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Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with Young People


Entry requirements

  • Only open to Master students in the specialisation Child and Adolescent Psychology and research master’s students in the track Developmental Psychology

  • Completion of the course is necessary to start with the CBT+ component of the Internal Practical Internship.


The lecture series promotes students’ knowledge of key components of CBT with young people, especially the process of conducting cognitive therapy. The corresponding workgroup sessions (maximum 12 students per group) make use of demonstrations, supervised skills practice, and discussion, to promote students’ acquisition of the CBT skills presented during the lectures. Some workgroups are mixed, fostering an educational environment in which Dutch and International students can also learn from each other. In between the workgroup sessions, students conduct meetings with an adolescent to gain additional practice of the skills (students are expected to find a suitable young person with whom they can practice the skills; relevant information is provided on Blackboard prior to commencement of the course). Students prepare for the meetings with the adolescent via the preparation of theoretical assignments. They reflect upon their use of CBT skills via the preparation of practical assignments and during discussion in the workgroup sessions. Throughout the course emphasis is placed upon recent literature addressing both the theory and practice of CBT.

Course objectives

On completion of this course it is expected that students will be able to: 1. Describe the cognitive-behavioural model of behaviour change; 2. Explain how and why cognitive and behavioural interventions are applied in a developmentally-sensitive way with young people; 3. Specify 4 main targets of assessment in cognitive therapy; 4. Specify at least 10 methods to detect young people’s cognitions; 5. Specify at least 4 factors used to determine which cognition to modify; 6. Specify at least 5 methods for modifying the unhelpful cognition of young people; 7. Build a working relationship with a young person; 8. Help a young person understand what cognitive therapy is and how it works; 9. Engage an adolescent in the collaborative detection of helpful and unhelpful cognition; 10. Engage an adolescent in the collaborative modification of unhelpful cognition; 11. Engage an adolescent in the practice of helpful cognition; and 12. Synthesize scientific and practical literature (relevant for both scientists and practitioners)..


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable


NOTE As of the academic year 2021-2022, you must register for all courses in uSis.
You do this twice a year: once for the courses you want to take in semester 1 and once for the courses you want to take in semester 2.
Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from early August. Registration for courses in the first semester is possible from December. The exact date on which the registration starts will be published on the website of the Student Service Center (SSC)

By registering for a course you are also automatically registered for the Brightspace module. Anyone who is not registered for a course therefore does not have access to the Brightspace module and cannot participate in the first sit of the exam of that course.
Also read the complete registration procedure

Mode of instruction

  • 6 2-hour lectures introducing the theory and principles of cognitive-behaviour therapy with young people.

  • 6 3-hour work group sessions facilitating training in the application of cognitive and behavioural techniques.

The total work load of the course is:

  • 12 hours lectures

  • 18 hours workgroup sessions

  • 30 hours preparation for lectures and workgroup sessions

  • 5 hours meetings with a young person

  • 10 hours preparing for meetings with a young person

  • 65 hours assignments

Assessment method

The Course Objectives are assessed via theory assignments (Objectives 1, 2, and 12) and practical assignments (Objectives 7 to 11). Familiarity with the targets and methods for cognitive therapy with young people is achieved in the workgroups (Objectives 3 to 6).

  • 9 work group assignments (5 practical and 4 theoretical assignments; 80% of final mark); the first assignment is worth 8% of the overall mark for the course; the other eight assignments are each worth 9% of the overall mark for the course.

  • Active participation in work group sessions (20% of final mark)

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list


  • Graham, P.J., & Reynolds, A. (2013). Cognitive behaviour therapy for children and families. (3rd ed.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Approximately one-half of the text is prescribed reading.]

Readings available via Blackboard. Exemplary literature includes:

  • Bares, C.B. (2011). Emerging metacognitive processes during childhood: Implications for intervention development with children. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 28, 291-299.

  • Bernal, G., Rivera-Medina, C. L., Cumba‐Avilés, E., Reyes‐Rodríguez, M. L., Sáez‐Santiago, E., Duarté‐Vélez, Y., . . . Rosselló, J. (2019). Can cognitive‐behavioral therapy be optimized with parent psychoeducation? A randomized effectiveness trial of adolescents with major depression in Puerto Rico. Family Process.
    doi: 10.1111/famp.12455

  • Clark, G.I., & Egan, S.J. (2015). The Socratic Method in cognitive behavioural therapy: A narrative review. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 39, 863-879.

  • Friedberg, R.D., & Brelsford, G.M. (2011). Core principles in cognitive therapy with youth. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 20, 369-378.

  • Friedberg, R.D., & Wilt, L.H. (2010). Metaphors and stories in cognitive behavioral therapy with children. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 28, 100-113.

  • Halliburton, A. E., & Cooper, L. D. (2015). Applications and adaptations of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for adolescents. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 4, 1-11.

  • Kendall, P. (2012). Child and adolescent therapy: Cognitive-behavioral procedures. London: The Guilford Press.

  • Manassis, K., Lee, T. C., Bennett, K., Zhao, X. Y., Mendlowitz, S., Duda, S., . . . Wood, J. J. (2014). Types of parental involvement in CBT with anxious youth: A preliminary meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82, 1163-1172.

  • McLachlan, N.H., Eastwood, L., & Friedberg, R.D. (2016). Socratic questions with children: Recommendations and cautionary tales. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 30, 105-119.

  • Maric, M., Heyne, D., Van Widenfelt, B. M., & Westenberg, P. M. (2011). Distorted cognitive processing in youth: The structure of negative cognitive errors and their associations with anxiety. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 35, 11-20.

  • Oud, M., de Winter, L., Vermeulen-Smit, E., Bodden, D., Nauta, M., Stone, S., . . . Stikkelbroek, Y. (2019). Effectiveness of CBT for children and adolescents with depression: A systematic review and meta-regression analysis. European Psychiatry, 57, 33-45.

  • Sauter, F., Heyne, D., & Westenberg, P. M. (2009). Cognitive behavior therapy for anxious adolescents: Developmental influences on treatment design and delivery. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 12, 310-335.

  • Shannon, J. (2012). The shyness and social anxiety workbook for teens: CBT and ACT skills to help you build social confidence. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Contact information

Dr. Anika Bexkens