CBT for Psychosis
4.3 (526 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,191 students enrolled

CBT for Psychosis

An Individualized, Recovery Oriented Approach
4.3 (526 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,191 students enrolled
Created by Ron Unger
Last updated 2/2020
English [Auto]
Current price: $111.99 Original price: $159.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 5.5 hours on-demand video
  • 5 articles
  • 35 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Use evidence-based CBT approaches to reduce distress and disability related to psychotic experiences.
  • Identify ways to normalize psychotic experiences by seeing them as understandable in relationship to an individual’s life story, and capable of being altered when people experiment with different ways of thinking and behaving
  • Create formulations that promote hope and provide direction for treatment and recovery
  • Click "See more" for details on Continuing Education Credit
  • Utilize a collaborative style to engage in guided discovery of solutions to distressing psychosis-related problems, including those which have resisted the often limited effects of medications
  • Describe ways of integrating this psychological approach with existing treatment methods
  • Continuing Education credit for this program is awarded by Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) for the following professions:
  • Psychologists: Commonwealth Educational Seminars is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Commonwealth Educational Seminars maintains responsibility for these programs and their content.
  • Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists: Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) awards CEs for Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists in the following states: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MS, MO, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WI, WY. Please note that it is the responsibility of the licensee to check with their individual state board to verify CE requirements for their state. CES maintains responsibility for these programs. In addition, CES is an approved CE provider for Florida Marriage & Family Therapists (CE Provider # 50-9633) and an approved Continuing Education Provider for Texas Marriage & Family Therapists (Provider Number 558).
  • Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors: Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) awards CEs for the above listed professions in the following states: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WI, WY. Please note that it is the responsibility of the licensee to check with their individual state board to verify CE requirements for their state.
  • Nurses: As an APA approved provider, CES programs are accepted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). These courses can be utilized by nurses to renew their certification and will be accepted by the ANCC. Every state Board of Nursing accepts ANCC approved programs except California and Iowa, however CES is also an approved Continuing Education provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider # CEP15567) which is also accepted by the Iowa Board of Nursing.
  • This course will make more sense to those who are trained in providing therapy, and especially CBT therapy, but will also be mostly understandable to a much broader audience.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for psychosis is an evidence-based method to reduce distress and disability related to psychotic experiences, and to support a possible full recovery. Psychotic experiences are conceptualized as being understandable in relationship to an individual's life story, and capable of being altered when people experiment with different ways of thinking and behaving. Learn how to collaborate with people having these experiences, “exploring the evidence" rather than imposing beliefs, and developing coping options so people are not forced to rely entirely on the often limited effectiveness of medication to address problems.

The course starts by examining the nature of psychosis and CBT, providing a foundation for understanding how CBT can be helpful. Then the basic style of CBT for psychosis is introduced, followed by an introduction to two of the most important techniques. Finally, applications of CBT are explored for some of the main problem areas, such as hearing distressing voices, paranoia, delusional beliefs, disorganization, and negative symptoms.

Included in the course are video lectures, slides with some diagrams, video demonstrations of CBT for psychosis being practiced, and links to additional resources for further study.

CBT for psychosis uses a minimal amount of jargon, and the concepts and practices tend to be easily understandable.

The course will take 6 hours to complete.

6 hours of continuing education credit is available for psychologists and nurses in the US, and also for licensed professional counselors and marriage and family therapists in many states in the US. (See the “What am I going to get from taking this course" section for more details on those.  Social workers may be able to use the APA credits even though social work specific credits are not offered: check with the board in your state.)

Grievance Policy:  Ron Unger LCSW and Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) seek to ensure equitable treatment of every person and to make every attempt to resolve grievances in a fair manner. Please submit a written grievance to: Ron Unger, 4ronunger@gmail.com Grievances will receive, to the best of our ability, corrective action in order to prevent further problems.

Who this course is for:
  • This course is intended for people who provide mental health treatment for people diagnosed with various kinds of psychotic disorders. It is intended as an introductory course, aimed at getting people started in using these methods. To become fully proficient at providing CBT for psychosis would of course require substantially more training.
  • This course may also be of some interest to people who have had some psychotic experiences and to their family members, but it is not designed for them specifically and it definitely is not intended to provide any kind of individual or family therapy.
Course content
Expand all 40 lectures 05:24:58
+ Introduction: What is CBT for Psychosis, How is It Different?
5 lectures 34:31

This lecture provides an overview of CBT for Psychosis, and of this class.

Preview 05:31
Notes on taking this course

This lecture discusses the use of CBT for Psychosis with people both on antipsychotic medications and off, discusses some ideas about the relationship between medications and long term recovery, and offers some contrasts between the perspective of CBT for Psychosis and that of a purely bio-medical model.

Relationship between CBT for Psychosis, Medications, and the "BioMedical Model"

This video explores the breakdown of dialogue in psychosis, and the role of CBT in restoring both good external and internal dialogue.

Restoring dialogue, internal and external
+ Essentials of the style of CBT for Psychosis
2 lectures 26:33

This lecture covers two very fundamental aspects of any successful therapy for psychosis; the establishment of a good collaborative relationship, and the promotion of reasonable levels of hope.

A good relationship, and hope for improvement
Other essentials of the CBT for Psychosis approach
+ Normalizing: A way to reduce fear, and increase hope and successful coping
5 lectures 46:11

Understanding psychotic experience as being on a continuum with other human responses is very helpful within normalizing explanations: this lecture will help you understand and use this perspective.

Preview 11:51

Depending on the language used, our clients may learn how to normalize their experiences and so feel more in control and related to other human beings, or may learn to "abnormalize" their experience in a way that increases distress and alienation. This lecture will increase your understanding of how to use language to promote normalizing.

