- CBT Essentials -

24 modules


Dr William Davies


The seminal book Cognitive Therapy of Depression was written by Beck, Rush, Shaw and Emery appeared in 1979, and the APT's course on CBT appeared just four years later. Since that point, this course has constantly been one of the most acclaimed of any of APT's courses. Constantly developing, this course was one of the first to systematically teach '5-factor CBT'. Including not just emotions, behavior and cognitions, the 5-factor approach adds biological factors and social and environmental factors into the mix, without which many conditions would not be addressed adequately.

The APT has mastered the delivery of CBT training 'online anytime'; providing top class training you can access right now or any time that suits you. No longer do you have to wait for 'the start date' of the course.

"I really enjoyed the course and feel that I have learnt a lot and feel enthusiastic about using my newly acquired skills within my practice."

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) training from the Association for Psychological Therapies (APT), includes APT accreditation, certification, and resources. And the APT has perfected the art of delivering it in a way that makes it appear simple and easy to apply.

"Excellent on line course. Easy to follow with insightful commentary."

With a wealth of clinical experience, Dr William Davies presents the course with relevant stories and examples of using CBT and an engaging lightness which perfectly complements the power of the subject.


"I am delighted by this course. Dr Davies and his dry wit have been wonderful companions. Will buy and undertake others."

This course gives you a thorough introduction to CBT, it is APT-accredited, and gives you access to important resources for you to use post-course. Whether you simply want to broaden your knowledge or take your first step to establishing a full CBT service this course is for you. The course can be studied by teams or individuals and can also be completed as part of The APT Diploma in Psychological Therapies.

The Association for Psychological Therapies (APT) is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for Psychologists and this course leads to 18 CE credits*

For further information on the format of APT online training, the APT’s guarantee to you, and how to make a group booking, click here.



Click ‘add to cart’ to purchase by card or PayPal. (If you are ordering for somebody else - or a group - create an account and select ‘Bulk Purchase’ once you have proceeded to cart.)

If you would like to be invoiced please email finance@apt.ac stating; the course title, how many places you require, your organization's purchase order number, and the name and address for the invoice to be sent to.


Who should attend this CBT course?

This is an ‘introductory’ course to CBT and people who attend normally fall into one of two categories:

1. Professionals who see patients in 1:1 treatment settings, have a significant degree of clinical skill, and wish to add CBT techniques to their repertoire.

2. 'Whole teams' (either in inpatient or community settings) seeking to develop a common approach to CBT or to their clinical work.

The professional affiliations of people attending this course include: mental health/psychiatric nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, educational psychologists, psychiatrists, probation officers and others working in a variety of settings including: Adult Mental Health, Children and Adolescents, Older People, Substance Misuse, Forensic, Learning Disability, and Brain Injury.

The course covers

  • The framework for successful CBT. Covering the topics:

    • The History and defining characteristics of CBT.

    • The first session or two: building the relationship, and making an assessment.

    • Case Formulation.

    • How to structure CBT: A typical session-plan; How often you should see a patient, and What Notes you should keep.

    • Guided discovery: diary keeping (an overview) and Socratic Dialogue.

    • Evidence-based practice and ‘Practice-based evidence’.

  • Treatments based on Behavioral factors and approaches. Covering the topics:

    • Behavioral interventions tend to be reliable, and respected by patients. They are also important and effective:

      • In depression, Lewinsohn first highlighted the fact that many depressed people lead depressing lives. The task therefore is to help them lead more rewarding ones.

      • In anxiety, graded exposure to the feared stimulus appears to be much more effective than systematically avoiding it (which patients often resort to).

      • In anger control it is often easier for a person to do something different (e.g. count to 10) in a difficult situation, rather than ‘look at it a different way’.

    • Diary keeping: keeping a diary gives patients a new perspective on their lives and it also records current behavior and implies or suggests behavioral changes. It allows both patient and therapist an insight into the patient’s life, and enables adjustments to be agreed to make the person’s life more enjoyable and more meaningful.

