Psychology 3301G-650 (online)

Clinical Psychology

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.


This course offers a survey of major topics in clinical psychology, including assessment and intervention approaches; experimental psychopathology; ethical, professional and theoretical issues; and emerging trends.


Antirequisites: Psychology 2301A/B, the former 3300A/B


Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. So if you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course.


Prerequisites: Psychology 2820E or both Psychology 2800E and 2810, and one of Psychology 2310A/B or 2320A/B

0.5 course




Kimberly Dossett., MSc, Lecturer


Westminster Hall, Rm 60D

Office Hours:

By Appointment Only





Adam Newton, MSc., Lecturer


Westminster Hall, Rm 60K

Office Hours:

By Appointment Only




Supervising Instructor:               

Graham J. Reid, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Office & Phone Number:

Westminster Hall, Room 319E

519-661-2111 (x84677)


Ms. Dossett and Mr. Newton will hold office hours in person (in Westminster Hall 60D/K) or via Skype (video or voice call). Appointments are to be arranged via email.

If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, there are several resources here at Western to assist you.  Please visit: for more information on these resources and on mental health.

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 519-661-2111 ext 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.


Hunsley, J. and Lee, C.M.  (2014) Introduction to Clinical Psychology, (3rd Canadian Edition): An Evidence-Based Approach (3rd Canadian Ed.). Mississauga, ON: John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd.  eBook or print.



This course will provide an overview of the field of clinical psychology covering:

  • Definitions and history of clinical psychology
  • Clinical psychology research methods
  • Psychopathology and abnormal behaviour
  • Clinical assessment including clinical diagnosis and the assessment of intelligence, personality and behaviour
  • Intervention methods used by clinical psychologists
  • A review of subspecialties within clinical psychology including health, neuropsychology, forensic, paediatric and child psychology
  • Professional issues and training in clinical psychology.

Lectures, online discussions, and a written assignment will complement material presented in the textbook. During the online discussion, the instructors will post questions to facilitate understanding of aspects related to the week’s topic. The written assignment will include a grade for peer evaluation and for the final submission (see Written Assignment).


After successfully completing this course, students should be able to:


Learning Outcome

Learning Activities

How Assessed

1. Depth & Breadth of Knowledge

1.1 Describe key concepts, principles, and overarching themes in clinical psychology.


1.2 Articulate the concepts and current states of knowledge in clinical psychology.


Online lectures

Online discussions

Written assignments

Contribution to online discussion

Midterm and final exams

Written assignments

2. Knowledge and Application of Methodologies

2.1 Access, interpret, and critically evaluate appropriate research in psychology.


2.2 Identify and critically discuss implications of information relevant to clinical psychology in academic articles and scholarly publications.


Online Discussion

Independent researching of journal articles for written assignment

Contribution to online discussion

Written assignments

3. Application of Knowledge

3.1 Use evidence to support claims in written work.


3.2 Engage in critical scholarly discussions and debate on clinical psychology topics and utilize course material to critically assess a controversial issue in clinical psychology.


3.3 Generate a creative/ novel solution to real life/ scholarly issues.


3.4 Critically evaluate the presentation of scientific ideas/ scholarly material.


Online lectures

Contribution to online discussion

Midterm and final exams

Written assignments

4. Communication Skills

4.1 Communicate in writing accurately, clearly and logically, using the discourse of the sub-discipline of clinical psychology.


4.2 Present and critically discuss scientific findings and their implications.


4.3 Communicate constructive feedback on peers’ written material.

Online discussions


Contribution to online discussions

Written assignments

5. Awareness of Limits of Knowledge

5.1 Recognize the limits of one’s own knowledge and knowledge in the clinical psychology and how this might influence the analysis and interpretations of broader issues


5.2 Identify and discuss research issues in need of further investigation.


5.3 Discuss and critically evaluate a current issue in clinical psychology using scholarly sources.

Online lectures

Online discussion

Written assignments

Online discussions

6. Autonomy and Professional Capacity

6.1 Demonstrate initiative, personal responsibility and accountability in all course work.


6.2 Utilize peer- feedback to improve written material.

Written assignments

Written assignments


PLEASE NOTE:  Because this is an essay course, as per Senate Regulations (, you must pass the essay component to pass the course. That is, the average mark for your written assignments must be at least 50%.





