HLTHSCI 703 : Psychological Interventions in Health Care

Medical and Health Sciences

2022 Semester Two (1225) (30 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Focuses on increasing health professionals' skills in the use of psychological interventions for people who have acute or long term mental health or physical health problems. Explores evidence-based psychological models, such as Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy and Motivational Interviewing. Illness beliefs that impact on the person's ability to engage effectively with treatment plans, and self-management of their health problem/s, will also be critiqued.

Course Overview

This course aims to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge of three talking therapies in order to support students to apply psychological interventions within their clinical practice.  Students will gain practical experience by utilising the learnt skills and theoretical knowledge in their clinical settings with the support of supervision as well as enhancing their ability to document and present their psychological work through course assessment, supervision and classroom discussions.

Course Requirements

Restriction: NURSING 760, 781

Course Contacts

Helen Butler - Course Director - h.butler@auckland.ac.nz
Riz Sari - Administrator  r.sari@auckland.ac.nz  ph. 09 923 3252

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Health Sciences

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand the mechanisms of action, possible impacts and necessary requirements in undertaking psychological interventions with clients with a range of clinical presentations (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 3.1, 4.1 and 5.2)
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of models of talking therapies and how they can be applied within clinical practice (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1 and 5.2)
  3. Articulate the interpersonal issues within psychological interventions from both a health consumer and a clinical perspective (Capability 1.1, 2.1, 3.1 and 5.1)
  4. Describe factors that support or hinder the use of psychological interventions within health services (Capability 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1 and 6.2)
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of cultural issues within the application of psychological interventions (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 6.1 and 6.2)
  6. Critically engage with the literature on the use of specific psychological models and interventions within your area of practice (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 4.1, 5.2 and 6.2)
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of current policy and government directions for the implementation of psychological interventions and self-management strategies within New Zealand health services (Capability 1.2, 3.1, 5.1, 6.1 and 6.2)
  8. Demonstrate the skills required to verbally present psychological formulations and interventions to a multi-disciplinary team (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2 and 5.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Literature Review 30% Individual Coursework
Formulation presentation 30% Individual Coursework
Case assignment 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Literature Review
Formulation presentation
Case assignment

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 30 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 6 days of lectures. You will need to allow time for reading and thinking about the content and also time to work on assignments and exam preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including lectures and tutorials to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials may be available as recordings.
The course may include live online events including group discussions or tutorials.
 The activities for the course are scheduled as a block delivery.

Learning Resources

There are no required texts for this course. Recommended readings are listed on Canvas.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Other Information

Students will be required to identify health consumers within their area of practice that they can engage with in order to utilise the taught skills from the course (motivational interviewing, acceptance and commitment therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy). 
Students are required to engage in supervision on a fortnightly basis with an identified supervisor with sufficient skills and clinical scope in providing talking therapies. 

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.