BEHV 7038 Assessment and Treatment of Complex Psychological Disorders

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102809

Coordinator Daniella Saleme Opens in new window

Description Clinical psychology is a fast-evolving discipline, and practitioners need to be able to respond to changing psychological health needs of a diverse population. This subject will prepare students to expand their skills in clinical assessment of psychopathology, diagnosis and psychological interventions to respond to the needs and preferences and cultural values of clients who experience complex and/or chronic psychological disorders. Responsive practice within the context of the changing demands for clinical psychology services is foregrounded, as is the unique context of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This subject will explore the theories, techniques and effectiveness of new and emerging psychological therapies; prepare students for working in multidisciplinary teams; and introduce students to the practice of clinical psychology with more complex client groups. The subject will also examine the professional and organisational roles of clinical psychologists within these settings. Please note: some of the activities in this subject may include experiential learning, for example where students may be asked to take on the client role using their own lived experience, to provide opportunity for training in therapeutic modalities that are more “real-world”. Students may opt-out of these activities without consequence through speaking to the subject coordinator and alternative arrangements for student learning opportunities will be organised.

School Psychology

Discipline Psychology

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Pre-requisite(s) BEHV 7027 AND
BEHV 7029

Equivalent Subjects BEHV 7028 - Psychological Interventions 2 LGYA 1563 - Psychological Interventions 3


Students must be enrolled in 1812 Master of Clinical Psychology.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Integrate the diagnostic features and associated characteristics of complex and co-morbid psychological disorders into case formulations (APAC GA 3.5, 3.7, 3.8, 4.2.1i, 4.2.1.ii, 4.2.1iii, 4.2.1iv, 4.2.2i, 4.2.2ii, 4.2.2iii, 4.2.2iv).
  2. Assess and evaluate when and how to collaborate with an inter-disciplinary team in the treatment of complex and co-morbid psychological disorders (APAC GA: 3.10, 3.11, 3.12, 4.2.3iii).
  3. Plan a psychological intervention responding to the unique attributes of the person within their social and cultural context (APAC GA: 3.2, 3.3, 3.6, 3.7, 3.9, & 4.2.3i, 4.2.3ii, 4.2.3iv). 
  4. Apply therapeutic skills in a psychological intervention and engage in reflective practice on the process and outcomes of the intervention (APAC GA: 3.6, 3.9, 3.15 & 4.2.3i).

Subject Content

  • Theoretical and empirical foundations of the practice of clinical psychology interventions with specific clinical populations with complex presentations.
  • Assessment, diagnosis and formulation and psychological treatment interventions for a range of complex clinical populations.
  • Introduction of a range of intervention modalities that may be tailored trans-diagnostically and to the unique attributes of the person, family, or community within their cultural context (including with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians).
  • Skills to work collaboratively within clinical and multidisciplinary teams.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Simulation 40 minutes S/U Y Individual
Simulation 40 minutes 40 Y Individual
Report 2,000 words 40 Y Individual
Presentation 5 minutes 20 Y Individual

Teaching Periods

Spring (2024)

Bankstown City


Subject Contact Brooke Donnelly Opens in new window

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Penrith (Kingswood)


Subject Contact Brooke Donnelly Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window