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PSY 229

Department of Psychology
PhD Program in Clinical Psychology
Psychology 229:  Cognitive-Behavioral Counseling and Psychotherapy
William C. Sanderson, PhD
Professor of Psychology                                   
221A Hauser Hall 
Telephone: (516) 463-5633  

office hours: by appointment
This course will cover the theoretical foundations and application of Cognitive Behavior Therapy.   The bulk of this course will focus on providing step-by-step instructions so that students can learn to implement specific cognitive behavioral strategies from empirically supported treatment manuals.  The disorders covered during the application section of this course are among the most commonly encountered in clinical practice.  There will also be an overview of the basic foundations of cognitive therapy in light of emotion theory, cognitive science, and evolutionary psychology.   Students will learn to: 1)  diagnose anxiety and mood disorders according to DSM-IV criteria, 2)  assess the nature and severity of specific disorders utilizing evidence-based measures, 3) implement cognitive behavioral treatment strategies for anxiety and mood disorders, 4)  assess the effectiveness of their interventions.

Barlow, D.H. (2014). Clinical Handbook of Psychological Disorders. NY: Guilford Press
            available at Hofstra bookstore or can be purchased at (including e-book if preferred):
Clark, D.A. & Beck, A.T.  (2010).  Cognitive Therapy for Anxiety Disorders. NY: Guilford Press.
             available at Hofstra bookstore or can be purchased at (including paperback version or e-book):

Class attendance/participation:  25%
Final Examination: Competency Assessment: 75%
The exam will consist of 15 essay questions.  The focus of the exam will be to evaluate your ability to assess and implement cognitive behavioral treatment of disorders covered during class lectures or within the reading.  Additional topics (e.g., emotion theory, evidence-based treatments) will be covered on the exam as well.  The test is straightforward.  If you complete the readings and have the lecture materials the questions will be easy.  For example, a question may provide a clinical presentation for social phobia and ask you to develop an assessment and treatment plan for the case. Or, a question may ask you to present the basic steps of cognitive restructuring as though you were introducing it to a client for the first time.   Knowledge of specific research studies is not necessary, however, general information will be important (e.g., studies have shown alprazolam interferes with the effects of exposure – how might that change your treatment plan).   Click on this link for sample questions. Student's who perform below a B on the exam will be asked to remediate the exam according to the instructor's feedback.
COURSE OUTLINE (timing of topics subject to change)
Week 1, 2     Implications of Evolutionary Psychology for Clinical Psychology
                     Fundamentals of Human Nature, Evolutionary Psychopathology

Cosmides & Tooby: Evolutionary Psychology: A Primer

Week 3   Cognition, Emotion, Appraisal Theory and Emotional Disorders
R.S. Lazarus (1992). Cognition and emotion. Emotion and Adaptation.
     New York: Oxford University Press (e-reserve).  
R.S. Lazarus (1992). Goal incongruent emotions. Emotion and Adaptation.
     New York: Oxford University Press. (e-reserve)
Week 4    Introduction to Cognitive Behavior Therapy
                Cognitive Strategies
Clark & Beck (2, 5, 6)
Week 5    Intro to CBT continued: Case Conceptualization, Treatment Planning
Clark & Beck (7)
Barlow (15) - Evidence Based Therapeutic Relationships
Week 6                      Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia
Clark  & Beck (8)
Barlow (1)
Week 7                      Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia continued
Sanderson, W.C. & Wetzler, S. (1993). Observations on the cognitive behavioral treatment of panic Disorder: Impact of benzodiazepines. Psychotherapy, 30, 125-132.  (e-reserve)
Clark, D.M.  (1999).  Anxiety disorders: why they persist and how to treat them.  Behavior Research and Therapy, 27, 5-27.   (e-reserve)
Sanderson, W.C. & Bruce, T.J.  (2007).  Causes and management of treatment resistant panic disorder and agoraphobia.  Cognitive Behavioral Practice, 14(1),  26-35.
Weeks 8,9       Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Clark & Beck (11)
Barlow (4)
Week 10        Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Clark & Beck (12)
Barlow (2)

Week   11      Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Clark & Beck (10)
Barlow (5)
Week 12       Social Anxiety Disorder
Clark & Beck (9)
Wks 13,14    Depression, Suicidality
Barlow (7: Cognitive Therapy for Depression, 9: Behavioral Activation for Depression, 10: Borderline PD - focus on management of suicidal behaviors)

NYSPA Video (1hr): 
    Assessment and Management of Suicidal Ideation and Behaviors:

FINAL EXAM – class time during finals week
RECOMMENDED BOOKS to be read someday when you have time to improve your background in CBT:
Beck, J.S. (2011). Cognitive therapy: Basics and beyond . New York: Guilford.

