Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

4 points, SCA Band 3, 0.0833333 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedClayton First semester 2011 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr David Barton and Dr Scott Blair-West


This unit is intended to give a brief introduction into the theoretical underpinnings of the main forms of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and provide a solid background in the practical applications of CBT in relation to common psychiatric disorders for which CBT is an appropriate treatment.

The introductory two seminars will cover the historical background of how CBT evolved, starting with the early work on classical and operant conditioning to the more sophisticated cognitive models and the integration of behavioural and cognitive approaches. The basic theories of personality and psychopathology as outlined in Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy e.g. Albert Ellis, Behaviour Therapy e.g. Skinner, and Cognitive Therapy e.g. Beck will be discussed. General principles of CBT assessment and formulation will be covered.

Subsequent seminars will focus on the use of commonly used CBT techniques such as

  1. behavioural interventions e.g. graded exposure in phobias and obsessive disorders, token economy in the chronically mentally ill, skills training,
  2. cognitive interventions e.g. automatic thoughts in depression, in psychiatric disorders. The seminars will be run in a workshop format to allow active involvement of students who will be expected to present and formulate cases according to CBT principles. These last four seminars will focus on applications of CBT in the management of four common psychiatric disorders - obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.


On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the empirical foundations of CBT approaches, the theories of personality and psycopathology according to the major CBT approaches.
  2. Have the skills to be confident in the assessment, formulation and management of common psychiatric disorders according to CBT principles.
  3. To recognise which common psychiatric disorders for which CBT is an appropriate management strategy.
  4. To recognise the limitations of CBT
  5. To compare CBT with other forms of psychotherapy and choose the most appropriate form of therapy for patients.


Clinical case presentation or role play exercise (40%) Case study and management plan 1500 words (60%)

Chief examiner(s)

Dr David Barton

Contact hours

3.5 hours attendance at seminars.


MPM Year 1 units: MPM1001, MPM1006, MPM1009