Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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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
Organisational UnitSchool of Psychological Sciences
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor 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 (1,500 words) (60%)

Hurdle requirement: 75% attendance.

Workload requirements

Workload is 3.5 hours attendance at seminars.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study