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Working with long term conditions and medically unexplained symptoms
Working with long term conditions and medically unexplained symptoms
Working with long term conditions and medically unexplained symptoms

Working with long term conditions and medically unexplained symptoms

Dr. Christopher Williams

Professionals: $100.00 CAD +tax
Students: $80.00 CAD +tax


On May 23rd 2023, Prof. Christopher Williams delivered a half day workshop on working with long term conditions and medically unexplained symptoms. This on-demand workshop is a recording of that presentation.

Workshop Outline

This workshop will cover topics of particular relevance to clinicians who work with people living with long-term conditions, including COPD, heart failure, arthritis, chronic pain, diabetes, chronic fatigue, stroke, and long Covid. This workshop will cover the following content topics:
• Key symptoms in common chronic conditions
• How and why CBT-based approaches can help
• A transdiagnostic model of CBT that incorporates living with physical conditions
• Finding a language that engages
• Three vicious cycles, and one virtuous cycle
• Clinical decision making when new symptoms arise
• Making sense of symptoms when disease is absent.


Learning Objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Create disorder-specific whole person assessments for seven chronic conditions

  • Focus in on six key targets for change so you can “see the wood from the trees” when presentations are complex

  • Communicate how certain patterns of illness response become either helpful or unhelpful

  • Develop a fresh understanding of the importance of systemic (relationship) factors in illness presentation and maintenance

About the Presenter

Dr Chris Williams is Emeritus Professor of Psychosocial Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Honorary Fellow of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies. His main clinical and research interest is in the evaluation of educational self-help approaches based on the cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approach. He has twice been President of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies – the lead body for CBT in the United Kingdom. He is a Patron of the charity Triumph over Phobia and a Medical adviser to Anxiety UK. Dr Williams is also Director of Five Areas Ltd which has developed a range of widely recommended well-being resources. He is an award-winning author and his books, classes and websites are widely used in the UK, Ireland, and North America.

Training Modalities

This workshop will include didactic slide-based presentation, self-reflective information gathering using self-practice and reflection, and Q&A.

Who should attend

This presentation is suitable for mental health practitioners working with (or interested in working with) chronic illness who want to raise their understanding and clinical skills when treating this clinical population. This includes psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists, and all other health professionals working in this area (e.g., general practitioners, psychiatrists, general and psychiatric nurses).

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, participants have the option to complete an evaluation form and a workshop knowledge quiz in order to be eligible to receive a certificate confirming the number of credits awarded. This certificate will be sent via email.
Participants who completed this workshop are eligible to receive 2.75 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

Slow down and Be: using mindfulness every day to live life to the full. (2020). Williams, C., Wilson, S., Wilson, A. Five Areas Ltd: Glasgow.

Reclaim your life from illness, disability, pain or fatigue 2nd edition. (2019). Williams C. Five Areas Ltd: Glasgow.

Overcoming functional neurological symptoms: a five areas approach. (2011). Williams, C., Kent, C., Smith S., Carson A., Sharpe, M. and Cavanagh, J. Taylor and Francis/Routledge.

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