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Certificate in Cognitive

Behavioural Therapy in Belfast


 Class Sept 2009

Participants of the Certificate in CBT - Sept 2009

Overview and Aims of the Certificate in CBT in Belfast

The Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy introduces students to the cognitive behavioural model of therapy, both in terms of theoretical underpinnings and foundation practice skills.

This course has consistently been ranked as “excellent” by over three hundred students who completed the course during the past five years. To read some of the comments from previous students of the Certificate in CBT please click here.

The course was created to help students develop knowledge and understanding of the cognitive behavioural approach to therapy. They can then utilise these principles in their chosen profession of medical or other helping professions, management roles that place the primary focus on working with people or private practice.

This training programme has been designed to provide students with basic and intermediate CBT skills and competence in the principles of assessment and case formulation, as well as the appropriate use of Cognitive and Behavioural interventions for a range of anxiety and mood disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder and depression.

Please note that the Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural therapy does not provide training in the full range of skills and knowledge required to practise cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This can be achieved by successful completion of additional training. However, the Certificate in CBT will provide students a good
foundation for further professional development if they want to become CBT therapists.

Following the course, successful graduates will be able to: 

  Demonstrate an evidence-based knowledge and understanding of the theory and principles of CBT.

  Demonstrate skills in therapeutic engagement and developing a therapeutic relationship.

  Be familiar with two main types of CBT models: Beck’s cognitive therapy and Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy

  Develop basic assessment and case formulation skills.

  Be familiar with the procedures used in a range of cognitive and behavioural techniques and a conceptual understanding of their rationale e.g. exposure therapy, Socratic Questioning, imaginal exposure, behavioural experiments, assertiveness skills, problem solving, downward arrow technique, interoceptive training, response prevention, etc.

  Enhance the use of CBT skills and therapeutic techniques in class and with a range of exercises where the students will have the opportunity to practise CBT principles by applying them to personal situations. 

Students will learn through lectures, experiential exercises, small groups, video and audio demonstrations of real clients, role-play and skills practice exercises.

The training programme has been designed to provide students with CBT skills and competence in the principles of assessment and case formulation, as well as the appropriate use of Cognitive and Behavioural interventions.

Course Format

The Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) consists of 10 days of training (70 hours), starting in SEPTEMBER 2014 in Belfast. This course is taught at weekends (Saturday and Sunday) from 10 am to 5 pm.

The course is eminently practical, aimed at professionals working in a broad range of health and social care settings.

Entry Requirements

The course is designed for mental health professionals including psychologists, GPs, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, counsellors, social workers, occupational therapists, nurses, counselling and psychology students, or any other person with relevant experience in dealing with mental health issues even if they don't have formal qualifications.

The course is for those who have none or a minimal amount of previous formal training in CBT.

Location: The course will be held in Belfast.

Dates (September 2014 to January 2015)

Sat/Sun  27/28 September 2014
Sat/Sun  18/19 October 2014
Sat/Sun  15/16 November 2014
Sat/Sun  13/14 December 2014
Sat/Sun  17/18 January 2015 

Venue:    Belfast International Youth Hostel
                 22-32 Donegall Road, Belfast, BT12 5JN


 +44(0)7790 752790

Structure of the course


Each class is structured in a way that lectures and practical exercises are interwoven. Participants will practise their new skills through experiential learning and clinical case presentations. There will also be seminars, where trainees role-play designated therapeutic encounters to develop core practise skills and awareness of associated theory. Participants will be able to watch and listen to many videos and audio recordings of real clients. Students will be directed to read current literature and to access relevant learning resources. 


Presenters use the latest technology in their classes. Powerpoint Presentations are displayed with a projector; audio recordings of clients are digitalised and shown to the class with subtitles to enable students to easily follow the conversation. Video recordings are in digital format, with subtitles and displayed through the projector. A clear sound system with external speakers is provided for each class. The volume is sufficient for the size of the room.


Content of the course

The course will cover the following topics:

1. Historical background and development of CBT: Overview of contextual development of cognitive-behavioural approaches; evaluative research and current status; contemporary issues and developments.

2. Learning theory and research: Classical and Operant conditioning; social modelling; the application of behavioural principles to therapeutic practice; behavioural techniques and methods; impact of cognitions and emotions on personal experience; cognitive methods and techniques.

3. Assessment and Diagnosis: Case formulation, Assessment, DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for a range of problems; validity and reliability of relevant psychometric tools to use in assessment and structured interviews.

4. The goals and experience of therapy: Goals of cognitive behavioural therapies; relationship between therapist and client; the client's experience in cognitive behavioural counselling.

