Invited Pre-Congress Half Day Workshops English

Die Halbtages-Workshops finden am Mittwoch, den 17. Juli 2019 statt.
Vormittags: 09.00 – 12.30 Uhr  David Veale, Nina Heinrichs, Ulrich Stangier et al und Van den Bergh et al.
Nachmittags: 13.30 – 17.00 Uhr  Alex Copello, Michelle Craske, Rona Moss-Morris und Mehmet Sungur
For delegates booking both a morning and afternoon workshop lunch is included and the rate is equivalent to a full day workshop

Addictive Disorders

Brief Integrated Motivational Intervention for Alcohol and Cannabis use
Alex Copello, Birmingham University, UK & Emma Griffith, University of Bath, UK

Brief Integrated Motivational Intervention for Alcohol and Cannabis Use : A Cognitive/motivational Approach for People with Serious Mental Health Problems

Alex Copello, University of Birmingham, UK


It is very common for people with serious mental health problems to experience difficulties associated with the use of alcohol and/or cannabis. This can mean they are also more likely to experience a number of problems which can impact significantly on their mental health, such as repeated hospital admissions and not accessing support which could help them in their recovery. People with these challenges are also more likely to have problems with their physical health and die much earlier than those without these challenges. However, it can be very difficult for someone to reduce alcohol and/or cannabis use. An admission to a mental health hospital can provide an opportunity (a ‘teachable moment’) for people to reflect on their life and think about whether they want to make changes. This period of reflection might give staff an opportunity to talk to people about some of the benefits of reducing their alcohol/cannabis use, including benefits to their mental and physical health and to their day-to-day life. The Brief Integrated Motivational Intervention (BIMI) aims to use the ‘teachable moment’ and opportunistically respond by engaging in a motivational dialogue with those affected. It is an evidence based structured cognitive/behavioural/motivational approach developed to help people in these circumstances. It involves offering short structured conversations with staff to help people reflect on the impact of alcohol and/or cannabis use on their life and how this may affect their hopes and goals for the future.


Key learning objectives:

Participants to:

  1. Increase awareness and understanding of substance use in those with serious mental health problems,
  2. See relevance to their area of work,
  3. Learn about the Brief Integrated Motivational Intervention (BIMI), its conceptual foundations and techniques
  4. Feel more comfortable and confident about raising the issue of substance use in this group
  5. Feel confident working with motivation and helping clients to start to make connections between their substance use and mental health and
  6. Feel confident helping clients to start to make changes if they feel ready to.


Implications for everyday clinical practice of CBT

The workshop will offer participants an opportunity to consider their practice in response to substance use in people with severe mental health problems. The key components of the Brief Integrated Motivational Intervention (BIMI) will be introduced. The aim is that participants will be able to incorporate strategies learnt during the workshop into their discussions with people experiencing these problems and hence into their everyday practice either within in-patient units or more widely when working with people with serious mental health problems.


Professor Alex Copello is an experienced trainer, clinician and researcher with over 30 years’ experience in the addiction and mental health fields in the UK. His research has led to major impacts on addiction treatment and mental health and addictions in the UK in recent years. He has ample experience of developing and delivering trials of psychosocial interventions. He was Principal Investigator in the MRC funded UK Alcohol Treatment Trial, the largest trial of psychosocial alcohol treatments conducted in the UK. He led the development of a social and family intervention (Social Behaviour and Network Therapy) used in the trial, shown to be as effective as a more established individual treatment. His work on integration of substance misuse treatment into mental health services has been quoted as a model of good practice in national guidelines and recommended for wider implementation. His research work is based on both qualitative and quantitative methods and his research interests include the treatment and psychology of addiction including mental health and addiction problems as well as the impact of addiction problems on families and communities. He is currently Associate Director of Research for one of the largest mental health trusts in the UK and has been formerly Clinical Director of the Birmingham NHS Addiction Services. Alex publishes regularly in international academic peer reviewed journals and has authored/co-authored a number of books including three psychosocial treatment manuals.