Preview 15:02

Doug Turkington demonstrates normalizing while working with a person struggling with voices.

Preview 1 page

This lecture uses a powerful example to illustrate the role of a normalizing explanation in helping someone shift from a vicious circle of increasing distress to a virtuous circle of increased self understanding and self care.

Preview 06:43
+ Developing a Formulation - Finding Hope and Direction
4 lectures 43:18

This lecture provides some perspective on how CBT therapists address psychosis differently than what has been traditional within the mental health system, where a hypothesized "illness" has usually been conceptualized as explaining a wide number of symptoms, and where biological problems have usually been conceptualized as primary.

A wider way of understanding "bio-psycho-social" and "stress-vulnerability" is discussed, and the use of those wider understandings within formulations.

What goes into a formulation?

Varieties of formulations examined in this lecture include an ABC formulation, a variation of the 4 areas "kite" diagram, a spiral formulation, and a more in depth compassion focused formulation. How to use each of these types of formulation in order to nurture hope and provide direction fro recovery efforts will be explored.

Preview 12:06

This lecture presents another two types of formulations, along with examples that show how they can be used to further treatment.

Another kite formulation, and a spikey one

A developmental formulation traces how developmental issues and related issues contribute to psychotic experience. In this lecture, a personal story of somewhat psychotic experience and then recovery will be told, with some discussion of how things might have gone differently had certain factors been other than they were. This is followed by a more general exploration of how to help people escape both a "psychotic story" and a "psychiatric story" so as to hopefully come back to an "evolving human story."

A developmental formulation, and a personal story
+ Helping Solve Problems With Voices, Visions, Etc.
6 lectures 39:06

Introduces a different attitude toward "hallucinations".....

Are voices, visions, etc. always pathological?
1 page

This lecture explores some of the problems that can arise when efforts are focused too much on the suppression of voices and other "hallucinations," and then outlines a different approach based on a combination of limit setting with acceptance.

Preview 11:54
The continuum of thoughts, dissociative experience and voice hearing

Most people with voices do best if they learn a variety of coping strategies. Some of the basic ones are outlined in this lecture.

Ideas for coping with voices, visions etc.
Some people may find that hearing voices groups go well alongside CBT, while others may find these groups may be the primary support they need in working toward recovery! Learn a bit more about that.....
Integrate access to hearing voices groups with CBT
1 page
Developing a compassionate voice
+ Strategies for paranoia and troublesome beliefs
9 lectures 01:09:31

How do CBT therapists understand paranoia, and how do they work with it? Learn strategies to talk about paranoia in a helpful way and to explore it further.

Looking at more evidence: Exploring paranoia

Watch an experienced CBT therapist, Dr Kingdon, explore a client's paranoia using CBT strategies.

Watching a CBT therapist explore paranoid mental process
1 page

What are delusions, from a CBT perspective? This lecture reviews some of the difficulties in defining delusions and some CBT approaches to those difficulties.

How CBT therapists think about beliefs that appear delusional

How do CBT therapists work with people who seem to be delusional? This lecture outlines four different strategies that may be used at different times.

An outline of 4 CBT approaches to help with apparent delusions

This lecture covers some approaches to helping people who helping people who seem to be delusions without directly challenging the beliefs themselves.

The first 3 methods: explore without challenging the belief

In this video, a person with an entrenched belief is interviewed by a CBT therapist to discover what preceded that belief, and to obtain the story of how it developed.

Watch a CBT therapist explore the antecedents of a belief
1 page

When a person is ready for it, exploring the evidence both for and against the belief can be helpful. This video will give you ideas about how to do that.

Exploring the evidence for and against, testing, etc.

Watch an experienced CBT therapist help a client develop a plan for carrying out a test that might support or fail to support a particular belief.

Watch a demonstration of developing a test for a belief
1 page

Delusions are often framed as just "sick" beliefs to be eliminated by treatment, but many have found they are more like dreams - not to be taken literally, but very meaningful in a metaphorical way.  Treatment is about both unhooking from unhelpful literal interpretations, while discovering deeper meanings that help people move on with their lives.

Delusions and meaning
+ When thoughts are out of order, & affect and engagement seem missing...
2 lectures 28:35

This lecture addresses both possible understandings of what is going on within "thought disorder" as well as strategies for working with people who are thinking and talking in this way.

Relating and helping when thoughts are chaotic

Explore some possible purposes served by "negative symptoms" and then some CBT strategies for helping people overcome them.

Some CBT strategies for "negative symptoms."
+ Wrapping things up
6 lectures 30:51

Learn how to help people develop an individualized relapse prevention plan, which includes ideas about how to respond to, but not over-react to, the return of various kinds of problematic experiences.

Approaches to relapse prevention

Now that you know something about CBT for psychosis, how will you fit it into what you and perhaps your agency are already doing? This lecture will give you some ideas about how to do that, as well as outline some areas for future progress.

Integrating CBT for Psychosis with the rest of the mental health system

Homework is a key part of CBT, including CBT for Psychosis. Learn how to structure it into every session.

Also, it's time to think about your own "homework" as you develop your plan to put the ideas you learned in this course to work!

Homework: A way to keep making progress

While this course can get you started with CBT for Psychosis, you can anticipate requiring further training in order to be a proficient practitioner. This lecture will give you some ideas about where to look to seek such training.

Continuing on the journey: Ways to further your training in CBT for Psychosis
Resource Document for learning more about CBT for Psychosis
To Download the PowerPoint Slides
+ Getting your CE Credits
1 lecture 00:20
Instructions for accessing and taking the test