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The University of Southampton
PsychologyPostgraduate study

Sue Clark Certificate and Diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (Mental Health), 2009/2010

Mental health professional

Sue Clark's Photo

Hi, I'm Sue Clark and I studied Certificate and Diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (Mental Health) within Psychology at the University of Southampton.

You have excellent supervision and the University employs very experienced therapists. If you start with the Certificate, it really gives you a good background and helps you to progress.

Therapist Sue Clark is about to complete the Diploma in Cognitive Therapy at the University of Southampton. “It was definitely hard work, but it’s been well worth it,” she says. Her postgraduate qualification from the School of Psychology, specialising in depression and anxiety disorders, will open doors in her NHS career or allow her to practice privately if she chooses.

Sue’s background in working with older people at Hampshire Mental Health Trust meant that she already had experience of working with Cognitive Therapy groups. But after moving into primary care with the Steps to Wellbeing service in Southampton she needed to develop her skills to enable her to work with individuals, so she decided to start with the Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. She completed the certificate whilst working at Hampshire Partnership Foundation Trust.

“I had a choice of places to study in the South”, she says, “but Southampton has a very good reputation for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy within the Hampshire Partnership and all the good therapists are training at the School of Psychology there. It also suited me best as I live quite locally.”

Sue started with the 15-day postgraduate Certificate in February 2009. “This takes you about a third of the way through your training,” she explains, “and it meant that I could go for jobs which came under IAPT (Improving Access to Psychotherapies). But the Diploma means that you can consolidate your skills and eventually become an independent CBT therapist within the NHS.”

So Sue’s next goal was the Diploma, which she started in October 2009. The one-year course suited her perfectly as it meant she was studying two days a week at the University in-between her work at local surgeries.

“I really enjoyed both courses,” Sue says. “You have excellent supervision, the University employs very experienced therapists and if you start with the Certificate, it really gives you a good background and helps you to progress. You do have to work hard and spend time on course work, but you really get motivated.”

After completing her clinical hours for the qualification, she will be eligible for accreditation with the BABCP (British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies). “With more experience I could start a private practice,” she says, “or even work abroad if I wanted to. But I really like it here and have no intention of moving at the moment!”

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