Graham, H. L., Copello, A., Birchwood, M. & Griffith, E. (2016). Brief Integrated Motivational Intervention: a treatment manual for co-occurring mental health and substance use problems. Wiley-Blackwell, UK.

Graham, H;  Copello, A; Griffith, E; Freemantle, N; McCrone, P; Clarke, L; Walsh, K; Stefanidou, CA; Rana, A; Birchwood, M. Pilot randomised trial of a brief intervention for comorbid substance misuse in psychiatric inpatient settings. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 2015:1-12.

Graham, H. L., Copello, A., Griffith, E., Clarke, L., Walsh, K., Baker, A. L. & Birchwood, M.(2018) Mental health hospital admissions: a teachable moment and window of opportunity to promote change in drug and alcohol misuse. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. p. 1 – 19

Adult Anxiety

Inhibitory Learning and Regulation during Exposure Therapy
Michelle Craske, University of California, LA, USA

Inhibitory Learning and Regulation During Exposure Therapy: From Basic Science to Clinical Application

Michelle Craske, University of California, Los Angeles, USA


The therapeutic strategy of repeated exposure is effective for fears and anxiety disorders, but a substantial number of individuals fail to respond. Translation from the basic science of inhibitory extinction learning and inhibitory regulation offers strategies for increasing response rates to exposure therapy. This workshop will present the application of these strategies, including prediction error correction (‘violation of expectancy’), variability across stimuli and contexts to enhance generalization, interference with hippocampal activation to enhance context generalization, bridging techniques to retrieve exposure memories in novel contexts, induction of positive valence, and linguistic processing (‘affect labeling’) of feared stimuli.


Key learning objectives:

  1. Understand latest developments in extinction learning and their relevance to exposure therapy
  2. Understand latest developments in inhibitory regulation and their relevance to exposure therapy
  3. Understand methods for optimizing inhibitory learning during exposure therapy and its retrieval following exposure therapy
  4. Understand methods for augmenting inhibitory regulation during exposure via affect labelling.


Implications for everyday clinical practice of CBT

Tailor methods for conducting exposure therapy to facilitate response rates and reduce return of fear


Michelle G. Craske, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Director of the Anxiety and Depression Research Center, and Associate Director of the Staglin Family Music Center for Behavioral and Brain Health, at the University of California, Los Angeles.  She is a leader of the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge.  She has published extensively in the area of fear, anxiety and depression.  In particular, she investigates neurophysiological, environmental, cognitive and behavioral correlates and risk factors for anxiety and depression using longitudinal designs, fear extinction mechanisms and their neural underpinnings for exposure-based therapies for anxiety, reward sensitivity training for anhedonia, and implementation of treatments for anxiety and depression in non-research settings. She is Editor-in-Chief for Behaviour Research and Therapy. 



Craske, M.G., Treanor, M., Conway, C., Zbozinek, T., & Vervliet, B. (2014). Maximizing exposure therapy: An inhibitory learning approach. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 58, 10-23.

Craske, M.G., Hermans, D., & Vervliet, B. (in press). State of the art and future directions for extinction as a translational model for fear and anxiety. Philosophical Transactions B

Adult Obsessive States

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Body Dysmorphic Disorder
David Veale, Kings College, London, UK

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Body Dysmorphic Disorder

David Veale, King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, UK


Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is defined as a preoccupation with a perceived defect in one’s appearance, which is not noticeable to others. The preoccupation is associated with a distorted “felt” impression with many “safety seeking” behaviours such as mirror gazing, skin-picking, ruminating or constant comparing of one’s perceived defect to others. People with BDD often use strategies to camouflage and avoid situations and activities. They may have a poor quality of life, are socially isolated and are at high risk of committing suicide. Cognitive behaviour therapy and SSRI medications are recommended for treating BDD. CBT targets the various processes that maintain the preoccupation and distress.


