Clinical Psychology

CBT for Complex Disorders

This course builds on foundation-level Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) skills. It aims to provide the knowledge and skills to deliver CBT, under supervision, to children and young people experiencing complex mental health problems.

Course dates

Semesters 1 & 2

Course credits 40
Course delivery Campus-based
Academic co-ordinator Prof Liz Gilchrist

Course description

girl painting brain illustration

The course is part of the MSc Psychological Therapies and follows on from CBT Supervised Practice.  It builds on foundation-level CBT skills with a series of face-to-face workshop based teaching sessions, online synchronous and asynchronous activities, and a supervised clinical placement.

The course aims to develop skills in assessment, formulation and intervention of complex mental health problems in children and young people including trauma (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and autism, using a cognitive-behavioural framework.

Drawing on the expertise of visiting clinical contributors, students will be introduced to the core elements of CBT as they are applied to complex presentations, including formulation and re-formulation, engaging young people in a change strategy, and developing and maintaining a therapeutic relationship in the context of interpersonal difficulties.

Students will complete a supervised placement comprising a minimum of 50 hours of clinical contact with at least 5 cases presenting with various complex disorders.  A portfolio of supervised clinical work will be developed demonstrating CBT practice, reflection and evaluation.  Students may increase their contact hours to a level that allows for application for individual practitioner accreditation with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).

Intended learning outcomes

  • Be proficient in conducting, and critically appraising, a functional analysis of complex disorders in children and young people via the use of self-report, parental/other report, observations and interview methods.
  • Demonstrate awareness of, and proficiency in providing cognitive behavioural formulation and re-formulation of complex disorders in children and young people in a written format.
  • Demonstrate awareness of, and proficiency in the application of CBT for a range of complex disorders, with evidence of a change strategy and a reflective approach to supervision of CBT.
  • Clinical practice should demonstrate an understanding of the developmental and systemic perspective of the child/young person and its relationship with their presenting problem.
  • Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the theoretical models of CBT as applied to complex disorders.

Course delivery and assessment

This course will start in Semester 1.  It is delivered using face-to-face and online methods.

The formal assessment will consist of three elements:

  • Two audio recordings – 20% + 20%
  • Portfolio of clinical activity – 30%
  • Extended case conceptualisation – 30%