Certificate in Essential Skills for CBT

Presented by;


James Bennett-Levy
Helen Perry

This is a workshop for people who want to develop a strong grounding in CBT skills.  It is for participants who:


1. may currently be using a bit of CBT but perhaps not as effectively as they would wish

2. are starting out on the CBT path

3. want to ensure that they are practising foundation CBT skills in the most effective manner

The first two days will focus on assessment and formulation, the bedrock of effective CBT.  Without good formulation, CBT becomes just a bunch of techniques – often misapplied and lacking coherence.   A good formulation is about helping clients and therapist to really make sense of the presenting problems.  From good formulations flow effective interventions.  The first two days will systematically guide participants through the process of building a coherent formulation.

The next two days will focus on fundamental CBT intervention skills and processes once the formulation has been created.  We will practice CBT skills which are applied across a range of clients and settings – for instance, agenda setting, Socratic questioning, creating collaborative therapeutic relationships, identifying and testing negative automatic thoughts, creating behavioural experiments, setting homework.

The objectives for this workshop are that participants will:

  1. Knowledge: Gain a good understanding of:
    1. basic CBT theory and principles,
    2. the purpose and process of formulation,
    3. the rationale for core CBT interventions and the knowledge to put these into practice

  2. Skills: Gain a strong grounding in:
    1. CBT formulation skills (five-part model; maintenance cycles; developmental formulation)
    2. Basic intervention techniques in CBT (e.g. agenda setting, socialization, goal setting, identifying and testing negative automatic thoughts)
    3. Interpersonal skills for CBT (e.g. empathy, warmth, genuineness, collaborative relationship, curiosity, engendering hope)

  3. Attitudes: Understand and have experimented with assuming key CBT attitudes. In particular attitudes of:
    1. Curiosity
    2. Collaboration
    3. Engaging willingness to experiment
    4. Warmth, empathy, and genuineness of interest and concern
    5. Acceptance and validation of feelings

Applicants will be encouraged to practice CBT skills on themselves post-workshop, as a means to further their confidence to try out their new skills and learned strategies in work contexts.

This workshop does not make you a ‘CBT Therapist’.  That requires a lot more training!  What it will do is enable you to ‘think in a CBT way’, use some of the skills in work contexts, lay the foundations if you want to become a CBT therapist later, and communicate more effectively with clients and CBT colleagues.

If you complete the Certificate in Evidence-Based CBT for Anxiety and Depression as well, get yourself some good supervision, find some relatively straightforward clients, you could be up and running as a novice therapist.

NB. As with other UCRH workshops, this workshop will be supported by pre-workshop reading and an exercise (2 hrs), and post-workshop reflective practice (1-2 hrs)


Part of this workshop is based on the successful Assessment and Formulation workshop developed by David Westbrook at Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre.  We gratefully acknowledge David’s permission to use these materials.

Key references

Grant, A., Mills, J., Mulhern, R. & Short, N. (2004). Cognitive behavioural therapy in mental health care.  Sage, London.

Greenberger, D. & Padesky, C. (1995). Mind over mood.  Guilford, New York.

Sanders, D. and Wills, F. (2006): Cognitive therapy: An Introduction.  Sage, London.

Westbrook, D., Kennerley, H. & Kirk, J. (2007). An introduction to cognitive behaviour therapy: Skills and applications.  Sage, London.

Workshop costs

There are early bird prices which are available till about 6 weeks before the workshops. But we suggest you don’t leave it to the last minute – our 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 workshops have been full for some weeks before. For early bird prices, please note that application forms must have arrived at UCRH (fax/email accepted) by these dates.

Please note: our workshop prices include morning and afternoon teas (always very good!) - but do not include lunch for two reasons:

  1. To keep prices down. We hope you’ll agree that the prices are pretty good compared with what most people are charging.
  2. Because our experience is that its good for people to get out of the building and into Byron Bay at lunchtime; a walk on the beach, a café lunch, whatever


Workshop location

All workshops will be held in Byron Bay in the NSW Northern Rivers region. Byron Bay is a world renowned tourist mecca and will provide a magnificent backdrop for our workshop program.

Southern Cross University
Byron Bay Community and Cultural Centre
Level 1
69 Jonson St
Byron Bay NSW 2481

Workshop times

not offered in 2014

Registration & tea/coffee will be from 8.30am. The workshops will start at 9.00. There will be morning and afternoon tea breaks, and a lunchbreak around 12.30. Workshops finish at 4.30.

Getting to Byron Bay and accommodation

For information on travelling to Byron and accommodation please click here.

Workshop application

You can register for week long programs at discounted prices. Head to our Workshop Application page where you can download and fax/post us your application.


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