Transdiagnostic approaches to imagery in CBT: A practical workshop

The use of imagery in cognitive therapy has received increased attention in recent years in both clinical and research contexts.

Although many of us are aware of the role of mental imagery in maintaining a variety of clinical problems and use some imagery-based techniques, we can sometimes limit ourselves in the breadth and depth of the application of knowledge and interventions. This workshop aims to extend and deepen your understanding of the science of mental imagery and give you new ideas about ways you could use imagery in your clinical practice.

We will provide a practical guide to using imagery across the span of CBT including assessment, formulation, clinical intervention, therapeutic blueprinting and scaffolding of therapy. Clinical examples, discussions, exercises, role plays and videos will illustrate and give you opportunities to apply this learning across a range of clinical presentations including suicide and self-harm.

We will consider how to communicate the science of imagery to clients to aid understanding and engagement; develop microformulations of imagery using examples from your own areas of clinical practice; provide an overview of a range of imagery based techniques and the rationale for using particular techniques; practice using metacognitive techniques to reduce the power of

imagery in addition and learn how to rescript unhelpful imagery and build freestanding positive imagery. We will also demonstrate how to use imagery to consolidate learning in therapy.



Ji, J.I,. Kavanagh, D.J., Holmes, E.A,. Macleod, C., & Di Simplicio, M. (2019). Mental imagery in psychiatry: conceptual & clinical implications. CNS Spectrums, 24(1), 114-126. (Open access article)

Holmes, E.A., Hales, S.A., Young, K., & Di Simplicio, M. (2019). Imagery-Based Cognitive Therapy for Bipolar Disorder and Mood Instability. New York: Guilford Press.

Hackmann, A., Holmes, E.A., & Bennett-Levy, J. (2011). Oxford Guide to Imagery in Cognitive Therapy. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press


Rachel Manser, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Rachel Manser trained as a Clinical Psychologist with Oxford University.  She has worked across many settings as a Clinical Psychologist: in primary care (latterly in an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies service); with Community Mental Health Teams; in an acute psychiatric inpatient setting and in Early Intervention in Psychosis teams.  She has also worked as a therapist in clinical research settings, providing imagery-based CBT for people given a bipolar disorder diagnosis as well as with people distressed by hearing voices.  She has extensive experience supervising and teaching the application of CBT for a range of adult mental health presentations and to a range of skill levels, including volunteers, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners, trainee therapists and CBT therapists and Psychologists.  She has a specialist interest in psychosis and has worked in early intervention services providing CBT and supervising.  She currently works as a research therapist providing imagery-based CBT to people given a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.  Rachel works in OCTC as a supervisor, trainer and within the PG Cert in Enhanced CBT: psychosis and bipolar as well as working on other post graduate certificates.

Susie Hales

Susie A. Hales (DClinPsych, CPsychol) is a Clinical Psychologist with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom. Dr Hales has worked as a clinician and a researcher for over ten years, including positions with the Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training, and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford. Her research focuses on mental imagery processes and treatment innovation for mood disorders. Dr Hales has published papers on psychological aspects of bipolar disorder and suicidality, and on novel ways of delivering cognitive therapy. She currently provides supervision for two clinical trials evaluating imagery-based therapy for bipolar disorder, and is active in the training of mental health students and professionals in a range of research and clinical competencies.

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.