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Home / Dr Donald Meichenbaum’s Psychotherapy Diploma

Developing Expertise, Better Outcomes
and the Narrative Approach
in Psychotherapy

A Psychotherapy Study Programme with Don Meichenbaum

55 Years of Psychotherapy wisdom from Dr Donald Meichenbaum – one of the founders of Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy

This course brings together 55 years of Dr Donald Meichenbaum's expertise in clinical research, practice, consultation and supervision.

This psychotherapy course focuses on how to develop expertise, the core skills of psychotherapy, treating specific disorders, strengths based approaches and developing resilience across the life span.

Dr Donald Meichenbaum

Dr Donald Meichenbaum PhD

In his own words…

I would like to share my knowledge and expertise with others to ensure that the level of therapists is high and that all who complete my course are able to really understand why some therapists are more effective than others, how to spot hype in the field of psychotherapy as well as really understand what the transtheoretical behaviour change principles are to all forms of therapy and be able to bolster resilience across the entire life span. This, in turn, will lead to better results and outcomes.”

“As I celebrate my 82 birthdate and after 55 years of clinical research, practice seeing patients, consultation and supervision, I have decided to put together a LEGACY COURSE of all the clinical wisdom and experiences that I have acquired. Please enjoy!

What's in the course?

This psychotherapy diploma training explores topics such as:

  • Why are some therapists more effective than their fellow therapists?
  • What can we do to obtain better outcomes with our clients?
  • What are the behaviour change principles common to ALL forms to therapy?
  • How do we bolster resilience across the entire life-span?
  • How do we spot and protect ourselves from HYPE in the field of psychotherapy?
  • …and much more

The diploma is made up of three courses, as outlined below:

You do not need to do every unit and you also do not need to do units in a consecutive order.

Course 1: Getting Better Outcomes: Core Tasks and Skills of Expert Psychotherapists

  • Learn why are some therapists more effective than their fellow therapists
  • Be able to consider the nature of “expertise” and the implications for ways of conducting psychotherapy.
  • How to spot HYPE in the field of psychotherapy
  • How to employ a Case Conceptualization Model (CCM) of the patient's risk and protective factors that inform both assessment and treatment decision-making.
  • Discover ways to establish, maintain and monitor the quality of the therapeutic alliance (TA) using session-by-session Feedback Informed Treatment Scales, related measures, and interview probes.
  • Discover the use of Guided Discovery procedures consisting of probing Socratic questions that challenge and teach patients to “MENTALIZE” and become an observer of their own thinking processes.
  • Practice a psychotherapist’s MODEL of thinking style that challenges and teaches patients how to reflect, self-question and self-monitor, as well as how to develop a “curious resilient mindset”.
  • Use a variety of diverse modes of questioning.
  • Develop ways of how to COLLABORATIVELY engage patients to establish and work to implement valued TREATMENT GOALS. A critical feature of all forms of therapy is the need to nurture HOPE in BOTH the patient and the therapist.
  • Explore the components in each of the psych educational efforts and procedures to encourage discussion and investigate what the patient’s key takeaways are.
  • Explore the clock metaphor in individual and group therapy.
  • Develop how to implement a variety of intrapersonal (emotion regulation) and interpersonal (such as Mindfulness Training, communication and problem-solving) skills.
  • Develop specific Generalization Guidelines that need to be included BEFORE, DURING and AFTER any skills training program in order to increase the likelihood of clients transfer of the acquired skills to their everyday lives.
  • Develop confidence to ensure that clients engage in CHANGE TALK and take credit for the behavioral changes they have made (i.e., Self-attribution training).
  • Practising putting clients in a CONSULTATIVE ROLE, whereby they can complete A CLIENT CHECKLIST of the specific skills they have worked on and that they can now implement and even teach others.
  • Investigate the variety of REASONS that patients may offer that interfere with and undermine their carrying out the skills that they worked on in the therapy sessions.

Course 2: Treating Specific Disorders and the Secret of Strengths-Based Narrative Approaches

