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Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy that highlights the importance of how people learn, think and interpret their circumstances. CBT uses a range of techniques to help modify unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It is client focused, time-limited and relies on development of collaborative therapeutic alliance.

There are a range of evidence–based CBT group and individual interventions this Framework refers to that can help consumers make changes that are important to them. Basic interventions include mood and thought rating and education about physiological arousal, more advanced skills may include understanding cognitive biases and safety behaviours and more complex therapy interventions would involve a complete CBT program tailored for a specific consumer.

About the CBT Framework

MSAMHS supports the use of CBT interventions, supervision and training. The Connecting Care to Recovery 2016-2021 Plan clearly emphasizes the need for evidence-based therapies being available to all consumers. Clinical guidelines such as Australian and New Zealand clinical practice guidelines, NICE guidelines and National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health promote the use of CBT being routinely available for presentations involving anxiety, depression, panic, phobias, stress, bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and psychosis.

While CBT is not the only therapy available to consumers at MSAMHS, it is seen as one that has been widely researched, has a large evidence base, has demonstrated effectiveness transdiagnostically and has shown long lasting benefits when consumers continue to use strategies following care.

This CBT Capability Framework assists staff to be aware of and incorporate into regular practice CBT principles according to their capability and scope of practice.  The Framework provides staff with a greater awareness of CBT and its application for working with individuals with mental health issues and/or addictions, along with capabilities to identify, refer, support, educate and provide care to individuals in an inclusive, recovery-focussed and non-judgemental way.


We would like to acknowledge and thank the many staff from steering groups, focus groups and working groups who offered their time and expertise to provide consultation on the Therapy Capability Frameworks. We appreciate the level of experience and effort that went into the recommendations as their contributions have made these documents more robust, inclusive and meaningful.  All contributors are listed by name in the Close Report presented to the project sponsor, the Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Branch (MHAODB). We would also like to express our appreciation for the funding contributed by MHAODB to enable the completion of this phase of the Therapy Capability Framework project.

Co-Authors of this document (listed alphabetically):

  • Erin Bell – Team Leader, PAH Community Wellbeing Program, MSAMHS 
  • Sarah Craig – Senior Psychologist, Workforce Development Officer, MSAMHS
  • Geoff Lau – Director, Therapies and Allied Health, MSAMS
  • Michael Simpson – Clinical Nurse, Early Psychosis, MSAMHS
  • Victoria Gore-Jones – Advanced Psychologist, Early Psychosis, MSAMHS
  • Alan Gude – Team Leader, LADDERS, MSAMHS

Additional specialist contributors: Michelle Combo (Team Leader, Way Forward, MSAMHS), Elizabeth Truong (Manager, QTMHC), and Renee Lee (Rehab Therapy Aide, Alternatives to Admission, MSAMHS)

Last updated 4 November 2021
Last reviewed 4 November 2021