Module code: PSYM104

Module Overview

This module introduces the trainees to some of the challenges and dilemmas in working with more complex, chronic or co-morbid presentations of anxiety and depression. It starts by focusing on CBT approaches for issues such as perfectionism, chronic depression and low self-esteem. The module develops further skills in the use of imagery in CBT interventions, and provides a basic introduction to the theory, research and practice of some of the newer third wave approaches to CBT. Trainees are encouraged to investigate and research other difficulties and explore how these challenges may integrate with evidence-based treatment protocols for depression and anxiety disorders. This module supports the trainee’s ability in the application of CBT with more complex presentations, deriving CBT-driven formulations in cases of co-morbidity.

Module provider


Module Leader

GIBSON Tim (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 40

Guided Learning: 61

Captured Content: 49

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

The trainees need to have a practice base where they are currently working. Trainees also need to have completed modules 1 to 5.

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Introduction to transdiagnostic CBT approaches for working with anxiety disorders and depression

  • Compassion focussed therapy

  • Mindfulness based CBT

  • CBT and self-esteem

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy

  • CBT for perfectionism and procrastination across anxiety and depression

  • Co-morbidity and chronic depression

  • Advanced imagery

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

There are no alternative forms of assessment owing to the requirements of the professional body. Each unit of assessment has to be passed

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

Knowledge of comorbid, complex and trans-diagnostic issues faced when working with anxiety disorders and depression. To critically evaluate the research literature in this area and apply the knowledge and interventions in practice.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

A 1500 word critical analysis, summarising the specific findings/content, strengths and limitations of three current articles presented in the formative Debate outlined below; with particular emphasis on links to current practice. 

To be submitted in May. 

Formative assessment and feedback

A classroom Debate to be completed in April, on the following motion: 

'Trans-diagnostic CBT approaches are more effective than disorder specific CBT protocols for comorbid presentations of anxiety disorders &/or depression'. 

In preparation for the Debate, students will be asked to draw on relevant lectures, personal experience and undertake research of published literature. Three relevant papers will be identified to be formally captured in the summative 1500 word critical analysis. 

Module aims

  • Help trainees gain a greater understanding from a CBT perspective of comorbidity, chronicity and the complexity of anxiety and depression cases presented to them in clinical practice, including taking into account consideration of other diagnoses and disorders.
  • Trainees will be introduced to some of the interventions which may aid the therapeutic process in light of these more complex anxiety and depression presentations, including further skills in imagery and ‘third wave’ CBT approaches.
  • Trainees will be supported to critically evaluate some of the interventions which may aid the therapeutic process and therapeutic outcomes in light of these additional challenges and conditions.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate an understanding and knowledge of issues of comorbidity, complexity and common transdiagnostic issues seen in IAPT services. KCPT
002 Demonstrate an ability to reflect on and critically evaluate transdiagnostic and third wave approaches to CBT. KCP
003 Demonstrate an ability to integrate this knowledge and understanding of these issues and interventions, into their own clinical practice. KCP
004 Demonstrate an understanding and knowledge of issues of additional challenges and conditions commonly seen in mental health services. KP
005 Demonstrate an ability to reflect on and critically evaluate some of the further applications of CBT. CPT
006 Demonstrate an ability to incorporate this knowledge and understanding of these issues and interventions in to their work with anxiety disorders and depression in clinical practice. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Adopt the three systems of learning (declarative, procedural and reflective) necessary to acquire knowledge and develop clinical and therapeutic competence. The trainees will therefore be encouraged to:

  • Acquire theoretical, empirical and practice based CBT knowledge

  • Think critically to evaluate this knowledge to support their clinical decision making and practice

  • Develop clinical skills to achieve the best outcomes for patients

  • Develop reflective practice skills to help evaluate their development as effective CBT practitioners and therapy professionals


  • The above learning and teaching strategy relates to this module in terms of supporting trainees in the acquisition of relevant theoretical, empirical and practice-based knowledge of cases of anxiety and depression that may be complex, chronic or co-morbid. Trainees will learn about specific CBT interventions and working trans-diagnostically in terms of formulation and treatment. Together with the opportunity to apply critical thinking to the knowledge acquired; and to develop clinical and reflective practice skills that enhance their effectiveness as CBT practitioners.


The learning and teaching methods include:

These three systems of learning will be utilised through lecture/workshop presentation of a key concept or method and the application of this to practice in role play of a specific therapeutic scenario, played by facilitators, other participants or actors.  Structured opportunities for reflection on this form of practice will be included, as will opportunities to self-practice (i.e. application of CBT methods to participants’ own lives).

In addition to these methods the following will be employed;

  1. Class debate and discussion, participant presentations, group exercises, skills practice, video and audio recordings, tutorials, self- directed enquiry, personal reflection and guided reading.


The above methods allow for key skills learnt in other modules to be re-visited and tested in application.. Critical evaluation and personal reflection is encouraged, drawing on research evidence and clinical experience and knowledge of self, fellow trainees and tutors.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PSYM104

Other information

The module is only available to students undertaking the Psychological Intervention (CBT) PGDip.

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.