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Assessing patients with presentations that LICBT practitioners are not trained to treat

Sarah Watts

17 Jan 2024


Patients self-referring to primary care mental health services for assessment can have varied presentations and increasingly, present with more complex and co-morbid issues. Although these services do not usually offer psychological therapy to patients with bipolar disorder or psychosis, it remains important for assessors to be aware of how to identify these issues and support patients to access the appropriate services for their needs. Where patients are unaware of what their symptoms may mean for them, it is important to be able to respond sensitively and discuss with them why further assessment might be helpful for them.

The curriculum for LICBT training courses is changing in 2023 to include these skills and this webinar is aimed at practitioners qualifying prior to the new curriculum being in place, to enable colleagues to understand and equip themselves to assess patients’ needs appropriately.

The event will be equivalent to 1.1/2hrs of CPD.


This workshop will enable consideration of patients who may be presenting to primary care mental health services with diagnosed or as yet undiagnosed bipolar disorder or psychosis. It will discuss how to identify symptoms, understand other services which are able to offer diagnostic assessment, advice and treatment and to consider how to have difficult and sensitive conversations about patient’ presentations and how their needs may best be met by wider services.

Learning Objectives

With reference to the NICE Guidance for Bipolar Disorder and Psychosis, this webinar aims to support LICBT colleagues to identify
1. signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder and psychosis
2. when further diagnostic assessment may be required in secondary care
3. options for onward referral for patients presenting with these symptoms
4. how to discuss these issues sensitively with your patient

Training Modalities

Didactic content, experiential components, Q&A

Key References

Overview | Bipolar disorder: assessment and management | Guidance | NICE

Tools and resources | Bipolar disorder: assessment and management | Guidance | NICE

Recommendations | Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults: prevention and management | Guidance | NICE

Tools and resources | Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults: prevention and management | Guidance | NICE

About the presenter

Dr Sarah Watts is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and CBT Therapist with 25 years’ experience of working in the NHS. She is the Clinical Lead at Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Wellbeing Service (IAPT).  Her clinical interests are in working with people with post-traumatic stress disorder and with older people with complex needs who experience anxiety. She is a keen advocate of compassionate leadership in teams, looking after staff wellbeing so that staff can provide therapy for their patients in the best way possible. Sarah is also Programme Director of the Post Graduate Diploma in CBT run by MPFT in partnership with Staffordshire University and NHSE/I Clinical Lead for IAPT in the West Midlands. 

Who should attend

This webinar is most suitable for low intensity practitioners assessing patients in primary care settings. It may also be suitable for other mental health practitioners assessing patients in primary care where they have not received prior training in assessing bipolar disorder or psychosis.

Low Intensity clinical contact hours survey - BABCP Low Intensity Special Interest Group

Please click below if you are interested in contributing to the survey.


The BACP Low Intensity SIG are interested in the impact of clinical contact hours on Low Intensity/Wellbeing Practitioner wellbeing. This questionnaire contains six multi-choice questions and a free text box for you to share your experiences. The answers to these questions will help the BABCP SIG plan how to meet CPD topics and other developments within the SIG.  The SIG hope to produce a write up of the answers to this questionnaire to be shared with SIG members and to be used in training.

View Survey

This FREE conference is for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners working in Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression services and is brought to you by Bespoke Mental Health in collaboration with the NHS England Talking Therapies National PWP Leads Network

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