Getting Going, Keeping Going: Overcoming apathy, fatigue and poor motivation in CBT: WORKSHOP PRESENTATION ONLINE via ZOOM

Helen Kennerley & Olivia Plant with contributions from member of the Cognitive Neurology Research Group (Daniel Drew, Annika Kienast, Ellie Slavkova)

How often is CBT held back because our patients just can’t get going, can’t take that first step. And if they do, how often does therapy slow or halt because they struggle to keep going?

We see this across disorders: the person with depression who lacks initiation and who suffers from fatigue, the person with anxiety who fears change, the person with an eating disorder who can’t maintain a new regime, the person with ADD who procrastinates, the person with GAD exhausted by chronic worry. Once we start to consider the impact of apathy, fatigue and poor motivation it becomes evident that it is a very real trans-diagnostic phenomenon and one that can blight a patient’s best attempts to make use of CBT.

This workshop draws on our neurological and psychological understanding of

Apathy: difficulty in initiating change despite a will to do so
Fatigue: difficulty in sustaining change because of a lack of stamina and hope, and
Motivation: difficulty in seeing a way forward or believing the effort is worth it.

The workshop aims to help therapists conceptualise apathy, fatigue and poor motivation in a compassionate and systemic CBT framework that guides interventions. The day comprises:

  • A neuropsychological understanding of apathy and fatigue
  • A psychological review of motivation
  • A novel CBT framework of apathy and fatigue that will inform conceptualising a patient’s difficulties
  • CBT strategies for helping patients initiate and maintain helpful behaviours
  • Strategies for helping patients overcome ambivalence and dare to risk change.

The main presenters are experienced CBT practitioners. In addition, members of the University of Oxford Cognitive Neurology Research Group are experienced in researching the neuropsychological mechanisms of apathy, fatigue and motivation in several disorders.


Helen Kennerley, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Helen Kennerley is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and a founder member of the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre, where she was for many years Director of the postgraduate courses in Advanced Cognitive Therapy Studies and the MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. She is currently the lead for the OCTC / University of Oxford Certificate in Supervision and Training.  She is an experienced clinician now specialising in childhood trauma. She has made valuable contributions to the field of cognitive therapy through her popular workshops and her writings. Amongst other publications, she is the author of Overcoming Anxiety and co-author of An Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, both of which have been highly commended by the British Medical Association. In 2002, Helen was also voted one of the most influential female cognitive therapists in Britain by BABCP members.

Olivia Plant

Olivia Plant is a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, specialising in CBT for complex presentations. Prior to this, she was part of the University of Oxford Cognitive Neurology Group*. Olivia has a particular interest in the cognitive mechanisms underpinning pathological apathy in patients with neurological conditions and also in the use of CBT to treat medically unexplained symptoms. She is currently working with Dr Helen Kennerley and members of the Cognitive Neurology Group on a novel cognitive framework that can be used to conceptualise and treat apathy across a range of psychological and neurological disorders.


*The Cognitive Neurology Group is led by Masud Husain, Professor of Neurology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Oxford. The group brings together the combined expertise of clinicians and scientists to study the mechanisms underlying attention, memory and motivation in both healthy populations but also in those who have neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and vascular dementia.

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). Please note that registration to workshops closes 7 days prior to the event date.

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.