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Unit of study_

PSYC6082: Treatment Across the Lifespan

Semester 1, 2022 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit introduces current perspectives on the conceptualisation and treatment of child and adult psychopathology. Core theories and models are presented within a developmental-ecological framework, and examined in relation to the aetiology, course, and maintenance of common psychological problems. Theoretical and practical skills-based training addresses core consultation processes (e.g., relational skills, engaging families) and clinical assessment and intervention practices across a range of formats for intervention (e.g., individual, group, parent/family, school-based, eHealth). Content related to children and adolescents focuses primarily on evidence-based psychosocial interventions for the major externalising disorders in these periods (e.g., oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), as well as child and adolescent anxiety and mood disorders. In line with current best-practice guidelines, an emphasis is placed on placed on processes that are ecological and family-centred (e.g., parenting interventions; the role of teachers and schools in assessment and intervention). Content related to younger and older adults includes evidence-based psychosocial interventions for anxiety disorders (e.g., post traumatic stress disorder), mood disorders (e.g., unipolar depression, suicide management), and eating disorders (e.g., bulimia nervosa), and issues related to personality-related psychopathology. Throughout the unit attention is given to issues involved in the culturally responsive delivery of mental health interventions with diverse client populations.

Unit details and rules

Unit code PSYC6082
Academic unit Psychology Academic Operations
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator David Hawes,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment group assignment Clinical Role Play: Video
Video recording
0% Week 11
Due date: 15 May 2022 at 23:59
15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Assignment Clinical Role Play: Written Self-Critique
Written Self-Critique
0% Week 11
Due date: 15 May 2022 at 23:59
1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Assignment Clinical decision-making*
3 long-answer questions
0% Week 13
Due date: 27 May 2021 at 23:59
1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Clinical Role Play: Video: Students will perform and video-record a therapist-client role-play in pairs, related to a clinical vignette concerning a child-referral.
  • Clinical Role Play: Written Self-Critique: Students will critique their performance during the clinical role play video using literature concerning principles of effective clinical engagement and assessment.
  • Clinical decision-making: Students will complete three long-answer questions involving child and adult case vignettes, each involving multiple parts related to clinical decision-making (e.g., diagnosis, formulation, treatment planning). The format of this assessment equates to a take-home exam, with students required to submit their answers on the same day that the questions are provided.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

*Clinical decision making assignment completed online at home during specified timeframe.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).




with Merit


The material or clinical practice substantially exceeds the expected level of competence for the stage of training. Reserved for work of an exceptionally high standard that demonstrates independent thought, originality and comprehensive knowledge of the subject area. In order to be awarded a ‘Pass with Merit’, a student needs to perform in the top 10% of students.



The material or clinical practice meets the expected level of competence for the stage of training. A pass is considered to signify work that is of a good to very good standard, according to the relevant expectations.

Meet with Marker


The written material or clinical practice demonstrates some misunderstanding or a minor deficiency in level of competence. The student must meet with the examiner to discuss the problems with the work. If the marker is satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, the work is given a pass. Alternatively, the student may be required to resubmit or repeat the work.







The written material or clinical practice does not meet the required competency. The student must resubmit or repeat the work within a period of time determined by the CPU and the work will be re-marked. Resubmitted or repeated work that on this basis fails to meet the required competency will then be marked independently by a second marker, and a third marker if the two initial markers disagree. Work that is deemed to have failed to meet course requirements by two markers will be assigned a Fail. 



