Personality Theory & Human Behaviour

Subject PSYT90007 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours total

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, 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 the Disability Liaison Unit:


Dr Frances Minson


Administrative contact
Victoria Kingsley

Subject Overview:

The focus of this subject is the study of the theory of personality and of human behaviour and its clinical and therapeutic implications. The chief aim of the course is to consider the various theoretical approaches, which have been applied in order to understand an individual's intra and interpersonal psychological world. Topics covered include:

  • the concept of personality;
  • different theoretical approaches to the conceptualisation of personality and psychological functioning and the relationship between these approaches; and
  • application of these different approaches to clinical practice, particularly psychotherapeutic treatment.
Learning Outcomes:

Subject objectives include:

  • Define key concepts in psychodynamic theory such as the unconscious, transference and countertransference, defence mechanisms, the development of the self and the therapeutic alliance including their implications for clinical practice
  • Discuss the importance of developmental factors particularly early attachment experiences and trauma in understanding and planning treatment for psychiatric patients
  • Critically appraise these theoretical approaches in terms of their commonalities and differences
  • Determine how research into this subject is conceptualised and carried out
  • Critically analyse the literature in this field

Learning outcomes include:

  • Formulate a person’s internal and interpersonal psychological world in terms of relevant theories of personality and psychological functioning
  • Explain unconscious mental functioning as it relates to contemporary neuroscience and contemporary psychotherapy practice
  • Discuss mentalisation and reflective functioning
  • Discuss the link between basic components of personality with Borderline Personality Disorder and trauma
  • Integrate psychotherapeutic principles into treatment planning for general mental health consumers.

Case-based presentation of 2,500 words due Weeks 4-6 (worth 50%)
Essay of 2,500 words due Week 10 (worth 50%)

Prescribed Texts:

Bloch, S. (2006) An Introduction to the Psychotherapies. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Science
Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Science
Master of Mental Health Science

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