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Cognitive Behaviour Interventions


Entry requirements

The course Cognitive Behavioural Interventions is only open to Master students of the specialisations Clinical Psychology and Health and Medical Psychology, and research master’s students of the track Clinical and Health Psychology. Entry requirement is that the MSc course Basic Therapeutic Skills (BTS) has been completed.


This course consists of a theoretical and a practical part, which will be offered simultaneously. The theoretical part consists of lectures on general aspects of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and specific interventions for different forms of psychopathology and psychological consequences of chronic disease. There is a written exam.

The practical part consists of work group sessions. Each week there is a supervised and an unsupervised work group. In the supervised work groups, students will be taught when and how to apply basic cognitive-behavioural intervention techniques, such as case formulation, challenging and modifying negative thoughts and behaviours, exposure, and behavioural experiments. During the unsupervised work groups, students conduct a mini therapy of five sessions with a fellow student. Developments that take place during mini-therapy are reported in weekly reports and discussed during supervision. Students have to write a final report.

Course objectives

Students will:

  • Acquire advanced knowledge of the theoretical background of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and specific interventions for different forms of psychological problems.

  • Acquire a thorough understanding of the main cognitive-behavioural intervention techniques.

  • Reflect on their therapeutic attitude and interventions and report on the progress and outcome of a mini-therapy.

  • Acquire and practice skills allowing them to apply evidence-based cognitive-behavioural interventions in a professional clinical psychology, health and/or medical psychology setting.

The course objectives will be covered by using different working methods: lectures, workgroups, mini therapy sessions, weekly reports, and supervision. The course objectives will be assessed by a written exam (objectives 1 and 2) and by writing a final report reflecting on content and process of the mini therapy (objectives 3 and 4).


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.


It is mandatory for all students to register for each exam and to confirm registration for each exam in My Studymap. This is possible up to and including 10 calendar days prior to the examination. You cannot take an exam without a valid pre-registration and confirmation in My Studymap. Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

4 2-hour lectures
7 3-hour supervised work group sessions
7 2-hour (unsupervised) work group sessions
Attendance is mandatory for all work group sessions.

Assessment method

The final grade is based on a grade for the written exam (50%) and a grade for the work group (50%).

The written exam consists of open questions. The questions have to be answered in English.

The work group grade will be determined on the basis of the final report on the mini therapy, the quality of the weekly mini therapy reports, and participation during work groups.

Students need to have both a sufficient exam grade (minimum pass is 5,5) and a sufficient work group grade (minimum pass is 5,5) to pass the course.

The information how to sign up for the post-exam consultation will be posted on Brightspace. Post-exam consultation will be possible only on the designated date and at the designated time and only if you were registered for the course and took the exam.

Study material for the exam:

  • Chapter 1 of the Wright, Brown, Thase, and Basco (20017) book;

  • Chapter 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 13 & 14 of the O’Donohue & Fisher (2012) book;

  • The lecture slides posted on Brightspace;

  • Additional literature posted with the lectures on Brightspace.

Study material for the work groups: the Wright, Brown, Thase, and Basco (2017) book.

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

For the lectures:

O’Donohue,W.T. and Fisher, J.E. (2012). Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Core Principles for Practice. Publisher: Wiley & sons, Inc. (selected chapters).

For the work groups:

Wright, J.H., Brown, G.K., Thase, M.E., & Basco, M.R. (2017). Learning cognitive-behavior therapy: an illustrated guide. American Psychiatric Association Publishing.

Contact information

Dr. Nadia Garnefski (course coordinator for the workgroups of specialisation Clinical Psychology)

Drs. Maartje Witlox (course coordinator for the lectures and exam of specialisation Clinical Psychology)

Dr. Véronique De Gucht (course coordinator for specialisation Health and Medical Psychology)