In advance of the EABCT Annual Congress we are holding a series of online half-day workshops to promote the congress.

Each workshop is run by a member(s) of the EABCT2021 Congress Scientific Committee and will provide an excellent training opportunity. The online workshops are live and interactive. Delegates will receive a certificate of attendance (3 hours) to contribute towards your continued professional development

The Online Workshops run from 9.30am until 12.30pm GMT

The registration fee for each workshop is £35 (40EUR equiv) and there is a reduced rate if you choose to book more than one workshop.


8th April 2021 

New approaches to trauma and complex grief.

Michael Duffy, Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland  and
Jennifer Wild, University of Oxford, UK

Around 5.1 million people die in Europe every year, leaving behind many close loved ones.  Research reveals that approximately 7 to 14% of bereaved people will struggle to adapt to their loss, resulting in 357,000 to 714,000 new cases of persistent complex grief disorder.  In this workshop, we will present how to apply trauma-focused techniques for PTSD to complex grief and how to adapt them to treat loss-related memories, linked images and appraisals.

Complex grief is relatively common and we are likely to see more cases during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.  This workshop will sharpen your CBT skills for complex grief and give you translatable skills for working with imagery relevant to other disorders.

Key learning objectives:

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • You will learn how to distinguish complex grief from PTSD
  • How to work with triggers, memories, linked images, appraisals and common maintaining strategies (e.g., rumination) associated with complex grief
  • How to transform distressing loss imagery
  • How to transform worst loss moments with imagery

Dr Michael Duffy a is a Cognitive Psychotherapist specialising in PTSD and complex grief and Director of the Specialist MSc (Trauma) in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at Queen’s University Belfast. He is a research advisor to the Northern Ireland Regional Trauma Network and member of the UK Trauma Council. He was team leader of the Trauma team after the Omagh bombing in 1998 and later at the Northern Ireland Centre for Trauma (NICTT) and published several studies on the psychological effects of large scale traumatic events. He has contributed to many workshops on PTSD after traumatic incidents including: 2004, New York the 9/11 Twin Towers attack; 2005, 7/11 London bombings; 2012 Oslo bombing and Utoya Island shootings; 2017, the Manchester Concert bomb. His main research area is on PTSD and evidence-based psychological interventions and has contributed to a BBC NI documentary on PTSD in 2020. Currently his research is on PTSD with children who have been maltreated or abused and cognitive therapy for complex grief.

Dr Jennifer Wild is a consultant clinical psychologist, associate professor and NIHR Oxford Health BRC Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford.  Her area of expertise is in developing and evaluating evidence-based interventions for improving resilience to stress, including PTSD and complex grief.  Dr Wild has worked in an advisory role to the Cabinet Office on best practice for developing preventative interventions for individuals, such as emergency responders, who will be regularly exposed to trauma. She has over 70 publications, including book chapters, and a recently published a popular science book on resilience:  Be Extraordinary:  7 Key Skills to Transform Your Life from Ordinary to Extraordinary.  Dr Wild regularly appears in the media giving advice rooted in science on how to overcome trauma-related difficulties.

Key references

Duffy, M. & Wild, J. (2017). A cognitive approach to persistent complex
bereavement disorder. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, Special Issue, 1-19.
Smith, K.V., Wild, J., & Ehlers, A. (2020)  The Masking of Mourning: Social disconnection and its relationship to psychological distress after loss. Clinical Psychological Science.

18th May

Worriers as warriors: CBT strategies for helping young worriers.

Charlotte Wilson, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Most children worry some of the time and some children worry a lot of the time.  Although the aim of worry is often to solve a problem often worry persists and problem solving is unsuccessful.   Worry is ‘sticky’, repetitive, negative and distressing.   Persist worry that interferes with everyday life is also the defining characteristic of Generalised Anxiety Disorder, a debilitating disorder experienced by approximately 1 in 25 (4%) children and young people under 18 years.

Worry is a cognitive process which in adults is generally language based.  In children worry emerges from approximately the very early school years and is associated with cognitive and language development and the ability to anticipate and evaluate the future.

When we explore cognitive-behavioural factors that are important in adult GAD we find that they look very similar in adolescents. However, in younger children that might not be the case. Children as young as six years old can certainly express positive and negative beliefs about worry, but only by adolescence do they relate to worry in the processes we see in adults.

Worry in adolescents and adults are maintained by cognitive factors including beliefs about worry such as “Worrying will help me figure out a solution”, “If I worry about the future it shows that I’m being responsible” and intolerance of uncertainty. They are also likely maintained by avoidance of internal experiences. These cognitive and behavioural factors can be reinforced or challenged by parents, often inadvertently.