Key learning objectives:

By the end of the workshop participants will:

  1. Recognize and diagnose BDD in DSM5 and ICD11.
  2. Understand a cognitive behavioural model of BDD and the factors that maintain the symptoms including comparing self with others; being excessive self-focused; camouflaging one’s appearance; monitoring and avoiding social threats such as shame, rejection and ridicule from others.
  3. Use various assessment scales and conduct a functional analysis of cognitive processes andbehaviours that are used as safety seeking.
  4. Assess and help clients wanting cosmetic procedures
  5. Devise strategies for engagement and change with a focus on ceasing ruminating and comparing, dropping of avoidance and safety seeking behaviours; imagery rescripting for aversive memories.


Implications for everyday clinical practice of CBT

CBT is the only evidence based psychological therapy for BDD and may be helpful for treating other body image problems with body shame (e.g. eating disorders, disfigurement).


David Veale is a Consultant Psychiatrist and leads a national outpatient and residential unit service for people with severe treatment refractory Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) at the South London and Maudsley Trust and at the Priory Hospital North London. He is a member of the group revising the diagnostic guidelines for ICD11 for OCD and Related Disorders for the World Health Organisation. He was a member of the group that wrote the NICE guidelines on OCD and BDD in 2006 and chaired the NICE Evidence Update on OCD and BDD in 2013. He has authored or co-authored 90 empirically based articles, 6 books, 13 book chapters, and 35 teaching articles or reviews. He is an Honorary Fellow of the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He is a Trustee of the UK national charities, OCD Action and the BDD Foundation.



Phillips, K (2017) Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Advances in Research and     Clinical Practice. Oxford.

Veale, D. & Neziroglu (2010) Body dysmorphic disorder: a treatment manual Wiley: Chichester.

Veale, D., Willson, R, Clarke, A. (2009) Overcoming Body Image Problems (including BDD). Robinson

Behavioural Medicine

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Rona Moss-Morris, Kings College, London, UK

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome 9IBS): Introducing Regul8 Manualised Treatment

Rona Moss-Morris, Professor of Psychology as Applied to Medicine


Regul8, an eight-session tailored cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programme for treating IBS, was developed as a potential cost-effective way of providing help to those individuals with IBS.  The therapy on which Regul8 is based has been developed over 18 years using rigorous empirical study.  The cognitive behavioural treatment mechanisms included in Regul8 are based on empirical studies predicting the onset and maintenance of IBS symptoms. The CBT is therefore specific to IBS rather than CBT for a related mood disorder.  The content was further developed and modified through early clinical trials (Kennedy et al., 2005; Moss-Morris et al., 2010).  The effectiveness of the patient manual together with 8 hours of telephone therapist contact time has been confirmed in a large effectiveness trial (n=520) which followed patients for up to one year (Everitt et al., 2018).


The Regul8 patient manual consists of 8 chapters including: (1) Understanding your IBS and the link between symptoms, thoughts, feelings and behaviours; (2) Assessing your symptoms in relation to stress and daily routines; (3) Changing behaviours in response to symptoms, developing consistent eating, activity and exercise routines; (4) Identifying your unhelpful thought patterns; (5) Generating alternative thoughts; (6) Managing stress and sleep (7) Managing emotions; (8) Managing flare-ups and the future.


This Worksop will focus on core aspects on this manualised approach.  The first will be how to engage patients with physical symptoms in a behavioural based therapy.  The use of explanatory models which include physical as well as psychological explanations of symptoms will be demonstrated.  Specific IBS avoidance and safety behaviours will be identified alongside methods to address these.  Finally, the importance of symptom and illness cognitions and high personal expectations will be discussed.


Key learning objectives:

  1. Use the biopsychosocial model of IBS to provide a coherent, personalised explanation to patients as to why they experience IBS symptoms
  2. Use this model to engage patients in future behavioural and cognitive change.
  3. Identify IBS specific avoidance and safety behaviours and strategies for treating these.
  4. Identify IBS-related unhelpful cognitive responses.


