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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Depression

Module titleCognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Depression
Module codePYCM038
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Kim Wright (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module will provide you with the opportunity to develop skills in CBT for depression to an advanced level, improving proficiency in the fundamental techniques of CBT, developing competency in the specialist techniques used in the treatment of depression. Specific cognitive and behavioural models of depression, empirical evidence, and assessment and specialist cognitive and behavioural treatment strategies will be covered in the teaching.

You will develop practical competencies in CBT for depression. You will also develop critical knowledge of the theoretical and research literature in relation to CBT for depression.

It will also examine modifications to theory and practice for individual differences in age, ability and ethnicity.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to enable you to develop:

  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of the theory and research literature underpinning CBT for depression.
  • Practical competencies in the treatment of depression using fundamental and depression specific CBT skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Describe and critically analyse contemporary models for depressive disorders their evidence bases and treatment methods derived
  • 2. Demonstrate the technical expertise needed in the formulation of individual cases and execution of therapy methods
  • 3. Describe in detail the phenomenology, diagnostic classifications and epidemiological characteristics of depressive disorders
  • 4. Assess patients with depression, taking into account clinical manifestations, co-morbidity, past history, present life situation, course and outcome of depression in suitability for CBT
  • 5. Assess risk factors associated with depression and integrate risk management within treatment plans
  • 6. Assess suicidal risk and implement practical strategies for managing suicidality
  • 7. Identify and prioritise problem areas, problem solve and identify solutions
  • 8. Construct both cognitive and behavioural development and maintenance formulations in cases of depression
  • 9. Develop cognitive and behavioural treatment plans for depression
  • 10. Critically evaluate a range of evidence based interventions in depression
  • 11. Derive cognitive or behavioural models with clients taking into account individual needs and preferences
  • 12. Work with co-morbid presentations of depression and take personal responsibility for clinical decision making in complex and unpredictable situations
  • 13. Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving therapeutic problems with depression including use of client support networks
  • 14. Deal with ending therapy and plan for long term maintenance of gains with evidence of a relapse prevention plan
  • 15. Begin to practice as a “scientist practitioner” continuing to advance your knowledge and understanding to develop new skills with depression to a high level
  • 16. Demonstrate insightful knowledge of CBT and identify your own values and beliefs in working with depression and CBT’s application to your own life
  • 17. Demonstrate good practice in use of supervision with depressive disorders on the course and provide evidence of making use of other sources of continuing professional development
  • 18. Sensitively adapt CBT for depression, and ensure equitable access of CBT to diverse cultures and values
  • 19. Describe and competently apply the principles and practice of high intensity psychological therapy for depression within a stepped care system

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 20. Understand, critically evaluate, and apply theoretical ideas and evidence relating to specific disorders outlined in Module Specific Skills
  • 21. Reflect on therapeutic skills identifying areas for personal development in relation to theoretical models of change for specific disorders as outlined in Module Specific Skills (1)

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 22. Select, organise and evaluate clinical material to produce a coherent formulation
  • 23. Reflect upon personal practice, set personal learning goals and monitor progress
  • 24. Apply and tailor knowledge of theory and practice to the treatment of individual patients through evidence of utilisation of formulation, intervention and evaluation

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

An initial introductory one day workshop in term 1 will be followed by a series of one day workshops and small group tutorials.

 One day workshops and tutorials will cover:

  • Case presentation
  • Pharmacological interventions in depression
  • Introduction to depression nature, model and evidence base
  • Setting goals and problem solving
  • Behavioural Activation
  • Cognitive interventions at the automatic thought level in depression
  • Identifying and working with underlying assumptions and core beliefs in depression
  • Low intensity interventions for depression
  • Motivational approaches and preparation for change
  • Treatment resistant depression – rumination based CBT
  • High Intensity BA
  • Self-esteem
  • Key research and advances in depression
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Relapse prevention
  • Computerised CBT for depression
  • Activity scheduling
  • Co-morbid presentations
  • Case presentation

 Sessions will include reference to literature, including research into outcome and processes of therapy.

 The teaching programme will adhere to the IAPT curriculum for High Intensity workers.


Video/audio recordings of clinical sessions are made throughout the clinical work conducted in appropriate clinic settings. Codes of Ethics [e.g. BABCP Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics and/or workplace Policies] are strictly adhered to in terms of making the recordings, seeking permission for use and storage of information. Signed consent forms are required to show clients have understood the reasons for and manner of video/audio recording 

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching65Teaching will be a combination of whole day workshops and half day small group tutorials. These sessions will combine didactic, experiential and discussion methods of teaching and learning aimed at the integration of theoretical and research knowledge with practice. Workshops will be led by a variety of speakers with expertise in specific problems and settings. A part of each session will be used for role-play practice of skills, practical exercises or small group discussion of issues, as appropriate. Tutorials will be led by University based accredited cognitive therapists. Teaching sessions will be primarily in terms 1 and 3 but relevant material is presented throughout the course.
Guided independent study235Reading and preparation for workshops, tutorials, treatment of patients, essay and case report.


