PYMDEP-Theory and Practice for Depression

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer & Autumn Terms
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Hannah Whitney


Summary module description:

1. To develop practical competency in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for depression
2. To develop critical knowledge in the theoretical and research literature for cognitive and behavioural models with depression.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Overall it is expected that the students will attain the specific competencies set out in the IAPT high intensity curriculum (, including:

Assessable outcomes
i) a critical understanding of the phenomenology, diagnostic classifications and epidemiological characteristics of depressive disorders
ii) assessing patients with depression, taking into account clinical manifestations, co-morbidity, past history, present life situation, course and outcome of depression in suitability for CBT
iii) assessing risk factors associated with depression and the integration of risk management within treatment plans
iv) ability to assess suicidal risk and implement practical strategies for managing suicidality
v) prioritising problem areas, problem solving and identifying solutions
vi) constructing both cognitive and behavioural development and maintenance formulations in cases of depression
vii) developing cognitive and behavioural treatment plans for depression
viii) ability to critically evaluate a range of evidence based interventions in depression
ix) deriving cognitive or behavioural models with clients taking into account individual needs and preferences
x) working with co-morbid presentations of depression and taking personal responsibility for clinical decision making in complex and unpredictable situations
xi) demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving therapeutic problems with depression including use of client support networks
xii) ability to deal with ending therapy and planning for long term maintenance of gains with evidence of a relapse prevention plan
xiii) begin to practise as “scientist practitioners” continuing to advance their knowledge and understanding to develop new skills with depression to a high level
xiv) demonstrate insightful knowledge of CBT and an ability to identify own values and beliefs in working with depression and CBT’s application to their own lives
xv) making best use of supervision with depressive disorders on the course
xvi) an ability to sensitively adapt CBT for depression, and ensure equitable access of CBT to diverse cultures and values
xvii) demonstrate a working knowledge of the principles and practice, and competency in delivering high intensity psychological therapy for depression within a stepped care system

Additional outcomes:
•A training log specifying the length of study, number of taught hours and a record of the lecturers, tutors or mentors participating in a therapist’s training must be kept by the student.

Outline content:
•Phenomenology, diagnostic classification and epidemiological characteristics of depression
•Common factors linked to predisposition and precipitation, course and outcome of depression
•Current evidence based pharmacological and psychological treatments for depression to include role of combined treatment
•Theory and development of cognitive and behavioural models for depression
•Assessment and formulation of CBT with depression, including specific associated problems
•Risk assessment, risk management, suicide risk, mental state examination, personal and medical history
•Application and suitability for CBT with depression (to include contraindications such as substance misuse) and awareness of referral pathways for unsuitable cases
•Role of co-morbid disorders such as anxiety, PTSD, plus personality disorders and substance abuse
•Clinical process for CBT with depression using a cognitive or behavioural activation model (formulation, rationale, active treatment, relapse prevention)
•Clinical process for CBT with chronic, recurrent depression
•Use of standard and idiosyncratic clinical measures to monitor CBT process and outcome in depression
•The role of the therapeutic relationship in CBT with depression
•Relapse prevention
•Linking theory with practice, clinical trials and outcome studies
•Application of theory to practice in individual cases
•Theories and experimental studies of process in depression
•Development of therapeutic competency in the application of cognitive and behavioural interventions with depression
•Experiential learning illustrating how both cognitive and behavioural strategies with depression can be applied to students’ own experiences
•Values, culture and diversity (access, ethical, professional and cultural considerations)
•Effective use of supervision to help students identify own values and beliefs in working with people with depression to enhance and regulate good practice
•An overview of the principles of the stepped care system, knowledge of low intensity interventions with depression and the role of high intensity psychological therapy within that framework

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

i) Experiential and skills based workshops providing students with a strong foundation in the clinical procedures of CBT, and addressing the most up-to-date research developments. ii) Skills based competencies will be developed through small group experiential work and role plays in workshops, group supervision by course members and individual/group supervision in the place of work. iii) On-going clinical supervision provided by members of the course team and at the place of work. iv) Self directed study to include general reading for each course and preparatory reading for each session. DVD/video library and web based resources will be available in order that students can borrow and study examples of clinical therapy sessions and clinical demonstrations of specific techniques. v) Case management and problem based learning will be facilitated through a combination of course and work-based supervision. 

Contact hours

•    Teaching contact hours: average minimum of 100 hours; the total minimum teaching contact hours summed across Modules PYMFUN, PYMANX and PYMDEP (including clinical skills and supervision) is 300 hours.

•    Supervision contact hours: average minimum of 11.5 hours; the total minimum supervision contact hours summed across Modules PYMFUN, PYMANX and PYMDEP is 35.

•    Total contact hours for this module will be a minimum of 400, to include lectures and clinical skills, supervision and guided independent study.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Total hours by term
Total hours for module

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Practical skills assessment 50

Other information on summative assessment:
The recording below will be the treatment of a patient with depression and will be different from those submitted in PYMFUN or PYMANX. Recordings will be rated using the Cognitive Therapy Rating Scale Revised.

Summative Assessment:

1.A recording of a CBT therapy session with a patient with depression. The recording is rated by a member of the course team and self-rated by the student using the CTS-R.

2.A related extended case report of up to 5000 words.

The extended case report should include a critical discussion of the theory and relevant literature that informed the clinical intervention, the assessment measures used, the outcome and a balanced evaluation of the intervention chosen and possible alternatives.

The assessments will be weighted equally.

Formative assessment methods:
In addition to the three summative assessments for this module, the student will be required to submit:

1.The Module 3 University Supervisor Report must be passed and placed inside the Accreditation Portfolio. Any student who fails the final University Supervisor Report must submit a recording of a treatment session demonstrating skill in the areas of deficit identified by the supervisor. Once such a recording is deemed to pass on the CTS-R, and an appendix added to the report and placed inside the accreditation portfolio, it can be submitted for final marking. The recording can be resubmitted on one occasion.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A mark of at least 50% for the four items of summatively assessed coursework in the module. A minimum of 80% attendance is required.

Reassessment arrangements:
Students who do not obtain the required pass mark in the assessed work will be given the opportunity to resubmit, on one further occasion, any individual assessment that has been failed. The re-sit grade cannot exceed 50%. A short Summer School will be held after the end of the course, giving students the opportunity to complete some teaching sessions or assessments that were missed initially.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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