  • You will be able to critique various Acronym-based treatment approaches for patients who experience PTSD. Beware of HYPE (Note, Dr. Meichenbaum's anecdote about IED versus IUD)
  • Identify the emotional, cognitive and behavioural factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of chronic PTSD and COMPLEX PTSD.
  • Enumerate the therapeutic implications of a Constructive Narrative Perspective.
    To be able to implement evidenced-based Cognitive behavior therapy procedures including Emotion regulation skills, Behavioral Activation procedures and Cognitive restructuring techniques (“Rethinking skills”).
  • How to tailor the treatment interventions to the dominant emotional needs of the patient (for example, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, prolonged grief, and moral injuries.)
  • Ways to assess for Prolong and Complicated Grief and Traumatic Bereavement. Including how to use the CLOCK metaphor to better understand the grieving process, and how to use various interventions such as Restorative Retelling procedures (Gestalt Empty chair), Journaling and various Art expressive procedures.
  • Describe the challenges of treating individuals with Substance Abuse Disorders and the implications for both assessment and treatment.
  • Describe how you can incorporate the Core Tasks of Psychotherapy with patients who have Alcohol Abuse Disorders. For example, how would you include Case Conceptualization Model, conduct Psycho-education, Collaborative Goal-setting, Skills Training that incorporates Generalization Guidelines, Relapse prevention procedures and Feedback Informed Treatment on both an individual and group basis.
  • Describe the emotional and cognitive factors that contribute to a suicidal MINDSET and the implications for both assessment and treatment decision-making. Learn how to conduct Cognitive behavior therapy with suicidal patients and implement a safety plan.
  • Critique the concept of comorbidity and consider the advantages and limitations of THREE alternative psychotherapeutic intervention strategies, namely, Sequential, Parallel and Integrative interventions.
  • Discuss alternative ways to address the clinical needs of patients with a history of victimization such as Adverse Childhood Experiences in an Integrated Treatment approach.
  • Describe how to make a “violent youth ” and ways to alter this developmental trajectory. (See the additional Handout for a list of interventions that work and a list of interventions that do NOT work ).
  • Employ a Phase-oriented Cognitive-behavioural Stress Inoculation treatment (SIT) approach and three-phased interventions, with patients who have anger-control problem
  • How to integrate spirituality and psychotherapy and how to conduct evidenced based spiritually oriented treatments. And consider the DANGERS of using religious-based interventions. In what ways can religious activities exacerbate your patient's stress level?
  • Assess your Declarative and Conditional Knowledge as applied to specific Clinical Cases.

Course 3: Ordinary Magic: Building Resilience and Strengths Across the Life Span

  • Learn to use a Case Study that illustrates the value of the therapist's knowledge base.
  • Discuss the impact of early exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences and to poverty and the implications for both prevention and treatment interventions. And describe the characteristics of RESILIENT children.
  • Consider alternative psychotherapeutic interventions for children and youth who have been victimized and traumatized, and how to alter such interventions in a developmentally-sensitive manner.
  • How to implement Evidence-based Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
  • Consider the neurobiological and cognitive and emotional developmental processes that occur across the period of adolescence and the implications for their treatment.
  • Discuss ways to bolster resilience in adolescents and their parents in a culturally – sensitive fashion.
  • How to assess for depression and suicidal behavior in adolescents, and ways to implement Cognitive behavioral interventions with depressed and suicidal adolescents.
  • How to conduct preventative interventions across varied educational, medical and mental health settings.
  • Consider the alternative ways to bolster resilience with couples, families and communities.
  • How to implement psychotherapeutic interventions with couples and families, For example, Conjoint Cognitive Behavior interventions with couples.
  • How to implement Psychological First Aid.
  • Implement various resilience-engendering behaviors with the elderly in six domains (Physical, Interpersonal, Emotional, Cognitive, Behavioral and Spiritual.) and conduct psychotherapy with the elderly.
  • Consider the factors that contribute to psychotherapists' stress and “burn out” and ways to bolster their resilience.
  • Explore ways to bolster resilience in the individual. collegial and organizational levels.

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for anyone who is a practising therapist in any modality and is interested in becoming a better, more effective therapist.

Existing therapists get to focus on the very core principles of psychotherapy in person-centred, strengths-based approach through a cognitive narrative approach. Bringing us all away from the various techniques and back into the HEART of therapy.

For novice therapists this diploma training programme will give you an incredible solid grounding in the very essence of psychotherapy and what really makes the difference in terms of expertise and getting better outcomes for our clients. Get these elements on track right at the very beginning of your journey as a therapist and you will be starting in the very best way.

Course materials

The key course textbook is The Evolution of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy by Donald Meichenbaum. This book is not included in the course price.

You also will receive extensive course handouts.

Dr Meichenbaum's handouts for his lectures and seminars are legendary. Each is a condensed handbook, typically between 30 to 60 pages long, filled with tips, guidance, key points extensively and fully referenced.

The handouts from his course can be regarded as the supplementary material to whole psychotherapy training programme. They are worth their weight in gold!

Download a free sample handout from the course here!
Sample handout: The Art of Questioning – Module 5

What people have to say about Donald's previous workshop

Last year we were delighted to host our first CPD workshop with Dr Meichenbaum, Treating PTSD and the Keys to Resilience. Here is what attendees had to say:

“This was one of the best CPD courses I have attended. Donald's congruence, experience and expertise were evident throughout the day. He ensured his ideas were practical and accessible and showed great generosity of spirit in providing a wealth of material as well as links to a multitude of free resources. I especially valued his emphasis on the therapeutic relationship in all forms of therapy and his own humility was very much in evidence. Thank you for an excellent day.”

― Jacqueline Hicks, Diploma in CBH trainee

“Wonderful webinar with Donald Meichenbaum, a legend in the psychotherapy field – who put the ‘C' in CBT . Engaging funny and turbo charged; cutting through the hype and promoting best practise for the benefit of practitioners and clients alike.”

― Caroline Brown, Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist,

“A fantastic learning day delivered by one of the true greats in the Psychotherapy field, Dr Donald Meichenbaum. Totally up to date with today's issues and he remains as relevant today as when he was instrumental in the birth of CBT. It was both captivating and motivating and clearly demonstrated where the College is really heading with the obvious synergy and personal alignment of the College's Principal, Mark, and Donald.”

