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CBT for Chronic Loneliness: Theory and Practice

Roz Shafran

1 Feb 2022


It is now widely accepted that chronic loneliness is a common problem affecting people of all ages. Such loneliness is typically conceptualised as ‘A subjective, unwelcome feeling of lack or loss of companionship. It happens when we have a mismatch between the quantity and quality of social relationships that we have, and those that we want’ (Perlman & Peplau, 1982). The experience of chronic loneliness is influenced by a combination of psychological factors, including mental health problems, and the relationship between chronic loneliness and mental health problems appears bi-directional. 

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


Given the increased social isolation and loneliness at the present time due to COVID-19, it is hoped that attendees will have a better understanding of how chronic loneliness in their clients and CBT techniques that could be helpful.
This webinar will:
Provide an update on the evidence with regard to psychological therapies for chronic loneliness including (but not limited to) cognitive behaviour therapy
Describe the CBT intervention evaluated in a recent internet based trial of CBT for chronic loneliness and present preliminary data on its efficacy
Present a new modular CBT approach to addressing chronic loneliness that aims to account for the range of presentations seen across different populations.

Learning Objectives

You will gain:
1. Knowledge of the evidence-based for psychological therapies for chronic loneliness
2. Knowledge of the relationship between loneliness and mental health problems across the age range
3. CBT skills to help address chronic loneliness

Training Modalities

Video demonstration, didactic content, experiential, and case exemplars.

Key References

Käll, A., Shafran, R., Lindegaard, T., Bennett, S., Cooper, Z., Coughtrey, A., & Andersson, G. (2020). A common elements approach to the development of a modular cognitive behavioral theory for chronic loneliness. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 88(3), 269.
Käll, A., Backlund, U., Shafran, R., & Andersson, G. (2020). Lonesome no more? A two-year follow-up of internet-administered cognitive behavioral therapy for loneliness. Internet Interventions, 19, 100301.
Lim, M. H., Rodebaugh, T. L., Zyphur, M. J., & Gleeson, J. F. (2016). Loneliness over time: The crucial role of social anxiety. Journal of abnormal psychology, 125(5), 620.

About the presenter

Roz Shafran is Professor of Translational Psychology at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. She has over 200 publications in the field of the development and evaluation of cognitive behavioural theory and therapy across the age range both for specific disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder and transdiagnostic problems such as loneliness and perfectionism. She is one of the pioneers of the transdiagnostic approach to eating disorders and, with colleagues in Oxford, she developed the original cognitive behavioural approach to the understanding and treatment of clinical perfectionism. She is the recipient of several awards and recently was the first recipient of the Eric Taylor Award for Translational Research Into Practice Award given by the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. She is the recipient of several research and training grants, including as a co-applicant involved in the UKRI Loneliness and in Mental Health network.

Who should attend

This webinar is most suitable for clinicians experienced in CBT that would like to know about application of these techniques for clients with chronic loneliness.

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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