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PSME422 Addiction Treatment

A companion paper to PSME404 addressing the clinical process of treatment and management of people with addiction and co-existing disorders, following assessment.

PSME 422 is part of a postgraduate training programme offered by the National Addiction Centre at the University of Otago, Christchurch, intended for a broad range of health professionals and practitioners in allied sectors who wish to study at a higher academic level and develop advanced clinical knowledge and skills in the area of addiction and coexisting mental health problems.

Paper title Addiction Treatment
Paper code PSME422
Subject Psychological Medicine
EFTS 0.25
Points 30 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,018.75
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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PSMX 422
Limited to
MHealSc, PGCertHealSc, PGCertPHC, PGDipHealSc, PGDipPHC
Students must have worked clinically for at least two years before commencing this paper, and at the time of study must be working clinically in a therapeutic setting.

This paper is designed for practitioners working in a range of settings with people who have coexisting addiction and mental health problems. Students will need to be competent in conducting and writing up a client comprehensive assessment and intervention plan and have an overview of diagnostic systems and models of addiction. As an entry requirement, they will, therefore, have normally completed PSME 401 or PSME 404 or equivalent study.


Teaching staff

Convenor: Associate Professor Jenny Jordan
Lecturer Māori: Karaitiana Tickell
Lecturer Pacific: Phil Siataga
Consumer advisor: Martin Burke

Paper Structure

PSME 422 is offered nationally as a companion to PSME 404 Assessment of Addiction and Coexisting Disorders. It is a clinical skills-based paper incorporating self-directed learning principles and critical reflection on practice. A collaborative multi-systems approach to promote treatment integration is taken. Emphasis is placed on the development and maintenance of therapeutic relationships with clients with complex needs and their significant others, family and whānau. The interlinking themes of the paper are clinical case management and working therapeutically.

Teaching Arrangements

This Distance Learning paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.

PSME 422 will run in the second semester as a combination of two compulsory 3-day Christchurch-based block courses, plus teleconference and online case-based discussion and course-work supervision focused on translation of enhanced knowledge, skills and attitudes to day-to-day practice.


Access to texts is provided in the paper.

Te Ariari o te Oranga: The Assessment and Management of People with Co-existing Mental Health and Substance Use Problems 2010, Fraser C. Todd, 2010.

Management of Alcohol and Drug Problems, Eds G. Hulse, J. White, G. Cape, 2002.

DSM 5 Interview Guide for Evaluating Psychiatric Disorders and the Mental Status Examination, M. Zimmerman, 2013.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

The overall aim of the paper is to enhance practice through developing advanced knowledge and therapeutic skills. On successful completion students will be able to:

  • Conduct brief interventions
  • Coordinate clinical case management plans integrating psycho-social and bio-medical interventions for a range of clients (across the life span) and their significant others and whānau

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Written case-based assignment 25%
Intervention assignment
- Brief intervention
- Video

Email and audio-conference case-related discussions 10%
Case-based oral assessment and report 25%

Further Information

Department of Psychological Medicine
University of Otago, Christchurch
PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand
Tel +64 3 372 6704

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system