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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : Clinical Psychology

Postgraduate Course: Online Therapy Skills for Mental Health Practitioners (CLPS11085)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will provide students with the skills, confidence and knowledge to transform their therapeutic practice to online delivery. The course will cover the practical issues to consider when establishing online practice, the ethical issues that must be appraised, and the therapeutic adaptations required to maintain engagement and practice effectively.
Course description This course will provide students with the skills, confidence and knowledge to translate their practice to online delivery

The course will cover types of online therapy delivery, the evidence base supporting the effectiveness of online delivery for various models and populations, the benefits and risks of online delivery and recent developments. Modules will include:

Getting started safely
Technical and Practical Issues and requirements
Risk, Safety and Ethics
Boundaries and limitations of online psychological therapy practice,
Developing strategies to manage risk

The course will cover adapting and delivering psychological therapy skills online, including establishing rapport and professional self-presentation, maintaining engagement & managing mis-attunement,

Students will be taught how to evaluate their online practice. Both 1:1 and group work will be covered, and a range of ages and types of presentation will be used to illustrate the principles.

Students will learn through a series of expert led seminars, discussion of complex situations, reflection on principles, small group work and experiential skills practice. Assessment will be via demonstrating (via recording) competent delivery of therapeutic skills and understanding /reflection in the online environment, as well as a critically evaluated case study.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2021/22, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 17/01/2022
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assignment 1: Case-based scenario assignment (2500 words) 60%

Assignment 2: Reflective essay exploring the process and experience of (a simulation of) online therapy (1500 words) 40%
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will demonstrate a critical understanding of how to translate delivery of psychological therapies including assessment, formulation and treatment to an online context.
  2. Students will have a clear understanding of the principles and practicalities of creating an appropriate and safe online therapeutic space that meets the needs of client and therapist.
  3. Students will have a critical understanding of the principles and applications of risk management, safety and ethics relevant to online delivery of therapeutic practice.
  4. Students will be able to critically reflect on the experience of online therapy for the client, therapist and supervisor.
  5. Students will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of the evidence of effectiveness of online therapies.
Reading List
Kuester, A., Niemeyer, H. & Knaevelsrud, C. (2016). Internet-based interventions for posttraumatic stress: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clinical Psychology review, 43, 1-16.

Newby, J. M., Mewton, L., Williams, A. D. & Andrews, G. (2014). Effectiveness of transdiagnostic internet cognitive behavioural treatment for mixed anxiety and depression in primary care. Journal of affective disorders, 165, 45-52.

Pugh, N. E., Hadjistavropoulos, H. D., Klein, B. & Austin, D..(2014). A Case Study Illustrating Therapist-Assisted Internet Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Depression. Cognitive and Behavioural Practice, 21, 64-77.

Rooksby, M., Elouafkaoui, P., Humphris, G., Clarkson, J. & Freeman, R. (2015). Internet-assisted delivery of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for childhood anxiety: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 29, 83-92.

Santilhano, M. (2019). Online intervention to reduce pediatric anxiety:An evidence┬┐based review. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Nurs., 32, 197-209.

Shim, M., Mahaffey, B.,, Bleidistel, M. & Gonzalez, A. (2017). A scoping review of human-support factors in the context of Internet-based psychological interventions (IPIs) for depression and anxiety disorders. Clinical review, 57, 129-140.

Stefanopoulou, E., Lewis, D., Taylor, M., Broscombe, J., Ahmad, J. & Larkin, J. (2018). Are Digitally Delivered Psychological Interventions for Depression the Way Forward? A Review. Psychiatric Quarterly, 89, 779-794. DOI:

Stefanopoulou, E., Lewis, D., Taylor, M., Broscombe, J. & Larkin, J. (2019). Digitally delivered psychological interventions for anxiety disorders: a comprehensive review. Psychiatric Quarterly, 90, 197-215. DOI: htttps://

Stjerneklara,S., Hougaarda, E., Nielsenb, A., Gaardsviga, M. M. & Thastuma, M. (2018). Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy for adolescents with anxiety disorders: A feasibility study. Internet Interventions, 11, 30-40.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will support students to:

Think creatively how to adapt psychological therapy for online delivery
Be aware of potential consequences of remote delivery on the therapeutic relationship and client's engagement with the therapy
Learn key skills and be aware of potential pitfalls to prevent any issues that remote delivery of therapy may make more likely (e.g. asking more questions to get client's feedback when observing the client remotely lets the therapist potentially miss observational cues)
Take into account client's individual (home) circumstances that may affect delivery of remote psychological therapy
Be able to work professionally, applying the appropriate legal and ethical standards that address all aspects of remote working
KeywordsOnline therapy,Remote psychological therapy,telehealth
Course organiserDr Rachel Happer
Tel: (0131 6)50 4351
Course secretaryMrs Clara Shaw
Tel: (0131 6)51 3970
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