The written material or clinical practice is of a sufficiently low standard, or demonstrates unethical or dangerous practice. Any piece of written work that is marked with Fail will be marked independently by a second marker, and by a third marker if the two initial markers disagree. Where required, the three markers meet to decide upon a final mark to be awarded. Work that is deemed to have failed to meet course requirements by two markers will be assigned a Fail. In most cases, written assessments and clinical practice assessments examine core clinical competencies, and the Fail mark will result in the Unit of Study being failed. case report, the student fails the Unit of Study and is required to repeat and re-enrol in that Unit of Study. Any Unit of Study that the student is deemed to have failed will have to be repeated, and the student will be required to re-enrol in that Unit of Study. Students are only eligible to repeat Units of Study once.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

All assignments must be submitted by the due date. Students are expected to manage their time and to prioritise tasks to meet deadlines. Assessment items submitted after the due date without an approved extension using a special consideration or special arrangement form or request will incur penalties. If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to arrange a simple extension. A simple extension is an informal arrangement between you and your unit of study coordinator. You may be able to receive an extension of up to two working days for non-examination tasks, as outlined in clause 66A of the Coursework Policy 2014. If you need an extension for a longer period, you may be eligible to apply for special consideration.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 [Adult] Therapeutic relational skills (Rhodes) Lecture (3 hr) LO7
[Child] Theoretical essentials for child and family practice (Hawes) Lecture (3 hr) LO1
Week 02 [Adult] Case formulation and treatment planning (Abbott) Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4
[Child] Case formulation and treatment planning (Hawes) Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 03 [Adult] Anxiety disorders across the lifespan: Psychopathology, models (Hunt) Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO7
[Child] Initial engagement and assessment in family-based practice (Hawes) Lecture (3 hr) LO3 LO4 LO7
Week 04 [Adult] Introduction to cognitive and behavioural interventions for anxiety disorders (Hunt) Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
[Child] Assessment of the family context (Hawes) Lecture (3 hr) LO3 LO7
Week 05 [Adult] Assessment of depression and suicide management (Hunt) Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4
[Child] Observation & Monitoring; Forming a shared perception of clinical data (Hawes) Lecture (3 hr) LO3 LO7
Week 06 [Adult] Models, psychopathology, treatment planning and cognitive behavioural therapy for unipolar mood disorders (Abbott) Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
[Child] Externalising Problems: Core components for family-based intervention (Hawes) Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7
Week 07 [Adult] Trauma and stress related disorders and their treatment (Hopwood) Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
[Child] Externalising Problems: Key challenges in family-based intervention (Hawes) Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7
Week 08 [Adult] Diagnosis, assessment and treatment of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder (Burton) Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 [Child] Treatment of Childhood Anxiety Disorders (Hunt) Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7
Week 10 [Adult] Introduction to psychotropic medications and psychopharmacology (Bowen) Lecture (3 hr) LO6
[Child] Youth major depression: CBT and IPT approaches to assessment and treatment (Hunt, Gooley) Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7
Week 11 [Adult] Pharmacotherapies for anxiety and depressive disorders (Bowen) Lecture (3 hr) LO6
[Child] Emerging Mental Disorders in Youth and Early Intervention (Cross) Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 12 [Adult] Personality in the clinical setting: Assessment of personality and its implications for treatment (Todd) Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 Clinical decision-making assessment (2-hours, 15-minute reading) Independent study (2.25 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Apply advanced knowledge of psychopathology, developmental systems, and the core principles and theoretical models that underpin current evidence-based practice, in working with socially and culturally diverse clients across the lifespan;
  • LO2. Identify psychological disorders using a recognised international taxonomy as part of the broader clinical engagement and multi-method assessment of diverse clients across the lifespan;
  • LO3. Integrate and interpret multi-modal psychological assessment and diagnostic data to inform case conceptualisation and evidence-based treatment planning;
  • LO4. Formulate complex conceptualisations of presenting issues to determine the most appropriate interventions and manage risk;
  • LO5. Demonstrate skills in empirically supported interventions, and in monitoring clients’ progress and intervention outcomes;
  • LO6. Integrate psychopharmacology knowledge into complex conceptualisation, clinical planning and management, including working effectively with other health professionals;
  • LO7. Demonstrate professional communication skills, including interviews and assessments and evidence based intervention demonstrations of skills.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No substantive changes have been made since this unit was last offered.

Work, health and safety

We are governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and Codes of Practice. Penalties for non-compliance have increased. Everyone has a responsibility for health and safety at work. The University’s Work Health and Safety policy explains the responsibilities and expectations of workers and others, and the procedures for managing WHS risks associated with University activities.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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