    • Scheduling: helping people schedule more rewarding activities and de-schedule less rewarding ones is an important skill: it literally helps the person build a life worth living.

    • Video analysis of scheduling.

    • Behavioral Activation. Behavioral activation is a clear strategy which is effective in helping depressed people. It hinges on scheduling key behaviors into the person’s day.

    • Hedonism versus Eudaimonic well-being and the work of Ryan and Deci. What constitutes ‘a rewarding activity’? Why isn’t fun more fun, and why do some people enjoy work? As Noel Coward once said: “Work is more fun than fun”. ‘Poor little rich girl’: the girl who has all the fun in the world, yet is still miserable. Video: Martin Seligman.

    • Mini case study and examples.

    • Teaching new skills. The teaching of helpful skills has always been an important part of behavior therapy (and hence Cognitive Behavior Therapy), so a CBT therapist should feel relaxed about teaching helpful skills such as those involved in regulating emotions and tolerating distress.

  • Treatment techniques based on Biological factors. Covering the topics:

    • Increasingly recognized in importance, biological factors are probably still the most under-rated of the 5 inter-relating factors in CBT. A pity, because patients like to address them and they can make a massive impact.

    • Illnesses: such as hyperthyroidism (mimics anxiety) and hypothyroidism (mimics depression) and are themselves important to address medically.

    • Sleep. People who do not sleep well tend to suffer impaired mood during the day as a result, and have extra time at night when they can dwell - or become agitated - about life events.

    • Routine. An impaired circadian rhythm is highly disruptive, and quite widespread.

    • Diet. Some people may consume plenty of calories, or even too many calories, yet may not get the nutrients they need for a healthy physical and mental state.

    • Exercise. Journal articles over many years have pointed to the beneficial effects of exercise in alleviating depression and anxiety.

    • Alcohol, its harmful effects, and how to address it and them.

    • Relaxation, why it works so well, and available relaxation exercises.

    • Exercises and suggested post-course project.

  • Treatments based on the Surroundings, especially Social. Covering the topics:

    • President Clinton, in explain politics to a colleague, famously said “It’s the economy, stupid”, meaning everything hinges on the economy. In mental health, the importance of relationships is similar: they appear to fundamental to a person’s sense of wellbeing, so we need to be good at helping people address them.

    • The Grant and Glueck (the Harvard study). This massive, four-generational study of Harvard graduates and under-privileged Boston children, demonstrates the immense power of relationships to influence and determine both our mental and physical health.

    • IPT (Interpersonal PsychoTherapy). An overview of the problems addressed by IPT, and the strategies for addressing them.

    • ‘Popular People live longer. The meta-study by Holt-Lunstad, ( Brigham Young University) reviewing 148 investigations published over 28 years on the effects of social relationships.

    • Slavich and Cole, (human social genomics at the University of California, Los Angeles): how our genomic make up reacts to social rejection.

    • Exercises, case-studies, addressing (yourself, your friends and acquaintances if you want to, and) your own case-load.

  • Treatment techniques based on Cognitions and Thinking style. Covering the topics:

    • The ability to address people’s thinking style was the original breakthrough behind cognitive therapy and cognitive behavior therapy.

    • Core beliefs: ‘Rigid, long-lasting views about the nature of oneself, other people, the world.’ Adaptive ones work well for us and maladaptive ones very much don't. Triads: Core beliefs which interact with each other to produce depression and anxiety.

    • Negative Automatic Thoughts and Core Beliefs: the interaction.

    • “Everything I touch always goes wrong.”

    • Unhelpful thinking styles, Negative Automatic Thoughts, and ‘Thinking Errors’. Terms often used to mean much the same thing, and we can often influence core beliefs by repeatedly tackling such ‘thinking errors’ and unhelpful thinking styles.

    • Where do these thinking styles come from?

    • The Top10 thinking errors and the 5 key interventions: Graded Questions; Putting a name to it; and an overview of Logical evidence-based reasoning; Guided Discovery, and Hypothesis Testing.

