PSYCH338-23A (TGA)

Mental Health and Well Being

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Psychology


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What this paper is about

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The aim of this paper is to facilitate students' understanding of the concepts of wellness and illness in the context of mental health as well as describing and critiquing the traditional Western approach to the classification and diagnosis of mental disorders. This paper will discuss clinical features of common psychological disorders and dysfunctions and explore technical (i.e., aetiology, assessment, formulation and treatment), legal, ethical, and cultural issues - with a special focus on Indigenous and Maori perspectives. By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to demonstrate and understanding of how some of the most commonly seen psychological disorders present as well as reflect on foundational issues such as how these conditions are understood and treated in a clinical setting.
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How this paper will be taught

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Lectures, labs and assessments will give students opportunities to be actively involved in reading, examining and discussing psychological perspectives about psychopathology, mental health and well-being.
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Required Readings

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Recommended text

Barlow, D.H., V. M., & Hoffman, S. G. (2018). Abnormal psychology: An integrative approach (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

the lectures are intended to be complementary to the text rather than merely repeating the material, so it is important that students read the relevant chapters in preparation for the lectures. Also, assignments will derive from issues highlighted in the text. It is important that you access the 8th Edition of this textbook.

Recommended resources

Over the course of this paper, you will be exposed to recommended readings to develop your specific interests further. These suggested references are not compulsory for this course, however students will benefit if they familiarise themselves with clinical psychology and related journals and read beyond the set readings for their writing assignments, and to follow up on individual questions and interests. In reading and considering material, students are expected to reflect on the impact of cultural differences, as well as the complex interplay of psychological, biological, and social factors.

Some Major journals to consider when working on assignments include (note: this list is not exhaustive)

  • American Journal of Psychiatry
  • Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
  • Clinical Psychology Review
  • Journal of Abnormal Psychology
  • Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
  • Journal of Clinical Psychology
  • Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
  • Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice


From time to time, additional resources will be added to Moodle to assist with assignments, understanding a topic, or just for plain interest.


Availability of lecture slides

The course convenor will endeavour to make lecture slides available on Moodle prior to lectures. However, this is dependent on guest lecturers sending their PowerPoint presentations in a timely manner. If the slides are not available prior to the lecture then they will be available soon after.


The amount of work expected for a typical student in a 15 point undergraduate paper (offered over one semester) is 10 hours per week. This figure is only an approximation, as papers vary in their requirements and students vary in both the amount of effort required and the level of grades they wish to achieve.


PSYCH338 is a core pre-requisite paper for students applying for the Post-Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Clinical) Programme.


Restricted papers: PSYCH338

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an ability to think critically about some of the key issues that are associated with psychopathology
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  • Demonstrate an ability to write clearly and concisely
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  • Discuss the importance of cultural factors in the way that individuals are assessed and treated
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  • Understand the diagnostic criteria, key theories, assessment techniques, and treatment approaches of the major mental disorders
    Linked to the following assessments:
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How you will be assessed

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Assessment for this paper involves a series of small assignments that are designed to tap into your developing working knowledge and reflectiveness about issues related to mental health and wellbeing.
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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Discussion papers (two are required)
6 Apr 2023
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Laboratory assessments (five are required)
2 Jun 2023
5:00 PM
  • In Class: In Lab
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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