Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Samutthana and UKSLTG, supported by the British Medical Association, completed its part time CBT skills development course for professionals involved in mental health care, focusing on the practice of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for common mental health problems. The 6-months course which began in February 2015 included ten weeks of lectures combining didactic and experiential teaching methods, along with twelve weeks of clinical supervision groups. 21 participants enrolled in the course – psychiatrists, teachers, special needs teachers, therapists and medical doctors – a healthy mix of people which led towards a cohesive group of CBT enthusiasts.
Lecture topics included: Basics of CBT, Assessments, CBT for Depression, CBT for Addictions, CBT for Anxiety Disorders, Mindfulness based CBT and CBT for children. The resource persons were expert volunteers from UKSLTG, local mental health professionals and some of Samutthana’s very own. Dr Lorna Fortune, Counselling Psychologist and Dorian Cole, Nurse Consultant spent 6 months with us at Samutthana and led the supervision groups (along with others when needed). These group sessions proved to be a favourite amongst the participants as it added value to the topics covered during lectures. Supervision was also an opportunity for the course participants to develop their clinical skills by bringing in individual cases for discussion. In many ways, what made this a unique course was the constant clinical supervision offered.
Participants also provided weekly feedback after each teaching session and the “CBT knowledge Questionnaire” (Myles, 2006) was administered to all participants as a pre course measure – and was carried out again at the end of the course as a post course measure. Student feedback was also constantly taken into consideration and changes were made to enhance their learning experience.
The Awards Ceremony was held on 4th July 2015 at The Steam Boat, Nawala. The Executive Director formally welcomed the 30 guests, after which the proceedings were handled by Nivendra Uduman (Senior Technical Officer). Dr Lorna Fortune gave an outline of the course summary and feedback and then the Certificates were awarded by Dr Ganesan and Dr Asiri Rodrigo. Sylvana Marjan gave the Valedictorian Speech after which everyone sat down for a delicious meal. Dr Ganesan’s excellent after dinner speech was then followed by Sepali Ranawana’s Vote of Thanks. Dorian Cole added much humour to the event with his witty and sentimental farewell address, and the Executive Director gave a brief wrap-up, bringing the formalities to a close. The after party, however, continued well into the night at the roof top lounge!
This certificate course in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy was one of a kind, not just because it was thefirst of its kind in Sri Lanka, but also because of the professional relationships created and the personal bonds made stronger during the course. We are confident that the participants will create positive impact in the lives of their clients and patients through using knowledge and skills developed during the six months spent engaging with CBT and Samutthana. Good luck to them all![/vc_column_text] [/vc_column][/vc_row]