Low intensity psychological interventions in the context of long-term, persistent and distressing physical health conditions

Key information

Start date:
To be confirmed

Why choose this course?

Commissioned by Health Education England to provide psychological wellbeing practitioners (PWPs) with the necessary skills and competencies to work with patients who are experiencing distress in the context of long-term physical health conditions.

This is a compulsory top up module that all PWPs will normally be expected to complete within two years of qualification.

Meets the requirements of the NHS Talking Therapies, for anxiety and depression, psychological wellbeing practitioners long-term conditions national curriculum (2017).

High-quality teaching delivered by psychologists, psychological wellbeing practitioners and experts by experience.

Successful completion of the programme will lead to a continuing professional development certificate in the application of low-intensity psychological interventions to distress related to long-term physical health conditions.

PWP attendees will be supported to develop the skills, knowledge and competencies required to enable assess, formulate and treat patients presenting with LTC’s in a low-intensity, NHS Talking Therapies for anxiety and depression context.

What you will study

Chronic disease management 

You’ll learn about the principles of chronic disease management and working in multi-disciplinary co-ordinated healthcare systems. 

Understanding long-term conditions 

You’ll develop your knowledge and understanding of long-term conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiac disease, diabetes, chronic pain and chronic fatigue.

Assessment and shared understanding 

You will enhance your assessment and formulation skills to enable you to assess and formulate distress related to long-term health conditions.

Adapting low-intensity psychological interventions 

You’ll learn how to apply your knowledge and skills of low-intensity interventions to work with distress related to long-term conditions.

Group work

You will develop your group facilitation skills to support you to deliver psychoeducational groups.


As an attendee you will have access to the University of Surrey’s library. You will also be able to access programme materials via the university’s learning platform ‘SurreyLearn’.

Teaching staff

You’ll be taught by a team of experienced clinicians (psychological wellbeing practitioners and psychologists) and experts by experience.

Learning and teaching methods

Class size

Typical cohorts are 40 students.

Study methods

The programme will involve independent study, five University-taught days and service-based learning in an NHS Talking Therapies for anxiety and depression service.

University-based teaching and learning will involve:

  • Group work
  • Lectures
  • Clinical skills practice
  • Observation
  • Peer-based learning.

Service-based teaching and learning opportunities could include:

  • Supervision
  • Observation
  • Self-assessment
  • Clinical work.

Independent study will involve you undertaking university and self-directed study in your own time.

Programme delivery

University teaching will be taking place online.


To pass the programme you will need to successfully complete a portfolio. This will include (but not be limited to) clinical logs, extended reflections on clinical work and reading log. 

Professional recognition (accreditation)

Continuing professional development certificate (non-credit bearing).

Course leader

Dr Laura Driesen

Senior Teaching Fellow & Academic Director (Doctorate in Clinical Psychology)

Entry requirements

To be eligible you must be:

  • A qualified psychological wellbeing practitioner
  • Working in an NHS Talking Therapies for anxiety and depression service with access to clients presenting with distress related to long-term conditions.
  • Access to specialist supervision with a PWP who has attend the PWP supervisor training and the long-term conditions training or a high-intensity therapist
  • Able to commit to the six-month programme duration.

Fees and funding

Fees are to be confirmed

How to apply

Details of forthcoming programmes are circulated amongst NHS Talking Therapies for anxiety and depression services. Applications are made via employing services and not directly to the University. You should therefore speak with your service manager/supervisor for information about applying.

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations and our terms and conditions. You are also confirming you have read and understood the University's prospective student privacy notice.

Further details of our terms and conditions will follow.


This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the commencement of the course. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read the full disclaimer.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 


University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH