Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


A key role of clinical psychologists is to help people with their problems. In this course you will learn the basics of therapeutic interactions with clients, including the establishment and maintenance of therapeutic alliances, history taking, counselling, motivational interviewing, cognitive behaviour therapy, and treatment termination. Teaching methods utilise skills workshops and seminar.

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Form therapeutic contracts and establish therapeutic relationships with individuals, couples, and groups. (Competencies 3.3, 3.6, 4.2.2iv)

2. Facilitate their clients' definitions and explorations of their problems. (Competencies 3.6, 3.7, 3.9, 4.2.3i, 4.2.3ii)

3. Promote their clients' commitment to change through the use of motivational interviewing. (Competencies 3.2, 3.7, 3.9, 4.2.2iv,)

4. Effectively use the main techniques of cognitive behavioural therapy. (Competencies 3.2, 3.7, 3.9, 4.2.2iv)

5. Deal effectively with common challenges to the therapeutic relationship including issues related to ensuring public safety within professional practice. (Competencies 3.3, 4.2.3.ii)

6. Demonstrate accurate self-reflection on their applied clinical skills. (Competencies 3.14, 3.15)

7. Critically evaluate contemporary scientific literature to inform practice. (Competency 3.16)

8. Interpret and communicate findings in writing using culturally appropriate language. (Competency 3.8)


  • Formation and maintenance of therapeutic relationships.
  • History taking
  • Basic counselling skills
  • Motivational interviewing
  • The behavioural components of cognitive behavioural therapy
  • The cognitive components of cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Treatment termination
  • Interventions with couples and groups
  • Resolving challenges to the therapeutic alliance


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Master of Professional Psychology [40117], the Master of Clinical Psychology [40187], or the Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) [11539].

Assumed knowledge

It is assumed that students will have completed a four-year program in Psychology which has been accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC).

Assessment items

Project: DVD of recorded counselling session with self-reflective report *

Written Assignment: Treatment Plan I Motivational Interviewing *

Written Assignment: Treatment Plan II Cognitive Behavioural Therapy *

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • Written Assignment: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course. - Students must pass this assessment task to gain a pass in this course
  • Project: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course. - Students must pass this assessment task to gain a pass in this course

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.