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Dr. David A. Clark
Dr. David A. Clark
Dr. David A. Clark

CBT for Depression: Why we so often fail

Dr. David A. Clark

Friday Oct 20, 2023

Pacific Time:

10:00am - 1:30pm

Eastern Time:

1:00pm - 4:30pm

Can’t attend the live streamed version of this workshop? All of our workshops are also available as pre-recorded on-demand videos that you can watch when you want. All are available 10 working days after the live date presentation for up to one year. 


On October 20th, 2023, Dr David A. Clark will deliver a half-day workshop on the cognitive-behavioural treatment of depression and the processes that may contribute to treatment failure.

Workshop Outline

After decades of outcome and dismantling research, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for depression still remains one of the most effective psychological treatments for all levels of depression severity.  Estimates of significant symptom improvement with competent CBT therapists range from 40% to 60%, leaving a sizable number of individuals with suboptimal treatment response.  

In this workshop we consider seven treatment processes that may contribute to failure to achieve symptom improvement.  These are (a) inadequate patient education into the CBT model, (b) reliance on noncollaborative goal setting, (c) failure to incorporate behavioral intervention early in treatment, (d) insufficient attention to low motivation and poor homework engagement, (e) failure to address therapeutic alliance issues, (f) inadequate attention to hopelessness, and (g) overreliance on futile evidence gathering and ill-designed behavioral experiments.  Participants will learn how to identify these negative treatment processes and use strategies to rectify their deleterious impact on treatment outcome.  Case illustration and interactive discussion with webinar participants is encouraged to discover an array of innovative responses to processes that can undermine the effectiveness of CBT for depression in older adolescents and adults.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the session, attendees will learn to:

  • Increase self-awareness of therapeutic processes that cause poor treatment response to CBT for depression.

  • Include treatment monitoring for early detection of possible treatment failure.

  • Develop a risk assessment for treatment failure that features into the cognitive case formulation.

  • Implement therapeutic strategies that counter negative treatment processes.

  • Promote a more positive orientation to client needs that boosts CBT treatment effectiveness.

About the Presenter

David A. Clark, PhD, is Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, University of New Brunswick and a practicing clinical psychologist with 30+ years in providing cognitive behavioural treatment for depression, anxiety and OCD.  He received his PhD from the Institute of Psychiatry and pursued postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School under Professor Aaron T. Beck.  He maintained an active research program on the cognitive features of depression, anxiety and OCD and continues to provide advanced CBT workshops globally.  He is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, Founding Fellow/Trainer Consultant of the Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies, ad hoc consultant with the Beck Institute and recipient of the Aaron T. Beck Award in 2008.  He has co-authored several publications with Dr. Beck including Scientific Foundations of Cognitive Theory and Therapy of Depression (Wiley, 1999), Cognitive Therapy for Anxiety Disorders (Guilford, 2010), and The Anxiety and Worry Workbook (Guilford, 2012).  He is sole author of The Anxious Thoughts Workbook (New Harbinger, 2018), Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for OCD and Its Subtypes (Guilford, 2020), The Negative Thoughts Workbook (New Harbinger, 2020), and The Anxious Thoughts Workbook for Teens (New Harbinger, 2022).  He has a blog with Psychology Today called the Runaway Mind.

Training Modalities

The workshop will combine didactic components with interactive elements and case illustrations. 

Who should attend

This workshop is at an intermediate level, and is suitable for mental health professionals with a rudimentary knowledge of CBT and some clinical experience with older adolescents or adults with major depression. 

Continuing Education (CE) Credits

Bespoke Mental Health Canada is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. Bespoke Mental Health Canada maintains responsibility for the program. 

After viewing this workshop live on October 20th 2023, participants have the option to complete an evaluation form in order to be eligible to receive a certificate confirming the number of credits awarded. This certificate will be sent via email.

Participants who view this workshop as a pre-recorded event will need to complete an additional workshop knowledge quiz in order to be eligible to receive CE credits.

Participants who complete this workshop are eligible to receive 3 CE credits


Professionals: $100 CAD +tax

Students*: $80 CAD +tax

* Proof of student status may be required in order to qualify for a student rate.

Key References

1. Beck, J.S. (2020). Cognitive behavior therapy: Basics and beyond (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.

2. Greenberger, D., & Padesky, C.A. (2015). Mind over mood: Change how you feel by changing the way you think (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.

3. Leahy, R.L. (2010). Beat the blues before they beat you: How to overcome depression. Carlsbad, CA: Hays House.

4. Cuijpers, P., Miguel, C., Harrer, M. et al. (2023). Cognitive behavior therapy vs. control conditions, other psychotherapies, pharmacotherapies and combined treatment for depression: a comprehensive meta-analysis including 409 trials with 52,702 patients. World Psychiatry, 22, 105-115.

More information coming soon.

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