Implications for everyday clinical practice of CBT

The workshop is most appropriate for therapist who use CBT in everyday practice.  It provides an introduction to treating IBS specially using CBT.  The Regul8 manual for patients and the related therapist manuals are readily available for use.  We have also developed a Regul8 interactive and tailored web-based treatment.  We are currently working to bring this software to the market as it offers a low intensity version of the treatment.  Patients work through the website and are provided some minimal support by an experienced therapist (around 2.5 hours of therapy time).


Rona Moss-Morris is Professor of Psychology as Applied to Medicine and Head of Health Psychology at King’s College London. She has been researching psychological factors that affect symptom experience and adjusting to chronic physical health conditions for the past 20 years.  This research has been used to design cognitive behavioural interventions, including web-based interventions, for a range of patient groups.  RCTs to test the efficacy of these interventions form a key component of her research.  In 2015 she was awarded the British Psychological Society Division of Health Psychology’s Outstanding Contribution to Research Award and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience Supervisory Excellence Award.  Her work on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) was awarded the MS Society Annual Award for MS Research of the Year in 2013.  She is a past editor of Psychology and Health and was National Advisor to NHS England for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies for People with Long Term and Medically Unexplained conditions from 2011-2016. 



Windgassen S, Moss-Morris, R. Chilcot, J., Sibelli, A., Goldsmith, K. & Chalder, T. The Journey between brain and gut: A systematic review of psychological mechanisms of treatment effect in irritable bowel syndrome. British Journal of Health Psychology. 2017;22:701.

Moss-Morris R, McAlpine L, Didsbury LP, Spence MJ. A randomized controlled trial of a cognitive behavioural therapy-based self-management intervention for irritable bowel syndrome in primary care. Psychological medicine. 2010;40:85-94.

Spence, M. J. & Moss-Morris, R. (2007). The cognitive behavioural model of irritable bowel syndrome: a prospective investigation of patients with gastroenteritis. Gut 56, 1066-71.

Optimizing Treatment for Somatic Symptoms in Psychopathology
Omer van den Bergh, University of Leuven, Belgium

Somatic Symptoms in Psychopathology: Understanding the Mechanisms and Optimizing Treatment.

Omer Van den Bergh, University of Leuven, Belgium and Michael Witthöft, University of Mainz, Germany


Somatic symptoms (e.g., pain, fatigue, dizziness) are highly prevalent in psychopathology. They are intricately related to depressive and anxiety disorders, they occur in trauma- and stress-related disorders and they are the core of somatic symptom and related disorders. In addition, a substantial number of patients in primary and secondary medical care consults for somatic symptoms that cannot be linked to bodily dysfunction and are considered nonspecific, functional and/or stress-related. In psychotherapy, it is often not clear whether and how such symptoms should be targeted. Commonly, such symptoms are considered epiphenomena of a larger cognitive-emotional problem that is focused upon.

In this workshop, we will discuss critical evidence prompting a new model to understand the (often loose) relationship between somatic symptoms and bodily dysfunction that is based on a predictive processing view on the brain. In this view, experienced symptoms emerge as a result of two counterflowing and continuously interacting streams of information. One represents prior predictions of the brain and the other represents prediction errors related to somatic input. Depending on prior expectations (and their precision), symptoms may be more or less closely related to somatic input. From this view, we derive clinical implications for a comprehensive assessment and theory-based and mechanism-oriented treatment. In particular, we will discuss how stress- related physiology and nocebo-mechanisms dynamically interact to produce vicious circles and self-fulfilling prophecies maintaining somatic symptoms on the longer term. We will discuss and demonstrate new ways to counter such mechanisms.


