Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

HLTH6167 Evidenced based low intensity CBT treatment for common mental health disorders (PWP route) Level 7

Module Overview

PWPs aid clinical improvement through the provision of information and support for evidence-based low-intensity psychological treatments and regularly used pharmacological treatments of common mental health problems. Low-intensity psychological treatments place a greater emphasis on patient self-management and are designed to be less burdensome to people undertaking them than traditional psychological treatments.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The overall delivery of these interventions is informed by behaviour change models and strategies. Examples of interventions include providing support for a range of low-intensity self-help interventions (often with the use of written self-help materials) informed by cognitive-behavioural principles, such as behavioural activation, exposure, cognitive restructuring, panic management, problem solving, CBT-informed sleep management, and computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT) packages as well as supporting physical exercise and medication adherence. Support is specifically designed to enable people to optimise their use of self-management recovery information and pharmacological treatments and may be delivered individually or to groups of patients (psychoeducational groups) and through face-to-face, telephone, email or other contact methods. PWPs must also be able to manage any change in risk status. This module will, therefore, equip PWPs with a good understanding of the process of therapeutic support and the management of individuals and groups of patients including families, friends and carers. Skills teaching will develop PWPs general and disorder-defined ‘specific factor’ competencies in the delivery of low intensity treatments informed by cognitive-behavioural principles and in the support of medication concordance.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate a range of evidence-based interventions and strategies to assist patients manage their emotional distress and disturbance.
  • Demonstrates the ability to use common factor competencies to manage emotional distress and maintain therapeutic alliances to support patients using low-intensity interventions.
  • Demonstrates high quality case recording and systematic evaluation of the process and outcomes of mental health interventions, adapting care on the basis of these evaluations
  • Demonstrate knowledge of, and competence in developing and maintaining a therapeutic alliance with patients during their treatment programme, including dealing with issues and events that threaten the alliance.
  • Demonstrate competence in planning a collaborative low-intensity psychological or pharmacological treatment programme for common mental health problems, including managing the ending of contact.
  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of, and competence in the use of, a range of low-intensity, evidence-based psychological interventions for common mental health problems.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of, and competence in using behaviour change models and strategies in the delivery of low-intensity interventions.
  • Critically evaluate the role of case management and stepped care approaches to managing common mental health problems in primary care including ongoing risk management appropriate to service protocols.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of, and competence in supporting people with medication for common mental disorders to help them optimise their use of pharmacological treatment and minimise any adverse effects.
  • Demonstrate competency in delivering low-intensity interventions using a range of methods including face-to-face, telephone and electronic communication.
  • Demonstrates experience and competence in the selection and delivery of treatment of a range of presenting problems using evidence based low intensity interventions across a range of problem descriptor including depression and two or more anxiety disorders.


• Developing skills in behaviour change models to deliver and monitor interventions for patients with common mental health problems. • Behavioural activation. • Exposure therapy. • Cognitive restructuring. • Worry management for GAD, including problem solving. • Panic management. • CBT-informed sleep management. • Physical activity interventions. • Consideration of long term conditions. • Advanced risk management for PWP’s. • Assessing attitudes to treatments including medication and psychological interventions. • Accurate recording of information.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Skills based competencies will be learnt through a combination of clinical simulation in small groups working intensively under close supervision with peer and tutor feedback and supervised practice through supervised direct contact with patients in the workplace. Knowledge will be learnt through a combination of lectures, seminars, discussion groups, guided reading and independent study.

Supervised time in studio/workshop35
Wider reading or practice100
Preparation for scheduled sessions35
Total study time205

Resources & Reading list

Bazire, S. (2003). Psychotropic drug directory2003/2004: the professionals’ pocket handbook and aide memoire.. 

Bower, P., Richards, D. & Lovell, K. (2001). The clinical and cost effectiveness of self-help treatments for anxiety and depressive disorders in primary care: A systematic review.. British Journal of General Practice. ,51 , pp. 838­845.

