Postgraduate Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

All OCTC Postgraduate Courses in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) are run in collaboration with the University of Oxford's Department for Continuing Education*.  Our new programme provides an accessible and flexible format of CBT training, well suited to the needs of contemporary mental health practitioners, whilst maintaining the 'gold-standard' delivered over the past two decades.

Course Lead: Dr Sarah Rakovshik

Applications are now open for 2017 entry. Extended closing date 12 May 2017.

Further information is now available on the University of Oxford Graduate Admissions website

The course aims to equip practitioners with the CBT skills necessary to implement evidence-based treatment for the most common psychological disorders.  The course is open to all mental health professionals with at least one year’s experience of supervised clinical practice.  It comprises 20 days of teaching over two terms, including weekly supervision groups.

The Course takes full advantage of the high levels of theoretical knowledge and clinical expertise available among practitioners of CBT in Oxford. The design, organisation, training and supervision are by BABCP accredited therapists and/or supervisors and trainers, who have extensive experience in the practice of CBT and in related training and research.

Dates for terms in 2017-18 are:

Term I 29 September – 8 December 2017 (11 weeks)
Term II 12 January – 9 February 2018 (5 weeks)


While it is important to cover the main methods and concepts of CBT we recognise that room must be made for differences in skill, experience and areas of interest. Teaching and supervision take account of students’ needs and interests so far as is consistent with the aims of the Course.

Broadly, the first part of the course will concentrate on the acquisition of basic concepts and skills. The second part focuses on developing these skills in relation to particular client groups and problem areas.

Part I: Basic concepts and skills

In teaching sessions, emphasis is placed on observation of CBT in action and on experiential learning with participation in role-play and other practical exercises.

Topics include:

  • Beck’s cognitive model of emotional disorder
  • CBT assessment and formulation
  • The structure of CBT (agenda setting, goal setting, pacing, homework etc.)
  • The style of CBT (collaboration, explicitness, feedback)
  • Socratic methods
  • Identifying and re-evaluating automatic thoughts
  • Identifying and re-evaluating dysfunctional assumptions and core beliefs
  • The role of behavioural experiments
  • Working with imagery, role-play and other non-verbal methods
  • Process and termination issues in CBT

Part II: Special applications – Developing the basics

Term II covers the use of CBT with common mental health problems (anxiety, depression, eating disorders). Sessions focus on consolidating and developing basic knowledge and skills and on emphasising concepts and methods especially relevant to each problem area. Teaching practical CBT skills is linked to outcome data and other related empirical research.

Workshops focus on problem areas such as:

  • Depression and suicidality
  • Simple phobias
  • Panic disorder and agoraphobia
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Health anxiety
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Generalised anxiety disorder
  • An introduction to trauma



  1. Formal teaching

This covers theoretical and research issues as well as clinical skills. A workshop format is normally used involving active participation, a strong experiential element and clear relevance to clinical practice. Teaching is provided by local experts and by invited speakers with specialised knowledge of particular topics. 

  1. Small group supervision of clinical casework

Supervised clinical practice is organised to encourage exposure to a variety of client groups and problem types and to a range of therapeutic styles within CBT. All supervisors are BABCP accredited CBT therapists and are trained and experienced supervisors. Students are expected to follow through practice cases during the course and to routinely record treatment sessions to review in supervision groups.  Supervisors will also provide feedback on recordings of students’ therapy sessions.

  1. Guided reading

Students have access to a small library of core CBT texts, to the larger Warneford Hospital Library (including internet access) and to a selection of therapy videos and CDs.



Training and clinical supervision takes place at the Warneford Hospital in Oxford. Clinical practice is carried out at the student’s normal place of work.



“Excellent teaching! Excellent supervision! Very good feedback on CT-R tapes from supervisors to improve clinical skills.  Good structure and pace.”

“Excellent teachers who were enthusiastic and knowledgeable.  The detailed feedback on assignments and recordings I always really valued and how it was always encouraging and constructive.”

 “I felt so lucky to have been able to learn from leading figures in the field, to hear the knowledge and clinical examples from those I have previously read the books/theories of.”

 “Inspiring teaching sessions from leading lights at the cutting edge of (the field sharing insights from decades of experience enhanced through interactive Q & A’s and group work).  Valuable supervision sessions and a crucible of applied learning, where theory and practice meet.”

 “I feel that this invaluable course has improved my practice and confidence more than any other course I have attended in my career.  I have been interested in CBT for some time, so to have a course like this that brings it to life as it did, had been a great opportunity.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and thank you all very much!”

 Feedback from PG Diploma students of 2015-16