EDF5561 - Clinical case formulation - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Chief examiner(s)

Sandy Stewart


Sandy Stewart

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


Successful completion of an Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC) accredited fourth year sequence in psychology.


EDF5513Not offered in 2019; EDF5720


Case formulation is a capstone skill for psychologists. It is a process for applying theory and research findings to practice, understanding clients' issues, establishing and maintaining a therapeutic relationship, and developing intervention plans. In this unit, students will be introduced to an evidence-based framework for case formulation, which provides guidelines for synthesising information from multiple sources, identifying risk, managing relevant ethical issues, selecting applicable theory, and determining the most appropriate empirically supported interventions for clients with various presenting issues, in various contexts, across diverse groups and the lifespan. Through case-based discussion in large and small groups, students will develop higher order thinking and verbal skills suitable for professional entry psychology. They will also reflect on their own values and beliefs and how these may impact the therapeutic relationship and intervention delivery. Guided rehearsal of interviewing skills necessary for gathering clinical information and administering interventions will also be provided. The case formulation framework provided in this unit will help students integrate skills and knowledge from concurrent and later units, and is suitable for use in placements and future professional work.


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

  1. understand how to conduct professional intake interviews
  2. synthesise information from multiple sources to develop an integrative case formulation
  3. determine the most appropriate evidence based interventions for various presenting issues, diverse population groups and across the lifespan
  4. engage in self-reflection to understand the impact of their own values and beliefs when working with clients.


Case formulation (2400 words; 60%)

Evidence-based intervention plan presentation (1600 words equivalent; 40%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12/144 hours per week/semester comprising:

  1. Contact hours for on-campus students:
    • 2 hour workshop per week
  2. Additional requirements (all students):
    • 10 hours of independent study per week

See also Unit timetable information