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Therapist drift: Why well-meaning clinicians mess up therapy (and how not to)

24 May 2017 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
This event is free and open to DCP and DCoP members only. Registration is required. See Pricing tab for more information.
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CBT has impressive effects, both in research settings and routine clinical practice. However, as with any intervention, we get the best results is we deliver CBT appropriately. 

Unfortunately, there is substantial evidence that we commonly engage in therapist drift - failing to deliver the therapy accurately, omitting key elements from the evidence-based protocols and relying on our clinical judgement instead.

The result is that our patients are less likely to benefit from treatment, and we become more pessimistic about our therapeutic abilities or (more often) the patient's suitability for treatment.

This intervention will outline the evidence that we drift from best practice in delivering CBT and will consider the reasons why, including the role of our own cognitive, emotional, interpersonal and behavioural features.

It will also address the ways in which we can reduce our drift, using CBT principles, and aim to ensure that our patients have the best chance of recovery.

Please see the programme tab for further information

Medical Education Training Centre,
Kirklands Hospital,
Fallside Road,
G71 8BB

Event Location: 

Learning objectives

  1. Identify the differences between the outcomes that therapists could achieve in therapy and the outcomes that we do achieve
  2. Identify patterns of therapist drift in CBT
  3. Be able to understand reasons why we drift from evidence-based approaches to CBT
  4. Determine how to overcome the tendency to drift from best practice in therapy and supervision


Glenn Waller is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Sheffield. He has a long history of working within a CBT framework. He has published widely in the field, and has authored over 260 peer-reviewed papers, two books, and over 20 book chapters.

He is widely experienced in teaching, training and conference presentations and is co-chair of the BABCP Scientific Committee, organising the annual BABCP conferences.

He is also a member of the NICE Eating Disorders Guideline Development Group. His length of clinical experience means that he has made every error in the CBT playbook over the years, and he would like to help others not to make the mistakes that he has.


Who can attend?

This event is free and open to members of the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) and Division of Counselling Psychology (DCoP) only.

To join the Division please follow link:

Registration information 

Clicking on the register button will take you to the BPS online Shop - please sign in using your usual BPS membership number and password.

Once you have signed in, click on this event to register and you should be able to complete the form and add to basket.


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