The University of Canterbury (UC) is launching two new qualifications in ‘gold standard’, evidence-based,
psychologically informed, talking therapy – the Postgraduate Certificate in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and the
Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
Based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are interconnected, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
has proven effective in treating mental health problems, including anxiety, depression and substance-use problems.
UC is the only tertiary institution in the South Island to offer the CBT programmes, the development of which was led by award-winning educator
Professor Eileen Britt
A strong need for increased access to talking-based therapies at the primary care level, and in non-governmental
organisations, was identified in the 2018 Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction. The report showed one in
five people in Aotearoa New Zealand experienced mental illness or significant mental distress, the latter including an
increasing number of children and young people.
“What we think about ourselves, other people and the world affects how we feel,” Professor Britt says. “CBT aims to
assist people to change how they think, so they can change how they feel and behave.”
Delivered by UC’s School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing | Te Kura Mahi ā-Hirikapo
from 2021, the postgraduate degrees have a strong emphasis on addressing Māori and Pasifika mental health and wellness,
with kaupapa Māori integrated into both programmes.
The qualifications will appeal to professionals who are currently working in clinical health-related areas and want to
upskill or add to their existing skill set.
Increased access to CBT will lead to improved outcomes for affected people, their whānau and wider communities and for
Professor Britt, this is the importance of the CBT programme.
“[It] will develop practitioners who are able to provide these therapies early to people who, under the current
threshold for specialist services, might not get access to treatment,” she says.
Applications close 30 November 2020. For more information see the CBT website
or email firstname.lastname@example.org