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Monday, 4 November 2013

Launch! The Core Program Online Course for Clinicians


For the past number of months we have been developing a 13-hour course for mental health professionals on how to treat depression in a group format.

This course has now launched and is available online here, along with all of the documents required to run a group. Here’s the preview video:



About the Protocol

The Core Program was developed at UBC Hospital in Vancouver Canada. Originally restricted to patients who had previously been hospitalized for major depressive disorder, it was designed to enhance self-care using cognitive behavioural principles.

The contents include:

  • An orientation to the CBT model, including an acceptance-based approach to difficult emotion.
  • Behavioural activation strategies, to be introduced in Session One and forming a major part of every session thereafter.
  • Psychoeducation about the nature of depression and the nature of stress.
  • Lifestyle management strategies, including specific recommendations in areas including diet, sleep hygiene, exercise, and enjoyable activity.
  • Cognitive material, including demonstrations of outside-awareness cognition, common forms of distorted thinking, and cognitive traps associated with both rising and falling moods.
  • Cognitive change strategies, including awareness, cognitive challenging, and a set of worry management strategies.
  • Social life enhancement, including strategies to build and deepen a social network, and core concepts regarding assertive communication.
  • Relapse prevention strategies including planning for future stressful periods, identifying risks for backsliding, and developing strategies for dealing with relapse should it occur.

Growth of the Program 

Our mandate was to implement the program on-site, then enable other mental health agencies to offer it in their own communities. The plan was to have it operating in three other communities in British Columbia. Once it had been instituted in over 50 communities we began to lose count.

The two-day training program has now been offered in communities across Canada and Australia, as well as in Hong Kong. Groups based on the model have been offered in China, the United Kingdom, the United States, and in South America.

The program has been translated into Arabic, Farsi, and Spanish, and an earlier edition is available in Chinese (traditional and simplified character sets).

Much of the material was also simplified and incorporated into a self-guided manual, The Antidepressant Skills Workbook, designed for family physicians to offer to patients newly diagnosed with depression.

Online Course Contents

The online course offers over 50 short lectures, most of them 5 to 20 minutes long to enable users to access the material they need in a brief and accessible format.

As well, a variety of ancillary documents are supplied in three different formats: US spelling on USLetter, Imperial spelling on USLetter (for Canada), and Imperial spelling on A4 (for other countries).

  • A complete set of slide handouts in both 3-per-page and 6-per-page format, totaling over 500 slides in all.
  • The complete 94-page Participant Manual designed to be distributed to clients – manual designed to work also as a set of separate handouts for use in individual therapy. This manual may be printed and reproduced for clients.
  • The 226-page Clinician’s Guide, with complete teaching instructions, in-session exercise ideas, and a Quick Reference composed of “cheat sheets” that the clinician can take into session as reminders.
  • A set of additional documents including goal-setting forms, cognitive challenging sheets, feedback forms, and an attendance form.
  • Free access to the Farsi, Arabic, and Spanish translations of the manual, and to the Antidepressant Skills Workbook (the latter of which is available to anyone online at no charge).

These materials (without the slide handouts) are also available for sale in digital ($55) or print ($90) format from the Changeways Store.

Group Rates

Group practices, employee assistance firms, HMOs, public agencies, and health regions may wish to purchase multiple spaces for their own employees. We are able to arrange discounts for groups of more than 5, with steadily greater discounts for groups of over 10, 25, 50, 100, and 400 employees. To discuss the program or arrange a group discount, simply contact us.

The PsychologySalon Discount

Take 25% off the standard course fee simply for accessing the course through PsychologySalon.  The coupon code for the discount is “core2.” Here’s the link to the course.

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