For specific policies relating to COVID-19 guidelines including mask wearing, class attendance, and class seating see Information about Academic Dishonesty; Student Access Services; Deadlines and Grading Policies; Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct; and Absences for Religious Observance, is also available at this link.

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.


Do not hesitate to provide ANONYMOUS feedback about any aspect of this course. No identifying information is accessible to me and I welcome feedback. Every group of students in a classroom is unique and I am willing to make modifications where appropriate. The feedback can include: (1) suggestions for improvement, (2) noting things that are problematic, or (3) noting things that you like about the course and/or my teaching style. PS: I am receptive to non-anonymous feedback as well ( - but I am providing this option for those more comfortable with giving it anonymously to maximize the feedback I receive.

Anonymous Feedback Form:


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)

Weeks 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 (see Blackboard - course reserves link).

R.S. Lazarus (1992). Goal incongruent emotions. Emotion and Adaptation.

New York: Oxford University Press. (see Blackboard - course reserves link)

Weeks 4,5 Introduction to Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Cognitive Strategies

Clark & Beck (2, 5, 6)

Week 6 Intro to CBT continued: Case Conceptualization, Treatment Planning

Clark & Beck (7)

Barlow (15) - Evidence Based Therapeutic Relationships


Week 7 Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia

Clark & Beck (8)

Barlow (1)

Week 8 Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia continued

Sanderson, W.C. & Wetzler, S. (1993). Observations on the cognitive behavioral treatment of panic Disorder: Impact of benzodiazepines. Psychotherapy, 30, 125-132.

(see Blackboard - course reserves link)

Clark, D.M. (1999). Anxiety disorders: why they persist and how to treat them. Behavior Research and Therapy, 27, 5-27. (see Blackboard - course reserves link)

Sanderson, W.C. & Bruce, T.J. (2007). Causes and management of treatment resistant panic disorder and agoraphobia. Cognitive Behavioral Practice, 14(1), 26-35.

Week 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)

Weeks 13,14 Depression, Suicidal Behaviors


(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:

Predicting Suicide: Mathew Nock, PhD (1hr)

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.



Do not multitask (e.g., check Facebook, text messages) in class -- see the following for an excellent review:

How to take good class notes:

Use handwritten notes rather than typing into a computer:


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).



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