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The University of Southampton

PSYC6089 CBT for Depression

Module Overview

Depression is a debilitating mental health problem estimated to affect around 10% of the UK population at any one time. A shortage of therapists trained to treat depression with evidence-based interventions means that a large proportion of those people suffer unnecessarily. This module’s aims are: 1. To help you know the evidence base in order to select and evaluate the merits of different treatments. 2. To give you the knowledge to implement evidence-based CBT for depression. 3. To help you make use of developmental depression conceptualisations. 4. To enable you to use the cognitive model to manage the therapeutic relationship and reflect on therapy processes that are common in the treatment of depression Co-requisite: PSYC6088

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The module's aims are to help you know the evidence base in order to select and evaluate the merits of different treatments; to give you the knowledge to implement evidence-based CBT for depression; to help you make use of developmental depression conceptualisations; to enable you to use the cognitive model to manage the therapeutic relationship and reflect on therapy processes that are common in the treatment of depression.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the empirical status of models of depression and the treatments derived from them
  • Construct longitudinal formulations for people who are depressed and to derive evidence-based treatment plans from these
  • Implement evidence-based CBT with people suffering from depression
  • Demonstrate skills in assessing, formulating and treating depression via role plays
  • Critically appraise your own and other students' CBT skills in role plays


· Phenomenology of depression · Pharmacological treatments for depression · Theory and development of CBT and BA for depression · Assessment and formulation using CBT and BA · Comorbidity (including long term health conditions) · Cognitive and behavioural change methods · Managing chronic and recurrent depression · Managing risk · Relapse prevention and ending therapy · Regular “homework” that involves practising use of common depression tools and techniques, e.g. completion of a thought / mood diary, monitoring of thinking, evaluation of thinking; identification of rules for living.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures including: didactic information provision, role plays, audiovisual examples of using intervention techniques in depression, presentation of previous student's work on a BA case. There will also be problem-based learning, directed reading, and independent study. Skills workshops (for those taking IAPT diploma) including: role plays of using specific cognitive and behavioural intervention techniques in teatment of depression; group exercises to generate and test hypotheses of clinical problems encountered in treatment of depression.

Independent Study150
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Williams, J.M.G. (1992). the Psychological treatment of Depression: A guide to the theory and Practice of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. 

Martell, C.R., Addis, M.E. & Jacobson, N.S. (2001). Depression in context; strategies for guided action. 

Martell, C.R., Dimidjian, S. and Herman-Dunn, R. (2010). Behavioral activation for Depression: a clinician’s guide.. 

Persons, J., Davidson, J. & Tomkins, M. (2000). Essential Components of Cognitive Therapy for Depression.. 

Beck, A.T., Rush, A.J., Shaw, B.F. & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive Therapy for Depression. 


Assessment Strategy

This module will be assessed by a combination of formative and summative methods. Formative assessment: Peer review of experiential learning and clinical application Observation of a CBT therapist treating a person with depression (BABCP accredited) and written reflection upon the session (using a proforma). Summative assessments: For students not undertaking clinical supervision and not treating clients: 3,000 word reflective report on assessment, formulation and treatment of a either fictitious depressed person (case material provided) or someone you are treating in your clinical practice. This will involve critical appraisal of literature as well as an analysis of, and reflection upon, skills and tools used. This assessment will assess all learning outcomes. For students undertaking clinical supervision: An oral case presentation to detail assessment, formulation, treatment, outcome and critical reflection of a depressed person, preferably using Behavioural Activation. (For students taking a CBT Diploma, this represents the fourth case report needed for the portfolio (the other three are attached to supervision modules). Personal written feedback will be provided from the examiner within four weeks of exam (presentation).


MethodPercentage contribution
Oral presentation 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Oral presentation 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Tuition Fees

Module Fee (UK/EU) Standard

Module Fee (UK/EU) IAPT

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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