CBT Interventions: The SPIRIT Training Course

Recently, due to important policy changes, there has been a significant increase in the demand for psychologists specializing in CBT in the United Kingdom.   As a result, specialists have been stressing the importance of various teaching approaches in CBT, such as workbooks or courses, to enable more professionals to practice CBT. In a recent study, the Structured Psychosocial InteRventions in Teams (SPIRIT) course, which is a university accredited program consisting of 38.5 hours of workshops and 5 hours of clinical supervision, was utilized to train professionals in CBT.

17 Mental Health Teams, consisting of 267 professionals from mental health fields in Glasgow were recruited to participate in this study.  These clinicians completed the SPIRIT course, in which they learned how to build relationships with their patients and modify the distorted thinking of their patients through various problem solving activities. Participants were given a subjective skill test, subjective knowledge test, and objective skill test three separate times: before the intervention, immediately following the intervention, and 3 months after the intervention.

The results demonstrated that the SPIRIT course was effective in teaching professionals CBT. The baseline scores on the subjective skill test, subjective knowledge test, and objective skill test all significantly increased after the SPIRIT training program.  In addition, the scores on each test after the intervention and the scores on each test 3 months after the intervention remained constant. This implies that the participants were still able to utilize the knowledge they had learned from the intervention 3 months after their training. Future research is still necessary to investigate whether patients are benefiting in therapy sessions from techniques learned in the SPIRIT course.

Williams, C., Martinez, R., Dafters, R., Ronald, L., & Garland, A. (2011). Training the wider workforce in cognitive behavioural self-help: The SPIRIT (structured psychosocial inteRventions in teams) training course. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy.