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Workshop 1

Working with Religious Beliefs and Spirituality in Low Intensity CBT

Taf Kunorubwe, University of South Wales

Inherent within the ethos of the NHS and Primary Care Mental Health Services is that people from all sections of the community should have a chance to benefit from evidence-based psychological therapies. Despite this, clients from diverse backgrounds are under-represented in referrals and tend to have poorer outcomes from Primary Care Mental Health Services (Baker, 2021).

One aspect of diversity to consider is religious and spiritual beliefs, where disparity in access and outcomes are also evident in the data. Such inequalities continue to be a cause for concern with front line staff, services, policy makers and the psychological profession as a whole. For instance, those identifying as Christian were most likely to experience improvement and/or recover after IAPT treatment but those that identify as Muslims were least likely to improve/recover (Baker, 2021).

This session will focus on current thinking and recommendations for improving outcomes for clients with diverse religious and spiritual practices using Culturally Sensitive Low Intensity CBT. Culturally Sensitive CBT tends to look much like CBT as provided to majority service users, but with adaptations made on a case-by-case basis by therapists, service users or even interpreters (Beck, 2016).

Key learning objectives:

This workshop would be of interest to practitioners delivering or supervising low intensity CBT interventions in primary care with clients from diverse backgrounds.

This workshop aims to help attendees to gain an awareness of the working in a culturally sensitive way client with religious or spiritual beliefs. By the end of the session and associated resources,

  • Understand the diverse religious and spiritual beliefs of clients who engage with IAPT services
  • Understand the importance of valuing and responding sensitively to these beliefs in a care system.
  • Overview of Culturally Sensitive Low Intensity CBT for clients with religious or spiritual beliefs.

Taf Kunorubwe is a BABCP Accredited CBT Therapist, Supervisor and Trainer.

He has experience of working within IAPT as a PWP, Senior PWP and High intensity Therapist, as well as experience of Integrated LTC IAPT services and been the Project Lead for a variety of projects to improve access and outcomes for clients from diverse backgrounds.

He currently works part-time at the University of South Wales as the course leader on the Postgraduate Certificate in CBT, runs a small private practice and is a guest lecturer and supervisor on a variety of CBT course (PWP & HI).

Key References

Beck, A. Naz, D. Brooks, M., and Jankowska, M. 2019. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Service User Positive Practice Guide. [Online] Available from: https://www.babcp.com/files/About/BAME/IAPT-BAME-PPG-2019.pdf

Beck, A., 2016. Transcultural cognitive behaviour therapy for anxiety and depression: A practical guide. Routledge.

Hinton, D.E. and Patel, A., 2017. Cultural adaptations of cognitive behavioral therapy. Psychiatric Clinics, 40(4), pp.701-714.

Koenig, H.G., Pearce, M., Nelson, B., Shaw, S., Robins, C., Daher, N., Cohen, H.J. and King, M.B. 2016. Effects of religious vs. standard cognitive behavioral therapy on therapeutic alliance: A randomized clinical trial. Psychotherapy Research, 26(3), pp.365-376.

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