Coping with Adversity: CBT in adverse life circumstance : WORKSHOP PRESENTATION ONLINE VIA ZOOM

Registration closes @12 noon on 06.10.21


The development of disorder specific CBT treatment protocols has contributed to greater clarity of focus in therapy and delivered improved outcomes. These protocols are often based on models which assume that emotional disorders are based on misperceptions of threat and maintained by safety behaviours. But what happens when distress arises in the presence of real threat or loss? How can we help people manage negative thoughts which have a basis in reality? How do we distinguish adaptive coping strategies from safety behaviours? This workshop will present some ways to understand and work with reactions to adversity that can be applied within and across disorder specific CBT. It will present a cognitive model of adjustment, review the evidence for which coping strategies work and present 3 ways to approach realistic negative automatic thoughts.


Suggested reading:

Moorey S (1996) When bad things happen to rational people: cognitive therapy in adverse life situations. In Salkovskis P(ed.) Frontiers of Cognitive Therapy. Guilford Press.

Moorey S & Greer S (2011) The Oxford Guide to CBT for People with Cancer Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Polizzi, C., Lynn, S. J., & Perry, A. (2020). Stress and coping in the time of covid-19: pathways to resilience and recovery. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 17(2).


Stirling Moorey

Stirling Moorey is a Consultant Medical Psychotherapist. He recently retired from the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust where he had been Professional Head of Psychotherapy and lead for the CBT training of psychiatrists. He is co-author with Dr Steven Greer of “The Oxford Guide to CBT for people with Cancer” and has written on many aspects of cognitive behaviour therapy including its application to physical illness and adversity in general. He has researched the efficacy of psychological treatment in cancer ranging from early to advanced disease. Building on this work on physical illness he has explored the ways in which standard CBT can be adapted clinically for people coping with real life adverse situations in general. He has been involved with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience PgDip in CBT since its inception in 1987 and has many years experience of teaching CBT to a range of professionals.

Additional Information

Cancellation & changes policy

If you cancel more than 14 days prior to your booked event, we will refund your fee minus a charge of 15% to cover our administration costs. We regret that cancellations 14 days or less before the booked event cannot be refunded or changed/transferred.

If you wish to change/transfer your booking after confirmation we will do our best to accommodate you if you notify us 14 days prior to your booked event, and if there is space to do so. However there will be an administration charge of £15 per change/transfer.


Workshops often contain clinical material. This is always anonymised as far as possible but delegates are none the less reminded to respect confidentiality.

All that is discussed in your therapy sessions will be treated as confidential, with the following exceptions.
We are required to seek supervision by our professional body (The British Psychological Society or equivalent) as a means of ensuring good practice. We will usually inform your referrer of your progress, but the details that we disclose will be discussed with you. We do have a statutory obligation to break confidentiality under rare circumstances, namely, if we believe that a client is of danger to themselves or to others (under the Mental Health Act, 2001) or if we believe that a child is at actual risk of physical or sexual abuse (The Children Act, Section 47, 1989).

If we felt that it would be helpful to request additional medical, social or legal information, we could only do this with your consent. Similarly, should another medical, social or legal professional request information from us, we would not release this without your consent.


OCTC makes every effort to ensure that this programme is delivered as advertised. However, should a presenter have to cancel, we will endeavour to find another suitable presenter. We will inform attendees as soon as is reasonably practical and, if requested, will offer a refund. In the rare event that we are unable to substitute a presenter, we may cancel a workshop and refund payments already made by attendees. OCTC will not refund travel and accommodation costs that attendees may incur.
All the workshops in this programme are carried out by highly experienced therapists and trainers. The individual presenter is responsible for the content of the workshop and any views expressed do not necessarily represent those of OCTC.
Although highly informative, none of the open workshops or workshop series confer a formal qualification or assurance of competence in CBT (or a specialist area of CBT) since we are unable to assess attendee competency within the training event. However, credit and award-bearing courses that lead to formal qualifications are offered by OCTC in conjunction with the University of Oxford. More about these courses is available on our website

Levels of competence

Before booking a place on a workshop, please ensure that it is pitched at the appropriate level of competence for you. The guide to levels is as follows:


Basic workshops are for people from a variety of backgrounds, who have at least one year’s clinical experience. Cognitive behavioural knowledge is not necessary for attendance at these workshops, though in practice, a number of attendees will have some skills in the area, and are refreshing/updating their knowledge.


Intermediate workshops are directed towards people who already have knowledge of CBT, and experience in using cognitive formulations and treatment methods – for instance, they are able to identify and test automatic thoughts, and design behavioural experiments. Most participants will be using CBT as part of their clinical practice, and may still be acquiring new CBT skills.


Advanced courses are directed towards those professionals who use CBT routinely as part of their clinical practice. They have probably undertaken a significant number of training courses and/or workshops, and use a broad range of cognitive behavioural strategies to work with a range of presentations at varying levels of complexity.

Making reservations

Bookings can only be considered confirmed after we have received your online registration or application form and payment (or invoicing details, including an official purchase order document).

The registration closing date for each workshop is shown on the workshop description page.  Please note that no applications received after this deadline will be permitted.

If you are booking a workshop place for someone else, you must complete your own details in the billing field, but ENTER THE WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS NAME/ADDRESS in the shipping field. If you wish to order items using a paper order form instead of online, you can view or download an order form in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Once downloaded, print it out, fill it in, and send off with your payment [cheque made payable to OXFORD HEALTH NHS FOUNDATION TRUST] to the address on the form.


The cost of the workshops includes hot drinks on arrival, mid-morning and mid-afternoon, but not usually lunch unless stated. However, for workshops that do include lunch, if you have any special dietary requirements please let us know at the time of application.

Special needs

We welcome applications from diverse backgrounds. If you have any particular needs, please contact us
prior to booking.