― Clare White, Diploma in CBH trainee

Dr Donald Meichenbaum PhD

Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo, Canada


Dr Meichenbaum is literally one of the founders who put the C in CBT nearly 40 years ago. His contributions to the field of coping with stress and resilience are legendary.

In a survey of clinicians reported in the American Psychologist, he was voted  “one of the ten most influential psychotherapists of the 20th century.”

Donald Meichenbaum, Ph.D is Distinguished Professor Emeritus from the University of  Waterloo, Ontario, Canada from which he took early retirement 25 years ago.

He is presently Research Director of the Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention in Miami, Florida.

“While Ellis and Beck are often cited as the two founders of the basic clinical model of cognitive-behavioural therapy approaches, the model proposed by Meichenbaum was found to occupy the cognitive-behavioural realm with authoritativeness equal to those proposed by Ellis' REBT and Beck's cognitive therapy during the 1970s” 

Theresa Brockway


Theresa is HCPC accredited Drama Psychotherapist and Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist. Theresa offers Hypnotherapy, Creative Psychotherapy and Public Speaking Coaching to her clients and has a background in performance, touring theatre, Shakespeare and G&C.
Alongside her private practice, Theresa works as a Mental Health Specialist for the NHS and has facilitated group sessions, training and workshops for over 20 years in diverse settings.

Slee Parrish

Slee is a CBH therapist and a consultant nurse within the NHS. With the onset on Covid-19 her practice has changed to concentrate on frontline staff and the very particular anxieties, fear, and stressors they face during the pandemic. She is one half of the partnership that created – a collection of free resources put together for frontline workers during Covid-19.  

Chris People


Chris launched his practice in 2017 alongside a sister initiative, The Resilience Project Brighton, with the intention of improving access to evidence-based therapy and resilience coaching in Sussex and beyond. His main therapeutic interests are in addressing those mood and motivation sticking points that can sometimes prevent us from our most valued living.
Chris has a background in environmental science and martial arts.

Course format and dates

Course 1: Getting Better Outcomes: The Core Tasks and Skills of Expert Psychotherapists

This course is comprised of ten 2-hour sessions via Zoom and ten 75 minute Review sessions.

The sessions will be made up of the recorded lectures by Dr Meichenbaum, interspersed with small group discussion and “TO DO” tasks designed by Dr Meichenbaum. Agreements to put tasks into action with clients and reporting back on results is a key focus (“Deliberate Practice”). Each interactive session has been designing in collaboration with Dr Meichenbaum.

If you can't make a date you will be able watch the video and also watch the discussion. We may setup additional catch up sessions if you miss the main session.

NOTE: This course will now start Monday January 9th

UNIT 1: Course dates

Module 1:

  • Watch & Discuss Session: Monday 9th January – 6pm-8pm
  • Review Session: Friday 13th January – 10am – 11:15am

Module 2:

  • Watch & Discuss Session: Monday 16th January – 6pm-8pm
  • Review Session: Friday 20th January – 10am-11:15am

Module 3:

  • Watch & Discuss Session: Monday 23rd January 6pm-8pm ( with Donald Meichenbaum)
  • Review Session: Friday 27th January 10am-11:15pm

Module 4:

  • Watch & Discuss Session: Monday 30th January 6pm-8pm
  • Review Session: Friday 3rd February 10am-11:15am

Module 5:

  • Watch & Discuss Session: Monday 6th February 2023 6pm-8pm
  • Review Session: Friday 10th February 2023 10am-11:15am

Module 6:

  • Watch & Discuss Session: Monday 13th February 2023 6pm-8pm (with Donald Meichenbaum)
  • Review Session: Friday 17th February 2023 10am-11:15am

Module 7:

  • Watch & Discuss Session: Monday 20th February 2023 6pm-8pm
  • Review Session: Friday 24th February 2023 10am-11:15am

Module 8:

  • Watch & Discuss Session: Monday 27th February 6pm-8pm
  • Review Session: Friday 3rd March 2023 10am-11:15am

Module 9:

  • Watch & Discuss Session: Monday 6th March 6pm-8pm (with Donald Meichenbaum)
  • Review Session: Friday 10th March 10am-11:15am

Module 10:

  • Watch & Discuss Session: Monday 13th March 6pm-8pm
  • Review Session: Friday 17th March 10am-11:15am

Frequently asked questions

Is there an assessment for this course?

Yes – this will be a mix of practical to-do tasks and a written assignment (tbc).

What happens if I miss a day of the training?

In order to receive the certificate, you will need to show you have made up the face-to-face learning hours.

Will I receive a certificate?

Yes – you will receive a certificate of completion and the overall certificate is to be confirmed.

Do I need to be a practicing therapist to attend?

No – we welcome all attendees however an understanding and interest in therapy will stand you in good stead for taking the course.

Book UNIT 1 now

The price for the course is £495
There is a 10-month payment plan option of of £56/month.

Note: there are three units in total – comprising 30 modules/lectures from Dr Meichenbaum. This is the first Unit comprising 10 modules. (The second Unit will be available to book in early January, and the third Unit in March)