Process Based Therapy

Prof. Stefan Hofmann

Sunday, 3 April 2022


Process-based therapy (PBT) is a radical departure from the latent disease model of the DSM and ICD with its absurd proliferation of the protocols-for-syndrome approach. Instead, PBT focuses on how to best target and change core biopsychosocial processes in a specific situation for given goals with a given client. This approach recognizes that psychotherapy typically involves non-linear (rather than linear), bidirectional (rather than unidirectional), and dynamic changes of many (rather than only a few) interconnected variables. Effective therapy changes the entire system toward a stable and adaptive state by enhancing context-specific variability, selection and retention of biopsychosocial processes. PBT is, therefore, grounded in evolutionary science. For therapy to be most effective, we, therefore, need to embrace a systematic, assessment-guided, and theory-based approach to understand the relationships of the various problems of a given client. Functional analysis, the foundation of behavior therapy, provides the basis to understand these relationships. PBT acknowledges the complexity, inter-relatedness, and multidimensional levels of the problems in a given client. This workshop will illustrate how PBT is used to target key treatment processes by combining functional analysis with a dynamic and person-specific network approach.

The event will be equivalent to 2.3/4hrs of CPD.


This workshop will:
Describes the limits of contemporary models of psychopathology and treatments
Discuss alternatives to the latent disease model
Introduce a network perspective to psychopathology
Discuss the Extended Evolutionary Meta Model
Discuss Process-based therapy as an idiographic approach that combines a network perspective and evolutionary theory

Learning Objectives

You will learn:

(1) Appreciating the limitations and weaknesses of the contemporary medical model.
(2) Gaining an up-to-date understanding of the core processes of CBT.
(3) Developing an idiographic, functional diagnostic system based on evolutionary science.
(4) Establishing more progressive models and theories in clinical practice.
(5) Using functional analysis in conjunction with complex network approach in a given client
Key words:
CBT, Psychotherapy Process, Change Process/Mechanisms, Evolution

Training Modalities

Didactic content, experiential components, polls, Q&A.

Key References

Key References
Hayes, S. C. & Hofmann, S. G. (Eds.) (2018). Process-based CBT: The science and core clinical competencies of cognitive behavioral therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications. ISBN-13: 978-1626255968.
Hayes, S. C. & Hofmann, S. G. (Eds.) (2020). Beyond the DSM: Toward a process-based alternative for diagnosis and mental health treatment. Oakland, CA: Context Press / New Harbinger Publications. ISBN: 978-1684036615
Hofmann, S. G., Hayes, S. C., & Lorscheid, D. (2021). Learning process-based therapy: A skills training manual for targeting the core processes of psychological change in clinical practice. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Press. ISBN: 1684037557

Selected Articles
Hofmann, S. G., Curtiss, J., & McNally, R. J. (2016). A complex network perspective on clinical science. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11, 597-605. doi: 10.1177/1745691616639283
Hayes, S. C., Hofmann, S. G., Stanton, C. E., Carpenter, J. K., Sanford, B. T., Curtiss, J. E., & Ciarrochi, J. (2019). The role of the individual in the coming era of process-based therapy. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 117, 40-53. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2018.10.005.
Hayes, S. C, Hofmann, S. G,. & Ciarrochi, J. (2020). A process-based approach to psychological diagnosis and treatment: The conceptual and treatment utility of an extended evolutionary meta model. Clinical Psychology Review, 82. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2020.101908.
Hayes, S. C., Hofmann, S. G., & Wilson, D. S. (2020). Clinical psychology is an applied evolutionary science. Clinical Psychology Review, 81. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2020.101892
Hofmann, S. G., & Hayes, S. C. (2019). The future of intervention science: Process-based therapy. Clinical Psychological Science, 7, 37–50. doi: 10.1177/2167702618772296
Hofmann, S. G., Curtiss, J. E., & Hayes, S. C. (2020). Beyond linear mediation: Toward a dynamic network approach to study treatment processes. Clinical Psychology Review, 76, doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2020.101824
Hayes, S. C., & Hofmann, S. G. (2021). “Third-wave” cognitive and behavioral therapies and the emergence of a process-based approach to intervention in psychiatry. World Psychiatry, 20, 363-375. doi :10.1002/wps.20884
Hayes, S.C., Oades, L.G. & Hofmann, S.G. (2022) Toward a unified framework for positive psychology interventions: Evidence-based processes of change in coaching, prevention, and training. Frontiers in Psychology, 12:809362. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.80936
Ciarrochi, J., Sahdra, B., Hofmann, S. G., & Hayes, S. C. (2022). Developing an item pool to assess processes of change in psychological interventions: The Process-Based Assessment Tool (PBAT). Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 23, 200-213. doi: 10.1016/j.jcbs.2022.02.001.

About the presenter

Stefan G. Hofmann, Ph.D. is the Alexander von Humboldt Professor at the Department of Clinical Psychology at the Philipps-University Marburg and professor of psychology at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, where he directs the Psychotherapy and Emotion Research Laboratory. He has an actively funded research program studying various aspects of emotional disorders with a particular emphasis on anxiety disorders and cognitive behavioral therapy. He has won many prestigious professional awards, including the Aaron T. Beck Award for Significant and Enduring Contributions to the Field of Cognitive Therapy by the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award. He is a fellow of the APA, APS, ABCT, and was president of various national and international professional societies, including the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy. He was also an advisor to the DSM-5 Development Process and a member of the DSM-5 Anxiety Disorder Sub-Work Group. Dr. Hofmann has been identified as a Highly Cited Researcher by Thomson Reuters. He is currently editor of Cognitive Therapy and Research and associate editor of Clinical Psychological Science. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed journal articles and 20 books, For more information, visit

Who should attend

This webinar is most suitable for practitioners experienced in CBT and who have been dealing with its limits and who want to expand their horizon.