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Promoting Excellence In Psychological Health & Wellbeing

The best therapists are always learning

31 Mar

How to boost your cognitive therapy skills with free online resources

When it comes to psychological therapy, there is always more to learn

I remember the feeling I had when I first qualified 15 years ago.  Initially excited to start my first job as a CBT therapist, as I sat in my office panic set over me. I had a large number of people to treat that week, all with varying presenting problems.  Working in a busy clinical service I had little time on my hands, and it suddenly hit me much I still had to learn.  In between sessions I sat surrounded by printed copies of my teaching handouts and various dog-eared CBT books.  I longed to return to my training days and absorb everything all over again.  To re-watch the therapy demonstrations I had seen, now with more experienced eyes, and the people I was about to treat in mind.  I had made an important discovery, that psychological therapists turn out to be human beings: we quickly forget, and when we do, we naturally drift. 

Everything you need anytime you like

Thankfully the internet has revolutionised our working practice.  Nowadays, whether we are in clinic, travelling, or at home, we have many resources at our fingertips.  I, along with 18,000 professionals in over 145 countries have now signed up to the free website developed by David Clark, Anke Ehlers and team at the Oxford Centre for Anxiety Disorder and Trauma.  The OxCADAT resources site offers free cognitive therapy training materials for evidence-based treatments recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for PTSD, Social Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder.  Once registered, clinicians can access the site anywhere, anytime, including a library of:

  • 60+ roleplay videos
  • Clinical workshops
  • Webinars
  • Treatment manuals
  • Therapy measures & other resources

Videos can be viewed with subtitles and many have been translated into other languages.

Boost therapy competence in 5 minutes

In the process of developing the website our team has seen these materials many times.  Despite this, many of us, myself included, still frequently access short role-play videos to help us answer questions in supervision, or before trying a technique we have not used for some-time.  Watching five-minutes of a technique being role played immediately prior to trying it in a session, can be super-helpful. In fact, the most watched video on the site shows David Clark mapping out a cognitive model of social anxiety in a first treatment session. Clinicians say - and my experience bears this out - that repeatedly watching these brief roleplays leads to deeper skills development. 

The impact of COVID-19: Helping therapists adapt to a changing world

As we all know, COVID-19 has changed everything, including the way in which we deliver treatment.  As psychological therapies services have had to quickly adapt to remote delivery, the OxCADAT team have continued to add new materials to meet these changing needs. This has included clinical guidance, teaching and role play videos on how to deliver treatment remotely that have been popular worldwide. 

Over this past year, I have often thought about those of us who are training or have newly qualified during the pandemic.  Remembering how full of panic I felt after qualifying all those years ago, I am not sure how well I would have coped in the same situation. However, I know that having access to such rich resources would have boosted my confidence and competence and helped keep me on track. Afterall, the most important thing I have learnt from working at OxCADAT over these years, is that when it comes to this profession there is always more to learn. Thankfully the availability of these free training materials means that there is now also the means to keep learning, at a time and place that suits us all.

Sign up for free at and join the worldwide community of clinicians giving their therapy skills a boost.

Dr Emma Warnock-Parkes

Clinical Psychologist, University of Oxford

Quotes from others on using the website:

 “Thankyou OxCADAT, i have just assessed a lady with post traumatic bereavement and your video on loss has helped to clarify and simplify a lot of the complexity she presents with, especially around her sense of changed sense of self. Thankyou for the warmth you convey in the video, i am sure i will keep coming back to this video and the other wonderful and helpful videos on this site.”  JA


Please share how your work aligns to the National Psychological Professions Vision and commitments through social media @se_ppn #PsychologicalProfessionalsIntoAction and invite your colleagues to join the PPN here.

We’d love to explore how we can showcase your work and make our Vision a reality. Please get in touch or submit any blogs for our website at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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