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Postgraduate Diploma Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Psychosis

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  • Objectives
    This programme equips mental health professionals working with people with a schizophrenia spectrum psychotic illness with a critical understanding of psychological models of psychosis and their evidence base, equipping them with the tools to become a skilled and creative practitioner of and trainer in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for psychosis.
  • Entry requirements
    Applicants must have a recognised professional mental health qualification obtained by a formal examination, with post-qualification experience of working with people with severe and enduring mental health problems (eg clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and RMNs). Applicants must also work in NHS Trust mental health services and have access to settings where they can access suitable clients (ie for the purposes of training cases with relatively uncomplicated psychosis are preferable), and are able to work with selected cases over a long period of time (ie six months or longer).
  • Academic Title
    PG Dip Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Psychosis
  • Course description
    Programme modules for PG Dip Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Psychosis 

    Advanced Formulation & Intervention
    (45 Credits) (Core Module)
    The course aims to provide specialist post-qualification training in the skills to competently use individualised formulations to identify appropriate targets for intervention; use both research and clinical literature and clinical expertise to devise and flexibly deliver innovative cognitive behavioural interventions, adopting a scientist-practitioner model; evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions and adapt them accordingly; and communicate both interventions and their efficacy in a clear and informative style to both clients and colleagues, in written and verbal form. Teaching will take the form of workshops, intensive and detailed supervision, research seminars and case presentations and will cover theory and evidence at the forefront of the field in the practice and efficacy of CBT for psychosis and the practice and efficacy of CBT techniques used in work with other disorders, in the context of a psychotic illness. Students will undertake critical evaluation of existing literature and synthesise this with clinical knowledge to develop, implement and evaluate novel and individualised interventions for complex clinical problems. Reflection on and evaluation of own and others' clinical work, including the use of standardised ratings will be promoted, with reference to guidelines for best practice in evidence-based intervention in CBT for psychosis, moving students towards responsibility for their own professional practice and development. At the end of the course, students will be able to use an individualised clinical formulation to identify appropriate targets for intervention; use both research and clinical literature and clinical expertise to devise and flexibly deliver innovative cognitive behavioural interventions, adopting a scientist-practitioner model, and in line with best practice guidelines; evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions and adapt them accordingly; and communicate both interventions and their efficacy in a clear and informative style to both clients and colleagues, in written and verbal form. They will be able to critically analyse and evaluate scientific papers pertaining to practice and efficacy of CBT for psychosis and the practice and efficacy of CBT techniques used in work with other disorders, in the context of a psychotic illness. They will be able to synthesise existing information to generate novel interventions and ideas for research. Students will be able to reflect on and evaluate their own and others' clinical work, including using standardised ratings to objectively evaluate therapy, and will be aware of professional and ethical considerations in undertaking therapeutic work of this type and the supervision of others in undertaking this work. Assessment is by two 3000-word case reports (each 25% of the total grade) and two 45-minute audiotapes (25% each). Students are required to keep a log book.

    Engagement, Assessment & Formulation (45 Credits) (Core Module)
    The module aims to provide specialist post-qualification training in the skills to competently engage clients with psychosis, make effective use of assessment tools, develop an individualised formulation, and communicate this information in a clear and informative style to both clients and colleagues, in written and verbal form. Teaching will take the form of workshops, intensive and detailed supervision, research seminars and case presentations and will cover theory and evidence at the forefront of the field both in psychological models of psychosis and psychological models of other disorders, particularly in the context of a psychotic illness; critical review of techniques used in engagement, and the flexible and creative use of these with clients; critical evaluation of assessment tools and development of novel and individualised assessments for complex presenting problems; analysis and synthesis of clinical assessment information and theoretical knowledge to generate individualised formulations for clients; development of skills in sharing formulations with clients; critical evaluation of own work in engagement, assessment and formulation, including use of standardised ratings of clinical work and the role of such ratings in evaluating the work of others. Professional and ethical considerations in undertaking therapeutic work and guidelines for best practice in engagement, assessment, and formulation in CBT for psychosis will be considered. Reflective practice and the scientist-practitioner model will be promoted. At the end of the module, students will show a critical and analytical understanding of theory and evidence at the forefront of the field in psychological models of psychosis and psychological models of other disorders, particularly in context of a psychotic illness. They will be able to critically analyse and evaluate scientific papers pertaining to these models and formulation in psychosis, together with those discussing assessment techniques and engagement. They will be able to synthesise existing information to generate novel clinical tools and techniques and ideas for research. Students will be able to competently adopt flexible and creative techniques for engaging clients, and conducting effective assessments, meeting guidelines for best practice in engagement, assessment, formulation in CBT for psychosis. They will be able to analyse and synthesise clinical assessment information and theoretical knowledge to generate novel and individualised formulations of complex problems, and effectively communicate this information in verbal and written form to both clients and colleagues. Students will be able to adopt a scientist-practitioner approach to engagement, assessment and formulation, and make use of supervision to reflect upon, evaluate and develop both their own work and that of other students. They will be aware of professional and ethical considerations in undertaking this type of therapeutic work and the supervision of others in undertaking this work. Assessment is by a 5000 word essay (50%), a 3000-word report (25%) and a 45-minute audiotape. Students are required to keep a log book.

    Specialist Applications and Interventions (30 Credits) (Core Module)
    The course aims to provide specialist post-qualification training in the knowledge and skills to competently provide specialist applications of cognitive behavioural therapy, modified for particular client groups, or to take account of particular presenting problems, or to include novel developments in the field. Additionally the course will address supervision issues and service considerations. Teaching will take the form of workshops, intensive and detailed supervision, research seminars and case presentations and will cover theory and evidence at the forefront of each field presented. Students will undertake critical evaluation of the literature, synthesising existing information to generate novel ideas for research, and practice skills in assessment, formulation and intervention relevant to each clinical area. Models of learning and supervision, critical reflection on and evaluation of the effectiveness of supervision will also be taught, together with adapting clinical skills - such as flexible and creative problem solving, to supervisory work, and the use of recently developed training manuals and standardised ratings of clinical work as training tools. Effective communication skills for the purposes of supervision and educating clinical teams will be taught. Later sessions will focus on managing a role as a CBT for psychosis therapist within a clinical team or other service, addressing workload, continuing supervision and professional development, creative adaptation of skills to maximise benefits to a particular service, and educating referrers to maximise the use of the service. At the end of the course, students will have augmented their knowledge and skills in CBT for psychosis and will have an understanding of and practical skills in delivering, a variety of cutting-edge specialist applications of CBT for psychosis. They will be able to critically evaluate and synthesise research in these areas, and apply evidence-based ideas flexibly and creatively in their clinical work. Academically they will be able to identify opportunities for further research in and development of these specialist fields. They will have a critical understanding of models of supervision and learning, and will be able to draw on these eclectically to develop, deliver and evaluate individualised supervision. They will be aware of issues relating to delivering CBT for psychosis within a service, and able to adopt a problem solving approach to these. They will be able to adapt their skills in communicating about CBT for psychosis to different situations presenting within supervision and within clinical services. Assessment is by one 5000-word essay (75% of final grade) and a reflective account of learning (25%). Students are required to keep a log book.

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