Psychology 229: 
Cognitive-Behavioral Counseling and Psychotherapy I


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.  (2021). Clinical Handbook of Psychological Disorders (6th edition).  NY: Guilford Press 

Clark, D.A. & Beck, A.T.  (2010). Cognitive Therapy for Anxiety Disorders. NY: Guilford Press.

Note: additional readings assigned below are available in the shared drive -  link will be provided when classes begin.

Final Examination: Competency Assessment: 100%
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.


Hofstra PhD Program Class Attendance Policy and Related Matters (please read):

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.  

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

    New York: Oxford University Press.


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

Clark & Beck (2, 5, 6)

McGinn, L. & Sanderson, W.C. (2001).  What allows cognitive behavioral therapy to be brief: overview, efficacy, and crucial factors facilitating brief treatment. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 8, 23-37.

McGinn, L.K., Young, J.E., Sanderson, W.C.  (1995).  When and how to do longer-term therapy.... without feeling guilty.  Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 2, 187-212

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

Clark & Beck (7)



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.  

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

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 (3)


Weeks 13,14    Depression


  (7) Cognitive Therapy for Depression

  (9) Behavioral Activation for Depression



Assessment and Management of Suicidal Ideation and Behaviors (1 hr)

Predicting Suicide: Mathew Nock, PhD  (1hr)

FINAL EXAM –  class time during finals week



RECOMMENDED CLASSIC 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.

Safran, J. & Segal, Z. (1990). Interpersonal process in cognitive therapy. NY: 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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