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Difficult conversations, therapeutic dialogues

Dr Helen Kennerley

Tuesday, 21 January 2025


CBT clinicians often have “difficult conversations”: sharing bad news, asserting boundaries, exploring painful or shocking topics, for example. Our challenge is doing so in ways that are consistent with CBT principles of “trust, rapport and collaboration” (Beck et al., 1979. Page 50) and that engage people in therapeutic dialogue.

The event will be equivalent to 2 hrs of CPD.


This webinar explores how we can use classic CBT skills to achieve respectful, engaging collaboration in our conversations by drawing on:
• Socratic dialogue
• Interpersonal conceptualisation
• Assertiveness skills

Learning Objectives

By the end of the webinar attendees will see the value of:
• Understanding the patient’s perspective
• Conceptualising the interaction leading to the “difficult conversation”
• Introducing assertive dialogue

Training Modalities

There will be didactic material, opportunity for reflection and questions, and video presentations.

Key References

Beck, A. T. (Ed.). (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. Guilford press.

Kuyken, W., Padesky, C. A., & Dudley, R. (2011). Collaborative case conceptualization: Working effectively with clients in cognitive-behavioral therapy. Guilford Press.

Padesky, C., & Kennerley, H. (2023). Dialogues for Discovery: Improving Psychotherapy's Effectiveness. Oxford University.

About the presenter

Dr. Helen Kennerley is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and a Senior Associate Tutor with the University of Oxford. She is a founder member of the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre (OCTC), where she was formerly the Director of its Advanced Cognitive Therapy Studies courses & MSc, and co-director of the OCTC D.Phil. She is now the lead for the Postgraduate Certificates in Supervision & Training and in Psychological Trauma & Personality Development. She has practiced CBT for over 30 years, having trained in Oxford and the US. She has written several popular cognitive therapy self-help books and texts, some of which have been commended by the British Medical Association. Commended texts include the popular, “An Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy” (Sage, 2017). She was short listed for the BABCP award of most influential female cognitive therapist in Britain at their 30th anniversary celebrations.

Who should attend

This event will be of interest to a range of clinicians including low and high intensity practitioners, psychologists, nurse therapists, counsellors, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, and social workers.

Details coming soon

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