Not currently offered

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject students will build in the knowledge base acquired in Psychological Assessment A and move from a focus on psychometric theory, measurement and interpretation to a focus on traditional and controversial assessments of psychopathological states. The subject presents a critical approach to classificatory systems, such as DSM-V and ICD 10, and discusses the limitations of the current system in light of the research implicating genetic and psychobiological brain involvement in psychopathology. A collaborative and individualised approach to assessment informs this subject and students will be challenged to reflect on professional and ethical issues relating to psychological assessment.

SchoolSchool of Psychology & Public Health

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorRaelynn Wicklein

Available to Study Abroad StudentsNo

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be enrolled in HMCP Master of Counselling Psychology


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsDiagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th Ed)PrescribedAmerican Psychiatric Association (2013)WASHINGTON DC: AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION
ReadingsFoundations of Clinical PsychiatryPrescribedBloch, S. & Singh, B. (2001)MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY PRESS
ReadingsInternational classification of diseases, 10th RevisionPrescribedWorld Health Organisation (2011)WHO ONLINE VERSION
ReadingsFoundations of Clinical PsychiatryRecommendedBloch, S. & Singh, B. (2007)CARLTON VIC: MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY PRESS
ReadingsKaplan and Sadock's synopsis of psychiatry: Behavioural Sciences/Clinical PsychiatryRecommendedHaplan, H. & Sadock, V. (2007)PHILADELPHIA: WOLTER-KLUWER/LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS AND WILKINS (E-RESOURCE)
ReadingsPsychopathology: Foundations for a contemporary understandingRecommendedMaddux, J.E. (2012)HOBOKEN: TAYLOR & FRANCIS (E-RESOURCE)
ReadingsThe book of woe: the DSM and the unmaking of psychiatryRecommendedGreenberg, G. (2013)BRUNSWICK VIC SCRIBE (E-RESOURCE)
ReadingsThe conceptual evolution of DSM-VRecommendedRegier, D.E. (2010)WASHINGTON DC: AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC PUB (E-RESOURCE)

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Demonstrate a knowledge of the DSM/ICD system of diagnosis

Lectures, readings and workshop activities

02. Demonstrate a knowledge of the underlying principles of the current nosology

Focus on case study analyses using DSM-V: Differential Diagnosis - critiquing of assessment and treatment methods. Case study assigments and use of videoed vignettes of cases representing specific DSM diagnoses

03. Be able to conduct assessments informed by a psychobiological model

Presentation of cases are analysed in the group according the 4P (Predisposing, Precipitating, Perpetuating and Protective factors) model which address biological and genetic features encapsulated within these categories. Provides the background for case conceptualisation

04. Employ a critique of current diagnostic procedures in contexts of treatment and care (eg. cross-cultural) and provide justification for such critiques in terms of achieving satisfactory treatment outcomes

As above and a focus on Indigenous Mental Health (lecture) and critique of cross-cultural validity in using DSM and ICD to diagnose diverse populations. In all discussions on DSM the cross cultural applicability is critiqued and readings which focus on salient features are prescribed.

05. Demonstrate capacity to apply diagnostic thinking in case formulation

Tutorial activities focus on developing case formulation and diagnostic skills. Practical examples (either written or videoed) are presented to be analysed in small groups and at times through individual case conceptualisation

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