Winning against Worry: An evidence-based cognitive behavioural treatment of worry for patients with persecutory delusions: WORKSHOP PRESENTATION ONLINE via ZOOM

Registration closes @12 noon on 15.04.24


In this workshop (and the workshop on Sleep on 05.05.23) clinicians will be trained to deliver the Winning against Worry and Getting Better Sleep interventions. These are evidence-based psychological therapies that are popular with patients. They have been shown to be effective as standalone therapies for persecutory delusions, and comprise two of the five core components of the Feeling Safe Programme – the most effective psychological treatment for persecutory delusions to date (Freeman et al., 2021).

The workshops are suitable for health professionals who have some experience of working with adults with psychosis and the underlying principles of CBT. Participants may attend one or both workshops. Those who would like to attend the 5-day training in the full Feeling Safe approach can find further information here:

Persecutory delusions are a common, distressing and persistent occurrence. Research has shown that people with persecutory delusions experience high levels of worry and this predicts the occurrence of paranoid thoughts and increases delusional distress.

The worry intervention was developed to target worry in people with persecutory delusions using cognitive behavioural techniques. A randomised controlled trial has demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing worry in this population and also reducing distress associated with paranoia and improving levels of wellbeing (Freeman et al., 2015). It is an engaging and effective stand-alone therapy which is popular with patients. It is also one of the five core components of the Feeling Safe programme, which is the most effective psychological treatment for persecutory delusions to date (Freeman et al., 2021).

The workshop describes the theoretical and empirical background to the intervention. Using presentation, role play, video examples and case studies, participants will observe and practice skills including monitoring, psychoeducation, developing and sharing maintenance formulations, use of worry-limiting strategies and relapse management. By the end of the workshop, participants should be able to confidently use the six-session intervention with their own clients.

Recommended Resources (provided to attendees):

Feeling Safe Programme – Treatment manual – Winning against worry

Freeman, D., Dunn, G., Startup, H., Pugh, K., Cordwell, J., Mander, H., Cernis, E., Wingham, G., Shirvell, K., & Kingdon, D. (2015). Effects of cognitive behaviour therapy for worry on persecutory delusions in patients with psychosis (WIT): a parallel, single-blind, randomised controlled trial with a mediation analysis. The Lancet Psychiatry, 2, 305-313.

Startup, H., Pugh, K., Cordwell, J., Kingdon, D., & Freeman, D. (2015). How do individuals with persecutory delusions bring worry to a close? An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 43, 465-477. 

Freeman, D., Bird, J. C., Loe, B. S., Kingdon, D., Startup, H., Clark, D. M., … & Dunn, G. (2020). The Dunn worry questionnaire and the paranoia worries questionnaire: new assessments of worry. Psychological medicine, 50(5), 771-780.

Freeman, D., Emsley, R., Diamond, R., Collett, N., Bold, E., Chadwick, E., Isham, L., Bird, J., Edwards,D., Kingdon, D., Fitzpatrick, R., Kabir, T., Waite, F., & Oxford Cognitive Approaches to Psychosis TrialStudy Group (2021). Comparison of a theoretically driven cognitive therapy (the Feeling SafeProgramme) with befriending for the treatment of persistent persecutory delusions: a parallel, single-blind, randomised controlled trial. Lancet Psychiatry, 8, 696-707.

Bond, J., Kenny, A., Mesaric, A., Wilson, N., Pinfold, V., Kabir, T., … & Robotham, D. J. (2022). A lifemore ordinary: A peer research method qualitative study of the Feeling Safe Programme for persecutorydelusions. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice.


Louise Isham, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Louise is a consultant clinical psychologist and NIHR clinical doctoral research fellow. She works for the Oxford Cognitive Approaches to Psychosis (O-CAP), PI Professor Daniel Freeman, and was a trial therapist on the Feeling Safe Study (an RCT testing the effectiveness of the Feeling Safe Programme) and the Oxford Ward sLeep Solution (OWLS) trial (a pilot RCT testing a sleep intervention designed specifically for psychiatric inpatients). She also works for the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre where she leads the PGCert in Enhanced CBT (Psychosis and Bipolar) course and provides specialist CBTp supervision and training.

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.