Course Description


See Sections 001 for Edmonton and 002 for Calgary offerings.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has become one of the major models of psychotherapy used by professionals across various disciplines in the field of mental health. It is one of the most widely researched and evidence based models. As with many models of psychotherapy, however, CBT involves a complex set of conceptual and practical skills, which are integrated to promote optimal client health and personal change.

The 30-hour practice and skills-based Certificate program will focus on the fundamentals of CBT’s core competencies and will include assessment, case conceptualization, practical tools and techniques. The program’s primary purpose is to develop the skills of mental health professionals, which will improve their employability and enhance client outcomes. The program is intensive and experiential that includes lectures, role plays, small group exercises, homework assignments and virtual online case consultation sessions. The focus will be on integration and application of learning in daily practice. It will be delivered in a blended format with both in-class and online components.

Overall Learning Objectives:

  • Graduates will develop the ability to conduct a cognitive-behavioural assessment;
  • Graduates will learn to develop cognitive-behavioural case formulations for clients leading to treatment planning;
  • Graduates will develop fundamental skills in the provision of CBT, including both behavioural and cognitive tools;
  • Graduates will learn to work within a collaborative empirical model of treatment that provides a solid framework for practitioners and clients, as well as develop a strong therapeutic alliance with the client;
  • Graduates will learn ways to assess progress and deal with common problems that arise in CBT.

Course Details

Module 1: Beginning Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Learning Objectives—students will learn:

  • Introduction & theory;
  • To “think like a CBT therapist”, using the collaborative empirical model;
  • To conduct a CBT assessment;
  • About therapeutic alliance within CBT
  • To plan treatment through initial and ongoing case conceptualization;
  • To help clients set goals that work for them;
  • To assess progress with therapy;
  • Basic CBT skills, such as the use of structure, homework and outside session exercises.

Module 2: Conducting and Ending Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Learning Objectives—students will learn and practice:

  • Behavioural tools for change—increasing skills;
  • Behavioural tools for change—reducing avoidance;
  • Behavioural tools for change—increasing acceptance;
  • Cognitive tools for change—working with negative thought content;
  • Cognitive tools for change—working with the process of thoughts;
  • Identifying common difficulties that arise & how to deal with them;
  • Ways in which to end therapy effectively & gracefully.

Case Consultation Webinar Sessions:
Overview: All students will come prepared to discuss a client that they are currently seeing, utilizing a CBT approach. If this is not possible, participants will be required to create a scenario from their area of practice for discussion.

Learning Objectives—students will learn:

  • Application of the principles from the classes to their area of practice;
  • To provide and receive feedback from a CBT model;
  • Troubleshoot areas of difficulty with their client’s presenting concerns.


TESTIMONIALS from past participants:

  • “Absolutely excellent course. It provided me with the foundation I have been looking for since I completed my Master's Program.”
    Sarah D.
  • “Fabulous course; practical, comprehensive introduction to the world of CBTl! Dr. Deb Dobson is a compassionate, knowledgeable and highly skilled clinician/instructor. Thank you!”
    Sig T.
  • “The CBT Certificate course was just what I was looking for: a solid foundation of CBT skills and knowledge that I can use in my practice moving forward. The information was provided in a way that can be adapted to many settings and populations, with the opportunity to expand and grow along the way. Thank you.”
    Dayna L.
  • “This course has been one of the best I have ever taken ... There is so much I have been able to apply to my every day practice. If you're looking to enhance your ability to assess, conceptualize a client's problems and then actually know what steps to take next in helping them to facilitate change in their lives, then this course is for you! It has really been an incredible learning experience!”
    Cherise L.
  • “The CBT certificate program was very well presented and offered a methodology that I can use with clients immediately. The combined on-line and in class format made it possible for me to participate in the program. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to gain a thorough understanding of the process of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. “
    Maureen J.
  • “My proficiency in using cognitive behavioural therapy has improved significantly as a result of taking the CBT Fundamentals Certificate course”.
    Patrick K.
  • “Coming from a northern community, the opportunity for courses is a challenge. The way this course was structured for delivery meant that I was able to manage the course, maintain my job responsibilities and even have time to reflect and incorporate the learning. It has been a very insightful journey both personally and professionally.”
    MaryAnne O.
  • "I highly recommend this course as it is informed by theory, research evidence and Deborah Dobson's expertise and clinical practice in CBT. As an instructor, Deborah was engaging, practical, and very generous with her resources. I am excited to learn there is an opportunity to enroll in more advanced training."
    Ann RR


