• University of Reading

Understanding Anxiety, Depression and CBT

Improve your understanding of depression and anxiety and find out more about an effective and evidence-based treatment: CBT.

153,622 enrolled on this course

Anxiety and depression are terms discussed widely, in different media and amongst family and friends. But what do those labels actually mean?

On this five-week course from the University of Reading, you will explore what it means to have anxiety or depression and how they are identified. The course will also demonstrate the leading evidence-based treatment–Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

It’s important to emphasise that this course is not intended to be a self-help treatment for anyone experiencing anxiety or depression, nor can it be used to formally diagnose yourself or anyone else.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds Hello, and welcome to this online course in understanding cognitive behaviour therapy, anxiety, and depression. My name is Shirley Reynolds. I’m Director of the Charlie Waller Institute here at the University of Reading. The course is really aimed for a very wide audience. So this includes people who might want to seek therapy for themselves, their family and friends, or professionals who are interested in learning a little bit more about CBT and how it works. It’s important to say at this point, though, that this is not a substitute for professional therapy. Over the next five weeks, we’re going to examine what cognitive behaviour therapy is, how it works, and most importantly, how it helps people with anxiety and depression.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 seconds And we’re also going to meet some therapists and their clients who are going to tell us about their experiences of CBT. We look forward to welcoming you.

What topics will you cover?

  • Week 1 provides an introduction to how we perceive the world around us and how this relates to the Cognitive Behavioural approach to anxiety and depression. It explores how CBT can be delivered and the types of difficulties it can help.
  • Week 2 looks at depression within a CBT framework, exploring what depression is (and is not) as well as highlighting commonly held myths and stereotypes around depression.
  • Week 3 explores anxiety within a CBT framework. It covers the function and positive role of ‘normal’ anxiety exploring the difference between ‘normal’ anxiety and anxiety disorders.
  • Week 4 focuses on how behaviour changes in anxiety and depression, how these changes can maintain difficulties and how CBT techniques are used in therapy to address them.
  • Week 5 focuses on ‘cognitions’ or thoughts; specifically the types of thoughts which commonly occur in anxiety and depression, how they maintain difficulties and what CBT techniques are used in therapy to address them.

Who is this accredited by?

Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of General Practitioners:

This course has been approved for distance-learning continuing professional development (CPD) by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the key signs and symptoms of depression and identify how a depressive disorder differs from simply feeling low or down.
  • Describe how a depressive disorder is diagnosed and identify an appropriate assessment tool.
  • Describe the key signs and symptoms of the most frequently occurring anxiety disorders and identify how anxiety disorders differ from simply feeling worried or nervous.
  • Describe how anxiety disorders are diagnosed and identify an appropriate assessment tool.
  • Identify the most common stereotypes surrounding anxiety and depression and evaluate them on the basis of current knowledge.
  • Describe how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be delivered and identify the types of difficulties that it can help with.
  • Summarise how what we know about perception (making sense of the world around us) can help us to understand the CBT approach better.
  • Identify the key components of a Cognitive Behavioural approach to understanding anxiety and depression.
  • Describe how specific kinds of behaviours and thought pattern can maintain difficulties in anxiety and depression and identify key CBT techniques which are used to address these in therapy.

Who is the course for?

This beginner’s course is aimed at anyone with an interest in mental illness generally, and anxiety and depression in particular. This may include:

• those who are currently experiencing or have previously experienced emotional difficulties,

• family and friends of those who are experiencing emotional difficulties,

• primary (or other) healthcare professionals who have a frontline role in detecting mental health difficulties and offering appropriate support and guidance to those affected.

What do people say about this course?

""This course has shown evidence of the effectiveness of CBT and has been useful in explaining the difference between the methods used for the different disorders. The reason I started this course was to try to help myself understand why I feel the way I do when I am in the grip of anxiety or a low mood period. The course has improved the knowledge I already had and has provided hope for the future that things won't be so bad as I have methods and ways of helping myself to tackle the negative thoughts and facing fears. Thank You to the course organisers and contributors for all the knowledge, information and support given/shared throughout.""

Who will you learn with?

I head up a number of educational outreach projects and am interested in spreading knowledge about evidence-based therapies for common mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression.

I am a psychologist conducting research on anxiety and depression in young people. My work focuses on how young people develop mental health problems, and how we can prevent or treat them.

I'm a clinical psychologist. Most of my work has been research on depression and anxiety and how to improve treatments. We need to make effective treatment available to everyone @DrS_Reynolds

Who developed the course?

University of Reading

The University of Reading has a reputation for excellence in teaching, research and enterprise.

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