France, R. and Robson, M. (1997). Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in Primary Care. 

Gilbody, S. et al. (2006). Collaborative care for depression in primary care: making sense of a complex intervention: systematic review and meta­regression.. British Journal of Psychiatry. ,189 , pp. 484­493.

Schon, D.A. (1991). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action.. 

Richards, D., et al. (2002). PUBLIC HEALTHASE: a 'health technology' approach to psychological treatment in primary mental health care. Primary Health Care Research and Development. ,3 , pp. 159­168.

Rogers, A., Oliver, D., Bower, P., Lovell, K. & Richards, D. (2004). Peoples’ understanding of a primary carebased mental health selfhelp clinic. Patient Education and Counselling. ,53 , pp.  41­46.

Egger, M., Smith, G. & Altman, D. (2001). Systematic reviews in health care: meta analysis in context. 

National Institute for Clinical Excellence, (2007a). Anxiety(amended): management of anxiety (panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia, and generalised anxiety disorder) in adults in primary, secondary and community care.. 

Database of abstracts of reviews of effects (DARE).

FT Healthcare (2001). The Health Address Book – A Directory of Health Support Groups. 

Richards, D. & Whyte, M. (2008). Stepped care for common mental health problems: a handbook for low intensity workers. 

Roth A.D. and Pilling S. (2007). The competences required to deliver effective cognitive and behavioural therapy for people with depression and with anxiety disorders. 

Norfolk, T., Birdi, K. & Walsh, D. (2007). The role of empathy in establishing rapport in the consultation :a new model. Medical Education. ,41 , pp. 690–697.

Silverman, J., Kurtz, S. & Draper, J. (2005). Skills for communicating with patients. 

Hunkeler, E. et al (2000). Efficacy of nurse tele healthcare and peer support in augmenting treatment of depression in primary care. Archives of Family Medicine. ,9 , pp. 700­708.

Myles, P. & Rushforth, D. (2007). A complete guide to primary care mental health.. 

Richards, D. & Suckling, R. (2008). Improving access to psychological therapy: the Doncaster demonstration site organisational model. Clinical Psychology Forum. ,181 .

Lovell, K. & Richards, D. (2008). A recovery programme for depression. 

NIMHE National Workforce Programme (2008). Medicines management: everybody’s business. a guide for service users, carers and health and social care practitioners.. 

Bennett­Levy J., Lee, N., Travers, K., Pohlman, S. and Hamernik, E. (2003). Cognitive therapy from the inside: enhancing therapist skills through practising what we preach. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy. ,31 , pp. 143–158.

Chambless, D. L. and Hollon, S. D. (1998). Defining Empirically Supported Therapies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. ,66 .

Undertaking systematic reviews of research on effectiveness: CRD’s guidance for those carrying out or commissioning reviews. Report4.

Pryzwansky, W.B. and Wendt, R.N. (1999). Professional and Ethical Issues in Psychology: Foundations of Practice. 

Richards, D. et al., (2008). Collaborative care for depression in UK primary care: a randomized controlled trial. Psychological Medicine. ,38 , pp. 279­287.

Westbrook, D., Kennerley, H. and Kirk, J. (2007). An Introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Skills and Applications. 

Gellatly, J., Bower, P., Hennessy, S., Richards, D., Giboldy, S. & Lovell, K. (2007). What makes self-help interventions effective in the management of depressive symptoms? Meta-analysis and meta-regression. Psychological Medicine. ,11 .

Gilbert, P. and Leahy, R.L. (eds) (2007). The Therapeutic Relationship in the Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapies. 

National Institute for Clinical Excellence (2007b). Depression (amended): management of depression in primary and secondary care.. 


Assessment Strategy

Method of repeat year: 2x failure of assessment 1 leads to immediate withdraw from programme as specified in national curriculum.


Audio or Video Recording


MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment  ( words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 100%
Audio or Video Recording %
Completion of practice outcomes %

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.