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Basic Therapeutic Skills


Admission requirements

Only open to master students Health Psychology. Students Occupational Health Psychology are welcome to join the course when places are available


This course is a skills lab in which the student will learn to understand and apply basic psychotherapeutic skills in a health psychological setting, both from a theoretical as well as a practical perspective.

Course objectives

  • From a theoretical perspective students will understand what patients need from a psychotherapeutic relationship in order to benefit from treatment.

  • From a practical perspective students will learn basic therapeutic skills (such as observational skills, establishing rapport, therapeutic interviewing, handling crises) to facilitate and manage a psychotherapeutic relationship.

  • Also students make the first steps in using themselves as an instrument for monitoring and evaluating psychotherapeutic processes.


Basic Therapeutic Skills (2010-2011):

Mode of instruction

To reach the objectives students read and discuss relevant literature, practice therapeutic skills in small groups and are willing to discuss their own professional skills with other students and staff. An important didactic device is the self-monitoring process of professional development. Students write a paper about their professional development.

There will be two scheduled sessions each week. Full attendance is mandatory.

Assessment method

Assessment will be based on shown therapeutic skills, the self-reflection paper and active participation in the program.

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information on

Reading list

  • Heaton, J.A. (1998). Building basic therapeutic skills. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

  • Additional reading will be supplied by the staff


Introduction and enrolment for courses of the first semester will take place on 2 September 2010. Introduction and enrolment for courses of the second semester will take place on 27 January 2011. More information will be available at the website of the Institute of Psychology.

NB: Exam registration will take place via uSis, and will be open between a month and a week before the (re)exam. Students who haven’t registered, cannot participate in the exam.

Contact information

Dr. S. Huisman
Department of Clinical, Health and Neuropsychology
Room 2B31
Tel: +31-71-5273952