Admission Requirements:

  • Student is a registered member of a regulated health professions such as social work, psychology, occupational therapy, nursing, psychiatry, family medicine etc. and, practicing mental health therapy (If you are not a member of a regulated health professions but do practice in mental health and meets all other requirements, please contact us at lgalak@ucalgary.ca) ; AND
  • Student has a minimum of undergraduate degree with at least two years experience in providing mental health therapy (required).

It is expected that the participants will have prior experience in counselling and mental health. This program will not teach basics in counselling and therapy. However, this program will focus on the fundamental skills in CBT model.

For those whose previous educational degree is not attained through recognized English-medium instruction, the Faculty of Social Work’s MSW program language requirement will apply. Please click here.

NOTE: Please e-mail Lobsang at lgalak@ucalgary.ca if you have any questions/concerns about whether this program would be a good fit for you at this time.

Certificate Completion requirements:

  • in-class attendance – participants can only miss upto two hours of class out of 30 hours;
  • attend at least one online case consultation session out of two;
  • participation in experiential exercises and role-plays in class;
  • completion of two homework assignments; and
  • passing grade on the final take-home written test.

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in

Course Fees
Early Bird Field/Sessional Instructor non-credit $845.00
Early Bird General non-credit $945.00
Early Bird Student non-credit $845.00
Reading List / Textbook
Dobson, D. J. G., & Dobson K. S. (2017) Evidence-based practice of cognitive behavioral therapy - Second Edition.  NY: Guilford Press. 
You can purchase the book online from CavershamGuilford, Amazon, etc. 
Recommended Texts
Beck, J. S. (2011) Cognitive-behavior therapy: Basics and beyond. NY: Guilford Press. You can purchase the book online from Caversham, Guilford, Amazon, etc. 
Section Notes

Any Questions?
If you have any questions on the course or any difficulties in registering, please call (403) 220 2160 or (403) 220 3410 or e-mail fswcrd@ucalgary.ca.

Special Seats:

Limited Student and Field Instructors seats are available on first come first served basis.  UPDATE: Student seats are sold out and please register at EB General rate.


Module 1: Beginning Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Thursday, September 24, 2020; 8:30am - 4:30pm; Calgary
Friday, September 25, 2020; 8:30am - 4:00pm; Calgary

Case Consultation Webinar Session 1 (Attend one)
Monday, October 5, 2020; 7:00 - 8:30pm; ONLINE
Tuesday, October 6, 2020; 7:00 - 8:30pm; ONLINE

Module 2: Conducting and Ending Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Thursday, October 29, 2020; 8:30am - 4:30pm; Calgary
Friday, October 30, 2020; 8:30am - 4:00pm; Calgary

Case Consultation Webinar Session 2 (Attend one)
Monday, November 9, 2020; 7:00 - 8:30pm; ONLINE
Tuesday, November 10, 2020; 7:00 - 8:30pm; ONLINE

Note: Calgary in-class sessions are held in MacEwan Cconference and Event Centre, University of Calgary,

Deborah Dobson, PhD, R.Psych. has been a practitioner of cognitive behavioural therapy for many years. She is an Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Calgary and has a private practice in Calgary. She has worked with Addictions and Mental Health Services in the public health care system and up to 2013, was the Director of Clinical Training for the Calgary Clinical Psychology Residency Program in the Adult Sector of Alberta Health Services. She has provided training on CBT both within Canada and internationally. She is a founding member and has been the President of CACBT-ACTCC from 2014 - 15. She is a Diplomate with the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. In addition to her clinical work and training, she has published on numerous topics in CBT. In collaboration with Keith Dobson, she published Evidence based practice of cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is considered one of the most helpful overviews of CBT for mental health practitioners.

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