Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 3, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Psychological Sciences
OfferedClayton Second semester 2015 (On-campus block of classes)
Coordinator(s)Professor David Kissane


This unit will introduce theoretical constructs underpinning psychological and biological treatments. These will be addressed using an integrative biopsychosocial approach. Psychodynamic therapy principles, cognitive-behavioural therapy, interpersonal, couple, group and family therapies, mindfulness-based and dialectical behavioural therapy will be covered. The unit will build on relevant psychiatric disorders not covered in Core Psychiatry I, but important to understand treatment principles, including anxiety, eating, somatoform and personality disorders. The focus will be on developmental aspects of these disorders and their treatment in adults, as disorders that affect children, the aged and the medically unwell are covered in other core units.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the scope, indications for, therapeutic methodology employed and evidence for effectiveness of psychological and biological treatments in psychiatry;
  2. Demonstrate critical appraisal skills in assessing clinical trials and appraising psychotherapeutic research;
  3. Explain key disorders suitable for psychotherapeutic treatments, including but not restricted to anxiety, depressive, eating, somatoform, personality, substance, sexual and sleep disorders;
  4. Communicate clearly with peers, patients and the community about psychiatric disorders and their management;
  5. Demonstrate how science and art relate to clinical knowledge and psychiatric practice;
  6. Explain community perceptions of psychiatric care, resultant barriers and challenges;
  7. Employ high level problem solving skills in assessing goals of care, realistic outcomes, the safety and limits of therapy.


Five clinical interviews of patients at a satisfactory standard, as assessed by workplace supervisors, of 1.5 hours duration inclusive of feedback time (7.5 hours in total). This maps particularly to the formulation and patient assessment objectives of the College of Psychiatrists training program.


Assignment (2,000 words) (30%)
Written exam (3 hours) (60%)
Fieldwork - clinical interviews (10%)

Hurdle: 80% attendance.

Workload requirements

24 hours per week - 8 hours of individual study, 12.5 hours during regular work hours and 3.5 hours on-campus lecture attendance.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study