Group Therapy for Depression

Training for Clinicians in the Changeways Core Program Protocol (with CE Credit)

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Join a community of professional caregivers learning how to treat depression in a group format!

Get up to 12 online CE credits (approved by the Canadian Psychological Association) for taking this course!

NOTE: We have made some of the videos in the first section (and a few further on in the course) available for free preview before you sign up. If you're interested but not sure, take a look at one or more of these.

ALSO NOTE: Does your organization have a number of people interested in taking this course? If so, contact us (workshops at changeways dot com) and we can set up a discount coupon for you based on the number of people you anticipate. You can also pay for the program up front and we will give you a code for your staff so that they don't have to pay themselves.

The Changeways Core Program is the most widely used group therapy protocol for depression in Canada. Groups based on this model have been offered with diverse populations in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, South America, as well as across Canada.

This course, based on our live two-day training seminar, teaches experienced clinicians how to provide the program for their own clients.

As part of the course, students receive PDF copies of the 90-page Participant Manual, the 251-page Clinician's Guide, and all related documents required to offer the program. You are given permission to copy the manual for your own clients.

These written materials are provided in three formats: US Spelling on 8.5x11 USLetter paper; Imperial Spelling on USLetter, and Imperial Spelling on A4. You are given access to translations of the Participant Manual in Farsi and Arabic (which may be used with clients even if the therapist does not speak these languages).

You are also provided links to access the Antidepressant Skills Workbook (ADW) - a self-guided program based, in part, on the Core Program and coauthored by your presenter. The ADW was developed for physicians to offer to newly diagnosed clients. Together, the ADW and the Core Program group therapy protocol provide resources for an easy-to-implement stepped care system.

Here is the course outline:

  • Introductions and Materials
  • A Brief Introduction to the Epidemiology of Depression
  • Development and of the Core Program
  • Evaluation and Dissemination of the Core Program
  • The Function of Psychoeducation
  • Open or Closed, Mixed or Stratified Variations
  • Group Leadership, Number of Sessions, Setting
  • Who Benefits?
  • Personality Disorders and Depression Group Therapy
  • Other Client Characteristics
  • Intake and Assessment

And then, step by step, we take you through the process of leading the group itself:

  • Breaking the ice
  • Introducing the cognitive behavioural model
  • An acceptance-based stance toward difficult emotion
  • Goal setting and behavioural activation
  • Ultimate goals versus immediate goals
  • Setting goals with your group
  • The nature of stress
  • The nature of depression
  • Lifestyle-based approaches: Diet, exercise, sleep, and more
  • The cognitive model
  • How to prove that thoughts can occur outside awareness
  • Strategies to detect negative thinking
  • Cognitive biases and dysfunctional beliefs
  • Cognitive traps that appear when mood rises or falls
  • Cognitive challenging
  • Four worry management strategies
  • The role of social life in depression
  • A social census
  • Strategies for improving the social network
  • A brief introduction to assertive communication
  • Relapse prevention strategies
  • Closing your group

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course, mental health professionals with prior grounding in psychotherapy will:

  • Have an understanding of which client groups may benefit from this program.
  • Understand how to conduct behavioural activation in the group format.
  • Be able to introduce basic cognitive therapy concepts in the group setting.
  • Understand the mechanics of offering the course and teaching the material.
  • Have the text materials and client manuals necessary to offer a group therapy program for depression.

At the end of the course, complete the evaluation form and take the completion quiz to receive a certificate for up to 12 CE credits. Changeways Clinic, the operator of PsychologySalon, is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. Changeways Clinic maintains responsibility for the program.

Join us!


"I really appreciated the handouts that can be completed with clients."

"The entire course was well done. I will be revisiting it in future to refresh my skills."

"I found the examples helpful. I particularly enjoyed when Randy pretended he was speaking to group members - these examples helped me picture what it would/could look like in practice."

"The instructor was very engaging and I found the examples that he gave were helpful in illustrating the concepts."

"Analogies, examples, and metaphors for client education were fantastic and will be used in my practice."

"Very easy to understand. Great examples."

"This is extremely helpful for the type of work that I do. Great course. I am glad that I can go back and rewatch videos."

A Note Regarding CPA Approval: The Canadian Psychological Association's approval of an individual, group, or organization as a CE Sponsor or Provider is restricted to the activities described in the approved application or annual report form. The CPA’s approval does not extend to any other CE activity the Sponsor or Provider might offer. In granting its approval, the CPA assumes no legal or financial obligations to Sponsors, Providers, or to those individuals who might participate in a Sponsor or Provider’s CE activities or programs. Further, responsibility for the content, provision, and delivery of any CE activity approved by the CPA remains that of the CE Sponsor or Provider. The CPA disclaims all legal liability associated with the content, provision, and delivery of the approved CE activity. This program adheres to the ethical standards of the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists.

Your Instructor

Dr Randy Paterson
Dr Randy Paterson

Randy Paterson is the Director of Changeways Clinic and author of The Assertiveness Workbook, How to be Miserable: 40 Strategies You Already Use, Private Practice Made Simple, and Your Depression Map. He is also the lead author of the Changeways Core Program, one of the world's most widely used group therapy treatment protocols for depression, and coauthor of The Antidepressant Skills Workbook. He has presented over 300 workshops on psychotherapy for professional mental health providers across Canada and internationally.

Course Curriculum

  Continuing Education Hours Evaluation
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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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