Safran, J. & Greenberg, L. (Eds.) (1991). Emotion, Psychotherapy & Change. New York: Guilford.
Young, J., Klosko, J., & Weishaar, M.E. (2003). Schema therapy: A practitioner's guide. New York: Guilford.

Consistent with Objective 5 of the PhD program in Clinical Psychology at Hofstra University, the objectives of this course are primarily in the area of developing intervention skills.

Specifically, students will understand and be able to apply the techniques of cognitive-behaviorally-oriented psychotherapy.  They will learn the general framework of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, and then learn to apply specific strategies to a variety of commonly occurring disorders.

Students will interpret and explain the principles and techniques of applied behavior analysis and cognitive-behavioral therapy, in both oral (class participation) and written form (final exam - competency based).

Students will demonstrate competence in the use of interventions based on cognitive behavior therapy in oral (class participation) and written form (final exam - competency based).


 Academic Honesty:

·         Hofstra University Honor Code: “As a member of the Hofstra community I pledge to demonstrate integrity and ethical behavior in all aspects of my life, both inside and out of the classroom. I understand that I am accountable for everything I say and write. I will not misrepresent my academic work, nor will I give or receive unauthorized assistance for academic work. I agree to respect the rights of all members of the Hofstra community. I will be guided by the values expressed in the P.R.I.D.E Principles. I accept the responsibility to follow this Honor Code at all times.”

·         Honor Code Short Form: “I pledge on my honor that I have done this work with honesty and integrity, without giving or receiving unauthorized assistance.”

·         Academic Honesty: Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty are serious ethical and professional infractions.  For information regarding Hofstra’s statement of principles with respect to academic honesty, examples of violations, procedures for handling violations, as well as a student’s right to appeal a charge, see Faculty Policy Series #11 for undergraduate students ( and Faculty Policy Series #11G for graduate students ( 


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Individuals with disabilities are entitled to accommodations designed to facilitate full access to all programs and services. SAS is responsible for coordinating disability-related accommodations and will provide students with documented disabilities accommodation letters, as appropriate.


Please note that accommodations may require early planning and are not retroactive; please contact SSD as soon as possible. All students are responsible for providing accommodation letters to each instructor and for discussing with him or her the specific accommodations needed and how they can be best implemented in each course. For more information on services provided by the university and for submission of documentation, please contact the Services for Students with Disabilities, 107 Student Center, 516-463-7075


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Incomplete Policy:

 Hofstra’s policies regarding Incomplete grades, default grades, and associated deadlines can be found in the Undergraduate and Graduate Studies Bulletins (  


Student Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment, Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct

Hofstra prohibits sexual and other discriminatory harassment, stalking, domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and other sexual misconduct (collectively, “Gender Based Offenses”).  If you or someone you know believes they have been subjected to any of these Gender Based Offenses, help is available.  To make a report, or for more information about Hofstra’s Student Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment, Relationship Violence, and Sexual Misconduct (available at, please contact the Title IX Coordinator at (516) 463-5841or, or Public Safety at (516) 463-6606.  Confidential resources and support are also available from clinicians in Student Counseling Services (516-463-6791), medical professionals at the Health and Wellness Center (516-463-6745), and clergy in the Interfaith Center.  


2016-17 Academic Year: Guidelines Related to Absences for Religious Observances

  Absences for Religious Observance
Hofstra University recognizes that students and/or faculty may from time to time miss class due to religious observances. Students who anticipate missing class for this reason should notify faculty members in advance. Likewise, faculty members who anticipate missing class for religious observance should notify students in their classes. As per Faculty Policy Series 12 (B): “No student shall be expelled or refused admission to Hofstra University because he or she is unable to participate in any examination, study or work requirement because of his or her religious obligations and practices. However, all students are expected to complete all assignments and examinations. It is understood that no adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student who avails him or herself of religious observances. The University, faculty, and student shall work together to achieve a reasonable accommodation concerning any conflicts between educational and religious obligations.” Faculty are encouraged to include notice of this policy in their syllabuses and announce it during the first week of each semester, and make reasonable efforts to avoid scheduling exams and/or due dates of assignments that would otherwise interfere with religious observances of students.


Additionally, in accordance with New York State Law, each student who is absent from school because of his or her religious beliefs will be given an equivalent opportunity to register for classes or make up any examination, study or work requirements which he or she may have missed because of that absence on any particular day or days.