The Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Intervention (CBT) is a one-year, full-time course which leads to eligibility for provisional accreditation with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) as a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist. The course is part of the NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme (IAPT), which aims to improve access to evidence-based talking therapies in the NHS through an expansion of the psychological therapy workforce and services. Trainees will be employed as high intensity therapy trainees in local IAPT Primary Care Services in Surrey. They will receive current training in CBT, attending lectures at the University for two days a week, whilst undertaking supervised practice in their IAPT service for three days a week. On graduating from the course they will be eligible to apply for high intensity psychological therapy posts. They will be qualified to deliver NICE-compliant psychologies therapies to individuals with common mental health problems, including depression and anxiety disorders.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Psychological Intervention (CBT) is a level 2 BABCP accredited course.
The course comprises 120 credits which are achieved through the completion of seven course modules.
Module 1 – Fundamentals of CBT: Theoretical and Research Knowledge
The module aims to provide an overview of the concepts, principles, theories and practice of cognitive behaviour therapy. Trainees will acquire and develop a critical understanding of the research evidence underpinning cognitive behaviour theory and practice.
The module begins with an introduction to the diagnostic and classification systems for common mental health problems and severe mental distress, and with an introduction to the biopsychosocial models of mental health problems. Trainees will learn methods of assessment for assessing the presence, severity and risk of mental health problems. The module also aims to introduce Trainees to the importance of the therapeutic relationship and to the principles of building therapeutic alliance.
Module 2 – Fundamentals of CBT: Application of CBT Theory in Clinical Practice
This module begins with an overview of the fundamental principles of assessment and formulation within the cognitive behaviour framework.
The focus of this module is an introduction to the clinical applications of fundamentals of cognitive behaviour therapy (e.g., formulation, collaborative empiricism, structuring sessions, and agenda setting). The remainder of the module focuses on facilitating learning of key CBT skills (e.g., guided discovery, Socratic questioning, identifying and evaluating key cognitions).
This module will also introduce working with difference and diversity and to develop an understanding of the role of supervisor and the effective use of supervision.
Module 3 – Theory and Research for CBT with Anxiety Disorders and Depression
This module begins with the introduction to the diagnostic classification and epidemiological characteristics of anxiety disorders and depression. The module aims to provide knowledge and understanding of the theoretical underpinnings and research evidence for anxiety disorders and depression.
Trainees are expected to develop an understanding of the principles of stepped care system, the role of low intensity interventions and the functions of high intensity therapies within that framework for anxiety disorders and depression.
Module 4 – Application of CBT for Anxiety Disorders in Clinical Practice
The module provides an overview of the issues relevant to the assessment and formulation of CBT with anxiety disorders, following the diagnostic classification taught in module 3.
The module focus is on developing comprehensive formulations that guide case conceptualisations and treatment plans for a wide range of anxiety disorders. The focus is on developing treatment plans and interventions to produce change in a range of anxiety disorders. Risk assessment and assessment, formulation and intervention with complex cases will also be part of this module.
Module 5 – Application of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Depression in Clinical Practice
The module provides an overview of the issues relevant to the assessment and formulation of CBT with depression, following the diagnostic classification taught in module 3
The module focus is on developing comprehensive formulations that guide case conceptualisations and treatment plans for a range of depressive disorders. Assessment and management of risk, assessment and management of suicidal behaviour and self-harm, formulation and intervention with complex cases will also be part of this module.
Module 6 – Experiential learning and reflective practice of CBT theory
Experiential learning and reflective practice will be emphasised throughout the teaching and delivery of all the modules.
However, there will be a number of lectures and workshops on the following subjects: the role of service user involvement; the role of supervision and its effective use; working with different values; cultures and difference; experiential learning on how cognitive and behavioural approaches can be applied to trainees’ own experiences.
Module 7 - Practice Portfolio
The emphasis on this module is for trainees to complete the portfolio that demonstrates their ability to understand and implement CBT in clinical practice.
The course modules are delivered across two academic semesters. There are six week-long blocks of intensive workshops during the year. In addition to regular lectures, skills-based competencies will be developed through experiential workshops where trainees will have the opportunity to role-play the use of different CBT techniques.
Ongoing clinical group supervision for training cases will also be provided by members of the course team. Trainees will be expected to undertake self-directed study and will have access to the University Library and online resources.
Who should apply?
To become a high intensity trainee you will need to have had a minimum of two years’ mental health experience and a relevant core professional training. Some of the staff who would be considered might currently be working as nurses, occupational therapists and social workers, counsellors, experienced graduate workers, psychotherapists or newly qualified clinical psychologists.
The minimum eligibility criteria are outlined on the BABCP website. Those trainees who do not meet the BABCP criteria for a core profession will be required at interview to demonstrate that they meet the BABCP criteria for sufficient relevant knowledge, skills and attitude (KSA).
How to Apply
Applications for the course are made directly through KCA. We are unable to consider direct individual applications.
Applicants with English as a second language will need evidence of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0.
At the University of Surrey we are committed to equality of opportunity in access to training. The University welcomes and provides support as needed for trainees with special needs.
Director of IAPT High/Low Intensity Training Programmes
Ms Mary John
Programme Director of High Intensity Programme
Dr Vicky Vidalaki
Mrs Julie Tidy
IAPT Supervisors Training Leads
Ms Louise Deacon
Dr Nan Holmes
For Further Information Contact
Julie Tidy, Course Administrator,
Department of Psychology,
University of Surrey,
Tel: +44 (0)1483 682887