This is an education program designed for families who are interested in learning about basic principles and techniques of CBT therapy for psychosis. It starts Wednesday, June 17th 2009 6:30 – 8:30. at the King Street Office. Facilitated by Maria Haarmans a CBT therapist. The course is full this time around, but if you are interested in attending please let us know, and we will try to offer it again.

Course Description

A 6-week psychoeducational course for families interested in learning about basic principles and techniques of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis. Through PowerPoint presentation, discussion, video, and group exercises participants will acquire an understanding of:

• how CBTp can help,
• the psychological and psychophysiological processes involved in psychotic experiences with a particular focus on hearing voices, and
• relapse prevention.

*This course does NOT equip participants with training to deliver CBTp but it does offer information that can help families make sense of what may sometimes seem bewildering or confusing. It can also increase understanding of how a cognitive approach can be helpful to both themselves and their relative.

Provisional Outline

Week One: Theme: Why Now? Understanding Vulnerability from a Cognitive Perspective
Introductions & what participants hope to get out of sessions. Stress-Vulnerability Model for Psychosis; The Subjective Experience of hearing voices: Content, Locus, Cues/Triggers, & Beliefs about Voices. Summary & Feedback of Session.

Week Two: Theme: The Normality of Unusual Experiences

Check-in; Bridge to previous session; Quiz, CBT and Normalizing psychotic experiences, Why is normalizing information helpful? BBC Radio Podcast: “Am I Normal?” Summary & Feedback of Session

Week Three: Theme: Making Sense of Unusual Experiences

Check-in; Bridge to previous session; Generic Cognitive Model—
Thought-mood-physiological-behaviour diagram—make own diagram; Cognitive Model for Psychosis–Understanding the development & maintenance of unusual experiences/‘symptoms’; Summary & Feedback of Session.

Week Four: Theme: Where’s the Evidence? Evaluating Thoughts & Beliefs
Check-in; Bridge to previous session, Levels of
Cognitions: Automatic Thoughts, Intermediate Beliefs & Core Beliefs; Cognitive Interventions, e.g. Thinking errors/‘Downer’ thoughts, delusional beliefs, paranoid thinking; Relation of Downer thoughts/Core Beliefs to voice content [E.g. When voices express person’s thoughts/beliefs; exploring thoughts/beliefs about voices]; Generating Alternative Explanations; Summary & Feedback of Session.

Week Five: Theme: Helpful & Unhelpful Ways of Coping
Check-in; Bridge to previous session; Behavioural Interventions;
Introduce coping strategies for voices/delusional beliefs: doing things, thinking things, feeling things; What is the Difference between Coping Behaviours & Safety Behaviours? Summary & Feedback of Session.

Week Six: Theme: Staying Well
Check-in; Bridge to previous session; Relaxation techniques &
Practice in session; Relapse Prevention; Evaluation & Recommendations