5. Levels of interventions: Theory and practice of the following interventions:

       A. Behavioural Interventions: Relaxation methods (Progressive Relaxation training, applied relaxation); Systematic Desensitization, Exposure therapy, assertiveness training, behavioural experiments, interoceptive training, behavioural activation, etc.

       B. Cognitive Interventions: Identify and modify dysfunctional cognitions, Socratic questioning, downward-arrow technique, challenging core beliefs, diary monitory, thought records, cognitive distortions, problem solving strategies, cost-benefit analysis, imaginal techniques, etc

6. The evidence base: Outcome and process research; research and recommendations in key practice domains e.g. depression, anxiety, anger, guilt, shame, etc.


Timetable of classes

Module 1: Behavioural Therapy

27 September 2014

Module 2: Beck’s Cognitive Therapy

28 September 2014

Module 3: Assessment and Case Formulation

18 October 2014

Module 4: Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy

19 October 2014

Module 5: Psychodiagnosis and Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders Part 1

15 November 2014

Module 5: Psychodiagnosis and Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders Part 2

16 November 2014

Module 6: Assertiveness Training and Problem Solving Therapy

13 December 2014

Module 7: Cognitive Interventions and Socratic Questioning

14 December 2014

Module 8: CBT Skills Practise Part 1

17 January 2015

Module 9: CBT Skills Practise Part 2

18 January 2015


Learning Outcomes

Day 1: Behavioural Therapy

A. Understand the basic principles of behaviourism and obtain an in-depth explanation of the historical background and principles on which behavioural theory is based 

B. Apply basic features of classical and operant conditioning and how to apply their principles to day-to-day situations and clinical problems.

1)    Examples of real situations or clinical problems where Conditioning can be implemented in order to treat certain psychological disorders.

2)    Examples of instances when conditioning mechanisms cause disturbance.

C. Understanding the classical conditioning paradigm, and related concepts.

1)    How different variables influence classical conditioning

2)    Identifying and understanding some applications of classical conditioning

D. Connect concepts and theories to real world situations. In order to reach this objective, you will be required to carry out some exercises in class and also at home involving the following tasks:

1)    Identifying all stimuli and responses present in three situations where I became conditioned.

2)    How you would treat two clients using conditioning principles.

3)    Identify what type of operant conditioning was present in many situations from the presentation slides.

4)    Exercises about how to apply behavioural principles in a variety of day-to-day situations.

Day 2: Beck’s Cognitive Therapy

  • To gain an understanding of the basic philosophy and fundamental principles of cognitive-behavioural therapy: CBT principles, therapeutic goals, effectiveness, applications, process and structure of CBT,  suitability, and research outcomes
  • Become familiar with Beck’s Cognitive therapy model and concepts such as cognitive triad, downward arrow technique, cognitive distortions, schemas, NATs, Intermediate beliefs, core beliefs, etc
  • Be able to explain to clients the link between moods and thoughts  
  • Assign and review relevant homework for clients
  • Identify, evaluate and respond to automatic thoughts, cognitive distortions, intermediate, and core beliefs

Day 3: Assessment and Case Formulation

  • Make sense of the information coming from clients through Assessment
  • Identify the main areas of assessment in order to arrive at a Formulation
  • Develop case formulations for “simple” psychological problems
  • Identify main elements of a recorded session, illustrating collaborative case formulation and some other exercises to develop this CBT skill further.

Day 4: Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy

  • Gain an understanding of the basic philosophy and fundamental principles of Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy: goals, applications, therapeutic style, types of beliefs, process of therapy...
  • Identify personal irrational beliefs
  • Distinguish between irrational and rational beliefs
  • Distinguish between healthy and unhealthy negative emotions
  • Gain practise in using the ABCDE model of emotional disturbance and change e.g. Identifying and modifying your own irrational beliefs.

Day 5 and 6: Psychodiagnosis and CBT Treatments for Anxiety and Mood Disorders

  • Recognise key features from a range of anxiety and mood disorders such as PTSD, OCD, GAD, Panic Disorder, depression, dysthymia, and social anxiety.
  • Be able to carry out a basic Suicide Risk Assessment
  • Acquire basic theoretical knowledge regarding cognitive and behavioural interventions for a wide range of problems based on Randomised Control Trials e.g. Exposure therapy, interoceptive training,  relaxation training, psychoeducation, breathing retraining, behavioural activation, cognitive restructuring, imaginal techniques, etc.
  • Be aware of a range of psychometric tools and structured interviews that can be used to assess a range of disorders.
  • Apply basic behavioural techniques to specific client populations and will demonstrate this skill in an applied setting
  • Be able to make decisions about what CBT interventions may be more appropriate for a range of psychological disorders 