    • Why do I get so upset about such a small thing? ‘Critical Incidents’: sometimes an apparently minor incident can have a seemingly disproportionate effect.

    • Feature Exercise: Straightening out cognitive distortions.

    • What’s BEST to think about? Enough of thinking errors, what should we think about if we want a sense of wellbeing? Includes video featuring Philip Zimbardo.

    • Logical Evidence-Based Reasoning / Cognitive re-structuring.

    • Identifying Hot Thoughts and cooling them down using logical evidence-based reasoning.

    • Included are forms available to you as a download for 3 years, renewable.

    • Video: Cognitive Restructuring.

    • Exercise: Using it with yourself.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, the learner will be able to:

  • Explain the history and purpose of the CBT approach.

  • Describe the 3 factors that make up the 3 Factor Model in CBT.
  • Recite what techniques are used in the CBT approach and why. 
  • Demonstrate how to use the major cognitive, behavioral, and cognitive-behavioral techniques with patients.  
  • Describe how a stance of ‘Collaborative Empiricism’ is adopted in CBT between therapists and patients.
  • Explain how a first therapy session is structured in CBT.  
  • Discuss why case formulations are important in CBT. 
  • Critique how the CBT approach fits in with other behavioral interventions and how it can be used.



This course is APT-professional accredited. To be APT-professional accredited, means it receives an average rating of over 90% from the mental health professionals who attend it, on each of the two key scales of relevance and presentation-quality. We view this as a very high and relevant level of accreditation. 


CE Credits from the APA

APA Logo

*The Association for Psychological Therapies (APT) is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for Psychologists. The Association for Psychological Therapies (APT) maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Upon completion of this course you can apply for CE certification for an additional cost of $20 USD (for training purchased after 08/14/2023). 

Requirements for completion: To be awarded CE credits for this course 100% attendance is required for live training. For the 'online anytime' (self-paced) version, you are required to complete the course in full and complete a multiple choice exam whereby a pass marks of 85% is required (failure on the third attempt would result in having to go back through the content again). A feedback survey is also required to be completed.

Note: there may be other professional licensing boards that accept CE credits earned from APA-approved sponsors. Because CE regulations vary by state and profession, we recommend that participants check with their state licensing board to inquire whether credits will be accepted for renewal of licensure. We do not have any authority over whether credits earned will be accepted, as this authority rests with the state licensing boards.


Click ‘add to cart’ to purchase by card or PayPal. (If you are ordering for somebody else - or a group - create an account and select ‘Bulk Purchase’ once you have proceeded to cart.)

If you would like to be invoiced please email finance@apt.ac stating; the course title, how many places you require, your organization's purchase order number, and the name and address for the invoice to be sent to.


By completing/passing this course, you will attain the certificate APT Accreditation, Level 2 (18 hours CPD)

Learning Credits

Welcome and Introduction
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What is CBT
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The first session or two
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Case Formulation
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A Standard Session Plan
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Evidence-based practice
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An overview of behavioural interventions
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Graded Exposure
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Behaving in Line with Your Values
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Behavioural Activation
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An Introduction to Biological Interventions
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Mood Altering Substances
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Exercise and Relaxation
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Environmental Interventions
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Cognititions and Thinking Style
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Evaluating Progress
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Applying CBT Reliably
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What have you earned from attending this course
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Added 4 days ago, by Kathy
Great course on the fundamentals! Can apply to practice immediately!
Added 4 days ago, by Anonymous
Very informative
Added 26 days ago, by Cindy
Well structured course. Will take future courses with APT.
Added about 1 month ago, by Anonymous
Added about 1 month ago, by
Added about 2 months ago, by Basil
Excellent content and delivery.
Added about 2 months ago, by Anna
Thank you!
Added about 2 months ago, by Reg
very good review
Added 2 months ago, by Charley
I really enjoyed this course and found the information to be very helpful
Added 2 months ago, by Anonymous
This was a great foundation to CBT interventions with clients.

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