An Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

Course overview:

This course will introduce delegates to the basic theory and practice of the CBT approach. A basic model of CBT is used to describe how CBT makes sense of a range of mental health problems and generates practical tools for reducing distressing thoughts, feelings and behaviour in a collaborative staff-service user approach. The practical focus of this course allows delegates to sample tools from an active, experiential perspective.

Course content:

  • What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)?
  • Brief historical overview
  • The defining features of the CBT approach
  • Comparison to other therapeutic approaches
  • Brief review of evidence in support of the CBT approach
  • A basic model of CBT: how thoughts, feelings and behaviour can interact to cause distress
  • The importance of early experiences in forming our core beliefs and informing our thoughts and reactions in the here and now
  • What are ‘cognitive distortions’ and how do they develop?
  • How can awareness of ‘cognitive distortions’ help in reducing distress and increasing coping?
  • Understanding a range of common mental health problems from a CBT perspective including anxiety, depression, obsessions, eating problems
  • How CBT might be used to help people experiencing psychosis
  • Practical tools in the CBT approach and how we might incorporate these into our work with service users
  • Using CBT as a self-help tool
  • Evaluation of the CBT approach: advantages and disadvantages in practice


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