The best treatments for GAD in adults are cognitive-behavioural, with effective interventions including a focus on meta-cognitive beliefs, intolerance of uncertainty and avoidance of certain thoughts and feelings. In children CBT often focuses more generally on challenging negative automatic thoughts, addressing avoidance, and increasing problem solving ability. This workshop will explore additional strategies that can be used in younger populations to enhance the effectiveness of CBT for worried children.

The workshop will focus on three key areas

  1. Key CBT strategies for helping anxious children
  2. Meta-cognitive strategies for helping worried children
  3. Involving parents for maximum effectiveness

This workshop will help CBT therapists to identify and understand worry in children and adolescents and to appreciate how it interferes with well-being and functioning.   They will be able to explain the impact and experience of childhood worry to adults who support children and young people, e.g. parents and teachers.  At the end of the workshop clinicians will know how to assess worry in children and young people and understand how to adapt psychological interventions for worry so that they can be used by children and adolescents. The workshop will help therapists include parents appropriately and how to work with children when this isn’t possible.

Charlotte Wilson is a clinical psychologist and assistant professor in clinical psychology at the University of Dublin, Trinity College.

Key learning objectives:

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the epidemiology of worry in children and adolescents
  2. Help parents understand why children worry and ways to help manage this
  3. Critically evaluate measures of childhood worry
  4. Formulate childhood worry and identify key treatment strategies
  5. Adapt treatment for worry to children’s developmental stage

Key references

Wilson, C. Understanding Children’s Worry (2020). Routledge.

Esbjorn B. et al. (2015). Adapting Metacognitive Therapy to Children with Generalised Anxiety Disorder: Suggestions for a Manual. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 45, 159-166.

Payne S. et al. (2011). A pilot investigation of cognitive therapy for generalized anxiety disorder in children aged 7-17 years. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 35, 171-178

9th June

Addiction: a motivational problem with a cognitive solution.

Frank Ryan, Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, Centre for Mental Health Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London   

The Workshop content is derived primarily from cognitive neuroscience findings showing that addiction is a motivational problem with a cognitive solution. Addiction is maintained by changes in core cognitive processes such as selective attention, reward processing and decision-making. These processes are driven and sustained by the large and initially unexpected rewards associated with drug use and wins in, for example, gambling and gaming. In combination, these processes contribute to the persistence of addictive behaviour in the face of known negative impacts on health and wellbeing and in the face of repeated efforts to stop. Cognitive behavioural approaches should therefore aim to modify these core processes in pursuit of enhanced outcomes.  The Workshop should be relevant to both specialist substance misuse practitioners as well as those who encounter drug and alcohol problems in generic mental health or primary care settings.   The therapeutic framework termed CHANGE (Change Habits and Negative Generation of Emotion), places the development of impulse control or habit management strategies at the centre of the therapeutic intervention. Accordingly, interventions that augment cognitive control processes such as selective attention and working memory are likely to enhance outcomes.  The programme is organised into four sequential stages known as the “Four M s”:

  • Motivation and engagement;
  • Manage impulses and craving;
  • Mood management;
  • Maintenance and relapse prevention

Each of these stages requires tailored intervention strategies reliant on the therapist deploying specific competencies.  Throughout, particular emphasis is placed on the importance of a robust therapeutic alliance based on a clear conceptualisation of the psychology of addictive behaviour drawing on both tried and tested and emergent cognitive neuroscience paradigms.

Key learning objectives:

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Pursue process-based approach to assessment and intervention with addictive disorders and co-occurring problems;
  • Enable clients to practice and deploy strategies designed to enhance motivation and cognitive control;
  • Identify key outcome variables and how to measure them.

Frank Ryan studied applied psychology at University College Cork and then trained as a clinical psychologist at Edinburgh University. He practices as a cognitive behaviour therapist with a special interest in addiction and co-occurring disorders. He is currently Chair of the Addiction Faculty of the British Psychological Society.    The focus of his research is behavioural and cognitive processes in addiction, motivation and self-regulation.

Key references

Ryan, F., Skandali, N., eds. (2016). Reward Processing in Motivational and Affective

Disorders. Lausanne: Frontiers Media. doi: 10.3389/978-2-88919-986-0

Ryan, F. (2013). Cognitive therapy for addiction: Motivation and change. John Wiley & Sons.

Sussman, S. (2017). Substance and behavioral addictions: Concepts, causes, and cures. Cambridge University Press.