Key learning objectives:

  1. To understand the often loose relationship between experienced bodily symptoms and somatic activity and dysfunction
  2. To be able to detect the critical mechanisms of the model in a patient’s story

To influence those mechanisms to the benefit to the patient


Implications for everyday clinical practice of CBT

The workshop aims at developing a transdiagnostic understanding on how somatic symptoms come about in psychopathology. This implies understanding the role of stress-related physiology in interaction with central processes in the brain that moderate the strength of the relationship between the symptoms and somatic input, as well as developing intervention techniques that counteract the symptoms. Because somatic symptoms that are little or not related to physiological dysfunction are highly prevalent in several diagnostic categories in psychopathology as well as in medical consultations in primary and secondary care, the workshop should benefit the practitioner in a variety of clinical settings.


Omer Van den Bergh is professor of health psychology at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He has been trained as a CBT-therapist and has extensive clinical experience in treating patients with stress-related problems, somatization disorder and medically unexplained symptoms in primary and secondary care.


Michael Witthöft is professor of clinical psychology, psychotherapy, and experimental psychopathology at the Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz, Germany. He is a licensed psychotherapist specialized in CBT with extensive experience in the treatment of anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, and pathological health anxiety.



Schaefer, M., Egloff, B., Gerlach, A. L. & Witthöft, M. (2014). Improving heartbeat perception in patients with medically unexplained symptoms reduces symptom distress. Biological Psychology, 101, 69-76. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2014.05.012

Van den Bergh, O., & Walentynowicz. M. (2016). Accuracy and bias in retrospective symptom reporting. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 29, 302-308. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000267

Van den Bergh, O., Witthöft, M., Petersen, S. & Brown, R.W. (2017). Symptoms and the body: Taking the inferential leap. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 74, 185-203. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.01.015

Cross Cultural Issues

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Refugees
Ulrich Stangier, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
Schahryar Kananian, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
Marwan Yehya, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany

Culturally adapted Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CA-CBT) for Traumatized Refugees

Ulrich Stangier, Schahryar Kanananian & Marwan Yehya


Approximately every second asylum seeker suffers from trauma-related disorders requiring treatment, among them Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and somatic symptoms. Easily accessible, low-threshold treatments are needed that take the cultural background into account. CA-CBT is a well evaluated, transdiagnostic intervention for refugees, using psychoeducation, problem-solving, meditation, and Yoga-like exercises. The programme can be delivered in individual or group setting. CA-CBT is a promising transdiagnostic treatment, serving as an initial low-threshold therapy in a stepped care approach which may be followed by trauma-focused interventions such as Narrative Exposure Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy.

The workshop presents a comprehensive approach that focuses on the modification of dysfunctional emotion regulation processes (e.g., intrusive memories, rumination, grief, anxiety, anger) and dysfunctional behaviors (e.g., self-harming or violent behavior). The workshop offers: a) a short introduction to diagnostic features of traumatized refugees, b) a transdiagnostic model to understand mental health problems, and c) specific cognitive, emotion-focused and body-focused interventions depending on patients’ individual need. Special focus is placed on the assessment and implementation of culture-specific aspects in refugees from Middle East.


Presentation of the main cognitive interventions for BDD

  1. Basic Psychopathological Models
  2. Psychoeducation
  3. Problem Solving
  4. Meditation and Yoga


Ulrich Stangier, Ph.D., is Full Professor and Chair for Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy and Director of Clinic for Behavior Therapy at Institute of Psychology, Goethe University Frankfurt. Main domains of research and publications refer to psychopathology and cognitive therapy of social anxiety disorder, depression, and body dysmorphic disorder; therapists’ adherence and competence in cognitive therapy. Clinical trials on the efficacy of cognitive therapy for social anxiety disorder, recurrent depression, and body dysmorphic disorder.



Hinton D., & Good B. (2016), Culture and PTSD: Trauma in Global and Historical Perspective. University of Pennsylvania Press.

