Honing Low Intensity Psychoeducation Group Delivery Skills

Liz Ruth

Thursday, 8 December 2022



Despite a common perception that individual appointments with a practitioner are the most acceptable and effective way to deliver a psychological intervention, Low Intensity group interventions that are in-line with NICE guidance as to content and duration can be both exciting and effective. Teaching the theory and stages of Low Intensity psychological interventions (psychoeducation) is a foundational skill in Low Intensity practice. Low Intensity group-based psychoeducation, both in large group didactic formats and smaller workshop-style interactive group settings, is familiar to most Low Intensity practitioners in the IAPT programme. The group education format can support both single and multi-strand interventions comfortably and appropriately, while the benefits of the group environment in normalising the experience of common mental health disorders can enhance the clinical effectiveness of the interventions. At the same time the efficiency of delivering evidence-based information to larger groups of patients make group-based psychoeducation both time and cost efficient. A number of factors can affect the success of a Low Intensity psychoeducation course, from practitioner effects to group composition. As the Low Intensity Professions expand, this is a timely moment to revisit key skills and guidance for delivery of effective Low Intensity psychoeducation courses.

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


This webinar will:
Provide a reminder of the NICE guidelines and IAPT Manual recommendations about Low Intensity group-based interventions.
Consider the benefits of pre-group preparation and assessment.
‘Top tips’ to affirm your skill in managing the delivery of a Low Intensity psychoeducation course, including co-facilitation.
Illustrate factors that might affect patient engagement, retention and outcomes.
Managing the caseload element of group facilitation and delivery: drop-out and risk management.

Learning Objectives

You will learn:
How to deliver a robust and inviting rationale or invitation for participation in a group-based intervention
How to prepare for group delivery, including competencies and practicalities
Key skills for addressing difficulties that might arise in a group setting

Training Modalities

Didactic content, Q&A, and polls.

Key References

Burlingame, G. M., Strauss, B., & Joyce, A. S. (2013). Change mechanisms and effectiveness of small group treatments. In M. J. Lambert (Ed.), Bergin and Garfield’s Handbook of psychotherapy and Behavior change (6th ed., pp. 640–690). New York, NY: Wiley.
Davis, S., Hooke, G. R., & Page, A. C. (2006). Identifying and targeting predictors of drop-out from group cognitive behaviour therapy. Australian Journal of Psychology, 58, 48–56. doi: 10.1080/00049530500504096
Delgadillo, J., Kellett, S., Ali, S., McMillan, D., Barkham, M., Saxon, D., … Lucock, M. (2016). A multi-service practice research network study of large group psychoeducational cognitive behavioural therapy. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 87, 155–161. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2016.09.010
Firth, N., Delgadillo, J., Kellett, S., & Lucock, M. (2020) The influence of socio-demographic similarity and difference on adequate attendance of group psychoeducational cognitive behavioural therapy, Psychotherapy Research, 30:3, 362-374, DOI: 10.1080/10503307.2019.1589652
Kellett, S., Newman, D., Matthews, L., & Swift, A. (2004). Increasing the effectiveness of large group format CBT via the application of practice-based evidence. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 32, 231–234. doi: 10.1017/S1352465804001213
Noble, L., Firth, N., Delgadillo, J., & Kellett, S. (2021). An investigation of the competencies involved in the facilitation of CBT based group psychoeducational interventions. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 49(6), 732-744. Doi: 10.1017/S1352465821000084
Sochting, I., Wilson, C., De Gagne, T. (2010) Cognitive Behavioural Group Therapy (CBGT): capitalising on efficiency and humanity. In Bennett-Levy, J. et al (eds) Oxford Guide to Low Intensity CBT Interventions (pp. 323-329). Oxford University Press, Oxford.
White, J., & Keenan, M. (1990). Stress control: A pilot study of large group therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. Behavioural Psychotherapy, 18(2), 143–146. doi: 10.1017/s0141347300018267

About the presenter

Elizabeth Ruth is an Assistant Professor and Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner course leader at the University of Bradford. She trained as a Low Intensity Psychological Practitioner at the University of Sheffield in 2010 and practiced as a PWP, Senior and Lead PWP in IAPT for more than a decade before transitioning into education. Elizabeth is the author of notaguru.blog and the current Chair of the Low Intensity Special Interest Group in the BABCP.

Who should attend

This webinar is suitable for any Low Intensity Practitioner who is involved in designing and delivering psychoeducation group-based interventions. Although this webinar draws on learning from work in an adult IAPT service, other adult Low Intensity CBT practitioners, CYP and EMHP practitioners may also benefit from participation.