Psychotherapies and Practicum

Subject 563-807 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 25.000
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 5 hours of lectures per week for 12 weeks, 9.5 hours non-contact study time per week for 12 weeks, one compulsory intensive weekend workshop per year of 20 hours. (Total hours per semester: 194 hours)
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: No formal requirements. It is, however, expected that prospective students will have had some introduction to the theory and practice of psychotherapeutic and counselling skills in their basic disciplinary training and subsequent practice.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Professor D Kissane & A/Prof S Bloch
Subject Overview: This subject consists of 2 units: general principles of psychotherapy and applied psychotherapy in cancer care. Group seminars led by an expert will be integrated with psychotherapy supervision by accredited supervisors. Each student will undertake and be supervised in the supportive counselling of at least one patient across a range of sessions in the first unit of the semester. They will then elect an applied form of therapy in the second unit of the semester (individual, group, couple or family) depending on their background experience and training. There will be a mandatory requirement to achieve designated supervision requirements and objectives.

Assessment: 15%: Make, discuss and defend an oral presentation on an approved topic involving either a case study or an intellectual aspect of relevance to psychotherapeutic process in the psychosocial treatment of cancer patients and their families. Students to choose a weekly presentation date that is convenient for them. 15%: Assessment on the basis of participation, appropriate skills development and performance in practical exercises - To be conducted at the residential weekend. 35%: Clinical Report and Evaluation of an actual supervised case, approved in advance by the subject coordinator. This will include the assessment, formulation and psychotherapeutic or counselling process employing a basic form of therapy (eg. dynamic, cognitive-behavioural, interpersonal, supportive-expressive, existential, crisis or grief counselling). Certification and rating by the assigned supervisor will be required (Max: 4,500 words) - Due week 5. 35%: Analysis and Discussion Report of the relevance and efficacy of an elective form of applied therapy in the cancer setting (individual, group, couple or family) with certification by the supervisor regarding the conduct of the therapy ( Max: 4,500 words) - Due week 10.
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts: Recommended Reading Materials: A course outline will be provided.

Recommended Texts:

  • Prochaska JO, Norcross JC. (1999). Systems of Psychotherapy - A Transtheoretical Analysis. 4th Edition. Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, California;
  • Bloch S. (1996). An Introduction to the Psychotherapies. 3rd Edition. Oxford University Press;
  • Moorey S, Greer S. (2002) Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for People with Cancer. Oxford University Press;
  • Spiegel D, Classen C. (2000) Group Therapy for Cancer Patients: A Research-Based Handbook of Psychosocial Care. Basic Books;
  • Kissane DW, Bloch S. (2002). Family Focused Grief Therapy. Open University Press;
  • Sperry L, Gudeman JE, Blackwell B, Faulkner LR (1992). Psychiatric Case Formulations. American Psychiatric Press, Inc. Washington, DC.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

This subject is designed to enable students to:

  • be aware of the variety and nature of psychotherapeutic interventions relevant to cancer patients and their "families", and critically evaluate their utility and application;
  • demonstrate further development of their basic therapeutic skills in order to assist such people facing a variety of medical and personal issues in a range of settings;
  • demonstrate their ability to profit from supervised experience, to understand the complex interactions involved in such a therapeutic interaction, and demonstrate an appropriate level of therapeutic skill;
  • analyse and understand the impact of therapeutic interventions on the patient, their "families", the therapist and the contextual system.

On completion of this subject, students will be able to:

  • critically evaluate the utility of therapeutic interventions drawn from a range of psychotherapeutic models (eg. dynamic, cognitive-behavioural, interpersonal, supportive-expressive, existential, crisis or grief counselling);
  • develop skills to creative an effective therapeutic alliance to assist cancer patients, and their families, facing a variety of medical and personal issues in a range of settings;
  • have a practical and existential understanding of the impact of therapeutic intervention on the patient, the therapist and the contextual system.

Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Psycho-Oncology

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