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The University of Southampton
PsychologyPostgraduate study

Rachael Feltham Postgraduate Diploma in CBT for Anxiety and Depression (IAPT), 2020

Trainee Cognitive Behavioural Therapist in an IAPT Service

Rachael Feltham's Photo

Southampton is known for providing high quality training in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and equipping students to be highly reflective scientist practitioners. It is also known as one of the best training providers in CBT. Studying here has not only reinforced my passion to be a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist; it has also highlighted to me how to use my knowledge as a therapist to make positive changes to my own life.

Why did you choose to come and study at Southampton?

Southampton University is known for providing high quality training in CBT and equipping students to be highly reflective-scientist practitioners. Southampton is the closest University to me to provide this training and is where I received the funding to allow me to attend. I was lucky that it is also known as one of the best training providers in CBT.

What is it like studying here?

I have thoroughly enjoyed studying at Southampton University. The campus is beautiful and it is easy to find your way around. There is a good selection of areas to study and the library resources are fantastic. There is also a great selection of places to eat. The teaching staff on my course were helpful and approachable and treated us like a team rather than just students.

What is the most inspiring or insightful thing you have learnt or discovered in your time at Southampton?

The most inspiring thing I learnt is that life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change and that change is always possible. This has not only helped me to give my clients hope in recovery it also inspired me to make changes in my life and identify my own personal goals.

Please tell us about a moment when you learnt something at Southampton, which reinforced or changed your mind about your direction in life.

During my course we initially had to treat each other using CBT so that we could understand how it felt to be a client and not just a therapist. Not only did this help me learn what affected my experience as a client it also made me think about what areas of my life I wanted to change. For me studying at Southampton has reinforced my passion to be a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist but it has also highlighted to me how to use my knowledge as a therapist to make positive changes to my own life.

How do you rate the study facilities at the University?

The study facilities at the University are excellent. There is a main library which is well resourced as well as for my course a specific library to obtain audio and video resources. I had access to a post graduate room where I could study as well as there being rooms around campus. Everything is walking distance which makes it all very accessible.

Have you undertaken any work placements, collaborations with industry, internships, studying abroad or volunteering? How have these enhanced your experience?

To enable me to be accepted onto my course I had to have employment within a service providing treatment for anxiety and depression to allow me to practice my skills. Without this employment I would not be able to apply for BABCP accreditation and become a qualified CBT practitioner.

What are you most proud of from your time at Southampton so far? (This could be social or academic)

For me it is how we have adapted to completing our studies during a pandemic. I am proud of myself for quickly adapting to learning virtually and being able to use the technology required.

I have also gained more confidence in my ability as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and am proud of being able to reflect on this growth.

What do you think you have gained from your studies that you wouldn’t have developed without them?


Without my studies I would not have the understanding of anxiety and depression using evidence based models that I do today. I would not know how to effectively pace my sessions and use guided discovery to help my clients reach recovery. It has been extremely helpful to see my lecturers demonstrate skills and CBT sessions which has vastly helped my learning.

What will you do with your degree/research after you have finished your studies?

I am currently employed in an IAPT service as a trainee Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. I plan to obtain my provisional accreditation and full accreditation on completion of my course. The next few years will be on developing my skills as a therapist and then I hope to return to Southampton to train to be a CBT supervisor within my service.

What is the name of the scholarship or bursary you have received? What has the funding allowed you to do/experience that you may not have experienced otherwise?

My course was funding by NHS England. Without this funding I would never have been able to afford to do this course and become a qualified therapist. It has given me access to a career and high quality teaching and learning.

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