To what extent are cognitive behaviour therapy competencies incorporated into clinical psychology training? A national survey of Australian universities

Tara Impala, Kim Burn, Nikolaos Kazantzis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objective: Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has demonstrated effectiveness as a therapeutic approach for various clinical disorders, but little data exist on the extent to which it is covered in accredited postgraduate clinical psychology training programs. Data were gathered regarding aspects of CBT orientation in terms of influence, content, delivery of general programs, and administration of coursework components. Method: Responses to a semi-structured interview of 28 clinical program directors of Australian accredited courses (representing 72% of accredited courses) were analysed as part of a larger project titled “Nationwide Training in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.”. Results: CBT was consistently included in training programs, but there was marked variability in the coverage of CBT competencies. Greater emphasis was placed on foundational CBT competencies (57% of programs indicating basic CBT skills were covered to a “large” or “very large extent”), in contrast to problem specific competencies (11% of programs covered to a “large” or “very large extent”). Programs with a stronger orientation towards evidence-based practice reported greater coverage of Roth and Pilling's CBT competency framework (r = 0.62, p < 0.01). Conclusion: The findings suggest that core CBT skills are covered, but there is an opportunity for these clinical training programs to enhance their coursework content to ensure that their trainees are adequately prepared to deliver CBT for different disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-414
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Psychologist
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Australian universities
  • CBT training
  • clinical training
  • cognitive behavioural therapy
  • competence
  • postgraduate training

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