UCC CPD courses

Therapeutic Engagement, Advanced Assessment Skills & Clinical Decision NU6172


Fact File


Module Objective: To develop the competencies necessary to therapeutically engage with people and their family, friends and/or supporters within the context of a holistic mental health assessment & to learn to identify appropriate, evidence-based approaches when working with people who experience mental distress. An emphasis will be placed on the importance of applying theory to inform therapeutic skills, advanced assessment strategies, formulation of shared treatment goals, and effective inter-disciplinary communication in a clinical context.

Module Content: Advanced assessment skills: use of effective communication and engagement skills, bio-psycho-social-spiritual and cultural assessment, integration of recovery principles, standardised methods and tools of assessment, strengths based assessment, multi-disciplinary assessment, risk assessment, recovery assessment ,understanding the application, meaning and impact of diagnosis & working with medication. Formulation of collaborative treatment plan, presentation skills and multi-disciplinary working. This module will also examine attitudes values and responses towards people who experience mental distress and will examine the involvement of different agencies and family, friends and/or supporters in caring with the person who experiences mental distress.

Content in this module incorporates assessment approaches and interventions in the following areas: 

  • Trauma informed care
  • Strengths based assessment, power threat meaning framework 
  • Substance misuse and dual diagnosis
  • Shared decision making and medication management
  • Self-harm and suicide
  • Bio-psycho-social assessment and diagnosis

Learning Outcomes: On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a high level of competence in the application of theoretical knowledge to clinical practice.
  • Develop a successful therapeutic relationship through the use of advanced interpersonal skills and a critical awareness of the process involved in assessing, collaborating with, and advocating for people who experience mental distress in a clinical context.
  • Execute a comprehensive mental health assessment & develop collaborative care plans which includes family, friends and/or supporters.
  • Discriminate and select assessment strategies, methods and tools in terms of reliability, validity, specificity, and which are appropriate and sensitive to the person, situation, setting, and context.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of a range of research-based psychosocial and pharmacological interventions that are effective in meeting the needs of people who experience mental distress and may enable them to enhance their self-management skills.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the principles, values and beliefs which underpin and guide the diverse range of assessment frameworks.
  • Consider the specific needs of marginalised groups within the assessment process and advocating for their needs in a clinical context and work with a person’s family, friends and/or supporters.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the different perspectives around mental health and distress and of the central importance of service users and family, friends and/or supporters experiences and perspectives.
  • Document and present assessments and collaborative treatment plans for people with complex needs.

Additional Teaching Mode Information

24hr(s) Lectures (and Workshops); 48hr(s) Directed Study (Supported Learning); 276hr(s) Other (Distance Learning; Discussion Board Preparation and Participation, Required Reading, Assignment Preparation and Submission, Self-Directed Learning).

Orientation Semester II 3rd January 2022

Module Runs from 14th February 2022 to 2nd May 2022

Mon 21st Feb.   2022      6 hrs BHSC campus

Mon  7th March 2022      6 hrs on-line

Mon 21st March 2022     6 hrs on-line

Mon 11th April   2022     6 hrs BHSC campus

Assignment submission 3rd May 2022


Fees and Costs

É1,300. There is also an application fee of É35.00

How Do I Apply

Applications for this module are now open.

  • To apply for this module please log on to the UCC APPLY page and create an account.  
  • Gather any additional documents required (including a passport-style photo), copy of your degree parchment if not a previous UCC graduate.
  • An application fee of €35 will be payable on submission of your application via the same platform.





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