Eating Problems

Assumed Knowledge

Graduate practitioner in a health or welfare profession (eg Medicine, Psychology, Social Work, Nursing, Occupational Therapy)

Assessment Items

Written Assignment: Written Assignments

Online Learning Activity: Blackboard

Contact Hours

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Online Activity

Online 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 6 hour(s) per Week for Full Term