Schauer, M., Neuner, F., Elbert, T. (2011). Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET). A Short-Term Intervention for Traumatic Stress Disorders (2. Ed.). Cambridge/ Göttingen: Hogrefe

Kananian, S., Ayoughi, S., Farugie, A., Hinton, D. & Stangier, U. (2017). Culturally Adapted Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Afghan Refugees: a Pilot Study. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 8, 1390362.

Kaysen, D., Lindgren, K., Zangana, G. A. S., Murray, L., Bass, J., & Bolton, P. (2013). Adaptation of cognitive processing therapy for treatment of torture victims: Experience in Kurdistan, Iraq. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy5(2), 184-192.

Sex, Marital and Family Relationships

Integrating Couple-based Approaches in Behaviour Therapy for Children
Nina Heinrichs, Braunschweig University of Technology, Germany

Integrating Couple-based Approaches in Behavior Therapy for Children

Nina Heinrichs, University of Braunschweig, Germany


Cognitive-behavior therapy for children has paid increasing attention to the role of parents in the etiology and maintenance of mental disorders in children and adolescents. There are several meta-analyses focusing on potential effects of including parents into the treatment of the child, specifically for younger children. Effect sizes vary by disorder and are usually the most prominent in interventions with children with oppositional-defiant disorder. Furthermore, family conflict is a well-established risk factor for mental disorders, and although less well researched, likely also for maintenance of treatment success. Fairly often, conflictual interactions are also occurring during treatment, in-session, between a parent and a child or between two parents as a couple. This workshop will demonstrate how to deal with conflictual interactions, specifically between parents as a couple, when the child was brought into treatment. A specific focus will be on couples in marital discord or with relationship distress. This workshop will, however, not deal with mediation after divorce. The workshop will present how to integrate components of empirically supported treatments for couple distress when managing parents and their interactions in child treatment. A specific focus on communication and conflict management as well as mutual support strategies and dyadic coping (as prominent and modifiable risk and protective factors in relationships) will be visited and practiced based on case examples.


Key learning objectives:

Attendees will learn:

  • The principles of couple-based intervention strategies for parents of a child with mental health difficulties;
  • How to implement couple-based approaches with parents into behaviour therapy for children and
  • Advantages, difficulties, and therapeutic challenges of such an (integrated) approach.


Implications for everyday clinical practice of CBT

Parents struggling as a couple and in their partner role as a parent (e.g. in their parental alliance) can be frequently observed in clinical practice. How to deal in session with these (dysfunctional) behaviors of parents is a challenge for every child CBT therapist. It may be very useful to learn some basic techniques how to address these issues when delivering services to children and their families


Dr. Heinrichs is professor for clinical psychology and psychotherapy, and director of the university outpatient clinic for children, adolescents and adults. She has worked as a researcher and practitioner in a variety of clinical settings in Germany and abroad, among them long-term stay at the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University (adult mental health, specifically anxiety disorders), and short-term stays at the Parenting and Family Support Centre at the University of Queensland (child mental health and parenting), and the Cancer Support Centre (cancer and couples), Griffith University, in Brisbane, Australia. She is a licensed psychotherapist, working with children and adults, and she is trained in two couple interventions programs. She has published in the area of anxiety disorders in children and adults, and in prevention and early intervention with children and couples who face threats to their physical or psychological health.



Heinrichs, N., Cronrath, A.–L., Degen, M. & Snyder, D. K. (2010) The link between child emotional and behavioral problems and couple functioning. Family Science, 1: 3, 152-172

Benson, L. A., McGinn, M. & Christensen, A. (2012). Common principles of couple therapy. Behavior Therapy, 43 (1) , 25-35.

A Cognitive Behavioural Systems Approach to Sexual and Couple Problems
Mehmet Sungur, Marmara University Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey

A Cognitive Behavioural Systems Approach to Sexual and Couple Problems

Mehmet Sungur, Medical School of Marmara University, Turkey


Did you recently finish your own cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) training and discover you were One of every two to three marriages end up in divorce and many other negative consequences emerge following an unsuccessful marriage. This presentation will start by discussing the reasons why people insist to marry despite the high (45-50%) divorce rate and some catastrophic outcomes following unhappy marriages and divorce. Surprisingly, despite the trauma of divorce, the majority will choose to repeat the experience as the breakdown is seen as the other partner’s fault. The presentation will carry on by discussing whether the problem in a failing relationship is really the problematic partner and what makes the distinction between happy (successful) and unhappy marriages.