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Formative experiences are provided through discussion and role-play throughout workshops and clinical supervisionParticipation is required throughout formal teaching and supervision1-24Oral feedback on contributions within workshops and tutorials, supervision and in a one-to-one session with individual tutors
CTS-R with reflective summary of a session applying CBT for depression to be observed within supervision90 minutes of one university supervision session2, 4-24Oral feedback from peers and supervisor and written feedback on Reflection and CTS-R scores
University and workplace supervisors’ reports end of term one (report on clinical work with depressed clients and use of supervision throughout term one)Programme member will usually contribute around 100 words about the report and the nature and quality of supervision and the placement provided1-24Written and oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay (this assessment must be passed; failure in this assessment will lead to failure in the module and the programme)333750 words1, 3, 10, 15, 20, 22Written
Case report (this assessment must be passed; failure in this assessment will lead to failure in the module and the programme)334000 words2-9, 11-14, 16-17, 19-24Written
CTS-R assessment of a full video/audio recorded therapy session including self-ratings and a reflective analysis, comprising 12 items (this assessment must be passed with a mark of 36/72 overall and with a minimum mark of 2 on each of the 12 items; failure in this assessment will result in a maximum fail mark of 49 and lead to failure in the module and the programme)34Recording is 50-60minutes long, (unless extended time agreed prior to submission and in accordance with relevant NICE Guidance) requires a minimum of a further hour for self-rating and a 200-500 word reflective analysis2, 4-24Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1, 3, 10, 15, 20, 22Four weeks from the date that feedback was provided
Case reportCase report2-9, 11-14, 16-17, 19-24Four weeks from the date that feedback was provided
CTS-R assessmentCTS-R assessment2, 4-24Four to twelve weeks from the date that feedback was provided

Re-assessment notes

Three assessments are required for this module. In all cases re-assessment will be the same as the original assessment. Where you have been referred/deferred for any form of assessment detailed above you will have the opportunity to retake within four weeks from the date that feedback was provided.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of deferral, your re-assessment will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment and the overall module mark will not be capped.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), the overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

If you fail re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), you will be failed in the module and as a consequence you will be failed in the programme and your registration as a student of the University will be terminated.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Beck, A. T., Rush, A. J., Shaw, B. F., and Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Clark, D. A., Beck, A. T., and Alford, B. A. (1999). Scientific foundations of cognitive theory and therapy of depression. New York: Wiley.
  • Clark, D. M., and Fairburn, C. G. (Eds.). (1997). Science and practice of cognitive-behaviour therapy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Dimidjian, S., Hollon, S. D., Dobson, K. S., Schmaling, K. B., Kohlenberg, R. J., Addis, M. E., … Jacobson, N.S. (2006). Randomized trial of Behavioral Activation, Cognitive Therapy, and Antidepressant medication in the acute treatment of adults with major depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, 658-670.
  • Gilbert, P. (2000). Overcoming depression: A self-help guide using cognitive-behavioural techniques (2nd ed.). London: Robinson.
  • Hawton, K., Salkovskis, P. M., Kirk, J., and Clark, D. M. (Eds.). (1989). Cognitive-behaviour therapy for psychiatric problems. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Leahy, R. L. (Ed.). (2006). Contemporary cognitive therapy. New York: Guilford.
  • Martell, C.R., Dimidjian, S., and Herman-Dunn, R. (2010). Behavioral Activation for depression: Aclinician’s guide. Guilford: New York.
  • Moore, R. G., and Garland, A. (2003). Cognitive therapy for chronic and persistent depression.Chichester: Wiley.
  • Salkovskis, P. M. (Ed.). (1996). Frontiers of cognitive therapy. New York: Guilford.
  • Whisman, M. A. (Ed.). (2008). Adapting cognitive therapy for depression: Managing complexity and co-morbidity. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Williams, J. M. G. (1992). The psychological treatment of depression: A guide to the theory and practice of cognitive behaviour therapy (2nd ed.). London: Routledge

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources


  • Behaviour Research and Therapy
  • Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive and Behavioral Practice
  • Cognitive Therapy and Research
  • International Journal of Cognitive Therapy
  • Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

Key words search

Improving Access Psychological Therapies, High, HI, IAPT, depression, CBT

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

PYCM037 The Fundamentals of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, PYCM039 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Anxiety Disorder, PYCM040 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) - Clinical Practice

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date