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    A course of lectures, workshops and supervised practicum work providing training in the application of interventions in clinical psychology.

    PSYC 501 embodies the first professional year of the Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology, which leads to registration as a clinical psychologist in New Zealand. During the paper, students work under the supervision of a clinical psychologist within the Department's Clinical Psychology Centre, working with children and adults from the community who have been referred for mental health, behavioural or learning difficulties. Learning is individualised according to the needs of the student and of the patients that students are assessing and treating.

    About this paper

    Paper title Clinical Intervention
    Subject Psychology
    EFTS 0.625
    Points 75 points
    Teaching period 1st Non standard period (29 January 2024 - 13 December 2024) (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $6,379.38
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Limited to

    Teaching staff

    Professor Martin Sellbom

    Administrator: Kally Barton

    Paper Structure
    This paper incorporates the practicum component of the first year of the Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology (PGDipClPs). Students engage in supervised clinical practice in the Clinical Psychology Centre, a community clinic within the Department of Psychology. They also attend seminars on relevant clinical and practical issues.
    Teaching Arrangements

    Clinic Group Supervision Meetings - Mondays and Thursdays

    Weekly Seminars - Fridays

    Textbooks are not required for this paper.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Ethics.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    The paper's objective is to provide trainees in the first professional year of clinical psychology with the relevant experience to foster the development of foundational clinical competencies and knowledge in the assessment and treatment of psychological and psychiatric problems and to instil a commitment to lifelong learning. This is achieved by using a combination of closely supervised practicum work, case and issue presentations in class meetings and seminar-based learning with presentations from invited speakers and clinical programme staff.

    At the completion of PSYC 501 the trainees will have been able to demonstrate the foundational competencies needed to register as an intern psychologist and to practise under supervision. To meet this criterion, candidates should be able to demonstrate an intermediate level of competence in the following areas

    • Knowledge of the philosophical, scientific and ethical principles underlying the practice of clinical psychology and an ability to apply this knowledge as part of competent practice.
    • A developing understanding of the legal framework surrounding practice as a clinical psychologist in New Zealand.
    • A commitment to the principles of patient-centred practice and the scientist-practitioner model of practice.
    • Knowledge of factors impacting on inequalities in health status and outcomes of Māori, Pasifika and other people groups.
    • Skills in eliciting, documenting and integrating information about a patient's current problem, including its history, formulating a parsimonious explanation for that problem and proposing efficacious and effective solutions.
    • Skills in the design, evaluation, administration and scoring of standardised psychological and neuropsychological assessment instruments and interpretation of results from such instruments.
    • Skills in negotiating, developing rapport and collaborating with patients and in negotiating with and working alongside family and other professionals to achieve optimal assessment, management and intervention results.
    • Skills in identifying psychopathology and differential diagnosis.
    • Skills in the identification, design, implementation and monitoring of effective and efficacious behavioural, cognitive and cognitive-behavioural treatment and management strategies for common behavioural and mental health problems.
    • Skills in the assessment and management of risk of harm to individuals.
    • An awareness of, and the skills to manage, uncertainty in clinical practice.
    • Knowledge of ethics and ethical standards and the application of this knowledge to clinical and research practice and conduct in both professional and non-professional forums; dedication to appropriate ethical behaviour and awareness of their own moral values; and the ability to maintain proper boundaries between professional and non-professional roles.
    • Awareness of their own needs as a person, how health needs may impact on competence to practise and an ability to access appropriate support, supervision or healthcare for themselves.
    • A commitment to lifelong learning, with the ability to apply knowledge, develop existing skills, adapt to a changing environment and acquire new skills and the ability to evaluate their own professional functioning and to act to remedy limitations of knowledge, skills and attitudes throughout their career, including seeking help when these limitations are met.
    • An awareness of their professional limitations and the willingness to seek help when these limitations are met.


    1st Non standard period (29 January 2024 - 13 December 2024)

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Friday 09:00-10:50 7-12, 16-22, 27, 29-35, 37-48
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