General discussion with the entire class

Monday through Sunday


Written Assignment 1

Sunday, February 11th, 11:00 pm
(submitted online)


Written Assignment 2

Friday, April 11, 11:00 pm (submitted online)


Mid-term exam

Saturday February 10  – time to be determined


Final exam

As scheduled during final exam period
(April 14-30)




Participation is an essential element of an online course. You will be expected to participate in discussion within your tutorial section. In the online forum, the instructors will post questions for the group to discuss; the instructors will moderate this discussion.

A grade for participation will be based on an assessment of the quality of your participation. You have to post something, but what you say is more important than how much or how often you post. Good quality participation reflects of your mastery of required readings, and includes thoughtful questioning and raising points/issues you encounter in the reading, and involvement in discussions. We are striving for an on-line discussion, rather than just a series of individual responses to the week’s question. In other words, your posts could reflect a response to the question and/or a response to your classmates’ post(s).

As participation is a key element in this course, it is important that we foster and maintain an atmosphere of respect and civility. All class members have a role in creating this atmosphere by responding to comments with interest, and allowing all students to participate. When a student’s behaviour is not consistent with the above, one of the instructors will contact the student privately. If a student’s behaviour continues to be disrespectful, s/he will be removed from the discussion.

Evaluation: At least two posts are expected each week. You must post at least once during the first half of the week (due by 11pm on Wednesday) and post again during the second half of the week (due by 11pm on Sunday). A mark for class participation will be assigned weekly with 1% of the grade allocated based on general discussion with the entire class for each week for a total of 12% of the final grade. An additional 3% will be given for completion of online quizzes. Students will receive half a percent for every quiz completed up to the maximum of 3%.


You will be required to submit two short papers throughout the course. Each paper will discuss one side of an argument for a current controversy in clinical psychology (i.e., pro and con). For example, the use of medication or psychological therapies as the first line treatment for anxiety.  You will review empirical research related to your chosen controversy.  You must cite at least 5 empirical journal articles or book chapters in each of your papers. Many psychology journals can be accessed online through Western Libraries, and your course textbook has a list of major journals relevant to clinical psychology that you may find useful. Format your references and citations according to APA style (6th ed): these guidelines are available online through Western Libraries under “Publication manual of the American Psychological Association.”  The overall format of your paper should follow the APA style guidelines, but you do not need to include an abstract.  

The paper should follow an essay format, which means it should contain an introduction with a thesis statement (i.e., the side of your argument that you are presenting, “Medication should be the front line treatment for anxiety disorders”) a main body detailing the research and references to support the statement, and a summarizing conclusion. Your paper can be a maximum of 5 pages long (1 inch margins, double spaced, 12-point font).

Some suggested journal sources:

American Psychologist

Annual Review of Clinical Psychology

Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine

British Journal of Clinical Psychology

British Medical Journal

Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

Clinical Psychology Review

Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice

Development and Psychopathology

Journal of Abnormal Psychology

Journal of Behavioral Medicine

Journal of Child Clinical Psychology

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Journal of Clinical Psychology

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Journal of Pediatric Psychology

Journal of the American Medical Association: Psychiatry

Journal of Pediatrics

Psychological Assessment

Psychological Bulletin

A good paper demonstrates evidence of critical thinking and discussion. Therefore, a good paper is not only a summary of the findings and opinions of others. Critical thinking involves comparison and contrast of related points from different sources, or discussion of the strengths and weakness of arguments, evidence, and theory. Given the argumentative nature of this assignment, your chosen controversy should be one where there is conflicting evidence, different theories, or different expert opinions. You should also choose a topic that you can cover in sufficient detail across two 5 page papers (i.e., there should be two clear arguments within the controversy). If you find that your topic of interest is too broad, you may choose a narrower or more specific issue within this topic for your paper. Conversely, if you can find almost nothing in the empirical literature on clinical psychology to address your topic of interest, you should choose a different area or expand your focus.

