Getting to the Simple Heart of the Complex Problem; A third wave CBT approach to working with individuals, groups and teams

This workshop introduces a simple, emotion focused, approach to making sense of mental distress. By taking seriously  the unbearable affect at the heart of any presentation to mental health or counselling services, it is possible to unpack the vicious circles that keep the individual stuck in a self defeating inner relationship. Taking the individual’s experience seriously as a starting point has proved effective in engaging people in the difficult task of challenging well worn patterns of behaviour. Working with the here and now, while naming the origins of the emotional wound in the past, this approach fits within the third wave or mindfulness based CBT paradigm - but in fact makes sense across modalities. 

The workshop draws on DBT, ACT, mindfulness for psychosis approaches. It combines a cognitive science based theoretical formulation based on the fundamental factors unifying these mindfulness based, third wave, therapies, with practical ways of working suitable for a variety of settings. The approach has been successfully trialled and evaluated in an acute mental health service since 2004. (ref Clarke & Wilson 2008, Durrant et al 2007).

Provisional timetable
09:30 Registration/tea and coffee
10:00 Workshop starts (there will be a break for lunch)
16:30 Workshop ends


This workshop is intended for practitioner psychologists – no special knowledge is required other than acquaintance with basic CBT ideas.

Learning outcomes and objectives

  • Be able to engage service users in a collaborative approach to psychological management of their distress by identifying and acknowledging the emotion behind symptomatic coping.
  • Be able to formulate their situation through a generic Third Wave CBT formulation, naming core distress and distinguishing historic and precipitating factors from maintaining cycles.
  • Be able to identify the skills the service user needs to break the cycles maintaining emotionally-driven problems.
  • Be aware of a range of behavioural and DBT informed interventions, deliverable in individual or group format designed to break the maintaining cycles.
  • Be able to engage teams in delivering this programme through training, supervision, and reflective practice.

Facilitator: Isabel Clarke CPsychol

Isabel Clarke is a consultant clinical psychologist, working in acute mental health in the NHS as psychological therapies lead in a psychiatric inpatient hospital; Woodhaven, which serves West Southampton and the New Forest. Her third wave CBT model of therapy is centred around mindfulness presented in a way that is accessible to people in crisis. She has published and organised Symposia at national and international conferences on how therapy can be delivered in the inpatient setting as well as on the psychology of spirituality. In 2001, she edited a book, Psychosis and Spirituality; Exploring the New Frontier, and has organised three conferences on this theme. Her recent book Madness, Mystery and the Survival of God (O-Books) brings together these themes in an accessible form. 

Booking information


  • Non members £90 (£75 + VAT)
  • Society members £60 (£50 + VAT)
  • DCP members £30 (£25 + VAT)

From 1st January 2013:

  • Non members £95 (£79.17 + VAT)
  • Society members £63 (£52.50 + VAT)
  • DCP members £33 (£27.50 + VAT)

How to book

Please note: online bookings will close 24 hours prior to the event. Please call +44 (0)116 2529512 for availability after this point.

To pay by cheque or request an invoice complete and return the registration form.

Please note that we are only able to accept invoice requests at least 6 weeks before the event date.

Wed, 11/09/2013 (All day)
Contact Information: 

BPS Learning Centre

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 9925
Fax: +44 (0)116 227 1314

Division of Clinical Psychology & BPS Learning Centre