Day 7: Assertiveness Training and Problem Solving Therapy

  • Recognise the differences between being assertive, submissive, and aggressive.
  • Be able to recognise the human rights involved in a range of situations, when they are respected and when they are not.
  • Be able to communicate clients how to become more assertive in the following areas:  1)Making or rejecting requests and 2) Making or receiving criticism 3) Giving or receiving positive feedback
  • How to identify and overcome cognitive barriers to becoming assertive
  • How to deal with conflictive situations using more defensive mechanisms when people violate our own human rights.
  • How and when to use Problem Solving Therapy

Day 8: Cognitive Interventions

  • You will acquire basic theoretical knowledge about the correct use of Socratic Questioning
  • You will learn to apply basic cognitive techniques that can be used for wide range of psychological problems
  • identifying and working with core beliefs (e.g. Downward Arrow technique, disputation...)
  • Challenging maladaptive beliefs using Socratic Questioning e.g. examining the evidence, logic, pie charts, alternative explanations, etc...
  • Apply cognitive skills using personal situations 
  • Learn how to derive effective questions to challenge a range of beliefs with the “Truism method” (Buet, 2009)

Day 9 and 10: CBT Skills Training Weekend

  • Practise CBT Assessment, Diagnosis and Case Formulation for a range of problems
  • Practise Behavioural and Cognitive Interventions

Fees for Certificate in CBT in Belfast

950 (early bird rate if you register before 30th June 2014). After that date, fees are 1200 To secure a place on the course please send application form with the non-refundable application fee (200) as soon as possible.

If you wish to apply for the CBT training course please download an application form which can be found below after this section and send it with the full payment by post to the Institute address that you will find within the application form.

The remaining balance must be paid by cheque before 15 August 2013. If your employer is funding the course please post your application form and a letter from the person authorising the fee and the Institute will invoice them directly.

This is a very popular course. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. 


Application forms


Please click here to download Application form for Certificate in CBT commencing in September 2014


Coffee breaks and course materials are included in the fee (but not lunch or accommodation).


In order to provide the maximum amount of handouts and  supportive materials, participants will be required to print copies of their handouts, which will be made available from our website before each class. Each student will be provided with a username and password to access all the training materials once the full training fee has been paid.


It is required that you read about our cancellation policy for the Certificate in Belfast before signing your application form.


About the Presenters


The Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is  presented by Paul Quinn and Dr. Jennifer Maguire. They are both BABCP Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapists and experienced CBT trainers.  Jennifer is also a Consultant Clinical Psychologist. 




On completion of the course, you will receive a Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT) issued by the International Institute for Cognitive Therapy if you attended at least 80% of the course and passed the necessary submission of exercises. 

The Certificate in CBT is not accredited by any University. However, the programmes run by the International Institute for Cognitive Therapy have been mentioned in the “Mapping of Psychological Therapies: Overview of courses available in Northern Ireland and the border region of the Republic” (2008). This report was issued by the NICCT on behalf of the Department of Health, Social Services & Public Safety (DHSSPS).

The intended purpose of the mapping is to locate and report on the range of psychological therapies available to the public in Northern Ireland. The Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has the distinction of being one of the only four CBT training programmes in the region that offers CBT training with similar equivalence to a Post-Graduate Certificate programme.

Some private programmes have the same prestige as some Universities offering advanced training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy leading to accreditation within the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABC). The International Institute for Cognitive Therapy offers quality training facilitating participants to become accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapists. The IICT programmes meet several criteria established by BABCP for accreditation.

This 70-hour cognitive behavioural introductory course will contribute towards meeting the minimum training requirements of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) for accreditation as well as those for relevant professional bodies where these recognise, or are planning to recognise, specific Cognitive behavioural therapy qualifications within their structures.

Assessment of the Certificate in CBT


Portfolio of Exercises

Students should submit a portfolio of exercises by email to the Course Director at the end of the Certificate in CBT in order to obtain the qualification. These exercises will be corrected and appropriate feedback will be given but they will not be marked. However, it is compulsory to complete ALL the exercises.


Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of scheduled teaching to receive the qualification. An attendance register is kept to assure that this mandatory attendance is met.




Is this Certificate in CBT accredited by the BABCP? 

It is common for prospective students to enquire whether or not this Certificate in CBT is accredited. Accredited CBT courses can only be offered at Universities. Therefore, the answer is NO. This course is not a fully accredited course but this Certificate in CBT will provide you with 70 hours of CBT training (out of 200) which will count towards your personal accreditation within the BABCP if you wanted to pursue that avenue.

However, you also need to meet other criteria if you want to become an accredited Cognitive Behavioural therapist within BABCP.

What other requirements will I have to meet in order to be eligible to apply for Accreditation within BABCP? (information valid in 2010, check BABCP for updated details)

Among others, BABCP requires that the following criteria be met in order to become an accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist:

1. You need the total of 200 hours of CBT Training delivered by a “Recognised  CBT Trainer (someone BABCP accredited or deemed by BABCP as "accreditable”. This Certificate will provide you with 70 hours towards those minimum 200 hours. 

2. You also need 250 of CBT training hours from workshops, conferences, reading, peer meetings, etc. These 250 hours of CBT training can be taught by recognised and non-recognised CBT trainers and can include self-directed training. The Certificate in CBT requires that you spend at least 10 hours per module reading materials and completing the exercises for your portfolio. At the end of the Certificate in CBT, you should have accumulated at least 70 hours (apart from the 70-hours face-to-face training), which should count towards these 250 hours of CBT training.

3. If you hold a Diploma in Counselling or hold a core profession established by BABCP, and want to start practising CBT after completing this Certificate (but not before), you need to find a BABCP accredited Psychotherapist who will supervise your clinical practice. At the same time, someone should be accountable for your work e.g. case manager, senior clinical psychologist, etc.  You cannot just be self-employed, even if your practice is supervised. Someone needs to be accountable for your clinical work. 

In terms of supervision, BABCP recommends at least 1 hour a month discussing your clinical work with a supervisor but at the beginning I would recommend more hours (depending on the number of cases you will be treating). If you decide to practise CBT after this Certificate, you must arrange an Indemnity Professional Insurance e.g. Howden in order to legally be able to practise e.g. if your organisation does not cover your private work.

4. Assuming that your clinical practice is supervised by a BABCP accredited Cognitive Psychotherapist and someone is accountable for your clinical work, at the time you request accreditation within BABCP, you must have worked with clients for at least 200 hours (assuming a session is equal to 1hour). For the Certificate in CBT, you are NOT required to practise CBT.

5. Completion of 4 written case studies (4,000 words each). For the Certificate in CBT, you will not be asked to write any case studies.

6. Attendance to Continued Professional Development (CPD) training activities (30 hours/year). After you complete your Certificate, you should think about attending conferencing, workshops, read books in CBT, etc., in order to meet this criterion.  

While this is a very brief summary of BABCP criteria for accreditation and the extent of how the Certificate meets those requirements, you should read more about BABCP accreditation at

Please do not contact the Institute requesting any information about accreditation as this is all we can tell you about this complex process. BABCP is the organisation to contact related to this topic.

If I have studied CBT elsewhere, not within the International Institute for Cognitive Therapy, will that training count towards BABCP accreditation? 

If you want to become accredited as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist within BABCP, this professional body will require that you have received a minimum of 200 hours of CBT by a recognised CBT trainer.  

If your lecturer is not a BABCP accredited/accreditable Cognitive Behavioural Therapist or BABCP accredited Trainer in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, your CBT training hours may not count towards your minimum training for accreditation, only towards the other 250 hours of supplemental training in CBT. Some training programmes in Northern Ireland/Ireland/Mainland UK are not taught by BABCP accredited CBT therapists/trainers and those training hours are not likely to not count towards the minimum amount of hours for accreditation (200 hours). 

Paul Quinn and Jennifer Maguire are both BABCP accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapists. Any training offered by the International Institute for Cognitive Therapy will only be delivered by recognised BABCP trainers.

To read more about the BABCP criteria for accreditation please visit the BABCP website at:

To read about BABCP Minimum Training standards visit the link below:

Can I practise as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist when I complete the Certificate in CBT?

Whether or not you can practise once you have completed your CBT Certificate will depend on your professional background. If you have a core profession such as Psychiatry, Mental health nursing, Social work, clinical psychology, BACP or COSCA accredited counsellor, etc. or a minimum qualification of a Diploma in Counselling, you can practice CBT but always under supervision of a BABCP Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist.

This will not make you a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist but rather a Psychologist, mental health nurse, etc. who uses CBT. Further training and experience are necessary to become a competent Cognitive Behavioural therapist. 

However, if you do not have a core profession, you also need to study a Diploma in Counselling (minimum) in order to practise. The BABCP offers a route to obtain accreditation as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist even if you don't have a core profession. Please visit the BABCP website ( to read more about this route called “Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes” (KSA), if this is your case.  

Is accreditation as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist compulsory? 

Accreditation is optional and not absolutely essential to become a competent cognitive behavioural psychotherapist. However, it is highly recommended that you work towards accreditation within BABCP.

If you have a specific question that hasn't been answered within this website please feel free to contact Paul by email or call 07790 752790 for further information. 



Copyright 2006-2012, Silvia Buet. All rights reserved