Course syllabus for

Self awareness and clinical skills, 4.5 credits

Självkännedom och kliniska färdigheter, 4.5 hp
This course syllabus is valid from autumn 2020.
Please note that the course syllabus is available in the following versions:
Course code
Course name
Self awareness and clinical skills
4.5 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
AV - Second cycle 
Grading scale
Fail (U) or pass (G)
Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Decided by
Programnämnd 8
Decision date
Revised by
Education committee CNS
Last revision
Course syllabus valid from
Autumn 2020

Specific entry requirements

Passed semester 1-5 of the Study Programme in Psychology (150 credits) and at least 7.5 credits from the mandatory course on semester 6.


On completion of the course, the student is expected to be able to

Regarding competence and skills

  • show awareness of the importance of and skills in both non-verbal as well as verbal behaviours when communicating with others,
  • show acceptance, concern and respect for a client and his/her experiences,
  • empathetically work with the client according to his/her aims and values,
  • show advanced clinical, practical skills (e.g. how to welcome a client and begins a first meeting, how to set up an agenda, Socratic questioning technique, make agreements about home assignments, introduce to exposure and behavioral experiments, carry out assessments of suicidal thoughts and behaviours), and
  • show knowledge of factors that influence professional psychologists' well-being in the working life and methods that can reinforce the own resilience against stress and other strains.

Regarding judgement and approach

  • reflect upon clinical situations from both the therapist and client perspective,
  • show awareness of and reflect upon ethical and legal aspects in clinical situations,
  • apply a professional approach by being aware of and reflect on own values and assumptions, and how these may affect the therapeutic work,
  • reflect upon gender equality and diversity aspects of relevance for psychotherapeutic work, and
  • show ability to continuously develop self-awareness and empathetic capacity.


Theme 1, Experience of behavioural change within an area in daily life
The student will together with the group-leader formulate an area in which the student during the course may apply change techniques based on learning theory/behaviour analysis, and cognitive processes and techniques. This implies that the student identifies a well-defined and limited area in his or her life, to change in a way that is in line with one of the specified aims of the course. Examples of such areas may be to enhance his/her ability to speak in front of a group, to provide constructive feedback, to study more efficiently, to increase the frequency of healthy behaviours or to decrease the time spent on social media. Within the scope of this theme, the student will have the possibility to employ concrete cognitive/behavioural methods to work with for example goal formulation, self-monitoring, behavioural experiments, exposure, cognitive restructuring and relapse prevention, in order to achieve behavioural change in the self-chosen area. In the context of this work, the student is expected to actively work with home assignments related to the techniques that are relevant for achieving change. The student is expected to take an active and engaged role in the other group members’ work, which leads to an increased understanding of behaviour change in a group context where the same technique can be applied to different areas of life. This contributes to an in-depth knowledge of how cognitive/behavioural therapeutic methods can be practised in group-format.

Theme 2, Skills training and clinical application of therapeutic technologies
In this theme, the student is given the possibility to clinical practical exercise regarding skills related to client work (e.g. how one welcomes a client for a first conversation, validates and counter clients in different situations, makes agreements about home assignments and follow up of these, introduces to exposure and behavioural experiments, assesses suicidality), combined with creating a therapeutic alliance with a client. The student will also reflect upon how to apply a professional approach in accordance with legal and ethical aspects and based on a gender equality and diversity perspective.

Theme 3, Sustainability as caregiver
The third theme is about preconditions for well-being in the working life. The group will discuss organizational factors that can work as risk- or protective factors for professional psychologists' well-being and continued development. The students are also introduced to methods that can improve the own resilience against stress and other strains, for example mindfulness and self-compassion. The aim with these methods is to function as tools to handle small and large events of the weekday - both in the private life, when being a student, as well as in the future professional role.

Teaching methods

The course includes a compulsory initial individual meeting between the group-leader and the student, followed by 12 meetings in small groups consisting of about six to eight students per group that meet continuously for an extended period of time (across a semester). Active attendance at at least 90% of the group meetings and continuous written assignments are compulsory. The extent corresponds to approximately 50 hours (à 45 minutes). Teaching and supervision take place by teachers that are registered psychologists. The content connects to and deepens in a clinical-practical way the knowledge and skills of the course Clinical Psychology 2, which will run simultaneously.

Theme 1: The student works actively with home assignments related to relevant techniques within the self-chosen area.

Theme 2: Through for example role-playing and discussions, the students will be given the opportunity to practice their skills (please see the aims) during the sessions, but also through home assignments. Furthermore, students will receive feedback from the group-leader and the group members to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses with respect to the clinical exercises. In addition to these scheduled assignments, home assignments will also be given. Students might also need to read some literature according to instructions from the group-leader.

Theme 3: Discussions and practical exercises during group exercises and home assignments. Exercises and home assignments are decided on and are followed up by the group-leader.


The course is examined in the following way:
a) compulsory weekly written assignments in relation to the three themes of the course
b) compulsory active attendance (reflections and participation in role-playing exercises) during at least 90% of the group meetings
c) final written assignment in which the student reflects upon experiences from the course, mainly from the own work area, but also around other elements such as role-playing exercises, ethical positions and reflections around sustainability as caregiver. The written assignment is given the grade Fail or Pass.

The entire course is given the grade Fail (U) or Pass (G).
The grade Pass in the course requires fulfillment of compulsory educational activities according to instructions in schedule, as well as the grade Pass on the final written assignment c).

Absence from or unfulfillment of compulsory course elements
The examiner decides whether, and if so how, absence from or unfulfillment of compulsory course elements can be made up for. Study results cannot be reported until the student has participated in or fulfilled compulsory course elements, or compensated for any absence/ failure to fulfill in accordance with instructions from the examiner. Absence from or unfulfillment of a compulsory course element may imply that the student can not retake the element until the next time the course is offered.

Limitation on the number of examinations
The number of times a student has the right to participate/go through the course is limited to two (2) times.

Possibility of exception from the course syllabus' regulations on examination
If there are special grounds, or a need for adaptation for a student with a disability, the examiner may decide to deviate from the syllabus' regulations on the examination form, the number of examination opportunities, the possibility of supplementation or exemptions from the compulsory section/s of the course etc. Content and learning outcomes as well as the level of expected skills, knowledge and attitudes may not be changed, removed or reduced.

Transitional provisions

If the course is cancelled or goes through substancial changes, information about interim regulations will be stated here.

Other directives

Course evaluation takes place in accordance with KI's local guidelines. Results and possible actions are communicated to the students on the course web page.

Literature and other teaching aids

Experiencing CBT from the inside out : a self practice/self-reflection Bennett-Levy, James.; Thwaites, Richard; Haarhoff, Beverly; Perry, Helen