Frequently Asked Questions About The Clinical Practice of Cognitive Therapy

What will I get out of this program?

Our program provides the knowledge and skills needed to apply cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) effectively in clinical practice with a broad range of clients and problems. We cover theory and research in enough depth for you to understand the principles on which CBT is based, but the program’s focus is on real-life clinical practice. Readings and lectures cover the principles of CBT and how to apply them in clinical practice. Videos, case examples, and role-plays provide demonstrations of how to apply CBT with the complex problems we face in clinical practice. The instructors (Barbara Fleming, Ph.D. and James Pretzer, Ph.D.,) have provided post-graduate training in CBT for more than 30 years and also are practicing therapists who use CBT in their own practices.

Why should I sign up for this program instead of ________'s program?

A major advantage of this program is its flexibility. Whether you are in the face-toface program or distance education, you can complete the program on your own schedule. All deadlines are flexible. In addition, since the class is distributed as audio recordings, not video, you don’t have to sit in front of a screen to listen to it. You can listen while commuting, washing dishes, or working out. You can keep course audio and handouts so that you have them for future reference and you can ask questions online at your convenience.
Take a look a look at what participants say on their evaluations (Download an unedited summary of participant's evaluations of the first term of a recent Distance Education program.) and in their comments to us (comments from course participants). We’ve designed this program to meet the needs of practitioners and we’ve used feedback contemporary CBT and to be able to apply it effectively in your practice, we think this program will be a good match for you.

Can I participate in this program? What are the prerequisites?

Since our program is designed to provide practicing mental health professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to use CBT effectively in clinical practice, we do not cover the basic skills of counseling and psychotherapy. The only prerequisite for this program is that participants must have completed training and supervised experience in basic counseling or psychotherapy before participating.
There is no requirement that participants have an active clinical practice, just that they have had training and supervised experience in the basics of counseling or psychotherapy. If you are an advanced graduate student or psychiatry resident and have completed training and supervised experience in counseling or psychotherapy, you can participate in this program. However, if you have a MD, a Ph.D., or any other advanced degree, but do not have training and supervised experience in counseling or psychotherapy, you will need to get that training and experience before participating in the program.

Is the program appropriate for my level of experience?

The program is designed to be appropriate for practicing mental health professionals. We’ve had participants ranging from advanced graduate students to practitioners with more than 30 years of experience. We’ve even had participants who were already certified in CBT. We’re proud to say that even experienced CBT practitioners have found the program useful.

Are there textbooks?

Yes, three required texts are an integral part of this program. They are Clinical Applications of Cognitive Therapy, Second Edition, Mind Over Mood, Second Edition, and Clinician’s Guide to Mind Over Mood, Second Edition. Information about purchasing the texts will be included in the packet of information you receive when your registration has been processed.

Do I really need to do the reading?

Yes, the reading is an integral part of the program. If you just listen to the lectures and skip the reading, you’ll get much less out of the program.

How much time does the program take?

There are about 7 hours of class each month, 2-3 chapters of reading, and a brief online post-test for distance education participants who want CE credit or certification. There are no papers to write and no mandatory assignments. Materials are distributed once a month, but all deadlines are flexible and you can complete the program on your own timetable (even if it takes a few years). How much time will it take? That depends on how much time it takes you to do the reading.

Why do you use audio recordings for the distance education program rather than using video and animations?

There are practical advantages to using audio rather than video (smaller file sizes, easier downloads, fewer technical problems, etc.) but there are also some more important benefits. With video, you have to sit in front of your computer for the whole class and with many webinars you have to be in front of your computer for a scheduled block of time. Since we distribute course audio as mp3 files, you can listen to the material on your own schedule and you can listen on any device that plays mp3 files. If you want to sit at your desk for a block of time, you can. However, you can also listen while you do the dishes, while you work out, or while you commute to work. You also can rewind and listen to parts of class more than once if you want to, and you can keep the material for future reference.

What if I miss a deadline?

No problem. We know that participants are busy professionals with busy lives. All of our deadlines are flexible. If you need to take extra time, that’s fine with us. Once you download the material, you have it and you can go through it at your own pace. We’re likely to retire eventually, but until then you can take as long as you need.

Can I sign up for just part of the program?

Each term of the program builds on what we have covered in previous terms, so you can’t skip the initial term or skip a term in the middle. There is no obligation to complete the entire program if you register for the first term or two. You are welcome to register for the initial term and then decide whether you want to complete the entire program or not. There is a 10% discount if you register and pay for the full program at the beginning.

Can I get continuing education credit for the distance education program?

Probably. However, requirements for continuing education vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and board to board. We’re approved CE providers for APA, NASW, NBCC and NAADAC. For many boards and jurisdictions, the distance education program qualifies for the same continuing education credit as the face-to-face program. Unfortunately, there are some boards that do not allow continuing education credit to be earned through distance education programs. If you want to know for sure about whether your board will accept CE credits earned through distance education, you may be able to tell from their web site, or you may need to give them a call.

Can I use the distance education program to become certified?

Again, each certifying body has its own requirements. If you are seeking certification through the Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies or through the Cleveland Center for Cognitive Therapy, then completion of our distance education program satisfies their training requirement. If you are seeking certification through some other body, you may need to check with them.

Will this training enable me to be licensed as a CBT therapist?

Requirements for licensure vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so you’ll need to check with the licensing board in the area where you wish to practice. In most areas, licensure is based on the professional training you’ve received in psychology, counseling, social work, or a related field, not on training specifically in CBT.

I work primarily with ______________. Is this program appropriate for me?

The planned content of the program focuses primarily on outpatient individual therapy with adults and covers the treatment of depression and suicidality, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders. We periodically discuss how to modify CBT when working with children and adolescents and can also cover how to apply CBT with serious mental illness, how to apply CBT in groups, how to apply CBT with couples and families, and a range of other topics in CBT. If you specialize in working with clients or problems that aren’t explicitly discussed in class, ask questions. We will be happy to discuss how the material applies to your particular areas of interest.

I missed the registration deadline. Can I still sign up?

We may be able to accept late registrations. Late registration decisions are made on a case-by-case basis depending on whether space is available and whether there is time for you to catch up with the class. Contact us as soon as possible to find out if you can register after the deadline.
While late registration may be an option, don’t procrastinate. It is to your advantage to go ahead and register so that you can get the texts and get started.

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