Note: you must upload your written assignments in a format that can be read by others. A *.docx (Microsoft Word format), *.rtf (rich text format) or *.PDF (portable document format) is recommended.



  • Accuracy and clear understanding of the research and relevant surrounding issues,
  • Critical evaluation and discussion of the empirical research,
  • Organization and logic in the presentation of points and discussion, and overall writing style
  • Quality and relevance of references selected for the paper,
  • Overall quality and sophistication of ideas.


The format of the mid-term and final exams will be the same. A combination of multiple choice, matching, fill-in-the-blank, and short answer questions will be used. All exams will be 2 hours in length. ANY material from the textbook or lectures may be selected for the exams. No "aids" are allowed in exams.

5.2  A) MID-TERM EXAM (25%)

The Mid-term Exam will cover all material from lectures 1-4 and chapters 1-8. Note, Lecture 5 and Chapter 9 will not be covered on the midterm, but will be covered on the Final Exam.

5.2 B) FINAL EXAM (30%)

This exam is non-cumulative and will cover all lecture and chapter material since the Midterm Exam (lectures 6-12 and assigned chapters).

Although the Psychology Department does not require instructors to adjust their course grades to conform to specific targets, the expectation is that course marks will be distributed around the following averages:

70%     1000-level and 2000-level courses
72%     2190-2990 level courses
75%     3000-level courses
80%     4000-level courses
The Psychology Department follows Western's grading guidelines, which are as follows (see ):

A+  90-100      One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level
A    80-89        Superior work that is clearly above average
B    70-79        Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory
C    60-69        Competent work, meeting requirements
D    50-59        Fair work, minimally acceptable
F    below 50    Fail




Time  & Location

Mid-term Exam

Feb 10


Final Exam

April Final Exam period (April 14-30, 2018)






Text chapters


Jan 8

Course Overview, Organization & Greetings
Overview and History of Clinical Psychology

1 & 2 (pp. 45-73)


Jan 15

Research Methods in Clinical Psychology


Classification and Diagnosis



Jan 22

Assessment: Overview


Assessment: Interviewing & Observation



Jan 29

Assessment: Intellectual and Cognitive Measures


Assessment: Self-Report and Projective Measures



Feb 5

Assessment: Integration and Clinical Decision-Making



Feb 11




Feb 12





Feb 26

Intervention: Overview



March 3


Lectures 1-5 and textbook chapter 1-9


March 5

Intervention: Adults and Couples



March 12

Intervention: Children and Adolescents & Pediatric Psychology

13 & pp. 546-552


March 19

Intervention: Identifying Key Elements of Change



March 26

Health, Neuropsychology & Forensic Psychology



April 2

Becoming a Clinical Psychologist

2 (pp. 73-84) Appendix 2

April 8


April 14-30


Lectures 6-12, Chapters 2, 10-15, Appendix 2


Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offenses. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offenses because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offense are described at the following link:

As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offenses. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and

Possible penalties for a scholastic offense include failure of the assignment, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University.


Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 

Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation:


Office of the Registrar web site:

Student Development Services web site:

Please see the Psychology Undergraduate web site for information on the following:

- Policy on Cheating and Academic Misconduct
- Procedures for Appealing Academic Evaluations
- Policy on Attendance
- Policy Regarding Makeup Exams and Extensions of Deadlines
- Policy for Assignments
- Short Absences
- Extended Absences
- Documentation
- Academic Concerns
- 2017 Calendar References

No electronic devices, including cell phones and smart watches, will be allowed during exams.



Students are welcome to discuss with the instructors any aspects of their evaluation that are not clear. Students may appeal any mark given in the course. To ensure that concerns are fairly reviewed, students wishing to have a grade reviewed must submit a brief note outlining the specific concerns regarding the grade and justification for grade revision. An appeal must include: (a) the original material submitted (if material was returned) and (b) a written statement by the student of the issue(s) with the grading. The statement should include the specific aspect of the grading in question and his/her rationale for why a grade should be altered. The original material will be re-graded and reviewed along with the rationale for the appeal. The mark as re-graded by the instructor will be the final mark. This mark may be higher or lower than the original grade.