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The University of Southampton

PSYC6132 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Long Term Conditions and Medically Unexplained Symptoms

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to extend your knowledge and understanding of CBT assessment and formulation and to examine CBT change methods in depth - as applied to LTCs and MUSs. All entrants to the training must have: 1. Passed an IAPT accredited PG training in CBT (or another PG CBT programme or Clinical Psychology Doctorate accredited at Level 2 by BABCP) or 2. Be accredited by BABCP as a CBT therapist.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Have a systematic knowledge of CBT models for specific presentations - anxiety and depression in the context of LTC and MUS
  • Know how to interrogate and critically appraise the evidence base - anxiety and depression in the context of LTC and MUS
  • Critically evaluate clinical practice and develop CBT skills to a high level - anxiety and depression in the context of LTC and MUS


The curriculum will follow the national curriculum recommended in the IAPT LTC / MUS guidelines (2017) as follows: Underpinning competences for work with people with long-term health conditions: Therapists’ beliefs, values and assumptions about people with Long Term Health Conditions; knowledge of physical health conditions and their presentation and impact on the person; psychological processes associated with distress, depression and anxiety in the context of Long Term Health Conditions; comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment, formulation and treatment planning; and working within and across organisations. Generic intervention skills for work with people with long term health conditions: Adapting CBT for clients with anxiety and depression which present in the context of long term health conditions; promoting cognitive and behaviour change and self-management and including the partner in assessment and treatment. Evidence-based interventions for specific health conditions: Working with people with conditions currently labelled “Medically Unexplained Symptoms” or “Persistent and distressing physical symptoms”; Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) / Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME); Chronic Pain; Psychological Interventions for type 1 and type 2 Diabetes; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) and Cancer. NHS England & Health Education England (2017). Improving Access to Psychological Therapies: National Curriculum for CBT in the context of Long term persistent and distressing Health Conditions, version 2.0. Available from:

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning methods include lectures and workshops, which incorporate demonstrations, role-play, experiential learning and small group work. In addition, private study and assigned reading forms an important source of knowledge and understanding. We use a range of teaching and learning methods, and recognise that students have different preferred learning styles.

Independent Study150
Total study time200


Assessment Strategy

Option 1: Continuing professional development Requires students to submit evidence (via a log book) of: a. At least 2 assessment and therapy cases completed (and a total of at least 10 sessions of therapy), where CBT has been delivered in the context of a long term physical health condition or persistent and distressing physical symptoms (preferably with one case of each). b. Reflection and learning from the training applied to these cases. c. Live supervision of practice by an appropriately qualified supervisor and sign off of competence by this supervisor. Option 2: Academic Credit Requires students to submit summative assessments of: a. A therapy session assessed by a University assessor using the CTS-R. You must obtain a score of 36 (out of a total score of 72) to pass. You will be required to self-rate the recording and submit these ratings together with a single sheet case summary and diagrammatical formulation (50%). b. A 4000 word written case presentation to detail assessment, formulation, treatment, outcome and critical reflection (50%).


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessments of Clinical Competence 50%
Essay  (4000 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessments of Clinical Competence 50%
Essay  (4000 words) 50%
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