In cognitive behavioural systems approach the therapist attempts to reframe the problem as a result of interaction between the partners rather than arising from one of the partners. This is to shift the couple’s thinking from the illness model to the interactional model. In this approach, the focus of therapist attention is the relationship rather than the individual and thus communication training, reciprocal negotiation and mutual problem solving become very important components of treatment. The workshop will progress by explaining how the therapist may at one moment be working behaviourally trying to help the couple communicate better and solve their problem directly or working at a cognitive level to teach couple to identify automatic thoughts, distorted thinking and how to modify the cognitive processes that lead partners to exhibit certain repetitive patterns of behaviour. It will also discuss the advantages of working on a systems level to explain their lack of co-operation and progress and provide meaning to what seems meaningless to couples and therapists. Different types of couple problems demand different therapeutic skills and responses. Whatever treatment approach is used, a good assessment and formulation is of great importance for a successful intervention, particularly in those couples presenting with relationship and sexual problems. Making conceptualizations, setting targets and homework assignments with the couple will also be discussed.

Some therapy failures with relationship problems may result from a mismatch between the intervention applied and the specific needs of the couple. This presentation will try to help simplify the process of making choices about which intervention may be  most effective with which couple and how therapists may select interventions which are appropriate to the different levels of complexity and rigidity in a couples interaction by using an innovative system. Challenges and critiques to the old and new DSM criteria will be made and basic therapeutic interventions to sexual problems will be discussed.


Key learning objectives:

  1. The participants will be able to learn the basic therapeutic approaches and treatment principles for sexual disorders
  2. Participants will be able to understand the rational behind the changes made in DSM5 diagnostic criteria for sexual disorders.
  3. Participants will be able to learn the behavioural , cognitive and systems approach to couple problems.


Implications for everyday clinical practice of CBT

Sexual and relationship problems have negative impact on majortiy of couples in daily life. An increasing number of couples come forward to seek help for couple and sexual problems.This workshop will help improve therapists competence to handle a variety of couple-relationship-sexual problems.


Mehmet Sungur is a professor of psychiatry working at the Medical Faculty of Marmara University. He had  his postgraduate training in cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), sexual and marital therapies at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. He is the president of the International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy (IACP). He is one of the past presidents of the European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapy (EABCT). This year he has been elected as the incoming president of the European Federation of Sexology (EFS). He published numerous articles in national and international scientific journals and presented workshops and keynotes in hundreds of national and international congresses. Mehmet Z. Sungur has received some national and international awards including the “Gold Medal from European Federation of Sexology”. He is on the advisory and/or editorial board of many national and international journals. He has currently committed himself to the training of mental health professionals in clinical applications of CBT and sex therapy both in Turkey and abroad. He has been the president of 7 international congresses including the recent 47th EABCT  Congress and many national congresses about CBT and sex therapy. He is running training courses and certified CBT training programmes for a large number of mental health professionals in Turkey and abroad.



Sungur, M. Z., & Gündüz, A. (2014). A comparison of DSM‐IV‐TR and DSM‐5 definitions for sexual dysfunctions: Critiques and challenges. The journal of sexual medicine11(2), 364-373.

Sungur, M. Z. (2016). Helping Marriages That Suffer from Relationship Problems: A Cognitive Behavioural Systems Approach. Journal of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies16(1), 19.

Sungur, M. (2017). Cognitive behavioral couple therapy. In A. Wenzel (Ed.), The sage encyclopedia of abnormal and clinical psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 726-728). Thousand Oaks,, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781483365817.n277